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"Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains." That’s the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she’s shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She’s a walking scandal, with no hope of a future...unless someone can civilize he "Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains." That’s the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she’s shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She’s a walking scandal, with no hope of a future...unless someone can civilize her. Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He's sarcastic, cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them—with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks and charm, combined with money and rank, make him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe’s risque reputation...if the wayward beauty doesn't lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.


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"Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains." That’s the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she’s shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She’s a walking scandal, with no hope of a future...unless someone can civilize he "Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains." That’s the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she’s shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She’s a walking scandal, with no hope of a future...unless someone can civilize her. Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He's sarcastic, cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them—with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks and charm, combined with money and rank, make him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe’s risque reputation...if the wayward beauty doesn't lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.

30 review for Don't Tempt Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Talulah Mankiller

    So, although I am a Romance novel fan, I don’t exactly keep abreast (heh) of what everyone’s writing–except maybe Eloisa James, because I’m apparently contractually obligated to buy her latest book, a 3 Musketeer’s Bar, and a diet coke and consume all three in an orgy of stereotypical American femaleness. Sometimes I even dye my hair red while I’m doing it. I WISH I WERE KIDDING. Anyway, I’m a fan, but I’m not a good fan, so I didn’t know anything about Don’t Tempt Me until I read this review–desp So, although I am a Romance novel fan, I don’t exactly keep abreast (heh) of what everyone’s writing–except maybe Eloisa James, because I’m apparently contractually obligated to buy her latest book, a 3 Musketeer’s Bar, and a diet coke and consume all three in an orgy of stereotypical American femaleness. Sometimes I even dye my hair red while I’m doing it. I WISH I WERE KIDDING. Anyway, I’m a fan, but I’m not a good fan, so I didn’t know anything about Don’t Tempt Me until I read this review–despite the fact that Lord of Scoundrels is one of my all-time faves! Bad Mankiller! Bad! Ahem. Oyceter wrote that it was problematic, but she also wrote that she started skimming every time someone started mentioning the harem, which means she probably missed about 3/4 of the book and therefore could not fully communicate how AWESOMELY WRONG AND TERRIBLE IT IS. But I read every goddamn line, so I can deliver this shit unto you ON A PLATTER. Spoilers! Okay, so here’s the sitch: brooding and damaged anti-hero, blah blah lost his whole family, terrible tragedy, deep emotional wounds, who really cares-cakes. His name’s Lucien and he’s a duke. Remember that. And then, here is the magical part! Our heroine is not of the exasperating variety! Instead, she’s THE FEMALE VERSION OF THE OUTSIDER WITHIN! Oh, and she’s literally a virgin whore, but we’ll get to that part later. So anyway, Zoe–our heroine’s name is Zoe–was kidnapped at the age of twelve by white slavers in Cairo who wanted her for the son of this really high-ranking guy! Because the son was IMPOTENT and they were hoping that blond, blue-eyed Zoe could FIX THAT SHIT because blonds are apparently MAGIC to the Arab people! None of this is an exaggeration on my part. All of these are actual, expressed opinions and plot points. So yeah, Zoe’s given as a second wife to this guy, and of course she can’t cure him of his impotence because she neglected to bring a bottle of viagra with her. TERRIBLE OVERSIGHT ON HER PART. But! He really likes her! So he showers her with jewels and she saves them and waits for her opportunity to escape–which finally comes when she’s 24 and her husband and his father die within hours of each other. Then she runs to the British part of Cairo, struggles to remember her English, and is transported back to the sweet, sweet soil of England, where she can finally be FREE! Oh, it gets better. Did I mention that it gets better? Because IT GETS BETTER, MOTHERTRUCKERS. So even though she has never had teh sex, which Loretta Chase apparently defines quite strictly as “having been penetrated by his ROCK-HARD MEMBER,” Zoe is well-versed in the Arts of Love! She knows how to please a man, because she was taught how to do so in the harem! So even though she’s “still a virgin” (although from what I can gather, she has to be one of those “technical virgins” the kids these days are talking about), she knows her way around a trouser-snake like WOAH! And because she’s not an inhibited English lady–no, she’s just like one of those slutty, slutty harem girls, except without the penetration part!–she’s always trying to feel up Our Hero. Because unlike the inhibited English, she believes in Feeling Good! And speaking from the heart! And bullying her poor defenseless lady’s maid into being her emotional confidant, just like her slave back in Egypt was (!). An aside: Even though Zoe’s quite certain that she would have been murdered if she’d stayed in the harem after the deaths of her husband and father-in-law, and even though she says she was quite fond of that particular slave, it never occurs to anyone that the poor woman probably met the ax the second Zoe bolted without her. Not even Zoe mentions the possibility–nor does she mention the slave again after having bullied her new servant into being her friend. I’m sure she really, really cared about that woman who was her slave. Cared deeply. Anyway, she feels up the hero one too many times and he loses control (!) and has vaginal intercourse with her and, you know, that’s that. They’ve gotta get married. So they do, and he buys her some disgusting bling (seriously, everyone’s like, “That shit is tacky! BUT WE LOVE IT!”), and she moves into his house and asks to see the household accounts and the house steward is like, “Don’t trouble your pretty little head about it!” and she’s all, “Fuck you, give me the ledgers.” So he does, and then promptly runs away because he’s been skimming off the top for YEARS and hasn’t exactly been clever about it. Well, it turns out that like every other upper servant was in on it, and most of them didn’t have the chance to flee, so Lucien (remember Lucien? Yeah, me neither. He’s not very interesting) has to decide what to do with them. Because if he turns them over to the authorities they’re all going to be executed, which even he’s gotta admit is a little harsh. So! Instead, he lights upon a Perfect Solution: if they agree to perform ten years of unpaid service–the same amount of time they’ve worked for him–at a charity of his choosing, he won’t say anything to the authorities! He’ll even dismiss them with a letter of reference! THAT’S HOW GENEROUS HE IS! Awww. No one points out that this is essentially slavery, but whatevs! It’s better than being EXECUTED, amirite! What a guy! Lucien is SUCH a great guy, in fact, that he feels terrible about what horrible thieves his slaves employees are! If he’d only taken responsibility and acted like a real duke, none of this would have happened! It’s his fault, because it’s not like the lower orders have free will or anything! If he’d just been a good master, they would have been happy in their jobs and wouldn’t have taken all that money! …yeah. And don’t even get me started on Lucien’s “mad aunt” and her “wacky” outbursts and how kind Lucien is for financially supporting her, even though she’s totes crazy! So basically, the book can be summed up thusly: Loretta Chase is scared of women with sexual experience and the agency to GET that experience, so she created a character who is a “virgin” with “skillz,” but who got said skillz “through no fault of her own.” Oh, and Chase accomplishes this through appalling stereotyping and probably terrible historical misrepresentation. Also, she fully supports the idea that a nobleman had a right to be a dictator, as long as he was a benevolent dictator. PS: the only real sex is sex where a guy puts his boner in your vagina. Remember that! I…LOVED IT! But that’s because my sense of humor is deeply, deeply fucked. Recommended for: Um…um…no. SPECIAL BONUS MATERIAL: I always love to see what excuse the author is gonna come up with for why our Heroine or Hero bathes every day. This time? It’s a “Muslim” custom Zoe picked up and “refuses” to do away with.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rane

