by Jennifer Crusie

March 2000
ISBN: 0-312-97425-6
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

If you're a little tired of the mainstream vanilla type of romance and would like to try a new flavor then this is the book for you. Jennifer Crusie has created an amazing cast of characters and plunked them down in a small Midwest town called Temptation. The summer heat comes nowhere near the erotic heat generated by the mayor, Phineas Tucker, and the whimsical Sophie Dempsey who arrives in Temptation with her sister Amy to make a video of former movie star and previous Temptation resident Clea Whipple. The Dempseys are worthy of a novel all by themselves. Amy, Sophie and their brother Davy come from a line of con artists so convoluted that they'd make a corkscrew look straight! Sophie, however, is fighting the Dempsey tendencies all the way and really tries not to fall for handsome, straightforward Phin Tucker, even though he embodies everything she's ever wanted. He's good to look at, makes her laugh, takes care of her and gives her head-banging fantastic sex! What more can she ask? Well, she can ask who killed the arrogant and unpleasant anchorman ex-husband of Clea Whipple who turns up dead in several places! She can ask if Amy's video is actually an audition video or an attempt to resurrect Clea's porn movie career? Most importantly, Sophie can ask who hates her enough to try and kill her?

This is a wonderfully edgy story putting character and dialogue firmly on the front burner and backing it up with a really great plot. Jennifer Cruise may well be on her way to being crowned "Queen of the Laugh-Out-Loud Book" with this novel, as so many of the characters' conversations are peppered with incredibly funny repartee, not to mention excellent movie quotes! The citizens of Temptation flesh out this story in an effortlessly eccentric way. From the young, nubile ingénue desperate to get out of her parents' house, to Phin Tucker's young daughter Dillie who can give the Dempseys a run for their money when it comes to the art of the con, to the elder statesman Steven Garvey who wants to be Mayor so badly he can taste it, everyone has a necessary and amazingly well-crafted role in the story. Jennifer Cruise skillfully touches so many bases here - there's something for dog-lovers and pool players, not to mention Dove Bar enthusiasts. Give yourself a treat and relax with the people from Temptation, Ohio, but be prepared to explain to others why you're laughing so hard!

Reviewed in July 2001 by Celia.

Read more reviews of Jennifer Crusie books.Click Here