Tempt Fortune by Hebby Roman

Tempt Fortune by Hebby Roman
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (312 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Myrtle

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, Angelina Herrera flees from Cuba to Key West to start a new life and build her own business. But when her past catches up with her, she realizes the only way she can avoid the arranged marriage is to marry another … in name only.

Drawn to the fiercely independent beauty Angelina, Cuban revolutionary, Alejandro Estava marries her. Though outwardly he agrees to the platonic relationship because of his secret past, he cannot deny his powerful desire to possess her completely.

But tempestuous forces more powerful than the hurricane descending on their island home unleashes their mutual passion while threatening their yearning for a lifelong bond.

Lies and deceit often come naturally to people, but never to a mynah bird.

Angelina is a Cuban aristocrat who flees Cuba in 1868 to escape an arranged marriage. She is a strong-willed woman who arrives in Key West with a plan to build her own cigar factory on land left to her by an aunt. Little does she know the land is nothing more than a muddy swamp. After disembarking, Angelina’s prized mynah bird escapes, giving rise to her finding Destiny Favor, her first American friend.

What would a story about two beautiful and engaging women be without two stunning men? Meet Alejandro (swoon) and Nathan (swoon again) who add lifeblood to this wonderful story of love and lust in an accurate historical setting rarely seen. The story of a Cuban cigar factory in Key West, with a woman at the helm, was enticing in and of itself, but this book had the added flair of giving the story two main characters in Angelina and Destiny. Rarely, is this double-main-character feat ever successful, in my opinion, other than with the famed Gone Girl, of course, which has no other similarities to this Tempt Fortune story. Ms. Roman, however, has written this story with a masterful hand and has given life to two incredible main characters. Adding to my delight was this writer’s amazing ability to add a Spanish language flair, which was completely natural and absorbing! So many times in a novel, I see writers giving a foreign language phrase … and then explaining it to the reader. Huge pet peeve! If written well enough, a writer shouldn’t need to explain their foreign phrasing. Ms. Roman could teach writers a thing or two on the subject. Excellent!

Hurricanes, fires, elegant balls, sailing ships, auctions, polite society, and not-so-polite society fill the pages of this novel, with each circumstance more engrossing than the last. But was the story absolute perfection? Almost. I have one minor criticism that may only be my personal preference — word choice. This exquisitely classy sounding novel was soiled by the few times the male anatomy was described in a mildly vulgar manner. The elegance of the sensual encounters felt marred by these ill-chosen words. It felt as though the words were dropped into the scenes like plops from the mynah bird. They did not belong.

This is a memorable book, and I can’t wait to see what others this author has available. Could they possibly be as good as this one? Tempt Fortune is my first Hebby Roman novel, but it won’t be my last.

If you enjoy authentic historical romances with incredible characters, especially ones that immerse you in the feel of Cuba’s past and the role Key West played, this is the novel for you!


  1. I want to thank Long and Short Reviews for an insightful and detailed review of my book. The reviewer, Myrtle, obviously enjoyed a historical romance set in an unique place and time and with two primary romances interlaced with each other. I greatly appreciate her input and complimentary review, along with her five star rating.

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