The Devil's Temptress

Devil's Temptress

The Devil's Temptress

Apr 15, 2014
Amazon Montlake

Reviews

Eye on Romance

Aug 01, 2011

This is one story that I couldn’t put down as it was absorbing and interesting. The machinations of court and the very strong heroine make this story slightly different to the norm but a fascinating read.


Lady Alienore of Lyonstone is a singularly interesting character. She is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine’s privy chancellor during the queen’s self-exile. We first meet Lady Alienore on the jousting field. She is up against the Raven to save the reputation of her cousin, who she later finds out doesn’t deserve it. Her actions, if discovered, would ruin her reputation but the Raven chooses not to unmask her when she loses to him. Lady Alienore also seeks to regain her lands and manor from her brother as she also flees her betrothed the Duc d’Ormonde. Alienore has a wolf she loves, is loyal to her and protects her. She tries to be a good privy chancellor but the court machinations work against her.


The Raven is a man to be reckoned with as no one is sure of his allegiance. He is strong and has fought in the Crusades. He has turned away from Christianity to become a Muslim as he feels that God had forsaken him on the battlefields. His first wife and child had died and he later finds out the reason why. He is attracted to Lady Alienore and has some explaining to do when he is finally revealed as the Duc d’Ormonde. She finds that his real name is Jervaise de Vaux and is actually the half-brother to the man she thought she was to marry. (The original died in an accident.) But there is someone who is not happy with that decision and tries to be rid of the incumbent. He marries Alienore after he compromises her but does not want to consummate the married until he realizes what his life will be like without her.


I love a good medieval story and this is one that ticked all the boxes for me. Alienore is a strong heroine who is up to challenging the ideas of the men around her and is not incompetent. She knows what needs to be done but can be limited by the opinions of men. Jervaise lets her be the woman she needs to be with all her strengths and weaknesses. She comes to realize that she needs Jervaise to be her other half.


This was really an enjoyable read and I look forward to more from Ms Navarre

Reviewed by Heather

Amazon and Goodreads

Nov 13, 2011

"The Devil's Temptress", by Laura Navarre, is a superbly told tale of medieval political intrigue and the two passionate lovers caught in the court's spidery web. Alienore of Lyonstone is the personal scribe and favored lady-in-waiting of Eleanor of Aquitane, the displaced wife of Henry Plantagenet, King of England. Secretly trained in the skills of a knight of battle, Alienore takes up the cause of women she believes to have been wronged. She meets her match on the battlefield in the form of a mysterious dark knight known as the "Raven". Scarred inside and out, the Raven uses his position as master-at-arms to cloak his hidden agendas. Is the black knight honorable, or is he the Devil in human form? Should Alienore give in to the powerful longings created by the Raven's tough and tender manner? Will he give his heart, something he has vowed never to do again? Ms. Navarre spins this enthralling romantic tale with great skill and historical detail. "The Devil's Temptress" is a very involving adventure which is also richly characterized. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Virginia Campbell

Lovin' Me Some Romance

Apr 02, 2011

Set in twelfth century England, Lady Alienore of Lyonstone teeters on the edge of treason while serving the gilded caged Queen of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine. As the queen's privy chancellor, Alienore manages all of Eleanor's personal and royal correspondence while also acting as the queen's connection to the outside world. Loyal to her marrow, Alienore strives to emulate her queen and godmother, doing her best to shackle her unruly and passionate nature beneath a cloak of pride and virtuosity.

A dangerous time to be at court, Alienore serves her queen honorably and diligently hoping that her loyalty will reward her. Having fled to the queen after her crusader brother returned to Lyonstone proclaiming she's to wed the aged drunkard Duc d'Ormande, Alienore now beseeches her beloved godmother and sovereign to reinstate the lands bequeathed to her by her dead father, severe the offensive marriage proposal, and allow Alienore her rightful freedom. Eleanor champions her cause, that is until a dark knight charges into Alienore's life setting her on course to ruination and an uphill battle toward redemption.

The Raven, a knight of disreputable origins, descends upon Eleanor's court at the most pivotal point in the queen's game. Known as the Devil of Damascus, the Raven is a mystery. Is he King Henry's man sent to spy on his treacherous wife or is the devil there to collect the rogue daughter of Lyonstone and deliver her to her wedding? Whatever his orders, Alienore strives to maintain distance against the vocally scarred knight whose raspy voice sends heated darts of passion piercing through her cold armor, igniting a flame of desire that threatens to become an inferno.

The Raven knows that his heart's in jeopardy the moment he lays eyes on Alienore. Unfashionably tall with rippling wheat gold hair and piercing gray eyes, the woman is a warrior proven by her sheathed sword and wolf companion trotting protectively at her heels. Her intelligence radiates as does her sense of honor and pride. Loath to break Alienore's spirit, the Raven does what he can to gently manipulate her toward his own goals, informing her that the queen and therefore she is on a treasonous path. But he underestimates Alienore's loyalty and must resort to ruination to protect Alienore from the hangman's noose. Having yet to reveal his true identity, the Raven hates the betrayal he's made against Alienore but there are those who will starve if he doesn't reach his aims and secure the Lyonstone heiress as his bride. But there are others in the bid for Alienore's fortune including Alienore herself and the Raven soon finds himself in fear of becoming an honorable man.