    Zoe Lexham, after twelve years has return to England from being a captive of a harem. A walking scandal with adept knowledge of the sensual arts, her family is at odds at what to do in order for her be welcome back into the ton. Her knight in not shining armor and childhood friend, Lucien de Grey, The Duke of Marchmont finds it his duty to his old guardian and friend Lord Lexham to find a way to have the ton accept Zoe, what he didn’t expect was the attraction between him and Zoe that may lead Zoe Lexham, after twelve years has return to England from being a captive of a harem. A walking scandal with adept knowledge of the sensual arts, her family is at odds at what to do in order for her be welcome back into the ton. Her knight in not shining armor and childhood friend, Lucien de Grey, The Duke of Marchmont finds it his duty to his old guardian and friend Lord Lexham to find a way to have the ton accept Zoe, what he didn’t expect was the attraction between him and Zoe that may lead more to ruin for the both of them. Lucien wicked humor and sarcastic replies had me in stitches. He walked around in an indifferent haze after the death of both his parents, his brother and later the dissappence of Zoe. Lucien cares for nothing, coming across more like a carefree zombie then a human being. I liked his growth throughout the book, while it did feel he came to some sort of stand still toward the middle and end of the book, LC opens one last door for Lucien to walk though as he opens his eyes, finally doing something he’s avoided for so long; make an decision for himself. Zoe bluntness was a hoot, use to acting and speaking freely, she learns to acts more in the confines of society. She was pretty blunt but very smart, something I wish her sisters were as they got on my nerves. Zoe observed the people around her, comparing her new life to her old, which in more cases came in handy as she later dealt with a few stuffy and disapproving people. What gave me a pause was Zoe coming across more of a 21st century woman then a woman in the 1800s; with her sexual openness (and fondling Lucien in public!) that is more of the women of today then yesteryears. Unbelievable, was the fact she was left an innocent from living in a harem for so many years, the harem life is a harsh place and her coming away unharmed was to farfetched. The steam level was pretty high with Lucien and Zoe. I mean who doesn’t like a carriage sex scene?? I would have liked more of an interaction as a couple between Lucien and Zoe after they married, the love scenes between the two toward the end got in the way as they face their last huddle. Which is a huddle I thought could have been left out and unnecessary to the plot. Overall: even with its quirks this was a fun, relaxing and laugh out book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Corrine

    Another one that came very close to being five stars, if it wasn't for the unnecessary suspense plot added at the very end. This isn't Lord of Scoundrels or Mr. Impossible but it is a good example of why Loretta Chase is one of the top historical romance writers. Zoe Lexham has always been the rebel of the eight Lexham children - willful, stubborn, and fiercely independent, given to daring feats and running away. No matter her past behavior, Society, her family, and most of all Lucien de Grey is Another one that came very close to being five stars, if it wasn't for the unnecessary suspense plot added at the very end. This isn't Lord of Scoundrels or Mr. Impossible but it is a good example of why Loretta Chase is one of the top historical romance writers. Zoe Lexham has always been the rebel of the eight Lexham children - willful, stubborn, and fiercely independent, given to daring feats and running away. No matter her past behavior, Society, her family, and most of all Lucien de Grey is shocked when Zoe disappears at age 12 on a family trip in Egypt. Over the next decade, the Lexham family is plagued by imposters and false hopes. Lucien, Duke of Marchmont and ward to Lord Lexham, grew up with the Lexham daughters and had a special place in his heart for Zoe. When she goes missing it's the last straw for him; he's lost his parents, his older brother, and now Zoe. He closes himself off from everyone, and becomes renowned for caring very little about anything, with two exceptions: his loyalty to Lord Lexham, and his honor. When Lucien hears that yet another girl is being presented as the missing Zoe, he sets out to defend the whole family, but is stunned to find it is actually her. Zoe has spent the last ten years as a member of a harem, given as a wife to the unwell son of a powerful man. Nearly everything she learned about English society and polite behavior is gone, and her sisters are certain that she will ruin them in the ton. And when Zoe hears that only a highly placed marriage will save them all, she immediately proposes to Lucien, much to her sisters' dismay. Lucien declines, but offers to escort Zoe through society and help her resume the life she should have had. I love how uninhibited Zoe is: she was trained to do everything to please a man, but she's never had a chance to, and likewise she's never had a man please her either. Her struggles to remember propriety are hilarious, saying things she shouldn't, touching herself in public. She's dually very naive and very worldly at the same time, and one of the most charming heroines I've ever read about. Lucien has every reason to be a tormented hero, but instead of punishing himself, he's simply closed himself off to all emotion. But Zoe changes all that, and soon he turns into one of most besotted husbands in England. The only drawback to this story is the suspense plot that arises near the end: it wasn't really necessary and it really drew away from the wonderful emotional tension that was building. It was a quick way to draw the emotions out of Lucien, but I would have preferred to see the change come from internal conflict rather than external. B+

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Reread 22 Jan 2018: Really enjoyed the reread, and I'm upping to 4 stars. I really liked the development of Zoe and Lucien's relationship. They were so good for each other, and there were no annoying miscommunications etc etc. And this time around I enjoyed the mystery with the servants a little more than on the first read. The H showed compassion and restraint, which I liked. The H's respect and love for Lord Lexham, who had been a surrogate father to him, was also admirable. I felt Ms Chase ha Reread 22 Jan 2018: Really enjoyed the reread, and I'm upping to 4 stars. I really liked the development of Zoe and Lucien's relationship. They were so good for each other, and there were no annoying miscommunications etc etc. And this time around I enjoyed the mystery with the servants a little more than on the first read. The H showed compassion and restraint, which I liked. The H's respect and love for Lord Lexham, who had been a surrogate father to him, was also admirable. I felt Ms Chase handled the grief the H must have experienced in his life in a realistic way. I also liked the historical accuracy, and (for example) the sympathy with which Ms Chase mentions the Prince Regent and the royal family. Instead of depicting them as self-indulgent figures of fun (which is so easy to do), she shows respect and a little human understanding in regards to the numerous challenges and tragedies they faced. I liked that. I didn't mind the 'harem girl' story either. (See below). And the other trope in this story - childhood friends reunited as adults - is one that I don't normally enjoy that much. But in this case, it worked. Well done, Ms Chase. Review 21 Jun 2017: I hovered between 3.5 and 4 stars for this book, which overall I really enjoyed. On the surface, the storyline is pretty far-fetched, with Zoe newly returned to her family in London at age 24 after finally escaping a harem in Egypt. She had been kidnapped as a twelve-year-old while on holiday with her parents, and spent the time since in the harem as a 'wife' to a man who is impotent. His father bought her and gave her to him in hopes that her 'exotic' beauty would tempt him to a functional sex life so he could sire sons. But it wasn't successful. Zoe became his 'pet', but she remained a virgin. Finally she seizes a chance to escape, and is returned to England. But she has almost forgotten how to speak English after not even hearing it for 12 years. And she has grown-up in a very non-English culture, where sexuality is open and men have multiple wives. At first I thought, yeah, right, how could Zoe still be a virgin? I mean, really. But actually, the writer did a pretty good job of setting up the storyline and making it believable. She explained the back-story and the circumstances quite convincingly enough for this reader, at least, to suspend her disbelief. I think I've only read one Loretta Chase book before - predictably enough, Lord Of Scoundrels. It was ages ago, and I did like it. But I didn't really like the 'feels' it gave me - perhaps a bit too 'light' for my taste, in my memory at least. So despite the continuing popularity of Ms Chase's other books, I hadn't bothered with any of them till now, when I saw this on a GR HR thread, and was intrigued enough to try it. And I'm pleasantly surprised. Although there are some amusing touches (the duke's valet who cries at the drop of a hat, for example), overall it has the more serious tone I prefer in my reads. And clearly, Ms Chase can write. The time and place are well-researched, and to my humble, not-terribly-academic self, seem historically accurate. The characters are interesting and engaging, and I liked the relationship that developed between Zoe and Lucien. It's a sweet romance with a few angsty touches, but not too much (which is just the way I like it). There is some hot sexuality between them, but Ms Chase does not makes things too embarrassingly explicit as some authors do. I quite like the way she uses a modicum of discretion rather than detail every*single*thing........ The ending where a bit of a mystery developed did drag somewhat for me, which made me a bit reluctant to give four stars. But it was balanced by the sweetness of Zoe and Lucien's growing love for each other. So overall, an enjoyable read, and I will now pursue Ms Chase's backlist. My TBR is already mountainous, but.......

