life of Stephen Clair, the Earl of St. Joseph, is spinning out
of control. His finances are in tatters, his demanding lover
won’t see reason, and he can’t seem to keep track of social
engagements. If Stephen can’t get his life together, he knows
it will mean his ruin.
Jamie Riley was thrilled when he accepted a position as a
tutor to the former Earl’s sons. When he finds the man and
his family have died and his younger brother has inherited,
he’s crushed. He accepts a position as the Earl’s secretary
and dives into the difficult job of getting Stephen’s life in
order. Although he’s attracted to his employer and knows
Stephen is attracted to him as well, he is determined not to
succumb to their attraction…
I know you
shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and The Price of
Temptation is the embodiment of that saying. I shied
away from buying it for a long time because it looks like an
old-school bodice ripper, only with two guys
(trousers-ripper?). Once I opened The Price of
Temptation and began to read, however, I was hooked!
MJ Pearson did a fabulous job of creating characters that were
flawed yet still eminently likeable. Stephen is a gambler and
spendthrift who chose lovers very unwisely, but at the same
time he grieves the death of his brother and cares deeply for
his employees and his shrewd old aunt. Shy, sweet,
intelligent Jamie is just adorable. There are several Regency
clichés here, including an aristocrat falling for an employee,
a scheming lover, and more, but Ms. Pearson manages to turn
them all on their heads for amusing and interesting effect.
There’s a bit of suspense as Stephen’s lover tries to figure
out a way to keep his patron. Really, the only thing
The Price of Temptation lacks is historical accuracy.
Even as an Earl, I doubt Stephen could have behaved the way he
did without being turned on by his peers, or much worse. As I
read the book, however, I was easily able to suspend disbelief
and just enjoy the story. If you’re looking for a gay
historical romance with heart, action, and humor, don’t
hesitate to pick up The Price of Temptation.