Rating: 3.5 stars
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For Captain Jack West, a recent injury prevents him from doing his part for the patriot army. He is frustrated and anxious to get back into the field, especially as the revolutionary cause appears to have reached a flashpoint. When a fellow officer approaches him about spying for Washington, Jack is initially repelled by the idea. Spying is hardly the business of a gentlemen, but he reluctantly agrees to participate, realizing how desperately the Americans need information.
Jack teams up with a fellow spy for training and meets Eli Ashfield, a local book seller and smuggler. Eli makes sure to keep the British soldiers in tea and sugar, all the while championing the rebel cause. Jack and Eli made a great team, but their attraction to one another proves dangerous in more ways than one. Love in the midst of war is never easy and both men will have to decide what’s worth fighting for.
I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction and leap at the chance to read anything involving the Revolutionary War. So I was keen to give Revolutionary Temptation a try. And it was okay. Just okay. The writing was decent and there is definitely a strong sense of time and place. But the historical facts seemed to be dropped into the story rather than woven into it. As a result, they tend to stand out rather awkwardly at times. The reader still gets the needed information, but I feel like it could have been delivered in a smoother fashion.
Our main protagonists, especially Eli, are well drawn. We’re given enough of their backstories to form decent connections with both. Yet neither stands out as particularly exciting or interesting. They go through the motions of their work and romance, but do so with a more formula than passion. The evolution of their relationship is still fairly engaging and even though these two characters aren’t particularly wowing, nor do they fall so flat as to be boring. This book tends to lean more heavily towards erotica so the sex scenes were fairly frequent and I occasionally found them to be a bit annoying. Revolutionary Temptation has substance to be sure, but a bit less sex and a shade more plot could have really transformed the novel.
Secondary cast member, Constance, the lady spy, has a strong role within the overall storyline and while many of her attitudes and behaviors failed to seem era appropriate, she was a tough, powerful woman and I found her far more interesting than Jack or Eli. She nearly steals the show with her frankness and charm and she has a fairy large part to play. Despite her considerable page presence, there are only a couple of times that I found the plot focusing more on her than our couple.
I think anyone who enjoys historical fiction will probably gather entertainment from Revolutionary Temptation. It does a good job of drawing readers in and there is enough action and suspense to propel the story along. The main characters are somewhat lacking and the historical information tends to be delivered with a shovel, but it still tells a story I think most will find at least moderately satisfying.
This does interest me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sue.