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angelc

    This was my first Loretta Chase book, and I really became a fan of hers! In "Don't Tempt Me", Zoe Lexham has found her way home to London after 12 years of exile in the East. She was kidnapped and sold into slavery on a family trip there when she was only 12 years old. Lucien de Grey, Duke of Marchmont, is determined to prove that the woman claiming to be Zoe is lying, but one look proves she is the spirited childhood friend that he'd given up on ever seeing again. Lucien decides that its his du This was my first Loretta Chase book, and I really became a fan of hers! In "Don't Tempt Me", Zoe Lexham has found her way home to London after 12 years of exile in the East. She was kidnapped and sold into slavery on a family trip there when she was only 12 years old. Lucien de Grey, Duke of Marchmont, is determined to prove that the woman claiming to be Zoe is lying, but one look proves she is the spirited childhood friend that he'd given up on ever seeing again. Lucien decides that its his duty to Zoe's father, who was like a father to him too, to present Zoe to society. Only the Duke can protect her from the scandal of being known as "The Harem Girl." I really enjoyed this book, but I've seen some poor reviews. I think people may have expected another "Lord of Scoundrels" and dismiss this one as not up to par. But I thought this book was a keeper in it's own right. I loved Lucien's character, he is somewhat of a wastrel, going through life in a daze, never taking responsibility for anything after being devastated by losing his family. But once Zoe comes back into his life, he really grows as a person and learns to take responsibility for his life and those that depend on him. I thought it was really great how the book focused a lot on Lucien and Zoe's lives after they were married, instead of only on the buildup to the wedding. I believe Zoe threw a thing or two at Lucien, and their quarrels were believable and real. This book also touches a little on jealousy for both leads, which always adds a little extra spice. Also, after Lucien realized he was in love with Zoe, there was no hiding it, he became quite a doting husband and wasn't afraid to let everyone know! Probably the only reason why this book received 4 stars from me instead of 5 is that Zoe's sex appeal was a little exaggerated. This of course is explained by the harem plot, but the harem scandal was another thing about the book that I didn't really care for. The supporting characters were quite funny, Lucien's valet was always in tears over this or that. And Lucien's observations about Zoe's busybody sisters were hilarious. Overall I loved the book and the characters' realistic relationship and tender feelings for one another. Reviewed for: http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com/

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this an A+ for narration and a B for content at Audiogals, which I suppose makes something like 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because -Kate Reading. Wonderful as it is to have another new-to-audio story from the terrific team of Loretta Chase and Kate Reading, I’m a little bit sad, too, as Don’t Tempt Me and Your Scandalous Ways complete the set of recordings of Ms Chase’s backlist titles. In case someone with clout is reading this, I’m sure fans won’t object to recordings of the nove I've given this an A+ for narration and a B for content at Audiogals, which I suppose makes something like 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because -Kate Reading. Wonderful as it is to have another new-to-audio story from the terrific team of Loretta Chase and Kate Reading, I’m a little bit sad, too, as Don’t Tempt Me and Your Scandalous Ways complete the set of recordings of Ms Chase’s backlist titles. In case someone with clout is reading this, I’m sure fans won’t object to recordings of the novellas – The Mad Earl's Bride would be at the top of MY list! But in the meantime, we have a number of terrific recordings to listen to while we wait for something new : ) Don’t Tempt Me tells the story of a young woman, Zoe Octavia Lexham, who, at the age of twelve was abducted while on a trip to Egypt with her parents. Over the past dozen years, there have been many women turning up on Lord Lexham’s doorstep claiming to be his missing daughter, but all have been frauds. Until now. The real Zoe has at last managed to escape from her captivity and has made her way home with the assistance of the British Consulate – and her family is now faced with the prospect of re-integrating her into society and acclimating her to the position that is her due as the daughter of a peer of the realm. You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathrynn

    Not enough of a plot to hold my attention, so I gave this one up more than half-way through. Too much emphasis on London's society rules, social norms, proper dress appearance, getting accepted in society by snobs and gossip. Ugh. Hoped the story would move out of this, but it did not. With a few extremely minor exceptions, nothing happened other than Lucien (Duke of Marchmount also called Marchmount throughout most of the book) trying to help Zoe become excepted by society after she was returned Not enough of a plot to hold my attention, so I gave this one up more than half-way through. Too much emphasis on London's society rules, social norms, proper dress appearance, getting accepted in society by snobs and gossip. Ugh. Hoped the story would move out of this, but it did not. With a few extremely minor exceptions, nothing happened other than Lucien (Duke of Marchmount also called Marchmount throughout most of the book) trying to help Zoe become excepted by society after she was returned to her family from being held captive in a harem for 12 years--by man with erectile dysfunction. Couldn't stand Zoe's family--her sisters and mother--they were so dramatic and willing to force Zoe into exile in order to save them from being shunned by society. When Lucien volunteered to help Zoe ease into society--his goal was to get her invited to a ball where The Queen would openly accept her; thus, forcing others to do likewise. He had to build up the right amount of approval (in stages) before the invite and that's all I could take. The lengthy descriptions of how Lucien's servant picked out his cloths, what people were wearing, where the "proper" social places and times to get seen were...very boring. Liked both main characters, but after scanning to the end it looked to be more of the same. Not for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beanbag Love

