Lady Morgan Bedwyn is visiting Brussels in June 1815, just prior to Waterloo. There she is seen by Gervase Ashford, a man who hates her oldest brother, Wulf. Though revenge is his initial motive, Gervase discovers Morgan is a charming, caring woman. Friendship and romance blossom, only to be threatened by past injustices and betrayal.
Set in Belgium and England, Slightly Tempted is the fifth entry in Mary Balogh's Bedwyn series and a well-paced, exciting and heart-warming story of love and redemption. Ms. Balogh chronicles the after-effects of the great battle in all their grit, blood and horror. Morgan shines through as a worthy heroine, believable in her role of debutante turned nurse - not something easily achieved. Though we are told Gervase is a rake, I found this hard to believe as his nobility and strength shine through almost from the beginning. Their developing romance is totally believable.
The rest of the setting is equally well portrayed, from London to the countryside, while the supporting cast of the Bedwyn and Ashford clans bring added warmth to the story. Though I enjoyed Slightly Wicked 'slightly' more, I do not hesitate to recommend this book.
© Teresa Basinski Eckford 2004
This review first appeared in the February 2004 issue of The Historical Novels Review