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Review: Welcome to Temptation, Jennifer Crusie

I love the quote on the back of this book, it’s why I picked it up, so I’m just going to stick it here:

Sophie came to Temptation, Ohio,
to help her sister make a movie.
Now she’s making trouble for the town council,
love with the mayor,
and lemonade for a murderer …
Welcome to Temptation.
Population 2,158.
And falling.

I don’t know why that appeals to me, but it’s catchy somehow!  Sophie is a straight-laced thirtysomething who is happy with the success of her wedding filming business and less than excited to head to Temptation to make a movie with Clea, a former porn star who has connections with her brother.  Amy, Sophie’s sister, is thrilled, and try as she might, Sophie can’t really deny her little brother and sister much of anything because she wants to protect them and help them be successful.  The mayor, Phineas Tucker, is in for it when Sophie and Amy arrive in town.  He’s young, attractive, and rich, which to Sophie sends warning signs every time.  He can’t help his attraction, though, and in the end, neither can she. 

What I really liked about this book is that there is so much more to it than the romance.  The romance becomes comfortable because the other issues are a little stressful, like Phin’s difficult mother, adorable child, and struggle to remain mayor and somehow keep his town happy, as well as Sophie’s trust issues and family hang-ups.  There is a lot of sex, but unusually it actually furthers the plot, reveals a whole lot of Sophie’s problems, and once the first couple of scenes are past we don’t get much more description; they think about it, though.  I guess that’s normal, but this is one of the racier romances I’ve read lately.  

Once Sophie and Phin have a thing going on, the book sort of switches over to a murder mystery and all the small-town rivalries and obsessions are revealed in the search to figure out who did it.  Sophie is victim of a few attacks and that only complicates matters more.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was actually quite into the plot of this one and not just because I wanted to see how the couple got together in the end.  We knew that was going to happen, but we didn’t know who was a murderer.  I even enjoyed the little side story with Rachel and her struggle for her own independence.

Best of all, this book is funny!  I’ve found that my favorite romance authors are those who can pull off banter between the two main characters and leave me smiling, too.

“I love this,” Sophie said, beaming at him.  “I look like hell and you’re chasing me around the kitchen.  This is great.”

“I am not chasing,” Phin said.

Sophie undid the top button on her blouse.

“I’m chasing,” Phin said. – p. 190

It’s just cute! I did have trouble picking an excerpt, though, because there are a lot of expletives in this book. Not used in a derogatory way, but they’re there.  It’s very playful, like the rest of the book, but it’s definitely there.

I’d recommend this absolutely.  I’ll also recommend this even if you’re not looking for a romance.  I think there is enough here to make it a great, fun summer read beyond that.  It’s flirtatious, witty, endearing fun.

This book is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

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