    This isn't the best Loretta Chase book, but it's certainly not near the worst. It's actually very enjoyable. The end peters out a bit strangely, but overall this book was much better than I thought it would be based on other reviews I've seen. Lucien and Zoe are a really great couple. Chase does her patented and peerless manipulation of the reader to make a hero who is a paradigm of lazy, arrogant, selfishness actually lovable. The specifics fill out the model and you just have to feel for the gu This isn't the best Loretta Chase book, but it's certainly not near the worst. It's actually very enjoyable. The end peters out a bit strangely, but overall this book was much better than I thought it would be based on other reviews I've seen. Lucien and Zoe are a really great couple. Chase does her patented and peerless manipulation of the reader to make a hero who is a paradigm of lazy, arrogant, selfishness actually lovable. The specifics fill out the model and you just have to feel for the guy in so many ways. He's amusing, sexy, and needs a hug. Only he's in denial about the hug part. Zoe is precocious, but has some very amusing moments as well. Raised from the age of twelve in a harem after being kidnapped while traveling with her parents, she's relearning the little she knew of British society before her abduction, and heaping on top of that all the new knowledge that a woman of 24 will be needing. She has problems with her inhibitions and loose tongue and some of the most hilarious terms for male and female genitalia I've read, as well. And, yes, she's still a virgin. The explanation for this is decently believable, so don't think it'll take you out of the story when you get to that part. As I said, there's an odd petering out at the end. I can't explain it. There are things happening that should seem like an adventurous climax, but it just wasn't pulling me in. It wasn't awful by any means. I enjoyed the book as a whole very, very much. It's just something I can't quite put my finger on. I also wish there had been an epilogue. I often wish that. Maybe I'm spoiled, but they are a couple that one simply must see as parents.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lady Jaye

    Reading this book made me angry. Mostly because of the heroine. All the other characters were bland/stupid/inconsequential/did not signify, even the hero, so the only person worth talking about is the heroine. I would be hard-pressed to find a stupider, selfisher, more idiotic, more obnoxious, more slap/smack-worthy female in any book I've read all year. Or ever. In fact, the only other character I can think of who comes close to her is the heroine in A Little Bit Wild. Beyond stupid. Beyond horr Reading this book made me angry. Mostly because of the heroine. All the other characters were bland/stupid/inconsequential/did not signify, even the hero, so the only person worth talking about is the heroine. I would be hard-pressed to find a stupider, selfisher, more idiotic, more obnoxious, more slap/smack-worthy female in any book I've read all year. Or ever. In fact, the only other character I can think of who comes close to her is the heroine in A Little Bit Wild. Beyond stupid. Beyond horrible. If anyone ever ought to be beaten to death, it's her. The whole entire reason for this stupid novel is that Zoe Octavia was headstrong and willful, even from childhood - she used to run away. I do not know why in the hell Ms. Chase ever thought that was endearing. What she had needed then were probably a few severe spankings on her bum. If she had gotten them, she wouldn't have grown up to be so stupid and useless and I wouldn't have had to go through the pain of reading such an annoying book. I will admit to skipping chapters and skimming parts copiously, but still, I gave too much time to this to say DNF. Not Loretta Chase's best. By far.

  10. 4 out of 5

    BJ

    After being sold to a pasha the h is returned to her family in England. The H believes she's another impostor so he's shocked when he goes to help her family, and recognises her. She's a survivor, and she needs to be if she is to re-enter society. I really liked the H, seems to be so strong but he's suffered terrible losses and needs her. Nice mix of angst and fun, with the h saving the H. After being sold to a pasha the h is returned to her family in England. The H believes she's another impostor so he's shocked when he goes to help her family, and recognises her. She's a survivor, and she needs to be if she is to re-enter society. I really liked the H, seems to be so strong but he's suffered terrible losses and needs her. Nice mix of angst and fun, with the h saving the H.

  11. 4 out of 5

    [Aengell]

    Loretta Chase can be called a save bet for me, and I'm more than glad (and somehow relieved) that I really enjoyed this one. I loved the hero, because Chase can create the most enticing heroes who are strong and manly and dominant and all that stuff, but at the same time have a vulnerability and a ... just something that makes them stand out from other stereotypical heroes. The heroine, a somewhat only half fallen, rather on the bridge of being fallen woman is funny, quirky, innocent, self-confi Loretta Chase can be called a save bet for me, and I'm more than glad (and somehow relieved) that I really enjoyed this one. I loved the hero, because Chase can create the most enticing heroes who are strong and manly and dominant and all that stuff, but at the same time have a vulnerability and a ... just something that makes them stand out from other stereotypical heroes. The heroine, a somewhat only half fallen, rather on the bridge of being fallen woman is funny, quirky, innocent, self-confident and above all unique. And no, these traits combined don't create a messy, annoying something, because we're talking about Loretta Chase. Also trademark Loretta Chase: A beautifully romantic relationship, with a believable and strong physical attraction woven into tender and heartfelt moments and dialogues, rather than the other way round. The story itself manages to be not very eventful and then very eventful and action filled at the same time, and it's a rare treat to apply this to a HR that doesn't label itself with mystery or crime elements.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I LOVED this book! I thought it was so funny and there are too many hilarious moments to mention! Zoe Octavia Lexham has been held captive as a harem slave for 12 years in Egypt. She finally escaped and returned to her family in England only to find that she doesn't quite fit in. She knows too many things a young English lady should not know and doesn't know what is or is not proper topics of conversation. For instance- "Zoe had found out that one was not allowed to mention a great many subjects: I LOVED this book! I thought it was so funny and there are too many hilarious moments to mention! Zoe Octavia Lexham has been held captive as a harem slave for 12 years in Egypt. She finally escaped and returned to her family in England only to find that she doesn't quite fit in. She knows too many things a young English lady should not know and doesn't know what is or is not proper topics of conversation. For instance- "Zoe had found out that one was not allowed to mention a great many subjects: certain body parts, pleasuring oneself, pleasuring another, desire, impotence, concubines, eunuchs..." Her four meddling older sisters try to teach her how to act as a proper lady but they know it cannot be done without the help of a gentleman of high rank. Because of her connection to the harem she will be considered "spoiled goods" in the eyes of society, even though she was able to remain a virgin. Her sisters think the only way for society to accept her will be for Zoe to marry a Duke. Enter Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont. Lucien is a close friend of the Lexham's. He goes to their house immediately upon hearing that Zoe has returned, after all many people had believed she was dead after being gone so long. Lucien and Zoe had always had a special relationship when they were younger, he was about ten years older than her, but he always had a way of handling the little hellion when no one else was able to. When Zoe found out that Lucien was a Duke, she knew what she had to do to be able to get back into the society she belonged in, the society that had been stolen from her for 12 years. She asked him to marry her, and in front of her entire family! Then she proceeded to tell the Duke why she would make a good wife- "I shall be an excellent wife to you, I know all the arts of pleasing a man, I can sing and dance and compose poetry. I learn quickly and will learn how to behave correctly in...in good society...if you will help me, or find me teachers." With the greatest regret, he turned down her most tempting offer. He told her he could accomplish what she needed to get back into society without her having to marry anyone. So begins the story! I love Lucien in this story. He says some of the funniest lines all throughout the book. The banter between the h/h were hilarious and had me in stitches in much of the book. One of my favorite parts is when Zoe is practicing walking and curtsying in a hooped skirt so that she can take her bow before the Queen. She is with her sisters and Lucien walks into the room just in time to see her fallen down on the ground face down with her hoops flipped over her head. It is very hard to stand up with a corset and hoops and so she goes to all fours and walks her hands back to her feet with her bottom in the air until she is standing upright, which is when she sees Lucien! It had me cracking up!! The only parts I did not like about the book were the situation going on with Harrison, it was just weird and didn't seem to fit the rest of the story. And the end seemed a bit abrupt to me. But overall, I loved it! I recommend everyone read it!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aly is so frigging bored

