Temptation and the Artist (Gentlemen of Pleasure Book 2)


HISTORICAL: Princess Aline Hagerin comes to Renwick Hotel because she is invited to a card party. Aline spends most of the time outdoors in the pleasure gardens and notices Mr. Stephen Dornan. Aline had always noticed Stephen’s handsomeness, even with all the constant female attention he got. Stephen also notices Aline and wishes she would pose for him so he could sketch her. When Stephen finally asks, Aline agrees. As Stephen draws and then paints Aline’s portrait, he develops a strong affection for her. Stephen, nevertheless, really does not think he is worthy of Aline. To make matters worse, family squabbles and circumstances could destroy the fledgling relationship between them. The strong feelings Stephen and Aline have are tested at every turn, making true love seem just an impossibility.

This short story progresses smoothly and is a charming historical romance! Sadly, numerous things happen which aren’t explained or need to be expanded upon instead of being mentioned briefly or glossed over. Several harrowing conflicts appear suddenly, then are easily resolved, making the story feel rushed. The novella also doesn’t standalone well, especially since the characters seem to have known one another previously, yet it is never explained how or where they met before.  Both Aline and Stephen are hard to picture because there aren’t many descriptions, and it’s difficult to connect to them both. However, Ms. Mary Lancaster writes with attention to detail about artistry and nicely depicts the breathtaking scenery at the lovely little resort, giving readers a delightful excursion there!

Roslynn Ernst