A Seductive Offer

Taken by the Night

When Marrying a Scoundrel

When Tempting a Rogue
by Kathryn Smith
(Avon, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-06-192301-2
Old lovers reunite in a business venture that tempts them to try just once more at love in When Tempting A Rogue.

Vienne La Rieux is a businesswoman who owns a gentlemanís club in London in 1876. Sheís very different from most women her age, having been tossed out by her family when she was young and forced to find a way to make it on her own. Now, as an adult, she is successful, moderately wealthy and able to take care of herself. She now finally has the freedom to do as she pleases, but her tough road to success has left her fairly self- centered, embittered and regretful. She totally acknowledges this about herself, but canít think of what she can do to change it.

Chief among Vienneís regrets is her past affair with Lord Trystan Kane, a man who made her feel as though she was special. Sadly, Trystanís long in Vienneís past, just a pleasant memory really, and she decides to concentrate on her new dream that will hopefully bring her fulfillment: a new business venture that sheís funded with help from a few key investors. Vienne wants to open a shopping emporium, the first collection of businesses all together under one roof which will hopefully turn out to be a shopping destination.

Vienneís plan is clicking along well, when Trystan Kane shows up to tell her that heís bought up a lot of shares in her shopping emporium venture, and heís now her partner. In the years that they have been apart, Trystanís made a tidy fortune in business, and he uses this as cover to tell Vienne that he knows a money making opportunity when he sees one, which is why he wants to be involved. Truthfully, Trystanís been waiting for years to show Vienne the man heís become Ė in every way.

While Trystan definitely has an ulterior motive for involving himself in Vienneís life again, there is also an unknown figure lurking in the shadows of their lives who has been sending threats to Trystan and Vienne over their business plans, and who intends to act out some devastating plans if they donít cease construction of their shops immediately.

When Tempting a Rogue had some very good parts, as well as a couple of weak elements, but overall it was a good summer read.

Vienne was not your typical hero Ė thank goodness. She has some miles on her, some baggage, and I loved her for it. Blushing virgins who donít have any opinions get tiresome so quickly. Vienne is also a little battle scarred from her imperfect life, and sheís trying to figure out what to do with it in a very realistic way. I loved it!

Trystan, on the other hand, while handsome, has the personality of a lamp post when heís standing next to Vienne. He definitely has sex appeal, and a bit of boyish charm, but then he falls flat when his reasoning for contacting Vienne comes out. Heís desperate to prove himself older, worthier, sexier, wealthier, and more manly than he was before. His attempts, while occasionally charming, have an underlying sense of complete childishness. Acting frantically to make someone like you is not the best plan in most cases. So, while Trystan had his moments, in general he came off looking like a 15 year old dork to me. This didnít help the chemistry between our leading couple.

While Vienne says she pushes Trystan away out of uncertainty, Iím sure it had a little to do with the fact that the man wedged himself into her life and hangs around at her heels or stares at her looking for a scrap of attention.

Hey, who knows? Maybe some women out there are looking for a much softer version of a hero? If you are, Trystan could be your man. I just know that when I see a doormat, I typically walk all over it.

--Amy Wroblewsky

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