The Tempting of Thomas Carrick (Cynsters #22) by Stephanie Laurens

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Thomas Carrick is determined to make his own life in the bustling port city of Glasgow, far from the demands of the Carrick clan, eventually with an appropriate wife on his arm. But disturbing events on his family’s estate force Thomas to return to the Scottish countryside—where he is forced to ask for help from the last woman he wants to face. Thomas has never forgotten Lucilla Cynster and the connection that seethes between them, but to marry Lucilla would mean embracing a life he’s adamant is not for him.Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla knows Thomas is hers—her fated lover, husband, protector, mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. How can he ignore a bond stronger than reason and choose a different path? She’s determined to fight for their future, and while she cannot command him, she has enticements of her own to wield when it comes to tempting Thomas Carrick.

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Publisher and Release Date: Mira, March 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Georgian Glasgow
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3 stars

Review by Lizzie English

Thomas Carrick is a Glasgow businessman who grew up in the country on the Carrick Clan’s lands. He is completely settled into his life in the city, perfectly happy to make his life there and visit the country occasionally. His entire life is planned out for him; he’s going to run his business and find a wife who will grace his arm in Glasgow society. Until he receives a missive from the Carrick lands that demands his attention. His Uncle has been ill and the Clan is floundering under the care of his cousin Nigel. Thomas puts off his visit, then he just happens to find his cousins in Glasgow and is surprised to discover how little they care about the clan and its development. His mind is already made up when he receives another note. He arrives within days to find the clan in shambles and his cousin Nigel is away – again.

Lucilla Cynster is deeply devoted to The Lady, the deity of the land. The reader finds her first becoming one with the lands sending out her senses. Lucilla has known, from the first moment she met Thomas that they are destined to be and she is to be his consort. But she has no idea how to bring this about, given he has avoided visiting the Vale for almost a decade. Thomas shows up in need of help with his clan. For Lucilla this is the perfect opportunity to show Thomas where he is truly needed.

The mystery surrounding the Carrick Clan throws Thomas and Lucilla together, and helps them to become familiar with each other again, but from the moment they are connected, the mystery takes a back seat. From then on, the story is about Thomas trying to sort out his feelings for Lucilla and Lucilla trying to prove to Thomas that he is meant to be with her in the Vale. This is rather disappointing, as Lucilla’s and Thomas’ actions just seem to be repeated over and over again in flowing prose, which gets a bit repetitive after the first three hundred pages or so.

Thomas and Lucilla don’t seem to have much in common, they just happen to get thrown together in the most opportune manner. It’s hard to remain focused on the book when Lucilla is blatantly shoving Thomas towards a life he clearly does not want and is conflicted about, and when it comes, Thomas has too quick a change of heart.

The romance of this novel is what saved it for me, with the flowery language and pages of seduction being always enjoyable. These moments, when everything else is forgotten and it’s just the two of them are were the only moments in which Thomas and Lucilla seemed to connect.

The Tempting of Thomas Carrick is an enjoyable novel filled with mystery, love, devotion and murder. It’s a quick page turner that will easily catch your attention, although the intrigue of the opening is not sustained, and the rest fails to live up to the promise of the first part.

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