Brazen Angel

Brazen Heiress

Brazen Temptress

It Takes a Hero

No Marriage of Convenience

Once Tempted

One Night of Passion

Something About Emmaline

Stealing the Bride

 

 
Tempted by the Night
by Elizabeth Boyle 
(Avon, $ 6.99, R)  ISBN 978-006-137322-0
****
I am not usually a fan of pure fantasy stories with mythical creatures, but Elizabeth Boyle has written a very nice story with a hint of humor, a lot of good romantic and hot sex and a plot that keeps your interest. 

Tempted by the Night features a legendary family that are essentially the gatekeepers between good and evil. They are all members of the Rockhurst family and known in mythical terms as the Paratus. They have some powers such as self-healing but they can be killed. They fight creatures with red eyes called dregas that come up in cracks from the underworld. In this case, the setting is London in the early 1800’s. The Paratus are members of society and the current Lord of Rockhurst, Thomas, is handsome and known as a rake and a man who often is scandalous in his pursuit of women. He is eligible but one of those that no one thinks will ever marry.

Lady Hermione Marlowe is a young debutante in her third season. She is unremarkable except for her poor taste in colors and thus fashion. Her family is full of eccentrics…her mother, in particular, is rather obnoxious. Hermione and her friends find men like Rockhurst thrilling. Her brother just recently married and Rockhurst was his best man.  Hermione grew attached to Rockhurst and developed a crush on him, one that rendered her speechless and clumsy.

Hermione finds a ring, which she thought had once belonged to her brother’s wife, so she picks it up and puts it on. When she is wearing it, she makes a wish – “I wish I were a phantom from sunset to sunrise... so I could discover all of Lord Rockhurst’s secrets…and he, mine.”

Because the ring is magical, in fact, it holds the power to defeat the creatures, her wish is granted. Hermione’s adventures as an invisible woman during the night have thus begun.  She follows Rockhurst and discovers that he is trying to save the world every night. He discovers her, but cannot see who she is. This feeling of freedom allows Hermione to be courageous, daring and even seductive. She starts to care for him and finds his passion brings out her own. And their passions are often hot and explicit.  

During their adventures, they fight the creatures. Hermione discovers all of the Rockhurst secrets and yet fears revealing who she is. Her fear is that while he is attracted to her in the night, he will be appalled that it is she, Hermione Marlowe and will shun her. There are people who know what Rockhurst is doing and they too get involved in the story line.  Finally, there is the matchmaking of Hermione’s mother during the day in direct opposition to Hermione’s attempt to keep out of Rockhurst’s way.

Hermione is a great heroine. She accepts her dilemma and embraces the chance to experience life. In reality, this would have been a bit much for a simpering debutante, but in Boyle’s hands and the fantasy of the story, this fits right in. Hermione is willing to fight for Rockhurst and her love is the saving grace of the story.

Rockhurst, on the other hand, is a bit of a tragic hero. He knows his duty, but has begun to realize that he will never marry because of the risk to his family. He is lonely and soaks up Hermione’s love, even as he is falling for her. He was an easy hero to like.

As with most fantasy romances, one must accept that this is a flight of the imagination and allow for some silly activities. There is a part about the owners of the ring that seemed unnecessary. There were fights that were gory and yet the tone of the danger involved added to the excitement of the story. This comes awfully close to a keeper.  Tempted by the Night has a lot to it and may well pull readers back time and again to pick up all the details. It is definitely worth reading the first time, too! 

--Shirley Lyons


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