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Tempt the Devil

by Anna Campbell

      Who better to tempt the devilish womanizer Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith, than the beautiful courtesan Olivia Raines?† Although Julian strikes up a short-term business arrangement with her, he soon finds that a few months with his mysterious lover isnít nearly enough time to learn her secrets and win her heart.

Although Tempt the Devil offers brief diversions into subplots surrounding friends and family, an unusually large amount of the text is devoted exclusively to the coupleís emotional and physical relationships (and how they interlink).† They debate the role of a mistress and a wife in Londonís society, the importance of proper parenting, and the effects of loyalty and betrayal—all while slowly revealing details about their past lives that influence their current behavior.† Throughout this arrangement, Olivia rewards and punishes Julian emotionally through their physical relationship.

The tone (alternately teasing and cruel) and story (a 30-something courtesan rather than a 20-something innocent) make this historical romance stand out as highly unusual.† An enthralling read, the final chapter does a disservice to the rest of the book when Olivia suddenly becomes clueless about developments that will be entirely obvious to the reader.† Overall, however, Tempt the Devil is a sizzling novel based on Anna Campbellís refusal to shy away from intimate scenes and painful topics of discussion that turn up the heat and the readerís level of involvement.

The Book

Avon Books / HarperCollinsPublishers
January 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Romance - Historical (England, 1826)
More at
NOTE: Sexually Explicit

The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies, Dreams on Film, A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews, and the co-author of Connections: A Collection of Poems. Coming Soon: Passionate About Their Work: Celebrities, Artists, and Experts Discuss Creativity.
© 2009