The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

Written by Lauren Willig

The novel begins in a contemporary time at Selwick Hall with Eloise and Colin. The story soon slips back to 1803, to the romantically natured Charlotte, who dares to dream of armour-clad knights, but instead meets the Duke of Dovedale, Robert Landsdowne, who has just returned to England. Their attraction is instantaneous, but unknown to Charlotte, he has a more urgent matter in hand from which he would protect her – to avenge the cowardly murder of his mentor in India. He must deny their love and follow the murderer’s trail into a world of a secret club, leading to drug-fuelled pleasures and espionage. Charlotte proves herself to be capable of uncovering an even greater crime than murder as she unearths a treasonous plot. The two find their destiny is to combine their efforts despite the emotional void between them.

Although this book is one of a series, I found it read well as a standalone novel. The author’s original voice and style of combining romance, action and mystery together, keeps the novel moving at a light and entertaining pace. The contemporary story is charming and the historical plot intriguing. Personally, I was more drawn to Charlotte and her world than Eloise. The historical detail has obviously been well researched, combining the actual symptoms of George III’s illness, with the plausibility that a kidnap attempt could have been made against him. Both the contemporary and historical stories leave the reader with a totally satisfied feeling.