Too Great a Temptation

Too Great a Temptation

by Alexandra Benedict

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Too Great a Temptation by Alexandra Benedict

A lord so sinful he is dubbed the "Duke of Rogues," Damian Westmore lives for pleasure—until the day his brother dies at the hands of pirates. Abandoning the libertine life to pursue revenge, Damian finds the criminals he seeks and joins their crew in disguise, waiting for the chance to strike the brigands down. But he never imagined there would be a woman on board—or that the stunning siren would inflame the very passions Damian swore to resist until his brother's death was avenged.

Beautiful, fiery Mirabelle Hawkins longs for the freedom of the high seas—so she stows away on her brother's pirate ship at the first opportunity. But she finds something more exciting than chase and plunder: a bold, handsome, secretive sailor whose touch makes her tremble with desire . . . but whose love is a cutlass that could destroy all she holds dear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061754401
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Too Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 203,648
File size: 931 KB

About the Author

Alexandra Benedict is a storyteller at heart. A graduate of the University of Toronto, she works part-time in a museum while penning passionate tales of historical romance. An archaeology buff, she loves to travel and explore historic sites. She also enjoys collecting art and reading (of course!).

Read an Excerpt

Too Great a Temptation

By Alexandra Benedict

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Alexandra Benedict
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060847948

Chapter One

New York, 1821

Damian needed money. Lots of it. Ironic, really, that he, a duke, with his coffers of gold back home in England, should find himself a virtual beggar on the streets of New York. But when had fate ever been kind to him?

Wending through the bustling city port, the duke passed jeering sailors and vulgar wenches alike, making his way to the nearest gaming hell. A few coins in his pocket, he intended to amass a small fortune. And he could do it, too. Years of debauchery had prepared him for just such an endeavor. But unlike his former besotted self, he was sober now. With all his wits intact, Damian hoped to recoup as much of his wealth as he could. His ship was in dire need of repairs, and the crew would not follow him in exchange for bread crumbs. He needed blunt.

Damian came to a halt.

Neptune's Revenge.

It was aptly named, the shore house, for Damian, too, was seeking revenge at sea. And he was in desperate need of good luck. A shoddy hole christened after the wrathful sea king seemed the perfect place to find it.

But a nearby scuffle distracted the duke--and made the blood pound in his veins.

"Admit it, kid, you were cheatin'."

The horde, five in total, circled the so-called kid, a strapping young buck sporting a cheeky grin, who quipped, "Me cheat?" He snorted. "Sorry,Yanks. 'Fraid we Brits are just unbeatable."

Damian blinked.

The kid disappeared under a pummel of fists. Yet it was not the brutal thrashing that stirred the frantic rage in Damian's gut. It was the kid. He recognized the kid. It was Adam!

With a roar, Damian launched right into the fray and did a little pounding of his own. He had to save Adam! One thug staggered off with a bleeding nose, another stumbled away with a broken arm. But Damian soon lost the chance to trounce any more ruffians.

Shots rang out.

The kid was hit in the arm with a bullet.

Whistles blowing, pistols flailing, the authorities rounded up the lot of them. And it was then Damian looked down at the kid, curled in a dusty heap, and realized the boy was not Adam. He only looked like Adam.

Stunned by his visceral response, Damian could not say a word when the authorities snapped the shackles over his wrists. What the devil had come over him?

Carted off to the nearest gaol, Damian was tossed inside the brig, the kid his cellmate, and for three days he suffered imprisonment. Three miserable, dull days. And all the while he sat chained in the corner, brooding.

Woeful thoughts interrupted, Damian glanced down at the kid--Quincy was his name--groaning and stirring on the clump of hay. And try as he might to ignore the chap's distress, Damian could not.

Bloody hell. With each passing day, he grew more and more sentimental. A blubbering saphead, as his father would say. Teeth ground in disgust, Damian propped his manacled wrists under the lad's chest and pushed.

Quincy rolled over, hacking, and brought his forearm to his eyes to block the shaft of moonlight resting on his face. He was like a ghost, so pale and sluggish, and Damian could feel that galling worry creeping into his chest again.

"Wake up!" he ordered, kicking the kid in the leg for good measure. "You'll die if you sleep any more."