    2nd read 17-18 April 2016 Buddy read with Ange 1st read 19th February 2015 2nd read 17-18 April 2016 Buddy read with Ange 1st read 19th February 2015

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jultri

    Too light for me and yet lacking true archetypical LC humour.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jewlsbookblog

    I had a lot of fun with this book! Lucien was a sweetheart beneath his Dukish facade and also generous to a fault. I couldn’t dislike him even if I’d tried! Zoe could be a bit boisterous at times, but I liked how she wore her heart on her sleeve. Even when she discussed inappropriate topics in the drawing room, I was hard pressed to keep a straight face at her antics. She and Lucien were perfect together, complimenting each other in obvious- and not so obvious-ways, and I adored how they were ar I had a lot of fun with this book! Lucien was a sweetheart beneath his Dukish facade and also generous to a fault. I couldn’t dislike him even if I’d tried! Zoe could be a bit boisterous at times, but I liked how she wore her heart on her sleeve. Even when she discussed inappropriate topics in the drawing room, I was hard pressed to keep a straight face at her antics. She and Lucien were perfect together, complimenting each other in obvious- and not so obvious-ways, and I adored how they were around each other. The plot did take an unexpected turn towards the end, but I enjoyed the rest of the story too much to pick the twist to death.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie(babs)

    Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont has an interesting history with Lord Lexham’s daughter, Zoe Octavia. When a ten-year-old Lucien lost his parents, his father’s best friend, who happened to be Lexham, took him and his brother Gerard into his home. Lucian and Gerard were quite welcomed into the Lexham brood. But the child who makes the most impression on Lucian, is five-year-old Zoe Octavia. Zoe was there always annoying Lucien and getting into trouble. She had a bad habit of running away and Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont has an interesting history with Lord Lexham’s daughter, Zoe Octavia. When a ten-year-old Lucien lost his parents, his father’s best friend, who happened to be Lexham, took him and his brother Gerard into his home. Lucian and Gerard were quite welcomed into the Lexham brood. But the child who makes the most impression on Lucian, is five-year-old Zoe Octavia. Zoe was there always annoying Lucien and getting into trouble. She had a bad habit of running away and not doing what she is told. And because of that unfortunate trait, Zoe Octavia goes missing for years. When she was twelve, her parents take her on a tour of the eastern Mediterranean. It is public knowledge that Zoe bolted from her parents and was kidnapped, lost forever, never to be found again. Lexham spent years trying to find his youngest daughter, but failed. Lucian grew up, trying to forget the young girl that found her way into his heart. Twelve years later, Zoe Octavia is found and Lucien’s life will change in so many ways. The Lexham family, especially that of her sisters, don’t know what to make of this young woman who was held captive and part of the harem in the palace of Yusri Pasha. Zoe was able to escape and now her parents have welcomed her back with open arms. But in the eyes of society, Zoe is ruined. They need to hire a tutor to teach her the ways of British society. And that is where Lucien comes in. Lucien has no choice but to accept because he owes Lexham so much. He will help Zoe find a husband and teach her the acceptable ways of a proper British lady. Zoe Octavia knows how to navigate her way around people, especially Lucien. She wouldn’t mind marrying him. She tells him of her skills at lovemaking and is very knowledgeable about the ways between a man and a woman. Everyone around her seems shocked by her blatant words. Lucien is at his wits end because Zoe constantly does what she wants to do without any concern for her safety and well being. She refuses to listen to him and tries to handle him. He will not be handled by some blonde goddess whose kisses are sweet and is willing to enjoy more pleasures in parks and secluded carriages with him. Zoe wants Lucien and she definitely knows he wants her. She will try her best to tempt the man who always held her heart, waiting for her to return to him. Loretta Chase is a master storyteller and she has done it again with Don’t Tempt Me. Her words and characters are amazing to read. This is one historical romance you will not want to miss especially with Zoe Octavia, who has one of the best names for a heroine I have read in years. It is great to watch Lucien, who is so set in his ways, become so topsy turvy because of Zoe. Lucien walks through life bored that is until Zoe comes along and makes him feel again. The way Zoe and Lucien interact is oh, so good. It was so fun to watch Lucien become jealous because Zoe’s father thinks she should meet more single men. Lucian can’t stand it and decides to claim her in one hot and scorching love scene in a carriage. Zoe Octavia is a character you will not soon forget and Don’t Tempt Me is one of my favorite historicals I have read this year. Don’t miss out on this wonderful book. It is a very tempting read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    *The Angry Reader*

    This was one odd book. From premise to characters to tempo. It defied normal. First off - “Harem Girls??” That was just weird. And her behavior as a result... This kind of felt like a book that painted an appalling misrepresentation of the Middle East - as some bizarre sex capital. That definitely made me uncomfortable. Which pretty much sums this one up. Uncomfortable. This was one odd book. From premise to characters to tempo. It defied normal. First off - “Harem Girls??” That was just weird. And her behavior as a result... This kind of felt like a book that painted an appalling misrepresentation of the Middle East - as some bizarre sex capital. That definitely made me uncomfortable. Which pretty much sums this one up. Uncomfortable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    This was a serviceable story, but only just, and way below what I've come to expect from Chase (in terms of my enjoyment). Most of the elements were just flat. I couldn't take the plot seriously, Lucien was a self-absorbed jerk, and the romance felt rather tacked on, really. Zoe was about the only element that kept me engaged, but even there I had to ignore her deeply improbable background. A harem girl? And a virgin after twelve years in captivity as a slave? Really? I liked her gumption and cou This was a serviceable story, but only just, and way below what I've come to expect from Chase (in terms of my enjoyment). Most of the elements were just flat. I couldn't take the plot seriously, Lucien was a self-absorbed jerk, and the romance felt rather tacked on, really. Zoe was about the only element that kept me engaged, but even there I had to ignore her deeply improbable background. A harem girl? And a virgin after twelve years in captivity as a slave? Really? I liked her gumption and could understand her wild side after being imprisoned for so long. Still, that's a mighty thin reed to hang a story on. Lucien went from off-putting to almost tolerable in the course of the novel, but only if you ignore that he had a decade and more under the tutelage and guidance of a truly kind and honorable man that he openly admired and still couldn't be arsed to look after his responsibilities or treat even his friends with any degree of care or kindness. His self-importance was intolerable and the flashes of vulnerability that showed through only managed to highlight how shallow he really was all the rest of the time. Add the stupid servant drama in the latter part of the book and I can honestly say I have no idea why I was never tempted to put it down. Zoe wasn't that much of a delight. So yeah, three stars that may have been less only I was caught up enough that I didn't question it until after I'd finished the book. A note about Steamy: the middle of my steam range with three explicit scenes with some extra fooling around sexy-times because Zoe was remarkably uninhibited. They're short scenes and not very important so they didn't make enough of an impression to drive the steam up. And the harem-dance scene just felt silly...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    An odd and to me offensive book, one that feels as if the talented Chase just mailed it in. Drawing on the white slavery trope, the novel features a girl kidnapped in Egypt at the age of 12 and given as a "wife" to an impotent prince. Escaping at the age of 24, Zoe returns to England but needs to find a powerful husband in order to take her rightful place in ton society. That a girl who was kidnapped at 12, who stayed in another culture for 12 more years, and who was taught about sexuality in a An odd and to me offensive book, one that feels as if the talented Chase just mailed it in. Drawing on the white slavery trope, the novel features a girl kidnapped in Egypt at the age of 12 and given as a "wife" to an impotent prince. Escaping at the age of 24, Zoe returns to England but needs to find a powerful husband in order to take her rightful place in ton society. That a girl who was kidnapped at 12, who stayed in another culture for 12 more years, and who was taught about sexuality in a way that was diametrically opposed to that which her own culture demanded of women and girls could come back to England and be so utterly emotionally upset by her ordeal left me wanting to throw the book out the window. Orientalism, anyone??

