Title: Revolutionary Temptation
Author: Silvia Violet
Length: 254 Pages
At a Glance: There’s mystery and intrigue, romance and realism, and I absolutely recommend this book.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: 1777 New York City
The American colonists are fighting for their independence, but the battlefield is not the only place to wage war. When General Washington’s head of intelligence asks Captain Jack West to spy on the British in New York, Jack agrees, despite reservations about this ungentlemanly pursuit.
Jack’s contact in the city recruits bookshop owner Elias Ashfield, an impeccably dressed sensualist who flaunts his desire for both men and women and seeks a place in high society. Jack longs for a simple life guided by clear principles. Eli is a risk-taker who knows how to get what he wants. And he wants Jack in his bed.
Events in Jack’s past have made him fearful of acting on his secret craving for a man’s touch, but Eli intrigues Jack as much as he infuriates him. As Jack and Eli search for the information the rebel army needs, they realize there’s more between them than mere lust. But finding a way to be together may prove more difficult than defeating the British Empire.
Review: I am a huge fan of historical romance. Usually this means Regency, so when one of my favorite authors came out with a novel based during the Revolutionary War, I couldn’t wait to read it. This book intrigued me, and on the whole, I really enjoyed it. Violet has hinted that we may see more of these characters, and I truly hope we do.
Set in 1777 New York, the story begins when the British have battened down for the winter, and the American forces, led by George Washington, are scrambling for information—information vital to their proposed tactical strategies and future campaigns come Spring. Captain Jack West is asked to become a spy. Wounded in the battle of Trenton, he has limited mobility of his leg but is determined to get well enough to rejoin his regiment. Being asked to become a spy is truly distasteful to him as he views everything in his life through a strict paradigm of honor. Listening at keyholes and lying are not what he wants to agree to, as they are in direct violation of his code of ethics and his honor as a gentleman. He views spies as little more than criminals. Nevertheless, he agrees to the assignment and finds himself ensconced in the home of Constance Sullivan. Since the occupation of New York, the home of this widow has become the place to party and socialize for the King’s army and other prominent citizens. Widowed at a young age, Constance is not a fan of the King and his war. An associate of Washington’s, she is in the perfect position to help spy from the “inside”. Recruiting Jack and one other man, she is pivotal to the American cause.
Eli Ashfield is just this side of morally decent. Running the local bookstore, Eli longs for acceptability but coming from the family he did, he also knows that not everything in life is black and white. When he is approached by Constance, the only reason he agrees is because the end of the war will mean more business for him. Frankly, he has been less than impressed with the English he has met, and he can clearly see that a free America will mean a prosperous America. Eli has learned nothing if not survival. There are many layers to Eli. He’s complex, he’s lovable, and he is absolutely smitten (against his better judgment) with Jack.
There are really three main characters in this book, as Constance gets just as much page time as our two male protagonists. On the whole, the book can be a tad disjointed. It seems as though it has a hard time deciding whether it wants to be a romance or a historical. The facts and descriptions of the time period, all the spying and the information gathered, seemed somehow separate to the romance. It wasn’t seamless. However, it doesn’t lessen the overall arc of the storyline.
I had some problems with Jack. I almost felt his implacability, his total rigid hold on his honor, was a detriment to him and his growth as a character. Jack was stuck on how he perceived a gentleman should act, and to him, Eli went against that. He put these notions first, to the point of it being a barrier to him accepting those around him, which included Eli and Constance. He always seemed to think himself just a little better than them. He was unyielding even after seeing the substantial physical and emotional proof of Eli’s love. Jack’s lack of a commitment to everything Constance and Eli were trying to accomplish, as well as his relationship with Eli, lasts all the way up to the last three pages of the book, and that bothered me. Eli deserved better.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this one. The facts were accurate to the time period, and there is quite a bit of action which helps propel the story along. The story paces well and when all is said and done, we get our HFN with Jack and Eli. After all, the war continues, there is work still to be done, and our heroes are still in the thick of it all. There’s mystery and intrigue, romance and realism, and I absolutely recommend this book.
You can buy Revolutionary Temptation here: