ARC Review | Bound for Temptation by Tess LeSue

Bound for Temptation by Tess LeSue
Series: Frontiers of the Heart
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: December 31st, 2018
ARC from the publisher

Emma Palmer’s been a lady of the night and a gambler, a thief and a blackmailer, a liar and a peddler of sin. But mostly a lady of the night. She’s spent most of her life as the hard-as-nails, smart-talking ‘Seline’, working her way across the country to the goldfields of California, where she can finally ply her trade on her own terms. And she’s a darn good Madam, if she does say so herself. Her place is clean, her booze is cheap, and her bedrooms are fancy. But when a would-be patron won’t take no for an answer, she’s forced to fight for her life and run. And what better disguise than as a nun?

Tom Slater is a taciturn cattleman at the tail end of a long, hard season on the trail. He plans to have a quiet winter at his old family homestead in Mexico. What he doesn’t plan on is finding a foul-mouthed nun stranded in the middle of nowhere. She has sly green eyes and a way of looking at him that turns his head upside down. Tom doesn’t need to be trailsman to know that this woman will only lead to trouble.

| Book Review |

Bound for Temptation is the third book in Tess LeSue’s Frontiers of the Heart series, and while it is about three brothers, you could start here and not feel lost. But I would advise against that, as this installment was, in my opinion, the weakest of the series. I had my reservations about Emma, formerly known as Seline in previous installments, but she really won me over in this book. I adored her character. She had been hardened by her life experiences, but there was still a softness about her. It wasn’t often that she let it show, but it was there, and when things hit her, they hit her hard. Tom was the perfect man for her. He was kind and also timid, and I think a man that Emma needs to coax out of his shell, especially after a past where she’s been used and abused, was exactly what she needed. What made me think I wouldn’t be able to warm up to this plot, (highlight for minor spoiler) is that Seline had previously slept with, and been in love with, one of Tom’s brothers. Being a whore in that time period was taboo enough, but I was afraid that the fact that she’d slept with his brother would be glossed over. It wasn’t, and I really liked the way Emma won everyone over. It was just classic Emma, taking charge and making things happen. Having said that, this is part of the reason the book lost me. It felt way too modern for me, and if I had to read Emma’s thoughts about how dumb men were one more time, I was going to throw this book across the room. It was just so often and Emma’s disdain for men was so deep, I’m not sure I believe she and Tom will be happy. I think they’re going to end up miserable, and I never want to walk away from a romance novel feeling that way. There were also times when she made stupid decisions, and while the hard-headedness fell in line with her character, the stupid didn’t, and it threw me for a loop. Also, the previous books in this series were a bit far-fetched and exaggerated in a really fun way that I enjoyed. I felt like this one tried to be, but it just never seemed to get there.

The highlight of this for me was the secondary characters, particularly Emma’s friend Calla. She had so many fantastic lines, and I just love that no matter how many times she gets knocked down, she gets up again. It was also nice to see Tom’s family and how they were doing.

Overall, if you’re a fan of this series, it’s worth the read to really get to know Tom and if you wanted to know how things worked out for Seline, this is for you. As for me, while there were parts I enjoyed, Bound for Temptation just missed the mark overall. There are more characters in this series that I love, though, and I would love to see it continue so we can read about them.

| Rating |

Series Reading Order


8 thoughts on “ARC Review | Bound for Temptation by Tess LeSue

Add yours

  1. Aye yi yi, yeah, that would be a tough one to see happening especially if she comes across as a man-hater for a lot of the book. There are just somethings that are too much to believe a relationship can get past. I struggle with recently widowed or bounce back from break up romances for the same reason. I do want to read the series, but I’ll start at the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree. Eventually there comes a point of no return, and I just can’t suspend my disbelief enough to buy into a happily ever after. I did love the first two books in this series! I hope they’re winners for you as well.


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