Title: Revolutionary Temptation
Author: Silvia Violet
Publisher: Silvia Violet Books
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Page Count: 254
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
1777 New York City – The American colonists are fighting for their independence, but the battlefield is not the only place to wage war. When General Washington’s head of intelligence asks Captain Jack West to spy on the British in New York, Jack agrees, despite reservations about this ungentlemanly pursuit.
Jack’s contact in the city recruits bookshop owner Elias Ashfield, an impeccably dressed sensualist who flaunts his desire for both men and women and seeks a place in high society. Jack longs for a simple life guided by clear principles. Eli is a risk-taker who knows how to get what he wants. And he wants Jack in his bed.
Events in Jack’s past have made him fearful of acting on his secret craving for a man’s touch, but Eli intrigues Jack as much as he infuriates him. As Jack and Eli search for the information the rebel army needs, they realize there’s more between them than mere lust. But finding a way to be together may prove more difficult than defeating the British Empire.
The setting of this book intrigued me – a network of spies in NYC over the winter of 1776-1777 socializing with British officers to discover information on troop movements for General Washington. As Jack, Eli and wealthy widow Constance Sullivan set about unearthing information, each character deals with multiple layers of deception. Jack West is gay at a time in history when it was extremely dangerous (and his past serves as a horrible reminder of this) and while Jack keeps his desires close to the vest, he knows that his attraction to bisexual Elias Ashfield will not end well. Eli, on the other hand, is a risk taker and almost enjoys flaunting his sexual exploits but he, too, has a lot of emotional baggage. Constance Sullivan’s husband was a British supporter while her allegiance lies with the Americans, but can she depend on her clandestine lover?
I liked the general plot but personally needed more than a few tidbits of information to frame the time period, and some scenes (especially in the first half of the book) seemed stilted as they are comprised of short conversations with little other details. Once Jack and Eli become lovers their relationship deepens as they slowly reveal their pasts and we get a better sense of what drives each man. Silvia Violet knows how to write a steamy sex scene (and this book contains several very hot ones), but at times I feel Jack and Eli were two contemporary characters placed into a historical rather than men of the era with beliefs and attitudes that reflected their time.
There were several similar scenes of parties with Jack, Eli and Constance teasing information out of British officers which slowed down the pace of the story a bit, but the ending was suspenseful as the spies race to save one of their own and make some unusual alliances. AND extra bonus points for Alexander Hamilton’s brief cameo.
My rating is 3.5 stars but I realize that my comments about historical background and attitudes of the characters may not be a factor for other readers. Silvia Violet says she has more stories to tell about Jack, Eli and Constance and I’m looking forward to reading them to see how/if Jack and Eli craft their relationship in a dangerous time, and as all the characters work to help win the war for independence.