The summary: Captain Harry Lidge has done his duty. After losing too many good men on the battlefield, he's ready to put his responsibilities behind him and live a life free of care. But first he has one last mission: find out what the most outrageous woman in London, the same woman who betrayed him nearly a decade earlier, is concealing, before her secrets take down the crown. Surrounded by ardent admirers and a few loyal friends, Lady Kate Seaton glides through the ton on a confection of couture gowns and bon mots. No one suspects that beneath her lighthearted façade Kate hides a sorrow so scandalous she'll do anything to keep it hidden. But only when she trusts Harry with the truth and only when he trusts her with his heart can they stop the villains all too willing to kill Kate to attain their ultimate goal: destroy England
And here is LisaLisa's review:
Before I read Always A Temptress by Eileen Dreyer, I didn't think there was still a niche for historical romances full of melodramatic WTFery. So much happens in the first third of the book that it is almost difficult to keep up. It included assassins, gunshots, spies, kidnapping, fights, insane asylums, gothic castles, daring rescue attempts, marriages of conveniences and treasonous plots. Oh and there is also a bit of a love story, but with the endless shenanigans it took quite a while to get to the actual romance.
The story centered upon a couple that had met when young and then fallen in love. Sadly circumstances had kept apart and when the dust settled, they hated each other (I don’t want to give too much away here, just in case any of you still have a desire to read the thing). I really didn’t like or care about either main characters all that much. They both fell into the gothic character-with-a-tragic-life mold: he was brooding soldier turned spy and she had issues from her wretched childhood and first marriage.
My impressions of the book can be best summed up with my favorite detail. The story starts off when a dying assassin tells the spy hero that “the Whore” is somehow involves in the bad-guy treason plot. He immediately thinks of Kate, the heroine, and assumes she’s a traitor (nice guy!). So he kidnaps then interrogates her. Never does she question why he thought she was a traitor and felt the need to kidnap her. (As a side note, I would have loved to see the “but honey, the assassin mentioned ‘The Whore’ so I had to kidnap you” conversation, but it never materialized).
While I am not a huge fan of melodrama or spy plots, I do enjoy them when they add to the story. However, this book was just too over the top and it detracted from the relationship between the characters. The story was so melodramatic as to be silly and the romance definitely got lost in it. I did enjoy the actual romance and I would have loved to see more scenes with the two mains. Too much of the book was taken up with spies and drama. This book is part of a series and has a lot of character in it, so it can be difficult to remember who is who if you are not familiar with the series.
My grade for this would be a D+. If I had not been reading it for the review, I definitely would not have finished it. If Eileen Dryer had held back on the plot and melodrama a bit, the book would have a lot more enjoyable. As it was, it was just too over the top and the romance was a little too underdeveloped.