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Since I gave Book 2 in this series (Pride and Passion) such a terrible review, I thought it only fair to follow up with a review for this book, the final one in the trilogy, which I liked MUCH better. I disliked P&P so much, I almost didn’t read Temptation and Twilight. I gave this one 4 stars, and I am happy I forged my way through to the conclusion of the series.
The major two problems I had with P&P—repetitive conversations going over and over the same ground (did I say repetitive?) and ‘talking about’ action that occurred ‘off-screen’ rather than showing it—were (almost) absent in Temptation and Twilight. The other big problem I had with P&P—description of off-screen action--was explained (although not excused) when I read Temptation and Twilight. Except for the final two chapters in Temptation and Twilight, the timeframe for the two books is identical, which explains the necessity for ‘telling’ in P&P about action that was happening off-screen in T&T. And most of the action occurred in T&T, Book 3. This device—telling the same story from different perspectives—has been done before, but much better. (I know I have read books using this device, but the only ones that pop to mind now are the two books in Julia Quinn’s "Dukes of Wyndham" series). It has been awhile since I read the first book in Featherstone’s series (Seduction and Scandal) so I don’t remember the timeframe, but perhaps it also overlapped with Pride and Passion.
My theory about the other major problem I had with P&P--the repetition of the same material--is that the author had a contract for a trilogy, and had only enough material for two books. Although Sussex's (hero in book 2) identity was a crucial factor in the plot, I think the series would have been much better if she had established Lucy and Sussex as secondary characters, incorporating their story across two books.
I liked the hero and heroine in this book much better. They seemed more fleshed-out, and were definitely more likeable (one had major emotional flaws, the other a big physical condition to overcome, and I do love flawed characters). The attraction, physical and emotional, between the two was also more understandable and better explained. Based on their past experiences, the relationship made sense. Although the storyline across the three books was still somewhat lacking, the mystery moved along nicely in the last book, especially towards the end, and I liked the resolution. I give the series an overall 3-star rating. It would have been 3.5--or perhaps 4--if not for the 2nd book.
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A stupendous finish to the Guardian Brethren series. Ms. Featherstone delivers a majestic and powerful love story for the ages. Of unrequited love that will break your heart, wrench it in two, and have you gnashing your teeth. Buried within this exquisite romance is the gradual of reemergence of hope, trust, and truest love.
Iain Sinclair, or Alynwick as his friends call him, is a heartless, cold bastard, "forever scandalizing the English peers with his brutish Scottish ways." It's easy to cast Alynwick in the usual mold as the unrepentant rake at first glance, but once you start turning the pages, you find a tormented man. A man willing to do anything to get back the love of his life.
Iain sent Black a glare, aware that he appeared debauched. But he wasn't. He was restless, mindless. There was a sickness ruling his thoughts, and if he had the courage to look through the darkness inside him, he'd be able to name the illness. He was heartsick, his soul crying out for the one remedy that could cure his illness. Elizabeth.
Elizabeth may be blind, but she doesn't let that define who she is. She is the bravest, strongest heroine I have ever read. Lizzy has her brief moments of doubt when she lashes out in fear and self-pity, but they don't last long.
"I only though to help," she said, hating the sadness in her voice. "What is left to me? I have no husband or children to occupy my time. I can't see to paint or embroider, or read, or decorate. I can't even shop without another set of eyes escorting me. I have nothing, Adrian. Nothing!"
"That's not true."
"Oh, do not lie to yourself, thinking you are making me feel better. Lies only make me feel worse, for I know they are spoken out of pity. The truth is, I have never complained about my blindness or bemoaned my fate. I always had the Brethren Guardians to make me feel worthwhile and capable. I had you and Black to talk to, and I was involved in discussions, in the history or our ancestors. I was a part of the group, and it kept me happy. Now you are denying me the one thing that made my life worth anything."
TEMPTATION & TWILIGHT brings to a close the mystery surrounding Orpheus in a grand fashion. I was so caught up in the passion of Lizzy and Alynwick, that when all is revealed, I didn't see it coming.
I have been a devotee of Ms. Featherstone's historical romance since I read her work Sinful and to this day it remains #1 on my most favorite of all time historical romance works. TEMPTATION & TWILIGHT, My Darlings, will now rank as #2.(less)
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Review originally posted at Ramblings From This Chick
Oh. My. Goodness. I could not put this book down. It was everything I was hoping for and so much more. When I first began this series by Charlotte Featherstone I immediately found myself gravitating towards the sparks between Elizabeth and Iain. There was just so much tension between them that I kept hoping that there was a story there. When I finished Charlotte's previous book Pride & Passion and learned that they did indeed have a shared past and that they would be the hero and heroine of the next book, June could not come fast enough. I've been itching to get my hands on this book and believe me it was definitely worth the wait. Oh how I LOVED it.
Twelve years ago when Lady Elizabeth York was just nineteen and Iain Sinclair, Marquis Alynwick was twenty one they had a torrid affair. Both spent the summer learning and loving one another. When Iain began to realize that his feelings for Elizabeth were growing stronger and into love he decided to break things off. He walked away from the only woman who ever held his heart and for the last twelve years he has spent his time living in regret. In an effort to forget his feelings for Elizabeth he has become the most notorious rake in London and has also taken on the moniker Mad Marquis.
For Elizabeth to say the last twelve years were hard for her is a vast understatement. Shortly after Iain walked away from her without any explanation what so ever she lost her eyesight. She has an ailment that was passed on from her mother that caused her to go blind. Because of this, Elizabeth has spent the last twelve years having to rely on others while at the same time keeping the love affair she had with Iain a secret from everyone. She is still hurt and in pain and definitely doesn't want anything to do with Iain. To make matters worse is the fact that he is a Brethren Guardian along with her brother and he is constantly around.
When Iain is involved in a duel, and slightly injured he begins to realize that he doesn't want to ignore what is in his heart anymore. He is tired of denying himself of Elizabeth and the love he feels for her. He was foolish to walkaway all those years ago and he is determined to make her see that he is changed and that he loves her.
I seriously was anxious the whole entire time I read this book. I felt the pain both Elizabeth and Iain were experiencing and I felt the love they both felt for one another. There was just so many sparks between the two and I found myself quickly turning the pages to see what was going to happen. Would Elizabeth finally relent and forgive Iain for his past transgressions? Why exactly did Iain leave in the first place if he loved her so much? Seriously, I couldn't stop reading, watching everything unfold. These two have both been to hell and back and there was one specific scene with Elizabeth that broke my heart. I could feel her pain and I just wanted to make it better.
The author did such a good job conveying the pain and love between these two characters. Their story was truly one of redemption and forgiveness. If you are looking for a book that is filled with angst and drama I highly recommend Temptation & Twilight. It is definitely my favorite of the series and it is definitely going on my keeper shelf.