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn F.

    Loved this book, especially the way Zoe, who has changed a lot since she was child, just says whatever is on her mind. I also loved how she didn't act like a coquette and just took whatever Lucien gave her. Nice change of pace from the normal "Historical Romance". Great book! Loved this book, especially the way Zoe, who has changed a lot since she was child, just says whatever is on her mind. I also loved how she didn't act like a coquette and just took whatever Lucien gave her. Nice change of pace from the normal "Historical Romance". Great book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    4.5 stars - excellent and an original storyline

  22. 5 out of 5

    TheBookSmugglers

    Full Review Link It is a truth accepted and confirmed by us, Book Smugglers, that if you are in search of a good romance novel you should look no further than the “C” in your local book store. It is there that you will find Loretta Chase’s books in all their splendid quality that comes from all The Loretachaseness in them: wonderful dialogue, the light and yet deeply emotional plots and wonderful heroes and heroines. Don’t Tempt Me is yet another one to those books by the author in which every sin Full Review Link It is a truth accepted and confirmed by us, Book Smugglers, that if you are in search of a good romance novel you should look no further than the “C” in your local book store. It is there that you will find Loretta Chase’s books in all their splendid quality that comes from all The Loretachaseness in them: wonderful dialogue, the light and yet deeply emotional plots and wonderful heroes and heroines. Don’t Tempt Me is yet another one to those books by the author in which every single thing works. And it is with great delight that I report that this is a story with two of my favourite tropes – the Reformed Rake and the Childhood Sweethearts. Our heroine is Zoe, was twelve years old when visiting Egypt with her family when she is kidnapped and taken as a slave to a Harem. Her disappearance is never understood or explained to her family. But her father never stops hoping for her return – that happens 12 years later with not a small amount of scandal. Zoe is thoroughly changed by her experience. Her thought process is alien to English society and her sexual experience is not one that Ladies should have. She needs to find a place in Society, the place it was always meant to be hers and for that she needs the help of someone who can guide her in her launch and that person is Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont. Lucien is a rake, a bored Lord who spends his days without purpose and who respects only one person in the world: Lord Lexham , his father’s best friend and the man who guided him when all his family was lost when he was a child. It is because of this respect for Zoe’s father that he accepts to tutor Zoe. That, and the fact that 1) they used to know each other when children 2) the powerful pull he feels towards the woman. They met when Lucien was ten and Zoe Octavia was five. She, the youngest of 8 siblings- he, the recently orphaned boy who needed help from her father to get over his sorrow. Lexham helped alright – but Zoe, Zoe was the antidote to his unhappiness. The cricket incident in the prologue shows all we need to know about Lucien and Zoe: “She was eight years old. The boys were organising a cricket game. She stormed up to him. “I want to play, Lucien. Tell them to let me” “Girls don’t play cricket,” he said. “Go back to your dolls and your nursemaid, brat” She snatched up a bat and swung it at him – or tried to. She swung as hard as she could, and kept on going. Round and round she went, like a whirligig, and down she went, on her arse. And there she sat, her disorderly golden hair standing on end and her vivid blue eyes wide open and her mouth open too, so startled she was. He laughed so hard, he fell down, too. She was annoying, sometimes infuriating, generally impossible. And she was a bright, bright spot in his life.” The girl who was a spitfire and very stubborn, who was always disappearing and the boy who would always find her and reign her in. The dynamics remain the same even after the years they were apart even if the two people have changed. The boy who laughed is somewhere underneath a pile of restrained emotion – unwelcome thoughts, unwanted memories, unused emotions are all stored in his Mental Cupboard. Plus, he can’t believe she is back. He won’t believe she is back. And yet, there she is. Different, but the same. “I crossed the seas, and it was like crossing years” she says. He has given his word he will help her (and when Lucien gives his word, he won’t take it back) even if it kills him. It might as well do so. The words Zoe utters as soon as she is back , taunt and haunt him: “I know all the arts of pleasing a man” And this is a book filled with the most amazing sexual tension and innuendos. Every sex scene works to develop the plot – from the most unusual to the most funny: like when they can’t help but to fall in each other’s arms even there in the park. Where they laugh and are drunk in each other kisses, and they hardly even notice that they are in public until one of her sisters find them and proceeds to smack Lucien’s head with her parasol. “It is like separating dogs” she says. Then Zoe, this amazing heroine raises herself in her elbows and glares at her sister “I am going to kill you”, she said. “Are you a crazy woman ,to interrupt at such a time? I do not care how pregnant you are. There is no excuse…” This freedom that Zoe experiences for the first time in 12 years is all that she cares about , it is all that is important to her coupled to her need to exist in her own world. To be presented to the Queen is the answer to the latter (and when she does so, the scenes that follow with Lucien are wonderfully tender) and to be with Lucien is the answer to the first. Even if it is difficult at first. Because Loretta Chase’s books may be light in tone but that does not preclude emotional depth. Like for example, the guilt that Zoe feels – it was not her fault that she was taken but because she had a reputation for disappearing acts, it isn’t a surprise that she would wonder if that wasn’t expected . In a way , it reminded me of the Boy Who Cried Wolf fable. Similarly, her heroes usually go through a lot before the book ends and Don’t Tempt Me is no different. Lucien only holds his position in life because of the horrible losses of people he loved – and yes, that includes Zoe as well. That causes not only emotional detachment but also avoidance of his responsibilities as a Duke. Once he is able to open the emotional side of his heart and he is freed from his own restraints, it is time to confront what his (in)actions have caused . Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a big fan of secondary suspense plots but in Don’t Tempt Me, the secondary is necessary and important – it is has not only verisimilitude (it was bound to happen given how Lucien lived his life) but it is also important for him to face the result of his way of living. He too, is guilt-ridden. And it is painful. One last word about a detail I am sure some readers may not like. This is not really a spoiler as it is disclosed in the first pages. I was surprised to learn that even though Zoe lived in the harem as a second wife she was still a virgin. I really wanted her to a True Fallen Woman. But Loretta Chase plays the virgin card with aplomb – because Zoe is well and truly experienced and this virginity is only but a detail that is put aside so very easily – and you will know what I mean when you read the carriage scene. Plus, and this is really good: there is a perfectly reasonable explanation why she is still a virgin that it’s even part of the reason why she was taken in first place. Basically: anything Loretta Chase throws at me, I will bite, chew and swallow with gusto as everything will inevitably taste as chocolate covered strawberries. This is the case with Don’t Tempt Me and I finished it with the satisfied feeling that I just read a good Romance, a good book, a good story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heike

