Temptation’s Touch by Linda Andersen has a lovely cover illustrated by the talented Leslie Peck (née Pellegrino). That’s the best aspect of this Zebra romance.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.Temptation's Touch by Linda Andersen
Illustrator: Leslie Pellegrino-Peck
Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Unfortunately, Ms. Andersen decided to make her lead characters two people with few, if any, redeeming qualities, which sends the novel plummeting into mediocrity and worse.
Temptation’s Touch begins at Camp Carleton, Arizona Territory, in 1871. Colonel Stephen DuBois is being called away and orders his second-in-command, Major Dan Catlin, to act as a “guardian” to Dubois’s daughter, Gabrielle.
While Gabrielle, at 17 and going on 18, is a beautiful young woman, she is also self-centered, immature, mean at times, uncaring about others’ feelings, and prone to getting herself into situations where she needs rescuing.
In the first few chapters, Gabrielle:
- Plans an assignation with a Lieutenant, Marcus Epperling, thinking it’s only going to end up being a make-out session, and has to be saved by Dan from being raped.
- Has another unplanned tryst with another Lieutenant, Chase Dalton, who gets her drunk and tries to rape her. Once again, Dan saves her. Notice a pattern here?
- Defies orders and goes to a festival. She gets caught, is spanked, and is forbidden to leave again.
- Recklessly runs away, gets captured by Apache Indians, and—again—has to be saved by Dan.
Between those incidents, the main characters fight a lot, mostly over Gabrielle’s unwillingness to follow orders. These orders are sometimes (although not always) intended to help her heal from injuries she suffers from or keep her out of trouble.
Later, Dan finds trouble when he brings a group of Apache Indians to Camp Carleton after their families are massacred at another military base.
To prevent a court-martial, Gabrielle tries to seduce him, thinking it will lead to him marrying her. She believes that her father will do anything to keep his son-in-law from facing a scandal.
This seduction effort fails, but not because Dan isn’t attracted to or in love with Gabrielle.
One mildly amusing moment occurs when Dan orders Gabrielle to cook dinner even though she doesn’t know how to cook. She unintentionally makes a mess of the dinner but intentionally tries to get back at him by mixing lemonade with tequila and chile peppers.
Following that, they make love for the first time. After they do it, Dan asks Gabrielle to marry him—not out of guilt or a sense of responsibility, but because he truly loves her—and she agrees.
Their marriage, however, faces peril due to several factors. Among them, Epperling wants to marry Gabrielle because he’s in lust with her and to further his career. DuBois finds out about Gabrielle’s behavior while he is away. He and Gabrielle have a violent argument in which he hits her.
And a shocking revelation comes to light: Dan was in love with Stephen’s wife and Gabrielle’s mother, Lisette.
This leads Gabrielle to believe that Dan only uses her as a substitute for her late mother, which he denies. Dan and Gabrielle argue, and guess what?
She runs away again, and again she gets into trouble, from which Dan has to rescue her, continuing a pattern that began pretty much at the beginning of the book.
They reconcile, kiss and make up, and a HEA ensues.
One positive about Temptation’s Touch is that it has one of the prettiest covers ever for a Zebra romance, and that’s saying something! If there is one thing you can depend on from Kensington’s Zebra romances from most of the 1980s and 1990s, it is that they shelled out the big bucks for great cover art.
Leslie Pellegrino-Peck‘s use of color and texture is superb.
As for the book itself, there are multiple issues with it, not the least of which is the fact that neither of the lead characters is really likable.
Gabrielle is very immature and childish, although she does grow up—a little—at the end of the book. She has to; after all, she’s 17 when the book begins!
The same can’t be said for Dan, who is an obnoxious, violent bastard from beginning to end. While I can understand his getting angry at Gabrielle sometimes, the acts he does are not commensurate with the situation, and his behavior can best be described as frequently psychotic.
Most of his actions are far from loving. They are just abusive.
The two sex scenes in Temptation’s Touch are not overly hot or graphic, but they are enough to let the reader know what is happening.
This romance is warmer than room temperature, but you won’t find a lot of steamy scenes to make you sweat.
In addition to the above violence, there are a few killings, assaults, and shakings. None of the violence is described in graphic detail.
Bottom Line on Temptation’s Touch
Temptation’s Touch by Linda Andersen is a book about unlikeable people doing mostly unlikeable things to or at each other.
Not worth the time or effort to read.
But the cover is very pretty.
|Rating Report Card|
COVER POINTS DO NOT COUNT!
HE WOULD CONTROL HER…
Gabrielle DuBois had never been happier. Duping her father into leaving her at Camp Carleton while he was in San Francisco had been a cinch. But the handsome Major Dan Catlin, her father’s second-in-command, would not be so easy to fool. Assigned as her guardian, he would watch her every move and discipline her with a firm hand–if he had to. But if he thought he was going to control and dominate her, he was in for a big surprise. She would conquer him with her feminine wiles and seduce him into trusting her. And when she had him eating out of her hand, he would regret ever having tangled with the Colonel’s daughter and would learn once and for all who was really calling the shots…
SHE WOULD DEFY HIM…Temptation’s Touch by Linda Andersen
It was the worst duty he had ever drawn–playing nursemaid to the Colonel’s spoiled brat of a daughter. She was nothing but a nuisance and Major Dan Catlin was determined to keep her in tow and to protect the rebellious little chit’s innocence. But who was going to protect him? He could barely resist her sparkling eyes that fluttered at him so provocatively, or her lush, young body that taunted and teased him, or her full, soft lips that begged to be kissed. But he was an officer and a gentleman and no matter how much he wanted her, longed for her, he knew he had to stay away from TEMPTATION’S TOUCH!