Review: Revolutionary Temptation by Silvia Violet

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.

Alright, let's do this thing!

There are a couple things that will be dealbreakers for some, so let's just get those out of the way so I can squeal, k?

Eli is bisexual. He makes no secret of enjoying both genders and he is a bit of a libertine. There is no MF on page sex but there are MF interactions. Readers who are sticklers for their MCs only sexing up the other MC will probably balk. I'm in the "they were on a break" camp in this Ross/Rachel debate or Eli/Jack, as it were, but there you have it. 

Also, there is a considerable amount of push/pull between Jack and Eli which annoys me in contemporary reads, but when actual hanging is likely for one's sexual proclivities, I give latitude.

If I haven't lost you then let's get this party started!

This was my first experience with Silvia Violet and I am hooked! I've no idea if historicals are her usual fare, but this was SO GOOD and I tend to be persnickety when it comes to historicals. I get fussy if the verbiage and details get too lax. My goal is to immerse myself in the time period, in this case the American Revolutionary War and I did. If you're a fan of TURN, you should pick this up.

Eli is a dandy who owns a bookshop that also serves as a front for his smuggling business. Do not mistake him as superficial. There's more to him than meets the eye. He's an outgoing, genial, an opportunist, exceedingly observant and approaches life with gusto. Yes, he's a bit devil may care at times and once recruited as a rebel spy he plays the game fast and loose, but he's just so damn charming! It's hard to hold it against him. He's got any number of people willing to share his bed but relationships he shies away from. Until he meets Jack.

Jack is his opposite. Jack is honorable. He's honest to his core and the most basic, fundamental thing about himself he's forced to perpetually lie about, so he'd rather keep busy and to himself. He's harder to warm up to but his characterization was subtle, compelling and I ended up loving him and Eli equally. He's suffered a fairly severe leg injury which precludes him from the battlefield where he'd much rather be and puts him in New York under Constance Sullivan as a spy.

You catch the gender of that name? Yerp, Constance is at the top of the spy game food chain. She's sharp, canny and has a panache about her that draws people in-all the hallmarks of a master spy. Can I just say how much I love when women aren't portrayed as the catty/bitchy friend/ex/sibling/parent and/or shallow and vapid? Cuz I do. A lot. 

Anywhat. Constance trains Jack who's a quick study and eventually they recruit Eli. The references to Washington, Hamilton, the rampant smuggling and how information was conveyed to the military were but part of why I loved this so much. I've said before how much I love thrillers but espionage and the inherent guessing game that brings gets my blood pumping and keeps me engaged. Marry that to historical accuracy, likeable characters and smart writing and I was glued to the kindle.

The character development was above reproach. They aren't infallible and that's what I like in my characters, makes them more relateable than the plastic people. The story is also nicely paced with a balanced division between the romance and espionage plot lines.

Lastly, THE SEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I want you to hold me down while you drive into me. I want you to wreck me."

Eli and Jack like it rough. They also have dirty mouthes and are a little kinky. The frantic need they have for each other was something I found extremely sexy. Seriously, I'm glad I was not in public when I read this because the gasping, grunting, squealing and pancake eyes surely would've landed me in the ER by some benevolent soul had I been.

The conflict and resolution were both believable and irresistible. Even Constance got an HFN! The entire narrative was like butter and the next thing I knew it was over. I am holding out hope that there will be a sequel because this was so gorgeous and also because I want to know who was in those woods. Either way I can envision rereading this in the future.

Recommend to historical and espionage fans.

A review copy was provided.

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