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Hidden secrets, high passion, and a healthy dose of humor are Deveraux hallmarks, and Temptation is one of her best. The tempting bestseller features a fish-out-of-water heroine, a hidden family treasure, and a Scottish laird who would rather die than be married.
Temperance O’Neil is a women’s rights activist in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. At the age of 29, she had given little thought, time, or attention to her love life and thrown all of her energy into helping the city’s poor and downtrodden women. But when Temperance’s widowed mother shows up with her new husband, Angus McCairn, everything changes. Angus has control over the O’Neil money and uses it to force Temperance to move to Scotland, where he’s determined to make a “proper” lady of her. This results in a brief but amusing battle of wills that culminates in a blackmail deal: If Temperance can make Angus’s nephew, James, take a wife within the next six months, then she can have her money and her house back.
Temperance travels to James’s home in the Highlands, only to discover a huge, filthy, ramshackle house and a style of living that is far from the city ways she is used to. Showing up under the guise of being the new housekeeper, Temperance sets about tidying up the place and finding James the perfect woman. While trying to sneak a humorous parade of inappropriate candidates past James’s watchful eye, Temperance finds herself falling in love with the man. But just as she comes to this realization, the perfect match for James shows up: his childhood sweetheart, who is now a widow. Torn between the work she once did, her passion for the people in her new life, and her love for James, Temperance makes a hard decision that forces her to risk everything she holds dear.
Deveraux makes good use of historical detail and creates characters who are charmingly and believably flawed. There’s a fun mystery to solve regarding a hidden family treasure and the reason behind Angus’s determination to see his nephew married off, and plenty of obstacles to overcome. All of it is seasoned with Deveraux’s trademark humor and passion, a recipe that never fails to satisfy.
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