Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig

As mentioned in previous posts, I like audio books.  Have I ever REALLY explained why?  I'll admit it.  I have terrible road rage.  Any swearing that ushers forth from my lips comes from a selfish driver cutting me off at 75+ miles an hour to and from work, the idiot who just has to merge into what is to be one lane at the last possible second, or the certified lunatic who tails you in the hopes that they can drive right up over top of you.  Yes, I hate drivers in my state like no other.  Out of all the places I've lived, Utah has to be the top of my list of most selfish, diabolical drivers on the planet.

To save my sanity and help me forget that I want to shake my fist at every car I meet on the road, I figured out that audio books helped soothe my anguish every time I hop behind the wheel.  Now I make sure to ALWAYS have an audio book waiting, for fear I have a mini stroke while driving.  This past month or so, I have been listening to The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, and since I kept getting lost and had to rewind about a million times, this might have just been a good one to settle me down!

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "After 12 years in India, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, returns to his estates in England with a mission in mind-- to infiltrate the infamous Hellfire club to unmask the man who murdered his mentor at the Battle of Assaye. Intent on revenge, Robert never anticipates that an even more difficult challenge awaits him, in the person of one Lady Charlotte Lansdowne.

Throughout her secluded youth, Robert was Lady Charlotte’s favorite knight in shining armor, the focus of all her adolescent daydreams. The intervening years have only served to render him more dashing. But, unbeknownst to Charlotte, Robert has an ulterior motive of his own for returning to England, a motive that has nothing to do with taking up the ducal mantle. As Charlotte returns to London to take up her post as Maid of Honor to Queen Charlotte, echoes from Robert’s past endanger not only their relationship but the very throne itself."

Review:  Let me be up front in saying that I honestly grabbed this audio book, not just because I had already listened to the previous four that came before, but because I was so invested in the "modern-day" story that is embedded in these spy novels.  While the spy stories are being told, we as readers understand that it is through our modern storyteller, Eloise Keller, that we are getting anything at all.  It is her story, and her romance with modern day descendant to the Pink Carnation, Colin Selwick, that I was so involved in this installment.  The two have finally gotten together romantically, but there is still  much that American, Eloise, is uncertain about her dashing new boyfriend.  She finds information about him that might stake him to some spy activity of his own  And, how can this swashbuckler of his own rights be interested in an academic who has her nose in old journals and diaries all the time?

I really enjoyed the more modern side to the story this time around, especially since I found myself lost in the story of Robert and Lady Charlotte so often.  For one, Robert and Charlotte were often at cross purposes and didn't understand where the other was coming from throughout most of the story.  The miscommunication, jealousies, and misdirected frustration was enough to drive me batty.  To top it off, the story included the mad King George, so I was often thinking about history and where that placed things, rather than truly following the story.  My bad, I'll admit, but I was a bit distracted by the real history that went behind the story.

As always, the story was highly entertaining.  That is high praise from a reader, such as myself, who doesn't like mysteries hardly at all.  I like the romantic and historical twists to be found in this series, and find the author's writing style engaging.  Although this particular story lost me at times, and I found myself wanting more out of the modern story, I can still say that the series is great fun and a nice, historical diversion.

*FTC Disclosure:  This review is based on a library copy of the novel.


  1. I've listened to all of Lauren Willig's books on tape. I almost never do audiobooks, but her stories are so well suited to them. I'm looking forward to my next road trip so I can listen to this latest book!

  2. If I had a longer drive home from work then just a 10 minute commute, I would be all over audio books. I remember liking the first book in this series-I am going to have to give the others a try.

  3. You've clearly never driven in Oklahoma. I swear to god they don't understand yielding. It's terrifying.

  4. Hunter--I totally agree about her books being suited to audio. They are great!

    Buckeye--Yea, I can see that ten minutes doesn't do it justice. Plus, I think that I listen better on the freeway than on surface streets. I tend to get to annoyed at other drivers and then have to rewind. LOL. You should try these again though. They are great!

    Heidenkind--I haven't driven in Oklahoma, but I swear to you that Utah has the WORST drivers. If OK is worse, then I doubt I'll be trying out your roads anytime soon! :)