The Temptation of Your Touchby Teresa Medeiros
Maximillian Burke prides himself on being the man every mother wants her daughter to marry, but after his scoundrel brother steals his bride, Max decides there’s more satisfaction/b>/i>/i>
Hell hath no fury like a bridegroom scorned in this scintillating romantic adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author TERESA MEDEIROS
Maximillian Burke prides himself on being the man every mother wants her daughter to marry, but after his scoundrel brother steals his bride, Max decides there’s more satisfaction in being a rogue than a gentleman. He flees London for lonely Cadgwyck Manor, and though the tumbledown estate comes complete with a ghost, it’s Max’s no-nonsense housekeeper who haunts his dreams.
Prim and proper Anne Spencer could do without a new master, especially one as gorgeous and temperamental as the Earl of Dravenwood. Even as she schemes to be rid of him, she is irresistibly drawn into his muscular embrace. But when Max vows to solve the mystery of the White Lady of Cadgwyck, he risks both their hearts and tempts them to surrender to a pleasure as delicious as it is dangerous.
"This is quintessential Medeiros, who, as readers know well from her impressive body of work, never fails to entertain."
"The Temptation of Your Touch captivates with intriguing escapades and charming characters...Ms. Medeiros always perfectly balances her emotional romances with unexpected hilarity and affecting heartaches. While the humor in The Temptation of Your Touch will leave a huge smile, the anguish felt by a couple of characters will deeply move [you]."
"If you enjoy tender, beautifully-written historical romance with a Gothic feel and sprinkled with humor, do yourself a favor and pick up The Temptation of Your Touch. I can’t recommend it enough!"
"A delicious new historical romance...a witty and absolutely riveting read... Abounding with wily servants, a beautiful ghost, humor, madcap antics, a hidden treasure, a scenic setting, mystery, romance and true love, this book should be a favorite for readers of various genres...I highly recommend this delectable tale!"
“A pair of deeply wounded protagonists who must learn to forgive themselves, a charming group of secondary characters, and a complex, well-crafted plot result in a tale that is beautifully linked to the author’s The Pleasure of Your Kiss. With deliciously Gothic touches, this novel is another winner for the talented Medeiros.”
- Pocket Books
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- SIMON & SCHUSTER
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Read an Excerpt
The Temptation of Your Touch
MAXIMILLIAN BURKE WAS A very bad man.
He watched a tendril of smoke rise from the mouth of the pistol in his hand, trying to figure out exactly when he had embraced the role of villain in the farce his life had become. He had always been the honorable one, the dependable one, the one who chose each step he took with the utmost care to avoid even the possibility of a stumble. He had spent his entire life striving to be the son every father would be proud to claim as his own. The man any mother would want her daughter to marry.
At least that’s what everyone had believed.
It was his younger brother, Ashton, who had gone around getting into brawls, challenging drunken loudmouths to duels, and facing the occasional firing squad after stealing some priceless relic—or woman—from a Middle Eastern potentate. But now Ash was comfortably settled in the family’s ancestral home of Dryden Hall with his adoring wife and their chattering moppet of a daughter. A daughter, according to gossip, who had been blessed with her mother’s flaxen hair and laughing green eyes. A daughter who should have been his.
Maximillian briefly closed his eyes, as if by doing so he could blot out the image of the niece he would never see.
While Ash enjoyed the domestic bliss that should have been Max’s with the woman Max had loved for most of his life, Max stood in a chilly Hyde Park meadow at dawn, his expensive boots coated in wet grass and the man he had just shot groaning on the ground twenty paces away. Ash would have laughed at Max’s predicament, even if a drunken slur cast on Max’s sister-in-law’s good name had prompted it.
Max could not seem to remember Clarinda’s honor was no longer his to defend.
When he opened his gray eyes, they were as steely as flints. “Get up and stop whining, you fool!” he told the man still writhing about in the grass. “The wound isn’t mortal. I only winged your shoulder.”
Clutching his upper arm with bloodstained fingers, the young swell eyed Max reproachfully, his ragged sniff and quivering bottom lip making Max fear he was about to burst into tears. “You needn’t be so unkind, my lord. It still hurts like the devil.”
Blowing out an impatient sigh, Max handed the pistol to the East India Company lieutenant he had bullied into being his second and stalked across the grass.
