Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Tour for The Art of Temptation by Genella deGrey (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Today I bring to you a very unique, and super steamy, historical read from Genella deGrey entitled The Art of Temptation.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this read through my review and an interview with Ms. deGrey and make sure to leave a comment for your chance to win 1 of 3 convention swag packs!  So let's welcome Genella.........

TSP:  Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
GD:  I’m good with how I’ve handled things thus far - of course, it would have helped to have had about ten times more funding in the budget for advertising…and of course, I would love to be able to attend all the major romance novel conferences. :)
TSP:  What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
GD:  I write everywhere: Starbucks, on planes, hotel rooms, at friend’s houses…anywhere I can plug my laptop in. That being said, here is my work space at home:

TSP:  The majority of your books are historical in nature, what draws you to that genre?
GD:  Aside from the fact that I just adore historical places and things, I love the total escape to a gentler time. No cell phones, no email, the clothes were prettier, manners meant something, the men seemed stronger in personality and more self-assured. And similarly, when I read, I want to get away from modern society and live that sort of life, even if it’s in my head.
TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about The Art of Temptation?
GD:  Firstly, Valerie Hempstead’s character originally made an appearance as a minor character in my book, Remember Me.
My ultimate goal as a writer is to entertain, and additionally, stand out in the crowd. In order to do that, one must create something different - but also something that the modern reader can relate to. When my heroines are up against a wall, they do what is necessary to survive. This is what Valerie does. She survives by taking a job - which as you know, just isn’t done by women in her class during that time period. Yes, she knows it’s wrong, and that it will likely ruin her entirely, but what has she got to lose, really? She’s a marriage market failure, her home life is less than desirable, and beside all that, she’s stuck, all alone, in a foreign country.
The problem with skimming through a book is that you may miss character nuances and things that push the plot along. It’s not that Valerie jumps into her situation, in fact, she has to be persuaded every step of the way. But once she’s at the precipice and there’s no turning back - and she finds she has a support system surrounding her that she’s never had before, all these things combined prove to ease the last part of her transformation.
The Art of Temptation is a fictional tale, as are all of my books. I’m not writing history, I’m merely heating it up. :)
TSP:  Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
GD:  Oh, man. This is a great question! Aside from all the naughty bits that shouldn’t be filmed ;) I could imagine Oasis of Eden and A Touch of Destiny as films.
But the one that would really be amazing is Remember Me.Angels/demons/vampires in Victorian England. Not only is it written in scenes like a movie, but I see the following cast in my mind: Emma Watson (about 25 years of age) as the heroine, Gemmah Parker, Henry Cavill as the angel/hero, Dacious (pronounced Dah-see-us)
Additional cast: Johnny Depp as Lucifer, Helena Bonham-Carter as Erzebet Batheroy, Luke Evans as Jeohel the angel, Helen Mirren as Kyra, Emma Thompson as Mrs Norrison, Amy Adams as Valerie Hempstead,Brad Pitt as The Archangel Michael, Jeff Bridges as Dinkel the demon and Andy Serkis as Pescow the demon.
TSP:  Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
GD:  Oooo, this is a tough one. But I’m going to have to pull from a future release and say that my hero from Joust of Hearts gets this title. Here is the blurb for Joust - you’ll see why: “England, 1501. The romance of Lady Melisande Dupree and Sir Devin Blackburn: a Knight who isn’t afraid to risk all, including his heart, to save the damsel.”
TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself?  Do you have an eReader yourself?
GD:  Like most modern authors, the digital age has made us less dependent on ‘The Big Six’ (the New York publishers). Now we can present our work to the masses via platforms such as Amazon and Smashwords.Marketing is always 1/2 of the job for an author, but I understand that even if one is contracted by a NY publisher, they still have to get out there and pound the pavement so to speak.
I have two ereaders: A Sony and an Android.
TSP:  What's the biggest issue affecting the writing community right now and how would you like to see it dealt with?
GD:  Pirating books is literally steeling from authors. Luckily, reader forums are stepping up and taking a stand against the thieving sites. They are spreading the word that there are other ways of finding ebooks for free, whether searching for them on Amazon or keeping an eye on the authors’ websites & FB pages. (Woo-hoo! Good on them!) They are reminding the readers that authors hold free & sale promo events all the time, and that they can sign up for their newsletters and register to be alerted to new blog posts in order to be informed of said events.
TSP:  My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
GD:  My children and dear friends don’t really count as things, but I have to give a shout-out about them. ;)
Things. Hm. OK: My DVD collection & Blu-ray player, my computer, and my iPhone.

After seven failed seasons, Valerie Hempstead decides to take her fate into her own hands, and a tour of the continent is just the thing. Accompanied by a female cousin, and the girl’s childhood companions--all of whom live fast and for the moment, Valerie is about to discover more about life than she anticipated.
Travis Elijah Colin Wade, the son of no one in particular, has just been handed a vast amount of money and a large country estate and, of all things, a bloody title. However, he's not at all pleased about leaving his care-free bachelor days behind. Determined to spend some of his money and relax before assuming his duties for Queen and country, Travis goes abroad. Little does he know that he is about to be utterly swept away by the seduction of innocent surrender.


