Title: A Taste of Seduction
Author: Mary Campisi
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Buy Link: Buy A Taste Of Seduction Here!
Rating: You Gotta Read
Reviewed by: Karen Parker
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 . . .
Meriel and Anthony have nothing in common--she runs barefoot and talks to animals, he won't loosen his cravat unless the bedroom door is firmly closed. Meriel believes in love, hope, and happily ever after. Anthony believes in keeping a safe distance from anything resembling an emotion. They have nothing in common but an undeniable, burning desire for one another they can't ignore or understand, and an ailing "father" who will do anything to see them together. Unfortunately, there are others, cunning and manipulative, working behind the scenes. Others who will stop at nothing, willing even to kill, to keep them apart.
Two babes, twins… one favors the mother and the other, the father. The only problem is that the babe's father isn't her mother's husband, the Earl of Belmont! Their mother dies shortly after their birth. Separated, one child lives the life of privilege, wanting for nothing and spoiled rotten. The other lives as a simple peasant girl, short on possessions but long on love and happiness. This child's name is Meriel. Her happy childhood has made her a free spirit, carefree and unconcerned with propriety. The fly in the ointment to her peaceful life is Lord Jared, a wealthy Duke's son. He wants to possess her body, just like he has several other young maids in the village. Unfortunately for those same young women, the moment they become pregnant, Jared is no longer interested in them and casts them aside to suffer their ruin alone. Now he's set his sights on Meriel and seems very determined to enjoy her innocence.
It is Jared's insistent attention that has driven Meriel's Aunt and Uncle to divulge the truth… her father isn't really dead! They had only told her the lie to protect her from her mother's husband. They feel that the only way they can protect Meriel from Lord Jared is to appeal her case to her biological father, Lord Montrose.
Anthony Weston is an orphaned stable boy, raised by Meriel's biological father, Philip Cardinger. After growing up hungry and dirty, the life Anthony has been given as the ward of Lord Montrose seems like a fairy tale. He is determined to make the most of himself and his opportunity. He conducts himself with precise decorum, making sure to obey every protocol befitting his new station. He has been an apt pupil of Philip's, learning how to make money through investing and acquisition. Then, one day, a whirlwind named Meriel invades his carefully organized life claiming to be Lord Montrose's daughter! Impossible, she must be a fortune seeker… and yet she does resemble Philip. After speaking with Philip, it seems Meriel is indeed his illegitimate child. And Philip is delighted, and Anthony…, well, not so much. He's still convinced Meriel has an ulterior motive for coming forward after all these years. He is cold and aloof to Meriel. He won't fall under her charms, or will he?
Mary Campisi has done a wonderful job creating an intricate web of intrigue and romance in this book. I love Regency era stories and this tale didn't disappoint. Once I started reading this story, I couldn't put the book down. I read this in one sitting! The tension between Anthony and Meriel was delicious, keeping the reader hungry for their next verbal sparring. Throw in the wicked Lord Jared and Meriel's scheming sister, Claire and the story is guaranteed to captivate. Jared and Claire have a unique relationship, and they plot to help each other achieve their lusty desires - Meriel in Jared's bed and Anthony in Claire's! The lengths those two will stoop to keep the reader on the edge of their chair. This book was absolutely delicious!