A Taste of Seduction

Mary Campisi
A Taste of Seduction
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Mary Campisi Books, LLC
Release Date
May 2014
Book 2 of An Unlikely Husband
Historical Romance

A Taste of Seduction is Book Two of Mary Campisi's Regency historical series, An Unlikely Husband. Readers fell in love with Francie and Alexander Bishop from The Seduction of Sophie Seacrest, and wanted to know how they came to be Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. A Taste of Seduction is their story.

(Author note: A Taste of Seduction has been re-released, and edits have been made to ensure continuity between the books, including character names.)

A young woman of noble blood, raised as a peasant girl...

An orphaned stable boy, now grown and the surrogate son of a powerful earl--the same earl who just so happens to be the young woman's father...

Francie Jordan and Alexander Bishop have nothing in common--she runs barefoot and talks to animals. He won't loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. She believes in love, second chances, and happily ever after. He believes in keeping a safe distance from anything that resembles an emotion. Indeed, they have nothing in common but an undeniable desire for one another they can't ignore, and an ailing "father" who will employ any means to bring them together.

Unfortunately, not everyone wishes to see a union between Francie and Alexander, and they will stop at nothing to keep this couple apart.

An Unlikely Husband Series:

Book One: The Seduction of Sophie Seacrest (Sophie & Holt's story)
Book Two: A Taste of Seduction (Francie & Alexander's story)
Book Three: A Touch of Seduction: a novella (Ariana & Jason's story)
Book Four: A Scent of Seduction (Julia & Jon's story)

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Apr 25, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
218 people found the following review helpful
A TASTE OF SEDUCTION captures all the high drama of the best 19th-century genres: forbidden love affairs, secret legacies, along with dastardly noblemen and scheming ladies, and adds enough chemistry between the two main characters to make the whole plot sizzle!

Meriel Linton has grown believing herself to be an orphan, raised by her loving Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Bernard and completely happy working in her garden and running barefoot through the fields with her dog, George. That is, until Jared Crayton sets his sights on her. Jared, the only son of the local Duke, has a notorious reputation and is utterly unrepentant for any of his past deeds or desires. And now that he wants Meriel, he will stop at nothing to have her all to himself. Desperate to escape his constant harassment, Meriel turns to her aunt and uncle for help—only to learn that the one man who can protect her is the father she has never known.

It is revealed that eighteen years ago, Eleanor helped her sister—Meriel's mother—hide the fact that her two children were born out of wedlock, the result of her love affair with a man who was not her husband, but the love of her life. Because of her resemblance to her mother, the other girl was brought up as a nobleman's daughter, while Meriel was secreted away for inheriting her father's red hair and blue eyes. Though Catherine died in childbirth, Philip Cardinger, the Earl of Montrose, is still living and utterly unaware of his daughters' existence.

He is, however, overjoyed to meet Meriel, and to welcome her into his home. Philip is determined to give Meriel the kind of life she deserves to have, just as he has with his adopted son, Anthony Weston. Anthony was nothing more than a stable boy, cruelly abused by his father who left him with a jagged scar across his face and heart that he is convinced cannot feel much of anything at all. Through Philip's care and attention, he has been able to make a life for himself, but it is a life of regimental control and strict adherence to duty and society. Meriel's arrival and carefree exuberance throws all his careful order into chaos. And as if to make matters worse, her dog George has claimed Anthony's favorite chair as his own private throne.

Yet, for reasons he can't explain, Anthony can't seem to get Meriel out of his mind. As each day near her passes, he finds his initial distrust and aversion turning to…something else. But that something can never be, for in the end, he will always think of himself as a wild stable boy, while Meriel is the daughter of his benefactor. While he will defend her to the death from Jared, Anthony continues to insist that she marry someone more suited to her new station.

But the plot continues to thicken: Jared has found reinforcements to assist him in the person of Meriel's sister, who is as ruthless as Meriel is compassionate and out to snare one Mr. Anthony Weston, by hook or by crook.

I loved every minute of this book. The characters had depth, wit—some of Meriel's opinions on Anthony when they first met made me laugh out loud—and a rich history, which made the book quite interesting. I'd love to have a story about Aunt Eleanor and her husband, as their love story alone sounds like the stuff of a great novel.

I thought Meriel was a great heroine, and loved the fact that she stayed true to herself, despite all the changes that were going on around her. As the details of Anthony's childhood were revealed, the reasons for all his little idiosyncrasies become completely understandable, and I found myself caring for him in spite of his aloofness and that air of savagery he had about him…or maybe I loved him because of it. Either way, he managed to be the most charming curmudgeon I've encountered in a while, and my heart broke for him when he tried to explain why he could never be the husband that his Meriel deserved.

The chemistry between Meriel and Anthony was positively incendiary. Watching both of them trying to fight their growing attraction to the other made for a tension that had me holding my breath in a few places, and overjoyed when they were finally able to give in to temptation. The machinations of their family were quite enjoyable, as well. I was also really impressed by the presence a male and female villain. It took me a while to accept Jared as a quality bad guy, but as the story progresses, he filled the role quite well, while Meriel's sister was fantastically awful from her first appearance right to the very end.

Despite this being a decently long book, I flew through it. The story moves at a great pace, and has enough twists and turns to keep those pages flipping quickly. With enough scandal and secret plots to rival a daytime TV special and a pair of leading characters that are among the best I've read in a while, this is definitely a story not to be missed!
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