I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton
Series: Honeycote #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Forever on 29 October 2013
Daphne Honeycote posed for two scandalous paintings when she was younger and her family was struggling to survive. The family fortunes have improved dramatically when her sister married well. Daphne’s actions however come back to haunt her when Benjamin Elliott, the Earl of Foxburn recognises her as the model. Ben is determined to keep Daphne from ‘getting her hooks’ his friend but gradually comes to care for her himself.
Daphne has lots of gumption for not only agreeing to act as a model but also in the way she tried to get them back. A lesser person would have been completely cowed by Ben. Despite this confidence she doesn’t believe she deserves a happily ever after of her own. I found her far more interesting a character when she showed her vulnerable side.
Ben is your typical Byronic hero – tortured, stubborn and fairly arrogant. He was injured in war but survivor’s guilt is a far greater burden as his best friend died in his arms on the battlefield. Ben believes he has a responsibility to take care of his friend’s brother and that includes protecting him from scheming women. Daphne challenges him because she doesn’t act the way he expected her to and he gradually softens.
The plot bubbled along nicely as the two try to locate and retrieve the second painting to preserve Daphne’s reputation. The romance is sweet rather than electric but it suited this damaged couple well. There is a nicely executed twist at the end which made me smile.
This is an engaging novel even if Ben’s tortured routine got a bit tedious and I’m interested to see where Barton goes next.