Friday, February 11, 2011

Review & Giveaway: To Tempt A Rake by Cara Elliott

Title: To Tempt A Rake
Series: Circle of Sin #3
Author: Cara Elliott
Available: Now
Genre: Historical Romance
Reading Level: Adult

2.5 out of 5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. So when a deathbed promise to her parents brings her to London to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, she feels like a fish out of water. Her outspoken views and fiery temper tend to set off sparks in Society-especially with the rakish Conte of Como.

A devil-may-care rogue, Marco finds the alluring and mysterious Kate a tempting target for his flirtations. But when murder strikes at the duke's country house party he begins to suspect that she's hiding a dark secret. He has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help her prove her innocence . . . And so begins a journey of dangerous deception that leads from England to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna, where Marco and Kate must duel with a deadly villain . . . and their own explosive attraction.

My thoughts:

To Tempt A Rake is the 3rd book in the Circle of Sin series. I had no issues reading it even though I haven’t read the previous two books. The book primarily focuses on Marco and Kate. Marco plays the role of a man who enjoys to partake in a life of drinking and womanizing. While these are most definitely hobbies of his, he also has another very important responsibility. 

Kate is the daughter of an American man, some would consider a pirate, and an English mother. She made a promise when they were dying that she would attempt to form a relationship with her judgmental English grandfather. This has brought her to England, and placed her directly in the sights of Marco. He finds Kate fascinating and familiar, but he can’t figure out why. He pursues her, and she refuses to fall for a man like him. When they find themselves wrapped up in a murder mystery they have no choice but to become allies. The close contact just might spur something more.

I have mixed feelings about To Tempt A Rake. I absolutely adored Kate, but Marco was setting off my sleazeball radar in a major way. While I usually have no problem forgiving the male characters in books for past discretions, Marco’s behavior was unprecedented. I had difficulty finding any redeeming characteristics in him. When he finally revealed the haunted past that lead him to lead the life of a rouge, I found it very anticlimactic. Yes, it was sad, but didn’t seem to be enough to take away his ability to love and be loved like he claimed. Kate’s past seemed much more sordid, and she wasn’t nearly as emotionally damaged. My lack of love for one of the main characters, paired with a very slow start to the first half of the book made it hard for me to want to continue reading. I also felt it was bogged down with too many characters. I had trouble keeping track of who was who, and felt the need to take notes to keep the large cast straight. 

The plot did pick up after a murder that made me think of the board game Clue. Not a bad thing at all, as I love me some Clue. The second half of the book focuses more on Marco and Kate, and their quest to bring down the bad guys. This gave Marco a chance to redeem himself a bit, and I found the ick factor he provoked diminished slightly. Kate was really the driving force that kept me reading. She is everything I love in a heroine, but I’m just not 100% sure how I feel about her being paired with a scoundrel like Marco. 

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this series, and went into this book with high hopes.  I’ll still consider giving earlier books in this series a try. 

Cara Elliott on the web:

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Books in this series:

To Sin With A Scoundrel (Circle of Sin)To Surrender To A Rogue (Circle of Sin Trilogy)To Tempt A Rake (Circle of Sin)

Giveaway Time:

I have three copies of To Tempt A Rake up for grabs courtesy of Hachette Book Group.

Open to residents of the US & Canada
No P.O Boxes please
Winners are subject to the one copy per household rule
Ends 2/28
Please fill out the form to enter. Comments are always appreciated, but will not count as an entry.

Source: Publisher


  1. I feel pretty much exactly the same way about this one. I thought Marco was way too sleazy. I didn't buy that he had mended his ways at all. The first two books in this series were really good with the great kind of reformed rakes that you actually understand, I'm not sure what happened with this one.

  2. Christie - I was disappointed with this book too. I could never really get into it. The saving grace was the secondary romance and the murder mystery.