Lost In Temptation
by Lauren Royal, historical (2005)
Signet, $6.99, ISBN 0-451-21592-3
Lauren Royal's Lost In Temptation bores me. I know, "boring" is not the most descriptive word around, but the issues faced by the characters don't interest me because I find them so... trivial even as the characters make such a big deal about them. As a result, I find it too easy to put the book down and do something more interesting, like trying to swat flies around the house using this book.
Alexandra Chase's family has a tradition of making "magical" food that will make their men fall in love with them. She has been in love with Tristan Nesbitt, her brother's best friend, for as long as she can remember. Tristan vanishes from her life for seven years and now that she's about to marry someone else, he's back. Impulsively she tosses aside the other man like he's garbage, stupidly believing for no reason that Tristan will marry her, only to be told that he can't marry her because he's accused of killing his uncle for the title and money. Silly man, clearly he doesn't read romance novels. Romance heroines will die (sometimes literally if the hero doesn't rescue them in time) to marry a hero with such a past. Murder charges, along with rampant promiscuity, are the signs of a good man in Romance Novel Land, don't you know? Hmmmph.
Tristan is asked by Alexandra's brother to help the family vineyards flourish, so he'll be sticking around though. Next thing I know, he's sleepwalking and Alexandra is puckering up her lips to kiss a man who won't remember anything when he awakens. She tosses aside a rich and handsome man for... this? Girlfriend, where is your pride and self-respect?
The main issue these two face is therefore Tristan's unwillingness to give out because of his Reputation. However, I will respect him more if he will just cut to the chase, drop Alexandra for good, and leave, but no, there will be no story if this man bites as well as barks. So yes, as expected, he will sleep with Alexandra, and then marry her, all the way fighting everything and even behaving cruelly towards her - for her own good, of course - and I find everything so, so tedious. Alexandra is like a puppy so stubbornly devoted to Tristan no matter how many times he kicks her, and again, I find her so, so tedious. I find it hard to care for the two characters especially because Tristan is so self-absorbed and determined to be a martyr that he seems happy to be stuck with a reputation when he could have done something to clear his name. He's not poor, so it's not like he has no means to hire people to help him clear his name. Instead, Tristan is content to wallow in self-pity... and strings Alexandra along as he drags her into his games.
Maybe I'm just too old and cynical but I find it very boring and even pointless when two people with money and aristocratic privileges moan and mope as if their problems are so big and significant that the world should stop and watch them weep and angst. Such behavior may be acceptable when someone is a teenage emo-Goth wannabe wearing black and writing poetries about how life has no meaning anymore because she couldn't find a date for prom. Alexandra and especially Tristan are supposed to be adults, however, so I don't know what their excuse is.
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