RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Always a Temptress by Eileen Dreyer


Title: Always a Temptress
Author: Eileen Dreyer
Publication Info: Forever 2011
ISBN: 978-0446542050
Genre: Historical: European

Book Cover This review was written by LisaLisa . This story was nominated in the Best Historical Romance category.

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.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Bnbsrose says:

    Someone refers to “the whore” and his mind goes immediately to his former girlfriend? Now that is true love in the making.

  2. 2
    Vicki says:

    I loved Eileen Dreyer when she was writing her early “scary murder” books. I wanted to like her new books but have not been able to get into them. This review helps explain why.

  3. 3
    Cara says:

    Ha! This is a great example of why not all negative reviews are bad. Now I totally want to read this piece of wtfery. *tbr-ing*

  4. 4
    Karen H near Tampa says:

    I picked up the first book in this series, Barely a Lady, when it came out a couple of years ago.  While I did finish it, I commented at the time on a blog that I would not be reading the subsequent books in the series (and I love reading series about relatives or friends).  I just couldn’t care about the hero and heroine or what happened to them.  I think part of it was how awful the hero treated the heroine without any basis, like you described for this book.  There are too many good books to waste my time on one that I want to throw against the wall.

  5. 5
    Library Addict says:

    I loved most of Eileen Dreyer’s Silhouette books written as Kathleen Korbel.

    This one was a DNF for me :(

  6. 6
    Terrie says:

    I actually enjoyed this book.  It was definitely over the top but perhaps I was in the mood.  There’s definitely a huge misunderstanding between the leads but for once it made sense for me given when it occurred and who was involved, just as there was also a reason for the heroine’s problems in her family.  I liked the hero and heroine.  I was rooting for them both.  I wanted each to find peace and I believed they would find it with each other.  So, just another take on this: definitely over the top and a lot of angst, but since I liked the characters, I liked the book. 

  7. 7
    Karin says:

    I read the first two books in the series. I didn’t like the way the hero acted in Barely A Lady, but enjoyed the story anyway. Then in the second one, Never A Gentleman, it was even worse, the hero really emotionally abused the heroine and didn’t even have to grovel. That was it for me, I refused to pick up this book even though she is a good writer. I just hate her plots.

  8. 8
    Lenorej says:

    Now I know why I never finished this one…nice analysis!

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top