    There is this girl that was abducted in Egypt when she was twelve years old. Her parents, nobility, took her on a vacation. Not any of her four sisters but only her, the girl that was known to run away frequently. The parents must have thought Egypt was a good place to get rid of her (they claim not). However, the girl ends up in a harem and is trained for 12 years to be a sex toy. She does come out of it a virgin (*yay*). When she manages to escape and comes back to England, the ton is outraged There is this girl that was abducted in Egypt when she was twelve years old. Her parents, nobility, took her on a vacation. Not any of her four sisters but only her, the girl that was known to run away frequently. The parents must have thought Egypt was a good place to get rid of her (they claim not). However, the girl ends up in a harem and is trained for 12 years to be a sex toy. She does come out of it a virgin (*yay*). When she manages to escape and comes back to England, the ton is outraged (harem girl!), but the duke who was the ward of her father promises to get her accepted in society. This is the same duke who bets 1000 pounds on flimsy wagers. He is exceedingly rich, obviously, seen that 1000 pounds would equal about 100,000 US Dollar in 2019. Well, and so goes the story on with lil sex toy talking vulgar, her sisters like old matrons hanging out in daddy's house all the time (their husbands must be boring), and the duke behaving like an 18 year old boy without control on his hormones, and the girl still having a tendency of running amok. When (view spoiler)[ the duke deflowers her on a carriage ride - seriously! (hide spoiler)] I was actually relieved that this was taking it to a point where I could comfortably say: not for me. This was my first Loretta Chase book, I am not sure if I will dare to try another one. The whole story was so immensely far fetched, the characters acting weird, and I could not even feel any romantic tension between the two main protagonists. Both were acting very contradictory at times, especially the cool and aloof duke who could not keep his hands to himself.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz F

    I really don't like reading series books out of order. But I just couldn't resist this one! It sounded so good!! A woman (Zoe Lexham) is kidnapped as a child and is forced into a harem for 10 years! Now, you find out through the course of the story that although she was in this harem of some Egyptian king's favorite son, she was still a virgin. To me, this is THE most unbelievable thing I have EVER read. Come on!! Still a virgin?! She explains that the king's son was ill and whatever illness it I really don't like reading series books out of order. But I just couldn't resist this one! It sounded so good!! A woman (Zoe Lexham) is kidnapped as a child and is forced into a harem for 10 years! Now, you find out through the course of the story that although she was in this harem of some Egyptian king's favorite son, she was still a virgin. To me, this is THE most unbelievable thing I have EVER read. Come on!! Still a virgin?! She explains that the king's son was ill and whatever illness it was caused him to be impotent. I'm pretty sure that at some time, someone, somewhere would have raped her. I mean, she was little more than a slave, right? Anyways, she escapes and makes it back to England. Of course, her father is a big, important duke so there have been many imposters claiming to be her over the ten years she's been gone. But once her father sees her, he knows it's her. Her sisters believe her too but that's not the problem. The problem is that she was in a harem and that's just way too scandalous for the "ton" to overlook. Something must be done! Her sisters seems to want her to go to Paris or something, just to get her out of the country and to stop their embarrassment at her ordeal. They won't be able to get into Almack's with this scandal tainting their name, for example. This is where Lucien, the Duke of Marchmont comes in. He was skeptical as well, until he met her again. They were childhood friends and he was always saving her from one mishap or another or going to get her when she ran away (which she did frequently). Lucien's parents died when he was young and the Lexhams took in Lucien and his brother. Since Zoe was kidnapped, he has become the Duke of Marchmont and is very well respected in the "ton". His name is above reproach so the Duke and the Lexhams (including Zoe) come up with a plan for Lucien to get her into society and eventually, introduced to the Queen. If she's invited to be presented to the Queen, no one would snub her. Because of her upbringing in the last ten years, Zoe really IS pretty scandalous. She says things that no one in that time period in London, such as talking about how to pleasure a man, talking about penises, touching herself when she's explaining how she wants a dress to fit in the bosom and butt areas. So Lucien has his work cut out for him but it takes him and Zoe on a great and romantic ride. I enjoyed this book but I only gave it 3 stars because at a certain point in the book, I was thinking, "Holy crap, just let them get together already!" and it was just getting dragged down with a little too much of the Will They/Won't They. The upside for this book was a little side story of intrigue that is introduced towards the end. Some people may think it doesn't really fit well in the story and that it maybe seems like the author added it at the end for a big, exciting end to the book. I disagree. I think it fit in fine but my caveat to that is that I get REALLY sucked in and engrossed in the story while I'm reading it so I'm just going along on the ride and don't notice as much when things don't mesh so much. I'm usually just happy to have the story keep going!! So, in conclusion, this is another good read. I would recommend this book to fans, new and old, to the romance genre.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheesecake

    Zoe and Lucien. I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would. Zoe was a wild child until she disappears during a trip with her family to Egypt. After Lucien's parents died and he and his brother were taken in by Zoe's father, she became a favourite person of Lucien's. Then Lucien's brother died too and it seemed that Zoe was all he had left until she disappeared. Zoe spent 12 years as the wife (married) at 12 to a desert prince who was impotent. She finally manages to escape and return Zoe and Lucien. I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would. Zoe was a wild child until she disappears during a trip with her family to Egypt. After Lucien's parents died and he and his brother were taken in by Zoe's father, she became a favourite person of Lucien's. Then Lucien's brother died too and it seemed that Zoe was all he had left until she disappeared. Zoe spent 12 years as the wife (married) at 12 to a desert prince who was impotent. She finally manages to escape and returns to her family who are not terribly thrilled by the problem of what to do with her. Lucien steps in to help Zoe get over her 'Harem girl' status in the eyes of the Ton and become accepted to her rightful place in society. She finds though, that she isn't the only one who has changed. Lucien has become an indolent man with no passions or interests. He spends his days going through the motions of living as little as possible. There's a nice push and pull between the two as they become close again, somewhat against both their wills. Zoe doesn't want a husband who is unfaithful and she suspects Lucien would not be faithful. Lucien has no interest in becoming close to anyone again. Slowly they come to find that although they have both changed quite a lot, they are essentially the same people they were when she was 12 and he was a bit older than that. I liked both MCs but they are not my faves by this author. I got tired of Zoe saying 'In the harem.... yadda yadda yadda'. I did not like Lucien at first. He was so self absorbed, but by the end I thought Lucien was sweet I could feel his deep love for Zoe. Zoe was a bit of a cold fish except with a seductive wiggle. But I didn't mind her. I just didn't feel she felt as deeply about Lucien as he did about her. The book is mostly about the MCs but then there's a madman in the last third of the book. Some decent action, never overdone. A fun smooth read/listen. The audio reader, Kate Reading, does a wonderful job. Even giving Zoe a bit of an exotic accent because her English is rusty. Essentially OW free. I really enjoyed listening to this one, but I have to say I expected more passion because well, she's 'the harem girl'.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ρυηүα [Punya Reviews...]

