The Price of Temptation by MJ Pearson
Seventh Window Publications
Gay / Historical
ISBN: 0971708932, 978-0971708938
Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

The 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

     

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