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In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Cynthia Wicklund
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)

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Book Description

HONOR – Adam Stanford, Earl of Ashworth, has always done the right thing.
DESIRE – Lady Catherine Bourgeault, lonely and rejected, longs to experience passion, to love just once in her life.
TREACHERY – The Baron Bourgeault, to what extremes will an obsessive, unstable man go to achieve his own dark ends?
SEDUCTION – In the face of a love that will not be denied, Adam and Catherine risk everything to be together.
BETRAYAL – What price must Catherine and Adam pay for a forbidden love in a time when honor meant everything?

Catherine didn’t know if she wanted to tell Lord Ashworth about her retreat. She had come upon it not long after her marriage to Edgar, and it had offered her the only peace she was to know for a long time.
It was dangerous to share the only thing that belonged to one. Yet the thought of spending an afternoon with the earl in her most treasured place, sharing a leisurely meal, beckoned her. She glanced shyly over her shoulder to see if he still followed.
Lord Ashworth rode only a few yards behind her horse, and he grinned when their eyes met. He had a lazy, sensual smile and, when he looked at her like that, she felt an odd breathless catch in her throat. She wondered how it would feel if he were to place those warm lips to hers instead of the back of her hand.
Oh dear! There went that catch again.
Within moments they entered a clearing. Catherine dismounted without waiting for the earl’s assistance and swung her arms wide as she turned in a circle about the shaded copse.
“What do you think?” she asked.
The earl, still astride, cast his gaze slowly around the tiny glen as he studied the scenery. He then turned his attention to Catherine but did not speak. A suggestive grin broke the calm of his expression as he continued to watch her.
“More beautiful than I could have imagined,” he murmured.
Simple statement that, but it held a wealth of meaning. Catherine dropped her arms while staring back in fascination. Her mouth fell open and her breathing quickened. The air vibrated with unspoken words as they shared a moment of absolute understanding. The specter of desire had been brought into the open and was acknowledged.

Experience IN THE GARDEN OF TEMPTATION today. Meet characters you'll visit again in the other books in this series.

Now Available on Amazon:
IN THE GARDEN OF SEDUCTION, Book 2 of The Garden Series.
IN THE GARDEN OF DISGRACE, Book 3 of The Garden Series.
IN THE GARDEN OF DECEIT, Book 4 of The Garden Series.

Just Released: THIEF OF SOULS
Dark and sensual, Thief of Souls is one man's battle with evil for the fate of his humanity. It is a modern vampire-esque romance, gothic in tone, with a twist on the "Beauty and the Beast" theme, for the beast's ugliness resides on the inside rather than the outside, and his hope for redemption comes not from being loved by another but from discovering his own ability to love.

Product Details

  • File Size: 657 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004A8ZT9A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,748 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
126 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quite original & well-written, intricate story January 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this book to me, so although I wasn't completely sold on the story-line, I bought the book & read it in one day. I simply couldn't bring myself to put it down.

The summary is straight-forward enough. The Earl of Ashworth, Adam Stanford, is a good & honorable man who is enticed by the promise of exceedingly well-bred twin horses to the castle of the suspicious Baron Bourgeault. Instead of purchasing the outrageously priced pair, the Earl falls in love with the young & beautiful Baron's wife, Lady Catherine Bourgeault. A brief but impactful affair follows. The affair is resumed later when the Baron & his wife take up residency in London. But is this really a case of star-crossed love, or is there something...or someone...more sinister playing as puppet master?

I won't spoil it by telling any more. Any reader will be able to piece things together pretty quickly. Despite a couple of cheesy exchanges between the lovers, the story is amazingly well-written & held me riveted for hours. I came to love the main characters, & despite my loathing for the villain, I couldn't outright hate him, even before the end. Suffice it to say, Wicklund's efforts at character development are grade A.

Though I wouldn't say this book is flawless, the originality of the story coupled with the steady character development earned 5 stars from me. Though there is sex in this title, it lacks the raunchiness found in many others. What is offered, instead, is a picture of two people who fall in love & are unable to find a way out while being hopelessly manipulated for another's gain.

