Tempt the Devil
Anna Campbell
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Buy *Tempt the Devil* by Anna Campbell online

Tempt the Devil
Anna Campbell
384 pages
December 2008
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Tempt the Devil is much, much better than the description on the back suggests. Yes, it's a story about a courtesan and a rake and a wager between them, but it's also much more. What is notable about this story is the incredible concentration on the two main characters: they are the focus of every scene. Only a handful of episodes involve people other than Olivia Raines or Julian Southwood, the Earl of Erith. This lends quite a claustrophobic feel as we were admitted into the thoughts and feelings of these two people in great depth.

In terms of actual plot there isn't a great deal, but it doesn't seem to matter as so much focus is given to Olivia and Julian. Both have parts of their lives that they don't like to bring to the light; both like to feel in control and to exert their influence on others; both have found themselves in behaviors differing from their innate natures. A great deal of emotion infuses this story as Julian learns about Olivia's past, what led her to being a courtesan, and she begins to understand the source of his rakish and emotionless behavior.

Olivia at times feels a little too distant, and I had a tiny suspicion at the end that Julian had been slightly emasculated by Olivia's requirements and because of his deep love. But overall, this is a very enjoyable story. I'll be looking out for more books by this author in the future.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2009

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