Travel back in time to Scotland with bestselling author Julia Kelly for this delightful second installment in her latest historical romance series, The Matchmaker of Edinburgh series. Accomplished matchmaker Moira Sullivan knows that sometimes, the most unlikely pair can be the most entertaining.
Only desperation could have driven Caroline Burkett to her brother’s home in Scotland, but desperate is exactly what she is. After suing her former fiancé for breaking their engagement and causing a scandal in the papers, her only hope of starting over is to enlist the help of Edinburgh’s famous matchmaker, Moira Sullivan.
Born to a butler and maid, Jonathan Moray fought hard to find his place in Edinburgh society. Now a powerful newspaperman, he can make or break a person’s reputation with his headlines, but Jonathan knows his success isn’t guaranteed. He needs salacious stories to keep his readers enthralled, and Caroline’s story is just the sort to sell papers in droves.
When Moira introduces Jonathan and Caroline at a salon, Caroline knows the editor is exactly the wrong man to associate with if she wants to find a husband and restore her reputation, but even as another, more suitable suitor begins to court her, she can’t deny the power of her attraction to Jonathan. Now she must ask herself if she’s strong enough to choose between the man who can give her a secure, quiet life, or the one who promises her a passion she’s never known.
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The Taste of Temptation (The Matchmaker of Edinburgh Series Book 2)
After being engaged for several years, Caroline Burkett’s fiancé unexpectedly inherits a title. His family had never been overly pleased with the engagement, and now they pressure him to jilt Caroline for a more suitable match. While Caroline is crushed, her mother is furious, and brings a breach-of-promise lawsuit. While Caroline eventually wins the suit, the bulk of the proceeds have to be used to pay off the lawyers, and the disgrace has left Caroline all but a social outcast and fodder for the scandal sheets. Wanting a fresh start, Caroline travels to Scotland, hoping that Moira Sullivan, a matchmaker, will help her to find a husband.
Jonathan Moray has risen from his humble beginnings to own two newspapers, one of them being a scandal sheet, The Tattler. Jonathan has eyes everywhere, and when he learns that Caroline has arrived in Edinburgh, he is determined to get an exclusive interview with her. Rather than being underhanded about it, (a fact I greatly appreciate) Jonathan approaches Caroline directly with his request. As you would imagine, Caroline wants no part of it, and is not shy about letting Jonathan know her feelings. He is a determined man, however, and won’t give up.
As the matchmaker, Moira, begins to introduce Caroline to various eligible gentlemen at different social events, it seems that Jonathan is always there. Caroline finds her initial dislike turning to a reluctant respect and liking for Jonathan, and that slowly blossoms into a passionate relationship. Even though Jonathan cares deeply for Caroline, he feels his background is too far beneath hers for any chance at a future together. When the tables are turned, and Jonathan becomes the subject of the scandal sheets, he learns how it feels to have one’s actions put under a microscope – and it’s a revelation for him.
I was hesitant about both of these characters until I learned more about them and the truth of their pasts. Initially, I couldn’t imagine why a young lady would subject herself to the humiliation of bringing a lawsuit, or why a self made man would want to publish a scandal sheet. Their stories are slowly revealed as their romance develops, and I could better understand them and root for them to be together. The scenes where they divulge their secrets to each other are touching as they allow themselves to finally be vulnerable to another.
Aside from Caroline’s and Jonathan’s passionate affair, THE TASTE OF TEMPTATION showed how women of that period were truly victims of the time, and had limited choices. Caroline is provided with a safe option, one that will restore her reputation, if she chooses it. Jonathan is also given the chance to change the path he’s taken for a more honorable one. Will their respective choices allow them a future together? THE TASTE OF TEMPTATION is well written and has a storyline and main characters that are refreshingly different. I enjoyed the read! ~Rose