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book... Well, the plot is unusual, another LC 'odd' plots. Zoe is beautiful and spent 12 yrs or so in a harem after she ran away from home and was abducted. She knows all things pleasing a man but still a virgin! Ahem, yah, believe it! So, although I'm having difficulty believing some of the harem things, have to admit I like Zoe; I like her spirit, even if she's sometimes impulsive and naive (not TSTL). Nevertheless, s My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book... Well, the plot is unusual, another LC 'odd' plots. Zoe is beautiful and spent 12 yrs or so in a harem after she ran away from home and was abducted. She knows all things pleasing a man but still a virgin! Ahem, yah, believe it! So, although I'm having difficulty believing some of the harem things, have to admit I like Zoe; I like her spirit, even if she's sometimes impulsive and naive (not TSTL). Nevertheless, she has managed to get my attentions. Lucien was her childhood friend and when Zoe returns home, he's there to see her. But, he's a lovesick puppy if I ever read one, no matter how he acts and I love it when rakes act as morons while they are lovesick but likes to deny that. Ah! Well, I'm having fun for sure, there are funny banters between them, not upto the mark with Rupert-Daphne or Vere-Lydia but lovable no doubt. About halfway through and waiting to see what happens next ... ;) *************** It's not going the way I thought it should, or hoped it to go and I'm almost done ... Well, some thoughts: 1. Annoying - Zoe's four sisters, thx lord I don't have any such! 2. Annoying - This is what was like in Yusri Pasha's Palace in almost everything Zoe says :/ 3. Annoying - the plot, not as exciting as I thought it would be! :/ 4. Annoying - many things I don't wanna discuss anymore ... lolz Lucien is ok but I liked the way he expressed his feelings for Zoe at the end and was annoyed by Zoe's behaviour when he explained why she has to be at home, really when you're in danger of being murdered what should you do? It's crazy, I tell you! PS: I loved the wedding night scene and the way they were calling each other "Duke" and "Duchess" lolz It was sweet. There were things that made me like this book, only those aren't as constant as I would've liked. 3.5 stars. :)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn No

    Good novel by a great author - I enjoyed it but wouldn't re-read it, hence the 3-star rating. This novel was unbelivable in a fun way, like many of Chase's best (Mr. Impossible is a good example). Plucky English girl is abducted at 12 and held in the harem of an eastern pasha with erectile dysfunction, and escapes at the age of 24 and returns to England to find love with her father's ward, the Duke. Yes, it stretches your credulity, but ironically I had no problem with the virgin harem girl plot p Good novel by a great author - I enjoyed it but wouldn't re-read it, hence the 3-star rating. This novel was unbelivable in a fun way, like many of Chase's best (Mr. Impossible is a good example). Plucky English girl is abducted at 12 and held in the harem of an eastern pasha with erectile dysfunction, and escapes at the age of 24 and returns to England to find love with her father's ward, the Duke. Yes, it stretches your credulity, but ironically I had no problem with the virgin harem girl plot point (I'm sure erectile dysfunction was common enough back in the day), but had huge issues with the heroine being able to find her way home so easily. Bigger issues with her acceptance of English rules of society once there. I felt that the "trapped between worlds" aspect of the heroine's character was underplayed. Would someone who longed to be free of a harem accept English societies' rules so easily? Or be so well-balanced about society and sex in general? Zoe's character wasn't convincing to me. Lucien struck me as Vere Lite (the hero from "The Last Hellion" - emotionally scarred from too many deaths) without the charm or brutish personality. The h/h were not fully fleshed out, and most of the novel seemed like a comedy of manners, which is why this book ultimately lost my interest and why I wouldn't re-read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    April

    A fun and fluffy romance. So far my least favorite of Chase's novels. I think mostly because the heroine got on my nerves. She was smart and clever and caring but quite often she made the most ridiculous choices it annoyed me. It was almost as if she wanted the world to revolve around her - and this could quite be the case considering she was the youngest of a large family and had spent 12 years as a captive. But I think my issue was that she was so clearheaded about everything else; this stubbo A fun and fluffy romance. So far my least favorite of Chase's novels. I think mostly because the heroine got on my nerves. She was smart and clever and caring but quite often she made the most ridiculous choices it annoyed me. It was almost as if she wanted the world to revolve around her - and this could quite be the case considering she was the youngest of a large family and had spent 12 years as a captive. But I think my issue was that she was so clearheaded about everything else; this stubborn refusal to see certain things clearly grated. That being said, I quite enjoyed the story. Not as sexy as her others but there are a couple of scenes fade to black fans wouldn't enjoy. The romance was sweet and didn't have a lot of drama attached to it as both were very clearheaded and there wasn't a lot of silliness over whether they liked each other or not. I probably should give it more stars because I know I'm a bit irrational about being annoyed by a character trait that is probably very realistic but I can't help myself.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lyuda

    This one was a smooth running story with a good dialog you came to expect from Ms. Chase writing. But it made me feel like a pearl diver who jumped to retrieve a promising oyster, opened it, and, instead of a beautiful pearl, found a small lackluster specimen. The story could be so much richer if the transformation of “The Harem Girl” to a member of the upper echelon of society was not done so quickly and smoothly. The heroine experience in captivity was sprinkled throughout the book and I kept This one was a smooth running story with a good dialog you came to expect from Ms. Chase writing. But it made me feel like a pearl diver who jumped to retrieve a promising oyster, opened it, and, instead of a beautiful pearl, found a small lackluster specimen. The story could be so much richer if the transformation of “The Harem Girl” to a member of the upper echelon of society was not done so quickly and smoothly. The heroine experience in captivity was sprinkled throughout the book and I kept thinking “wait, wait, stay there, show us how she truly felt, don’t skip to all these balls, dressmaking and Queen presentation”.

  30. 4 out of 5

    PJ

    DNF -- not my cup of tea In order for me to enjoy a period piece I need to be sucked into that time from page 1. This story felt like a modern telling conveniently placed in the past. Also, I knew I was going to grow sick of the H's "shuttered" eyes--I mean who really does that. Maybe I'll come back to this, but there are so many books to read. DNF -- not my cup of tea In order for me to enjoy a period piece I need to be sucked into that time from page 1. This story felt like a modern telling conveniently placed in the past. Also, I knew I was going to grow sick of the H's "shuttered" eyes--I mean who really does that. Maybe I'll come back to this, but there are so many books to read.

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