"Bollocks," came the weak but stubborn protest. "And I'll draw your cork if you kick me again."

Damian snorted. The lad didn't have the strength to roll over, but he was going to break Damian's nose? The duke had to admire the kid's spirit, but still, it was not enough to save the chap. An infection had set into the bullet wound, and the boy's breathing had changed to odd, raspy gasps.

"I'd like to see you try and draw my cork," goaded the duke, hoping to stir some life back into the weary chap.

But Quincy wasn't taking the bait. He merely grunted at the suggestion.

There was nothing more Damian could do for the kid. The gaol cell, with little food and water, no clean linens, and no surgical instruments, made for a very poor infirmary. Besides, Damian's medical talent was lackluster at best. After abandoning his castle, leaving the land steward in charge of the estate, he'd spent the last two years learning to sail, rig a mast, fire a cannon with deadly accuracy. He'd improved upon his fencing, his aim with a pistol, even his use of a knife. But he had no real use for the healing art. His purpose in life was to destroy: to destroy the piratical fiends who had murdered his brother.

Blast it! He should be out there right now, looking for the brigand swine, instead of playing nursemaid to a troubled buck. Curse the wretched storm that brought him here! But for the wild tempest that had thrashed his ship a few days ago, he would never have limped into port in desperate need of repairs. Repairs, of course, cost money, and since a good chunk of his coin had washed overboard during the squall, money was one thing he didn't have in abundance.

At first it seemed a trifle bind. In a safe aboard his ship was a series of credentials, all proclaiming him the duke that he was. He had only to saunter into the nearest bank, present the papers to a pudgy-faced banker, and acquire a loan for as much blunt as he wanted . . . if only the safe had been watertight. Damian had opened the iron door to find his credentials washed clean away, the ink smeared all over the raggedy parchments.

And so, adrift in New York harbor with a badly leaking ship and torn sails and scant supplies, he'd headed into port to win his wealth, leaving behind his lieutenant with the order to sell the . . .


Excerpted from Too Great a Temptation by Alexandra Benedict Copyright © 2006 by Alexandra Benedict. Excerpted by permission.
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Too Great a Temptation 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
NavyWave62 More than 1 year ago
Such An Enjoyable Cast of Character's! I would say for the most part I really enjoyed this book, especially the last half. The first to middle has very little action, but the ending was great. I loved that the author included a funny Epilogue that catches you up on the H/H and her brothers. Please note that there is A LOT of sex in this book, which is usual for most Romance Novels. The author has a series on Belle's brothers that sound enjoyable. (ljb)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for romance lovers. Pirates and forbidden love? Count me in. Along with the great story line, it is beautifully written. I fell in love with these characters as much as they fell in love with each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author. It is over 500 pages. The plot is good. The adventure at sea and on land is great. The male is alpha and the female is strong but still somewhat reasonable. The romance will not disappoint.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the storyline. A little harsh for me at times but otherwise a great read.
LadyScarlet More than 1 year ago
But still a good romance full of steamy scenes.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book very much, It is in one of my top 10 and thats a hard list to break into. This is a must read for romance lovers.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Ton thinks that wealthy Damian Westmore is a wastrel, labeling him 'The Duke of Rogues'. However though he enjoys females, he is on a mission of vengeance. Pirates killed his younger brother Adam at sea so he plans to even the score. For two years he learned what he could about sailing until by 1821 in New York he feels ready to act on his hard earned knowledge and find the culprit. Damian becomes the navigator of the Bonny Meg, a pirate vessel captained by the Hawkins brothers. Also on board is Mirabelle Hawkins, sister to the vessel¿s leaders. As Damian and Mirabelle fall in love to the dismay of both of them, he finds circumstantial evidence that his employers, his beloved¿s siblings, killed his brother. --- TOO GREAT A TEMPTATION is a superb Regency romance due a strong story line enhanced by a several fathoms deep cast and the predominantly oceanic setting (readers will feel the motions of the waves). The lead couple is a typical era star-crossed pairing, but the rowdy support crew especially her brothers bring out Damian¿s dilemma often in a comedic way. Sub-genre fans who have not discovered Alexandra Benedict (see A FORBIDDEN LOVE) are missing out on a top new talent worth the sea cruise. --- Harriet Klausner