Into Temptation by Penny Vincenzi
Into Temptation, the third book of the Lytton family trilogy, shifts the focus to New York City and Barty Miller. Rescued from the slums as a baby by Celia Lytton and now living in New York, Barty heads more than half of the Lytton publishing house. Falling on bad times, the family is worried that Barty will make a business decision that would be devastating to them. But will she? As events unfold, long-buried secrets concerning the whole family are revealed, shaking the very foundations of the Lytton's world. Readers have come to depend on Vincenzi for her enchanting prose style and the epic scope of her dramas; like the Lytton family sagas that precede it, Into Temptation does not disappoint.
Review by Brittany:
The blurb for this book makes it sound as if Barty is the central character, but as with all of Vincenzi's other books, there's really no such thing. This book does jump into the fact that Barty now holds a considerable amount of Lyttons in the palm of her hand, and she now has boatloads of money, thanks to her secret marriage to Lawrence. This plays a role in her developing relationship with Charlie, a widower father of a friend of Barty's daughter, Jenna. The girls spend a large chunk of the book pushing Barty and Charlie together.
Celia takes center stage once again in this novel by announcing her retirement and marriage to someone new, after Oliver's passing. She also takes advantage of the opportunity to start to fine-tune Lyttons in such a way that she feels confident about the future that she's building for the company. Sometimes this means interference on her part, and sometimes it means going out on a limb for newcomers. Her relationship with her new husband is also developed throughout the book.
Pretty much every character gets a fair amount of development in the book because it is the last installment in the trilogy. The author does a decent job of wrapping things up, although I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel incomplete at the end. The last scene in the book is interesting, but I was left wanting more. There was a character in the book that drove me absolutely bananas and I wanted him to get his comeuppance, but he never did.
I do, of course, recommend this book, like I have the others in the trilogy. I can't express how much I enjoy diving into Vincenzi's novels, and the Lytton family was an addiction for me. I do think it's important to read this trilogy in order, although I think any of them could be picked up and read as a standalone if you choose.
She wondered if this was love and decided it couldn't be. It was too uncomfortable.
Everything she did, everything she thought, was to do with him; he had become a part of her, and she could not imagine her life without him.
"It's not always easy to be sensible."
It was her life. People kept saying that. And it was true. She just wished she could decide if she liked how it was or not.
"I have very little time for the truth. Certainly not unvarnished."
...wishing she could also feel the happiness such a day demanded. Instead of alternately angry and dully miserable, exhausted with the sheer physical effort of smiling, chatting, remaining upright, even.
She sometimes felt she was walking a tightrope in her life; swaying this way and that, nearly losing her balance, righting herself just in time.
You simply could not love someone, marry them, bear their children, share every intimacy of life with them, and then walk away, say right, that's over, nice while it lasted, gone wrong now, though.