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The story is told in a punchy, accessible style with a fine eye for the complex motivations, both political and personal, of the characters. Baxter has an impressive reputation as a genealogical researcher. She has combed the archives meticulously, revealing piece by minute piece every possible biographical fact, every twist and turn in the plot.

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Occasionally these minutiae threaten to overwhelm the text and blunt the narrative. The book is most compelling in its more expansive moments, when Baxter shows how these events illuminate their time and paints a vivid picture of New's world.


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Although Baxter renders court language into direct speech, she has resisted the temptation to write a "factional" account of the Jane New scandal. A good historian, blessed with the extensive records of colonial Australia, is perfectly able to tell a lively tale without making things up. It is a shame, therefore, that the book's production designers chose to grace its cover and spine with a glaringly modern-looking painting of Jane New set in a miniature frame.

Superimposed onto Joseph Lycett's North View of Sydney , it is presumably a reference to a miniature of New, commissioned by her besotted husband, which plays an important part in the plot. If it looked anything like a painting of the period it might have worked. Tense Tips on technique 7: But was she guilty? Many had their doubts. Although a legal technicality soon quashed Jane's sentence, the autocratic Governor Ralph Darling refused to set her free.

Like bees to the honey pot, the gentlemen of Sydney swarmed to Jane's defence including barrister and political agitator William Charles Wentworth and Supreme Court Registrar John Stephen Jr, who were both vigorous and manipulative in their appeals to set her free. An Irresistible Temptation is set against the backdrop of a particularly divisive period in colonial New South Wales. Not only did the scandal titillate Sydney and its legal and political ramifications push the colony to the brink of a constitutional crisis, but it contributed to the savagery of Governor Darling's public vilification and bestowed upon Jane New a place in the annals of Australian colonial history.

Dare to be drawn into the experience and feel their emotions. You'll find yourself rooting for the heroine to get her man. The book has a light layering of other characters that gives the book a fullness and contrast to the main plot.

An Irresistible Temptation

My recommendation is to ride along on this one. One person found this helpful. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a great love story set in the 's. You are pulled in from the first paragraph to the last The storyline is well developed and the characters are relatable.

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The author does an amazing job of keeping you compelled throughout I read this in one sitting - yep no sleep that night. I enjoyed this book and An Improper Situation. The plot was well done and the characters' plights interesting. It held my attention and I felt strongly for the characters. I was glad to see they found their "happily ever after".

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An Irresistible Temptation: The True Story of Jane New and a Colonial Scandal

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An Irresistible Temptation: The True Story of Jane New and a Colonial Scandal by Carol Baxter

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