He helped the wounded man to his feet, gentling his grip with tremendous effort. “It’s going to hurt more if you lie there whimpering until a constable comes to toss us both into Newgate for dueling. It will probably fester in that filth and you’ll lose the arm altogether.”
As they crossed the damp grass, the young man leaned heavily on Max. “It wasn’t my intention to give offense, my lord. I would have thought you’d have thanked me instead of shooting me for being bold enough to say aloud what everyone else has been whispering behind your back. The lady in question did jilt you at the altar. And for your own brother, no less!”
Max deliberately stripped his voice of emotion, knowing only too well the chilling effect that always had on his subordinates. “My sister-in-law is a lady of extraordinary courage and exceptional moral fiber. If I should hear you’ve been speaking ill of her again, even in so much as a whisper, I will hunt you down and finish what we started here today.” The lad subsided into a sulky silence. Max handed him off to his white-faced second and the hovering surgeon, relieved to be rid of him. Resting his hands on his hips, Max watched them load the young fool into his rented carriage.
If Max hadn’t been so deep in his cups when he had overheard his unfortunate dueling opponent loudly tell his friends that legendary adventurer Ashton Burke had married a sultan’s whore, Max would never have challenged the silly lad to a duel. What the boy really needed was a sound thrashing before being sent to bed without supper.
Despite his regrets, Max had to admit that relinquishing his heroic mantle was almost liberating. When you were a villain, no one looked at you askance if you frequented seedy gambling hells, drank too much brandy, or neglected to tie your cravat in a flawless bow. No one whispered behind their hands if your untrimmed hair curled over the edge of your collar or it had been three days since your last shave.
Max gave the sooty stubble shadowing his jaw a rueful stroke, remembering a time when he would have discharged his valet without a letter of recommendation for letting him appear in public in such a disreputable state.
Since resigning his coveted chair on the Court of Directors of the East India Company in the aftermath of the scandal that had sent the society gossips into a feeding frenzy for months, he was no longer forced to make painfully polite conversation with those who sought his favor. Nor did he have to suffer fools graciously, if not gladly. Instead, everyone scurried out of his path to avoid the caustic lash of his tongue and the contempt smoldering in his smoky gray eyes. They had no way of knowing his contempt wasn’t for them but for the man he had become—the man he had always secretly been behind the mask of respectability he wore in public.
He would rather have people fear him than pity him. His ferocious demeanor also discouraged the well-meaning women who found it unthinkable that a man who had been one of the most eligible catches in England for over a decade should have been so unceremoniously thrown over by his chosen bride. They were only too eager to cast him in the role of wounded hero, a man who might welcome their clucks of sympathy and fawning attempts to comfort him, both on the ballroom floor and between the sheets of their beds.
Shaking his head in disgust, Max turned on his heel and went striding toward his own carriage. He needed to get out of London before he cast an even greater stain over his family’s good name and his own title by killing someone. Most likely himself.
The lieutenant returned the pistol to its mahogany case before trotting after Max. “M-m-my lord?” he asked, his stammer betraying his nervousness. “W-where are you going?”
“Probably hell,” Max snapped without breaking his stride. “All that remains to be seen is how long it will take me to get there.”
Meet the Author
Teresa Medeiros is a New York Times bestseller who wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one, introducing readers to one of the most beloved and versatile voices in romance and women’s fiction. She has appeared on every national bestseller list, including the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly lists and currently has more than 10 million books in print. She is a two-time recipient of the Waldenbooks Award for bestselling fiction and lives in Kentucky with her husband and her two cats Willow and Buffy the Mouse Slayer. You can visit her website at: TeresaMedeiros.com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I have read all of her books and will continue to do so as she writes them. This book is as good as all the others and I highly recommend her to everyone. I am never disappointed!
Great story for Max and a finish to The Temptation of your kiss. The ending was not a mystery, but nice to read anyhow. This is an author who has not disappointed me yet.
This is a great story written by one of the best historical romance writers today, and what I like to call 'a quick read' - meaning you just sit and read it until it ends. It isn't a book to put down. It captures you from the beginning and holds on while the story unfolds.The story explores Max, the cruel brother from The Pleasure of Your Kiss. And I like Max! He sends himself off to a falling down crumble of a home, he thinks he deserves (he doesn't like himself very much) - and meets with a mismatched mess of a staff. Ann, the housekeeper, stirs his interest although he fights the idea of it with her being 'staff'. He might be a 'bad guy' but he isn't really. The story is told of the White Lady who haunts the place and you know as you read it what happened and who is involved before it is revealed - but it is still an intriguing tale. I loved how we got an update on characters we met previously, too.
