Too Tempting to Resist

Written by Cara Elliott
Review by Audrey Braver

This is the second novel in the Lords of Misrule trilogy. Lady Eliza Brentford is a young, impecunious widow whose brother is so profligate that Eliza has to beg the owner of a brothel/gambling den to forbid her brother credit. During her visit to the brothel, Eliza meets the notorious Marquess of Haddan, Gryffin Dwight. A Regency rake of the first order, Gryff is unexplainably attracted to Eliza. Gryff has an alternate life as a botanical essayist, so he accepts an invitation to a house party from Eliza’s brother so he can see Capability Brown’s landscaping. There he encounters Eliza again, and they have an improbable amorous night. Although both are emphatic that it should not be repeated, their paths cross again and again in life’s unpredictable course.

In Eliza, Cara Elliott has created an unusual heroine. Not the beautiful, seductive widow one often finds in historical romance novels, she is too thin, plain, and honest, competent enough to earn her living as an illustrator, and happy to be a country denizen. In the Marquess, she’s captured a man on the verge, resisting the transition he has already begun from London rake to settled country gentleman.