Don't worry, though. Justice is always served.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Georgette Heyer...move over for Cynthia Wicklund! April 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have added Cynthia and the Garden series to my list of must read historicals that include Georgette Heyer and Janelle Taylor...I know quite different but fabulous page turners.

And that is what In the Garden of Temptation is...Cynthia is such an evocative writer that I felt I was there and part of the story. That is a rare gift.

Her characters are vivid and so real you feel you can look them up in peerage! I love stories that make me instantly connect with the characters and Cynthia does that with mastery.

Am ready to download the entire series and enjoy!
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Garden of Temptation: Emotional Keeper November 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the Garden of Temptation by Cynthia Wicklund

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Wicklund on [..] and subsequently reviewed her first published novel Lord of Always on that blog and my other one [...]. I bemoaned the fact that she didn't have another book coming out any time soon. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who wanted more from her, and as soon as possible! Cynthia listened to the pleas of her eager new fans and has made her books of The Garden Series available as eBooks.


Readers, you'll find it hard to believe, but these evocative, emotional romance novels made the rounds of editors and agents for years without capturing a contract. They came close many times, and Cynthia finaled in Romance Writers of America's annual Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers, but the end result was a stack of "glowing" rejection letters. Their loss is our gain because we can buy these wonderful romance novels at such low prices.


Writers sometimes believe so strongly in the worth of a story that they don't give up, and that's a very good thing for readers because In the Garden of Temptation is a gem worthy of a place on your keeper shelf. Thankfully, eBook reader devices, like my Kindle on which I downloaded In the Garden of Temptation, Book 1 of The Garden Series, make the size of a keeper shelf immense. Let me tell you about this story.


It's hard to tell what this story is about without revealing some neat twists, but I'll try.

Adam Stanford, Earl of Ashworth, is a man who is honorable and above reproach. He's always done the right thing.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story in need of good editing May 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I generally enjoyed this book. I really liked the characters, and found the story interesting if a little slow moving at times. However, the writing could have used a good bit of editing. The style of the writing wasn't great, and there were many passages that would have benefited from improved clarity and appropriate use of commas. There were also several instances of inappropriate word usage (course instead of coarse, lightening instead of lightning). I found the mediocre writing distracted from a promising storyline and emotionally intriguing, likable characters.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Romance and adultery are not the same thing March 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Updated from March 12, 2012 to fix typos in review.

Let me start this review with a brief synopsis of the plot as that is lacking in the description.
The heroine, Catherine is in a miserable marriage. She is married to a baron who, based on the storytelling appears to be somewhat mentally abusive. Her husband is an alcoholic and appears to have some emotional issues. She is considered the most beautiful woman of her time and her husband likes to dress her as a strumpet when he has the occasional gentleman over. The hero, Adam is an Earl who is "lured" to the castle for a pair of twin horses. He meets Catherine and based on her looks, falls instantly in love with her. The question to be answered is how can Catherine and Adam be together given that she is married? Is it worth scandal for their love to blossom?

As I read this book, I find several things incredulous. First, this "love" between Catherine and Adam isn't really that well developed. I can believe she loves him as she was forced into this marriage at 17 and has been secluded since that time, and Adam does not stare at her breasts that are so amply displayed by her husband. He is kind and loving to her and teaches her about passion. However, based on what was told in this story, I am at a loss regarding Adam's love. Everything that is described sounds like the lust of a tremendously beautiful woman (think, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, etc.). I don't see how they had enough non-physical interaction for him to fall in love with more than her face and figure.

The author shows Catherine as a sweet and compassionate person despite the lack of such she has received from her husband, but never directly to Adam.
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More About the Author

Cynthia Wicklund is a former Golden Heart finalist who writes Historical and Gothic romance and Urban Fantasy with romantic elements. She is currently published with Cerridwen Press, the mainstream imprint of Ellora's Cave Publishing.

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