She is one of my favorites, but i don't like this book. I am on page 214 out of 284 and nothing has happened and frankly i do not like Anne.
I waited seems like forever for Max's story, but I was not dispointed. Max finally got everything he wanted and needed. Great read.
Longtime fans and those new to Teresa Medeiros will much to delight in The Temptation of Your Touch -- guilt, remorse, secrets, redemption. Author Medeiros had an unenviable task -- taking Max, first introduced in The Pleasure of Your Kiss, and redeeming him in Temptation. She hits just the right notes in this sequel, giving us every reason to cheer for Max as he comes to terms with his upbringing and his true self. Anne, the mysterious housekeeper, also has to come to terms with her past and its effect on her present. Family is a strong theme in Temptation, both the family we are born with and the family we create as we travel through life. Although The Temptation of Your Touch can stand alone, readers will enjoy it much more if they have already read The Pleasure of Your Kiss.
Maximmilian Burke has always known who and what he was, and for years he was in love with a woman, who abandoned him at the altar to marry his brother. Ever since the relationship between himself and his brother has been strained to say the least. London has become tedious and needing a change in his life, he decides to head out the the countryside to Cadgewyck Manor, and when he first sees the manor, he think he may be going crazy, but he feels a kinship to the crumbling building. When he arrives, he doesn't get the welcome he expects or has become used to over the years due to his position. With rumors of ghosts and mystery and death, the estate appeals to him, but more than that, the stubborn and prideful housekeeper who has him on his wits end, amuses him and he finds himself attracted to a woman he normally wouldn't be attracted to. Max hasn't dallied with a servant for many years, but temptation is in every surrounding, and he can't help but wonder what passion he could find in her arms, despite the schemes she and the other servants are playing on him, Max is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and gain every secret the manor and this tempting housekeeper has....no matter what. The Temptation Of Your Touch is the second in the series, and having loved every book this author has written, I had to wait quite a while for this book to become available at my local library, but once it did, I could hardly wait to pick it up. Even though the reviews and ratings for this story has been a bit lower than I expected, I wanted to try it out for myself, and even though the beginning of the story I had a hard time fully getting into, I was able to eventually get into it, and I found myself captivated by this author's amazing ability with her storytelling. After loving the first one, and seeing quite a bit of Max, I was very anxious to read his story. This book is quite different from the first one in the series. The story starts with Max hearing rumors of ghosts and mystery and intrigue surrounding the manor, and I for one am a fan of mysteries, so from the get go I was intrigued by the beginning of the plot. The chemistry between Max and Ann isn't all at once in the beginning, its more of a gradual build up. You see how much they are attracted to each other, but with Anne trying to drive off another "ruler of the manor" she is a bit preoccupied, but Anne is startled that none of their trickery is working, its only making Max's stubbornness become more entrenched than she imagined. I enjoyed seeing the creativity of Anne and the fellow servants, it was quite entertaining at times, and honestly Max is a saint for dealing with it all in stride. The plot thickens even more gradually with more evidences coming to light pertaining to the mystery that is in play throughout the whole story. The characters in this story were very lively and easily like able. I couldn't help but loving the main and the side characters. Max has a strength of characters that is admirable, and his tenacity is to be commended. He doesn't let anyone bully him, even if that someone is a beautiful woman that captures his attention everywhere he goes. I enjoyed having him play the part of the Hero, he definitely deserved the part. Anne definitely surprised me by how much I grew to like her. At first she was a average like of a heroine character, the more I delved deeper into the story, I grew to find her a endearing characters, with a nature that was intoxicating. Seeing Max and Anne together was very satisfying especially toward the end. I loved how self aware the heroine is, and fights for what she wants, but Max is definitely her equal match, and its quite evident as you read the story. I couldn't help but find the deeply enriched emotion filling the pages enthralling, and the delightful mixture of mystery, drama, and passion. This author is stellar and I found her storytelling has still remained superb. BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN TALE THAT CAPTIVATES THE READ FROM THE FIRST PAGE!!
Wonderful book with special hero and heroine.
I enjoyed reading this story. Worth buying. The story will keep you reading to the end.
I love Teresa but this book wasn't one of my favorites. The plot was more compelling than many romances but there just wasn't a lot of chemistry between the hero and our heroine. Good but doesn't sizzle.