The Heroine:

A bit high strung, Alienore of Lyonstone is a force to be reckoned with. Unsuitable for court life with her direct tongue and lithe warrior body that matches her deadly skill, one would be fool hardy to attack those she loves. But her beauty and her vastly known virtuosity makes her a luscious challenge that many a man can't refuse. However, Alienore wants no man or passion for both ruined her mother. Instead she shields herself with her virginity and piousness, dousing the flames of those men foolish enough to proposition her. But the Raven is one man that Alienore can't ignore or discourage. His battle scarred body and voice brings to height a sensual awareness she never knew she possessed. But betrayal doges the heels of her wounded knight and Alienore puts forth the strength of her pride and her determination to win back her rightful inheritance and shun her heart from the Raven's skillful seduction. Yet it's Alienore's very pride that puts her in jeopardy of losing the one man that could set her free within the bonds of love.

The Hero:

Scarred both physically and mentally, the Raven, his goals, and his desperation are slow to be revealed. Much like Alienore and her virtuous shield, the Raven hides his true self allowing the character damaging rumors of his past to shield him from having to face his own inner pain. He's a devil through and through, at least that's what he's bound and determined to convince Alienore of while also striving to win her trust and her hand. The Raven needs Alienore but it's not known how much until he's faced with his warrior woman's unguarded heart and her determination to heal his own heart which is dying beneath the weight of his guilt and his past.

My Final Thoughts:

THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS boasts a twisted maze of a plot featuring cunning royals for road blocks and two vivacious lead characters as the scrambling mice racing betwixt the dangerous switchbacks toward an intertwined fate. Alienore reminded me much of a warrior goddess, intelligent, virtuous and strong. She's also gifted with the loyalty and friendship of a powerfully protective wolf and the strength of a sword hand deftly trained for combat. However, she's thankfully brought down to the level of us mortals with her faltering naivete and blistering pride both of which serve to hinder and protect her. And while Alienore's leashed passion is skillfully contained, it takes one wounded but no less determined knight to crash through the barriers of her control. In complete opposition to Alienore's open book emotions, the Raven is every bit the dark and devilish mystery his reputation herald's him to be. He's tortured for sure but his motives are cloaked in masterful darkness eluding the reader time and again. He's a delightful surprise, one that will have you guessing right up until the very end.

Navarre has proven herself a masterful storyteller with THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS. This is no easy plot to navigate as its thickly layered with the opposing forces of deceitful betrayal and virtuous loyalty. Lush with historical fact, Navarre will and does successfully journey the reader to another time and place where no aspect of life is left veiled or beautified. Undoubtedly, you will feel the ebb and flow of this tide of time. In addition, not a single plot arc is left unresolved much to the praising astonishment of this skilled reader's eye. This is an author that will have you guessing endlessly and gasping with surprise at each cleverly unveiled truth. Because of this, I've done my best to keep this review as vague as possible though I've seen other, far more revealing reviews which is unfortunate because the twists are so to be savored.

For historical romance readers looking to venture beyond the time of the silver-tongued Regency and Victorian ton, get ready to embark on a whirlwind ride through the Medieval times and the lush political intrigue soaking its heart. A spellbinding romance, THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS will have you breathlessly clinging to the edge of your seat as the combustible plot races to the finish line where the ultimate betrayal may or may not come to fruition. Enjoy!

4 Stars

 

Reviewed by Ashley at Lovin' Me Some Romance

Night Owl Romance

Apr 02, 2011


 



Five stars--reviewer top pick!


This book kept me turning the pages. Set in the time of King Henry V and Eleanor of Aquitaine, the story revolves around the court intrigues between Henry and Eleanor and whether or not their sons will be named heirs to the throne. Our heroine Alienore is honor bound to serve Eleanor, but as Eleanor’s plots become more and more treasonous Alienore must make a decision whether to serve the Queen or follow her heart and find salvation.


Suspicious, King Henry sends a man to investigate Eleanor’s behavior and unravel her plots, a man known only as the Raven. Alienore is drawn to the Raven immediately, but having fled an unwanted betrothal to the Duke of Ormonde, and embroiled in the queen’s plots Alienore hesitates to pursue the attraction. The Raven has his own secrets though and a dark past that haunts him nightly.
The Devil’s Temptress is a well-written novel that explores the lasting effect of the Crusades on the soldiers that served the King during that time. It also offers an interesting perspective on the court intrigues of the time, giving both the protagonists a sympathetic view allowing the reader to wonder how one would navigate the tightrope between pleasing the King, and following your own honor. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a commanding presence in the book, and through the author’s words the reader can experience a portion of Eleanor’s vibrant life.


Alienore and the Raven are both commanding characters who deeply explore the concepts of honor and trust. Both characters are well developed with believable backstories. The dark, sexy romance is both satisfying and enjoyable and every chapter is filled with secrets and subterfuge. After this book, I will certainly add this author to my auto-buy list. 


--Valerie at Night Owl Romance

Reviewed by Valerie at Night Owl Romance

Borders EBooks

Apr 02, 2011

“Enter the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine for historical romance at its most passionate and exciting.  Amidst the glittering façade of courtly life lurks the darkest of temptation and betrayal. Another page-turner from award-winning author Laura Navarre.”  --Kelly's Picks, Borders eBooks

Reviewed by Borders eBooks, Kelly's Picks