Too Tempting To Touch


Too Tempting To Touch
Cheryl Holt
March 2006
ISBN: 0312937989
Historical Erotic Romance

Back Cover:

Cheryl Holt, the queen of erotic romance, has captured the imaginations of fans everywhere. Now, her latest tale draws readers into an unforgettable story about an innocent woman whose passion leads her to a most erotic temptation.

Ellen Drake has seen firsthand how dangerous scandal can be. Her family was torn apart by an unjust accusation ten years ago, and now, working as a paid companion, Ellend must keep her reputation above reproach. Catching her employer’s betrothed in a sizzling tryst is bad enough; even worse that Ellen should find herself so infernally enthralled by the spectacle! Ellen intends to prevent Alex Marshall, Lord Stanton, from dallying with other women before his wedding day, but the rogue turns the tables — with an invitation to be his paramour. It’s a proposition that is too outrageous, too indecent… and strangely irresistible. With a single touch, Alex opens the door to a secret world of sensual desire, a world Ellen is burning to explore…

Alex intends to be faithful once he’s married, but in the meantime, London offers so many tempting bed partners. Giving the prim Miss Drake a taste of the excitement she clearly craves will be a delightful diversion, nothing more. But their secret dalliance unleashes the vengeance of someone who is plotting revenge, someone whose own erotic pursuits are twisted with madness. And the scandal that destroyed Ellen’s family is about to come calling once again…

If I had tried the 15 page test on this book in the store, it would have passed. I would have bought it like I did, thinking I was in for a fabulous read – till I got into the rest of the story. The beginning was great, the heroine is funny always intercepting the hero while he’s trying to seduce some female in the library. The hero gets exasperated and proposes that she must become his paramour if she won’t allow him to continue with the ones he has now.

Then its all downhill.

In the beginning the heroine Ellen describes Alex as being dangerous. But throughout the entire book there are no indications of this. He doesn’t take control till the end, he’s not demanding nor does he have a forceful personality. After Ellen and Alex are caught finally doing the deed (and at Ellens insistance to boot), he lets his female cousin (and the older sister to his betrothed) stand him up in front of her, berate him and inform him she’s commanding him to marry Ellen. He’s suppose to be the matriarch of the family yet he doesn’t stand up for himself at any point or take control.

Later in the story, Ellen has been brutalized and nearly raped by his own brother and Alex doesn’t even pull her into his arms once he rescues her, he doesn’t tell her how much he loves her or that he’s sorry that he allowed her to get hurt. THEN he’s stabbed in the stomach by the brother and she moves out of their house and into a hotel – instead of rushing and gushing and nursing him back to health. We learn even later in the story that Alex’s staff informed her that her help wasn’t needed but god damn it – she is the mistress of the house, his wife! She should have told them too bloody fucking bad and pushed her way in.

The one saving grace of the entire book was the heroines brother, James. As a boy of sixteen, he’d been accused of stealing a ring (at a home where Alex and his friends were partying) and was sent to work as a criminal in Australia. He’s now escaped, works on the docks to earn a living in London, will be hanged if he’s caught and has all intentions of exacting revenge on Lord Stanton for all he’s suffered – by ruining Alex’s betrothed. He is commanding, stubborn, dark and dangerous – he should have been the hero. He’s the one with the secrets, the tortured past and the ulterior motive behind befriending/seducing his own heroine.

This was the first book I’ve read by Cheryl Holt and I think it would take some major recommendations before I bought another one.


5 responses »

  1. I’ve read another book of hers, and that was it for me. I didn’t bother to see if they got better or if her writing improved. It’s good to know my first impression is shared by someone else.

  2. Okay, where is your e-mail addy? Since I couldn’t find it, I’ll go ahead and ask…Valeen, what about Perfect? Did you like it? I saw Zach had a quote down on Hero’s quotes…so? Love it? Huh? Huh? Well, did ya?



  3. Oh, you finally read Perfect? Wait, did we talk about that one on our site? Or was that Paradise? *sigh* I can’t remember. LOL

    As for the CH, I remember Ames saying she wasn’t all that, so I’d pretty much already decided not to try her, so thanks for reinforcing that. I’ll be sure to avoid her books.

    I was all kinds of irritated while reading your review. Good job! LOL

  4. LOL! Yes, we did discuss Perfect on your blog, Holly.

    I was more than irritated while reading the book so I’m glad I was able to convey that through the post. Ugh, if I wasn’t actually interested in seeing how the secondary love story panned out I’da thrown it against the wall.

  5. For some strange reason, I keep trying Cheryl Holt, she comes up with great story ideas, but her execution always falls short.

    She won some reviewers award at RT this year and that left me wondering if we’re reading the same books.

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