Entangled banner3Entangled Publishing has given their Scandalous historical line a facelift with all new covers.  On October 22nd all twenty-one (21) titles will be on sale for $.99.  You can stock up on some great historicals on the thrifty y’all.  Here’s just one of the titles available.

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A reluctant heiress resigned to her fate …Mary Elizabeth Edwardes possesses one of the largest fortunes in England, but has no desire to leave her quiet country existence… and even less to acquire a husband she cannot choose for herself.

A dissolute nobleman bent on retribution …Trapped in a duplicitous existence since scandal destroyed his fortune and family name, Lord Hadley Blanchard has spent the better part of a decade posing as a disaffected exile while spying and seducing in the service of the English Crown.

A dangerous game of seduction, and intrigue …

By employing the full measure of his seductive charm, he woos the ward of the man who destroyed his life, little knowing that winning Mary’s fortune will mean risking his own treacherous heart.

Snippet #1 (Hadley and Mary in the Garden at Blanchard House)

She gazed up to find him regarding her with a curious expression and then he took hold of her chin. “Hold still my little Antheia.”

His grip was warm, firm, commanding. He must have seen the wariness in her eyes for he added with a chuckle.

“Though I might be tempted, I’m not going to bite you.”

If he’d intended to set her at ease, it had the opposite effect.

Snippet #2 (Hadley and Mary in the Garden at Blanchard House)

He laughed, a harsh sound, all sign of humor leaving his eyes. “Don’t let any of it fool you, my dear, for even the most tarnished silver can acquire a fine and gleaming polish. And believe me, there is far more tarnish here than an innocent and unschooled eye such as yours can discern.”

“Why would you speak so of yourself?” Mary protested.

He reached for a red-gold curl that had escaped her lace cap and coiled it around his !nger. “I would forewarn you, Miss Edwardes that I am a man, and men in general are not to be trusted…” He held her gaze as he slowly released the ringlet, allowing his fingers to skim her cheek. “…especially not by pretty young virgins.”

Snippet #3

“Desire is oblivious to time and place, dear Mary. I want you. Please trust me, my sweet. Let me show you the ways of love.”

She stared back at him, her body filled with the want he had described, but common sense held her surrender at bay. “Love? Don’t speak of love to me. You describe meaningless pleasure. It has nothing to do with love!”

He gave her a roguish smile. “Pleasure is never meaningless.”

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4 Stars

TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS is the dark tale of an innocent surrounded by guile and complete disregard for her personal wellbeing by those expected to safeguard her.  Her “protectors” are concerned only with their personal gain regardless of the price Mary will pay.

Mary Elizabeth Edwardes is on the wealthiest heiresses in England.  When Sir Richard Fiske becomes her guardian her peaceful rural existence comes to an end.  Mary becomes an unwilling pawn in Sir Richard’s plans to advance his own fortunes.

Lord Hadley Blanchard seeks revenge on Sir Richard for his role in the loss of his fortune and family reputation.  What better way to avenge himself on Sir Richard and gain back what rightfully belongs to him than the seduction of his ward?

TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS is strongly reminiscent of Les Liaisons Dangereuses however; Ms.Vane adroitly gives this classic trope a uniquely Georgian twist all her own, while weaving actual historical events into the story.

Sir Richard Fiske seeks political advancement.

Barbara, Lady Blanchard, seeks release from the onerous task of being Sir Richard’s mistress, at his beck and call, beholden to him for the very roof over her head.  Barbara is one of the coldest, cruelest most depraved women I’ve “met” lately.  Nothing seems to be beyond her.

Hadley, Lord Blanchard, seeks the return of his title, estates and fortune.  Hadley has sunk deeply into the abyss during his self imposed exile to the continent.  The seduction and ruin of Mary would gain him revenge and freedom from the reins Sir Richard holds so tightly.

Frederick, Lord Barnesley, the approved suitor whose twisted desires are rooted in pain being the path to pleasure.  There’s a particularly unsettling and frightening rumor regarding Lord Barnesley.

Mary Elizabeth Edwardes, while unsophisticated, brightly illuminates the darkness of the surrounding cast and story with her innocence and honesty. Sadly she’s surrounded by duplicity.   Will Mary perceive and overcome the deceit and machinations of those around her to find love and happiness or will she fall victim?

Is Hadley as perfidious as he appears or are those glimpses when he’s alone with Mary the true Hadley?  One of my favorite scenes takes place in the pool on the Montague property during Mary and Hadley’s barge trip to Richmond.  Mary is, simply put, amazing in her response to Hadley’s seduction.  The whole Richmond episode is portentous.  Will Mary be the catalyst for Hadley’s redemption or will he continue to wallow in the mire with Barbara and Fiske?

Barbara is without doubt one of the most unabashedly irredeemable villainesses I’ve encountered in some time.  She takes perverse delight in her wickedness, making her contrast to Mary blatant.  You can’t help but appreciate the depth she adds to the story.

Fiske is, for all the trouble and suffering he’s caused, a garden variety villain.  He’s ruled by avarice and lacking in imagination.

Though introduced late in the story, Lord Barnesley, is the one who sent chills up my spine.  Frederick is Barbara’s male counterpart.   Creative and imaginative; the thought of the forms his cruelty would take were terrifying.

Mary herself was delightful.  Her actions are always in character and never gave me a moment’s pause.

The darkness of TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS was a key factor in my enjoyment. Almost gothic but not quite, TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS is carefully balanced with just enough light to avoid stultification.  My interest was captured and held from beginning to end.  The danger that surrounded Mary was so vividly portrayed I felt it breathing down my neck.  I read avidly as there was never a point where I felt her safety or HEA was a surety and I simply couldn’t leave her in such dire straits.  Danger and treachery aside; there is one love scene that, for me, was sublime and the afterwards delightful adding the perfect touch of levity.

For those who enjoy well researched and written historicals heavy on dark and danger, TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS is a must read.

Victoria is generously giving away a digital copy of TREACHEROUS TEMPTATIONS to one (1) lucky commenter.  Have you ever read a gothic & do you miss them?  I loved gothics and am excited to see a few out there lately.  Giveaway ends @12am est on 10-23-13.  Good Luck!