Touch of Temptation

By Rhyannon Byrd

Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: November 1, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Netgalley

Kellan Scott, the Lycan shape-shifter, has vowed to redeem his playboy past…even allowing himself to be captured by his enemies to save a woman he’s never met. Once imprisoned, stealing into Chloe Harcourt’s cell is the easy part–withstanding her irresistible beauty is next to impossible.

Chloe has struggled to keep her unusual powers over other people’s emotions in check, never trusting that any man could truly love her for herself. Until her mesmerizing rescuer awakens a primal craving for contact.

Their all-consuming passion is their strongest weapon against their sadistic captor. But Kellan’s biggest battle may still lie ahead: to convince Chloe he’s worthy of her undying love…or die trying.

Goodreads Summary

Kellen Scott would be first to describe himself as an “eff” up (he’s attempting to give up swearing).  The Lycan Watchman has led a playboy lifestyle, one that’s led to the unwitting betrayal of one friend and now has put brother Kierland’s mate’s life in mortal danger as he’s gone off on a reckless scramble to rescue Mallory witch Chloe Harcourt.

Touch of Temptation, the 6th in Byrd’s Primal Instinct Series, picks up there, as Kellen allows himself to be captured and placed in a cell alongside the drugged Chloe and a part vampire, part psychic named Raine.  Chloe’s being held for her dormant Merrick: a sort of vampire Hulk that’s only placed there by magic then called by a strong master and that master is coming for her, intent on harnessing the power she’s about to call if Kellen can’t get to and get her out of there first.

Byrd’s trademark combustible writing takes over their relationship from there; Kellan’s Lycan recognizes Chloe as his mate, combined with her fighting her Merrick’s instinctive need for blood and sex as it awakens make for some sincerely hot scenes.  The fact that the two of them are under the noses of the guards and can’t really finish anything just makes the action steamier.  I’ve read a lot of Byrd’s books and I can’t say she’s ever disappointed me when it comes to writing erotica.

The one place that’s kept me struggling with the review has been, well, the rest of the book.  It’s complicated both with the number of characters, the amount of back story and the motives of everyone involved, and for anyone who hasn’t kept up with the series, I’m not sure whether you’ll get this.  I read all but the last two and I had a difficult time coming up to speed until the last third of the book.

Once Kellan manages to free Chloe and Raine, more of the other Watchmen join them and the story blends more into the Primal Instincts arc and a good section of the book is told from the perspectives of the other members of the group.  I lost interest at that point and frankly just flipped through a lot of the pages more quickly.  There were too many new creatures introduced with murky motives; I didn’t care.  I read the book for the development of Kellan and Chloe and at that point, they were lost under the pile of everyone else until the blockbuster ending.  While that earned tears and a beautiful happily ever after (as much as anyone gets in the Primal Instinct series), I wish Chloe especially had been given a better story.

Byrd is an awesomely romantic, emotional and erotic writer who can wring just about any and every emotion out of me usually.  This series has been a departure from what I normally read by her and I knew that the first few books were a different direction and had a toned down effect, but they still had some spark.  This book just left me feeling deflated when I finished.

My Rating: C+

Barbara

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