cover image Into Temptation

Into Temptation

Penny Vincenzi, . . Overlook, $26.95 (654pp) ISBN 978-1-58567-708-5

The third in the Lytton family trilogy (Something Dangerous ; No Angel ) takes the patrician English clan—and all its jockeying for power, money and approval—into the second half of the 20th century. Set in London and New York, the novel opens in 1953 with the Lyttons in an uproar, as matriarch Celia drops two bombshells: she's leaving Lytton's, the family publishing house she has run for decades, and marrying sportsman Lord "Bunny" Arden. (Her husband Oliver died only a year earlier.) Baffled, her children contemplate how these changes will affect their careers and inheritances. Meanwhile, the narrative turns to Barty Miller, Celia's adopted daughter, who runs Lytton's New York and controls the majority share of the house thanks to her first husband's wealth, and Barty's headstrong daughter, Jenna. Barty also marries again, to Charlie Patterson, a smooth operator of relatively modest means who turns out not to be all that he appears to be. As this page-turner nears its conclusion, the Lytton family fortunes come under threat from the resentful Charlie. Will Barty and Jenna manage to preserve the Lytton legacy? Period color, deliciously shocking revelations and showy characterizations heighten this romance, which should be one of the summer's guilty pleasures. (Sept.)