Temptation’s Darling

Written by Johanna Lindsey
Review by Ray Thompson

There is rather a lot going on in this Regency romance. The main plotline follows the romantic relationship that develops between Vanessa Blackburn, daughter of the Earl of Ketterham, and Lord Montgomery Townsend, a friend of the Prince Regent. Despite their powerful mutual attraction, Nessi is determined to ensure her father’s return from exile in the Scottish Highlands, even if it means marrying his enemy’s son; Monty is on a secret assignment to protect a foreign prince from pursuing assassins. Throw into the story the difficulties Nessi encounters reconciling with her estranged mother and twin sisters, learning the polite customs approved by aristocratic society, and attracting someone who is both reluctant and offensive for reasons not fully explained, and the unfortunate consequences of Monty’s (largely) undeserved reputation as a rake.

With so much to deal with, the subplots are inevitably thin. While they function to help or hinder the happy marriage between the lovers that their wrong-headedness seems to place out of reach, they are an unsatisfying distraction. They also verge on the melodramatic, particularly the incompetent assassination attempts. Disappointing, despite some entertaining characters and scenes.