Plot: Written in the first person, Anne is the narrator. She and her husband, James, seem to have a steady and smooth marriage. Then James invites his BFF, Alex, to stay with them for the summer. Soon, they are embarking on a menage and Anne finds out more than she bargained for about James, her marriage, and herself.
Long Ramblings: Notice that I didnt pinpoint this book in one word as I usually do? That’s because Tempted is one of those books that just can’t. It has the label “An Erotic Novel” on the cover but I would just call it ‘fiction with a strong erotic content’. It is certainly not a romance or romantica for the ending is very bittersweet. I wouldn’t even call it erotica because I dont think the sex scenes are as much titillating as they are organic to the story.
What it is tho is a well-written book with a raw honesty that packs a wallop. When I write well-written, I dont mean it as in Hart is a great stylist. She isnt. Rather, she is a very good storyteller who writes with brutal purpose. Real life is messy and beautiful, an implacable tide that ebbs and flows. That’s what Hart shows in her novel.
As I try to do with most new-to-me authors, this book was read cold. I kept on bumping into Hart’s name while surfing the blogosphere and saw that she got good ratings without looking into the particulars of the reviews. All the subliminal advertising worked because I put in a request for any of Hart’s last three novels at Paperbackswap.com (use “seton” as a reference if you havent signed up yet) and Tempted was the first one that was available to me. This turned out to be a good deal since this is a trade paperback retailing for $13.95. I am grateful that I read it if for no reason than that it got me out of the reading doldrums. I admired it; I didn’t love it. I doubt that I will be reading more Hart in the future because ultimately she wasn’t my cuppa.
I always joke that I stopped watching soap operas a long time ago because nothing I see on the tube could top the melodrama in my own life. Altho the principal triangle is the focus of Tempted, I would say that as much as 40% of the book is devoted to describing the details of Anne’s f*cked-up family. This part kinda bored me because it sorta mirrored what was going on in my own family. That’s why ultimately I seek out escapist fantasy movies and books. I dont want realistic. I have the news for that. Instead, I seek that alternative world where Love Conquers All and everything is neatly tied in a HEA. Yep, I admit that I’m that much a big baby — waaaaa — and that is my preferred formula of choice.