Tempting Paperback – 26 Apr 2001
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TEMPTING heralds Susan Johnson's debut as a writer of erotic historical romance novels, or as she says, "These are the books I have always wanted to write." She combines enormous storytelling skills with breathtaking sensuality into a tale of a princess who chooses passion over propriety in the arms of an American marquis. Her trust and love shattered by public humiliation and private indifference from a man who cared nothing for her happiness - or her pleasure - Princess Christina was a woman trapped in a lonely and loveless marriage. If she was not precisely resigned to her fate, she was not tempted to change it...until she met an American marquis and temptation took on a new, solidly male form. The world of causal amours was Max Falconer's forte, not Christina's - and Max knew it. But he couldn't resist the look in her eyes - shy, yet determined - when she offered herself to him...much less the promise of sensual abandon with a woman who deserved every pleasure she had too long been denied.
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However, to her shock, Max and Christine make love. They soon disappear from sight by hiding at his English estate for two weeks of sex and love. When they finally return to London, an outraged Hans threatens Christine using their two boys as a blackmailing weapon to make her tow the mark. Hans and Christine return to Selisia with Max, in love with her, following them. Max worries about her safety even as he knows that she will never leave Hans without her two beloved children.
Multiple award winner and best selling author Susan Johnson shows why many readers consider her the "queen of erotic romance" with TEMPTING, a novel that requires asbestos gloves. The story line is loaded with two types of action: sexual and adventurous. Though Hans appears more like a nineteenth century villainous Grinch, Christina is a wonderful caring heroine and Max cuts quite the figure as a scrumptious hunk. The excessive use of profanity will turn off some readers, but those fans of the triple XXX ultra torrid tale will gain much pleasure (in a wide sense) from Ms. Johnson's latest treasure.
This is a love story with graphic sex in the erotica style. But unlike the erotica that is out there now, there is nothing dark, disgusting or sick to poison this lovely euphoric dream that SJ is so skilled at creating. Sure the husband is a bad guy but he gets his due.
This is a book for adults and has adult themes and situations all through out the book. Therefore, if reading a few F words here and there is going to ruin it for you, then maybe this book isn't for you. Try her book Golden Paradise. It's a little milder since it is a Harlequin book. But you still get all the good steamy toe curling intimate scenes and passionate love. * SIGH * Yeah, you'll be sighing after Max too after you read Tempting. It's a definite keeper.
English-born Christina Grey, the beautiful Princess of Zeiss, was married off at seventeen to a German prince. At such a tender age she had thought her husband dashing and charming, unaware of what a monster -- not to mention adulterer -- he would turn out to be. Nevertheless, Christina learns to endure Hans over the years, taking solace in being a mother to their two sons. Unlike her philandering royal husband, she doesn't care very much for sex and therefore has no desire to take a lover. Until, that is, she meets Max.
English born and American bred Max Falconer, the new Marquis of Vale, is looking for a bit of fun at the country party he is attending. Never married and not particularly inclined to take himself off the bachelor market, he is shaken by the depth of his feelings concerning Christina. When Max had befriended the beautiful, lonely princess he hadn't anticipated falling in love with her. But now that he has he will stop at nothing to make her belong to him.
Susan Johnson fans are accustomed to her philandering-until-he-meets-the-heroine heroes. In her past few books they have also become accustomed to male protagonists that don't stray at all once they fall for the females in question. None of her fans, however, are accustomed to a hero like Max. This is a man so besotted with his heroine that he doesn't even think about straying, let alone actually do it. Max's love for Christina borders on the obsessive...a fact some readers might find unnerving but I found endearing.
Another strong attribute for Tempting lies in the friendship and mutual respect that the protagonists feel for each other. It is common in erotic literature to find a bonding of the flesh (else it wouldn't be erotic!), but not necessarily a bonding of the hearts. As the reader you have no doubts that Max and Christina are in love, and better yet, you've been given enough depth into their characters to understand why.
What brings this book into four heart range for me, however, is the well developed and at times quite suspenseful plot. Christina is not a free woman. Max wants to be with her forever. In order to come together and stay that way the heroine must go through some pretty heady stuff. I found that once I reached the last half of the book I simply couldn't put it down.
The only complaint I have with the novel as a whole is that during the book's first half the sex scenes began to drag a bit. If one is going to read back to back lovemaking escapades it helps the pacing tremendously if there is a tad bit more variety than what Tempting offers. Conversely, however, I didn't find this to be the case later on as Johnson delves into everything from light bondage to the we-could-be-caught-at-any-moment-so-let's-make-this-count scenario.
Overall, Tempting is a great erotic read. Don't miss this one!
As much as I enjoy Susan Johnson's novels, I really regret that she has so much infused her writings with the crudity that is the hallmark of Thea Devine and Beatrice Small. Susan, you're a far better writer than either of those! C'mon, girl, your books were good reading long before you had men talking to women as though they were trash; shucks, that's why I wrote you one year (about almost 10 years ago) when I was about to travel and wanted to give a friend my copy of Silver Flame -- and you were kind enough to call me and send me an autographed one, which I paid for after I returned from my travels. No need to be needlessly crude.