“You should save your kisses, for they are very fine indeed. They mustn’t be squandered on just anyone.” His head fell forward seeking her touch and his voice turned into a whisper. “You would not want someone to think you were in love with them when you weren’t, would you?”
A tiny hiss of laughter escaped her lips and she continued caressing his head. “A few silly kisses doth not a declaration of love make.” Her voice matched the tone of his. “Believe me, I ought to know,” she murmured mostly to herself while she toyed softly with his hair.
“Perhaps, but what if the gentleman had deeper feelings for you?”
“Me?” she chuckled. “Highly improbable.”
Travis languidly opened his eyes. Dare he say what was in his heart? The word love on the tip of his tongue demanded to be voiced. His arms slipped around her waist and he took a breath, about to spill his thoughts. Thankfully, he caught himself before that could happen. “Do you discount all the flowers and love notes your admirers send you?”
Just before she rebutted, Valerie’s other hand dove into his hair. Travis nearly moaned.
She murmured next to his ear. “You speak of flowers from strangers, impromptu love notes which were composed alongside a few emptied glasses of brandy. Silly when one considers them declarations, really. Wouldn’t you agree?”
His eyelids were awfully heavy, and an echo from the back of his mind voiced that he’d like to be put to sleep like this every night, after a good solid few hours of lovemaking, of course. She was speaking so softly he had to concentrate to keep focused. As her words drifted past his sensitive ears, he could feel every syllable and intonation of her thoroughly feminine voice. The way her S’s slipped from her tongue in high-pitched whistles alone was enough to entice him to make love to her. He shivered slightly at the sensation. He didn’t dare nod in response to her call for agreement lest her hands cease their ministrations. “I suppose so.”
“I’m glad you agree, because that is what I think of kisses.” She briefly pressed her lips to his. “Kisses are but a handshake. There is nothing which could make me fall in love with you were I to shake your hand—nor by kissing you,” she whispered against his mouth and then kissed him again.
With the help of his intoxication, Travis’s eyelids drooped shut. He was so aroused by her tiny kisses it was as if she had been stroking his cock for an hour. In his mind’s eye he saw Valerie, in a fine gown, entertaining a table-full of guests in the elegant dining room at Sutton Court. In his daydream, she turned to him and smiled—a silent, seductive invitation her to bed. The vision made his breath catch. It was brilliant. God, but he wanted to drag her upstairs without further delay and show her just how he felt. On the verge of doing so, she spoke.
“And besides, I am in love with Spencer.”



As a fan of historical reads I was caught off guard by the unique viewpoint presented by Genella deGrey that finds a frustrated Victorian woman traveling to numerous exotic locales who finally finds self-esteem after embracing her sensual side.  During this erotic journey she discovers two men who change her life forever and the opportunity to live her life to the fullest getting to do the unexpected.  From start to finish readers are pulled along in Valerie's over the top sexual wake as she discovers the self-esteem denied her by her mother since birth.  Many of the events and actions throughout the story seem too modern for the time period and therefore make the story feel unbelievable.  From its modern-sounding names to the quick evolution of a staid Victorian woman to dancing sex kitten this is a story out of time, a story more fantasy than reality.

Valerie grew up under heavy scrutiny by her mother and believes she can do no right and that it's all her fault she remains unwed.  Tired of feeling like a failure she sets out on her own to discover the world, and herself along the way, courtesy of a free-thinking relative who encourages her to embrace her sensual side.  After being left to fend for herself by this flighty relative, and her jealous friends, she luckily stumbles upon the opportunity to dance at Moulin Rouge where she first falls in love with one man before moving on to Travis, who's just come into an inherited dukedom that he wants no part of.  Before long they're engaged in a sexual tug of war that leads to a rocky road to HEA where villains come out of the woodwork at every turn.

Travis doesn't want to grow up, he enjoys living the life of a profligate, and doesn't want to live up to the expectations of Queen Victoria so he runs away.  From the first moment he lays eyes on the masked Valerie he's smitten but has to bide his time before he can make her his.  His Peter Pan-like attitude of not wanting to grow up resulted in entertaining moments but made him a less than ideal hero, but at least he was a comparable match for Valerie.

Fans of true historical reads will be surprised by the actions of the characters here in relation to the time period, but I give credit to Ms. deGrey for creating something unique.  While I didn't always connect with the characters, at least I was never bored by them.  Alongside the unique main characters is a cast of over the top secondary ones that kept the story moving at a breakneck pace and the action unexpected.  Through the creativity seen her I look forward to Ms. deGrey's next release.

My rating for this is a C.

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Born and reared in Southern California, Genella deGrey longed to be your typical blonde, tanned, surfer girl but failed miserably. Unable to sit idle without falling asleep, she embarked upon several artistic endeavors. Makeup and set dressing for the entertainment industry, Resort Enhancement for The Walt Disney Company and writing sexy historical romance top the list of her favorite activities.
Genella has a keen interest in the spirit world. She loves wandering around in graveyards, traveling to battle fields and other haunted destinations, the older the better. New Orleans is one of her favorite places to encounter the supernatural, as is Tombstone, AZ.

Twitter: @GenelladeGrey
FB: Genella deGrey Books
Amazon buy page for all books:


Genella will be awarding a large goodie grab bag comprised of 'author swag' gathered from the Romance Novel Convention in August 2013 to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING US WHY YOU LOVE THE HISTORICAL GENRE, along with your email addy (no email=no entry).
-Winners will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 9/30.


  1. Nice interview and review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  2. Great interview!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds really good!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  3. Thank you, everyone! I just adore writing fictional characters and situations! Happy reading, all!