Review: A Taste of Desire by Beverley Kendall

Publisher: Kensington

How did you obtain this book: e-ARC from author

Release date: 4th January

Blurb taken from author’s official website:

Thomas Armstrong vows only the loss of his faculties could ever convince him to take Amelia Bertram under his care during her father’s absence from England. Sadly, that loss does occur… the moment Lady Amelia publicly states that rumors of his exalted sexual prowess are more fable than fact. Responding like any man with an ounce of pride would, he picks up the gauntlet she throws down on the ballroom floor.

When Amelia’s last failed elopement attempt has her sharing a roof with the very man who took her place in her father’s affections, she is determined to escape her prison to marry a man of her choosing. But, what she discovers in the seclusion of the viscount’s country estate is the ton’s ‘golden Greek god’ is more than the sum of rumor and innuendo, and under their mutual acrimony rages a fire not even a deluge from the Thames can extinguish.

But letting go of the past is difficult. Can Thomas and Amelia bury old jealousies and grievances for the promise of a love powerful enough to surmount his pride and crumble the walls surrounding her heart?

Thomas’ story has finally arrived! I loved Beverley’s début (see my review here: Sinful Surrender review ) and when I got my hands on A Taste of Desire, I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Thomas gave Missy and James a fair bit of grief in Sinful Surrender, so I was looking forward to seeing Thomas’ heart all tangled up in love knots.

Lady Amelia Bertram is not a heroine who has a easy going personality. She comes out with biting insults and her actions and behaviour can come across as immature. But I found to be the same of Thomas, which makes them a perfect match :D. Now while I didn’t like their characters as much as Missy and James, A Taste of Desire is still a great read. It’s a war of words between two very strong characters with equally strong personalities. These two characters truly don’t like each other at first, but it’s when they learn things about themselves and each other that their behaviour starts to change. I am a fan of the hate to love trope, but it has to be done in a way where it’s believable. And A Taste of Desire does that for me!

When her mother died, Amelia’s father Harry became a very distant figure. I got the sense that Amelia felt that not only had she lost her beloved mother, but she also lost her father emotionally. Amelia has a lot of pent up anger and grief so she acts out. And Amelia takes that anger out on her father, and towards Thomas – whom she feels gets a lot more attention from her father which stings.

The first time Amelia meets Thomas, she is obnoxious and rude to him. Thomas acts in kind towards her, and their mutual dislike is born. But the two are brought together when Harry reaches boiling point due to Amelia’s behaviour after she tries to elope. So when Harry has to go away to America, he needs someone to look after Amelia, and he thinks Thomas is the perfect solution. Thomas is appalled by the suggestion that he would have to look after Amelia, whom he thinks is a ‘disrespectful termagant’. But when Amelia makes a very loud and public comment about Thomas sexual prowess at a ball, Thomas reaches boiling point also and agrees to Harry’s plan. And he’s very much looking forward to teaching Amelia a lesson, not realising that their sexual attraction towards one another ignites like a flamethrower.

As I said above, Ameila doesn’t have a easy going personality, and the same can be said of Thomas, but only when Amelia is in his vicinity. Both come out with insults towards another, but I couldn’t help but root for them. In once scene, I was thinking Thomas was in the wrong, and then the other, I was thinking Amelia was in the wrong. They are not perfect characters; they have flaws which makes them real – especially when they dislike each other so much at first. Despite their dislike though, they can’t control their attraction towards one another.

I sometimes didn’t like how Thomas treated Amelia in his own home. Uncaring that he wasn’t treating her with respect, and it seemed like that went on for sometime. Amelia I had some sympathy for, but some of her actions I found to be immature. She can be very unkind, and whilst I felt sorry that she had a lonely childhood and a scary incident when she was a child, I felt that she needed to let it go. Their characters don’t make for easy uncomplicated reading because they have such strong natures, but their romance had me hooked. It was so passionate and it matched their fiery encounters they had with one another.

A Taste of Desire is definitely an unforgettable read with lots of raw emotion from both characters. One lightness to the story that I adored was Alex, Thomas’ friend. His mischievous nature was so fun, and the way he teased Thomas about Amelia made for great reading. Thomas’ jealous nature started showing, and it’s clear to see then how much Amelia means to him.

I didn’t love this book as much as Sinful Surrender, but it was another great instalment in the Elusive Lord series. I’m now impatiently awaiting for Alex’s story, An Heir of Deception.

I give A Taste of Desire a B.

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