Title: A Dangerous Temptation
Author: L.R. Olson
Release Date: July 2015
Length: 387 pages
Series?: Dangerous #1
Genre: Historical, Romance
Ruined by scandal, Julianna has hidden away in the country for the last few years hoping her indiscretion will eventually fade from the memory of society. Yes, she’s been lonely at times, but she’s content enough to follow her own rules. And when that bothersome nagging sensation that she’s missing something more flares, she’s able to shove it aside and focus on her friends, family and her true passion…painting. Until James arrives. James is arrogant, demanding and makes her believe that anything is possible, even a second chance at love. But is James the man he pretends to be?
James always gets what he wants, and he wants marriage to a woman who will honor and more importantly, obey. The problem is when he meets Julianna, while he’s bathing nude no less, he suddenly starts to question his carefully constructed plans. Bold and daring, Julianna is the very opposite of a meek, obedient wife. He certainly doesn’t need any more scandal; his family has had quite enough. And having an affair with Julianna would definitely bring scandal. The problem is he can’t seem to get her out of his head. But is she truly the sweet country girl she portrays herself to be, or a conniving fortune hunter out to trap him into marriage?
This is a book supposedly set during the Regency period, but the setting and other details throughout raise questions about its true time in history. However, it is one of the first I’ve seen of historical romances that alternate POVs. A last large note: it needs quite a bit of editing, and most likely accuracy for the time period, which might be part of the problem since that is unclear.
The storyline follows James, an almost broken man with a terribly tragic past that is just so much, as he travels away from his home. And leads to Julianna, who has been secluded in the country following her indiscretion several years prior. Hopefully hidden away society will forget all about her and allow her sister to still have a chance. She now lives a very different life than she did before.
It does follow the trope of a dark and brooding hero and an innocent and virginal heroine. However, they’re both keeping secrets from one another – their real identities. They both are presenting themselves as and believe the other is a nobody. And the reality that he’s not just a farmer and she’s not just a country girl begin to complicate things.
There was definitely attraction and sparks, but then also a lot of doubt and mistrust. It created this divide and turmoil between them. For a while, it didn’t look like they’d make it. I particularly didn’t like James’ constant thoughts that Julianna was a whore. A lot of the inner thought looping, was at times hard to get past.
But – there were a lot of really good quotations to pull from this book. I had 31 lines or excerpts I highlighted or notated, which is quite a bit for a rather simple read such as this. As I went back and re-read my annotations, I was struck by some of the quotes and how well they were woven into the story. Gems among costume jewelry.
There was redemption in the epilogue, which piqued my interest about the other brothers.