Major Stuart Hartford is known among his friends as “Holy Hartford” for holding high morals and doing what is honorable. He adopted his ways long ago in an attempt to be as little like his immoral father and uncle as possible. Upon his uncle’s death, he inherits his properties and wealth. Hart withdraws from the war and is swayed by his aunt that it’s, perhaps, time for him to settle down with a wife. First he must see to tying up some loose ends, mainly the care of his newly inherited wards. He believes the eldest, Eden, to be a bit severe and plain, yet she compels him nonetheless. When he is going through his uncle’s library he stumbles upon a rather lurid drawing of Eden, which shows her in a whole new light. Now Hart can’t get the tempting vision of Eden out of his mind, though he is appalled to think that she willingly had that sort of relationship with his uncle.
Eden shockingly finds herself attracted to Hart who is nothing like the old baron. Yet even as the chemistry rises between them, she is frantic to keep her past hidden. When her relationship with the late baron is brought to light by Hart, it releases a cataclysm of emotions and events for both of them. The truth of Eden’s relationship with Ivor is all but black and white, but will Hart be able to set aside his beliefs, stemmed from his idea of virtue, to see the shades of gray that have marred Eden for years?
Margaret Rowe delivers a unique historical romance that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. TEMPTING EDEN is murky, edgy and filled with complex motivations and actions. The serious tones and intricate storyline pulled me in. It touches base on a topic that probably occurred more often than ever verbalized in the era. Despite the darker touches, this is a quite erotic and enjoyable read. Ms. Rowe presents us with a cast of redeemable characters, detailed surroundings and a sizzling chemistry that is made believable among a somewhat unlikely couple. She provides just enough of the heroine’s heartbreaking past that you feel genuine anguish for her. Then she takes and pulls her out of the ashes. This is a memorable story that is sure to leave a lasting impression.