Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Too Much Temptation [2002]

Lori Foster's Too Much Temptation was a less-recommended 50 Shades readalike than some I've discussed here, but it was available and came in through ILL! Sometimes you take what you can get.


After Noah Harper discovers his bride-to-be in bed with another man, he's too much of a gentleman to explain the reason for his broken engagement to his high-society grandmother, Agatha. When she promptly disinherits Noah in an attempt to change his mind, her personal assistant, Grace Jenkins, leaps to his defense. Grace has always had a soft spot for the scarred, streetwise kid who made himself into an entrepreneurial success after Agatha adopted him. She's been in love with him for years, but is accustomed to men viewing her plus-size body as friend material rather than fodder for sexual fantasies.

After caring for a drunk Noah and waking up in his bed, Grace finds herself agreeing to a no-strings sexual relationship with him, in which--while they are in the bedroom only--she will accede to his every desire. But Noah soon finds that despite his stated wish for an attachment-free relationship, he's getting serious about being with Grace. Plagued by insecurity and determined not to invest her heart, Grace nonetheless throws herself into the opportunity to be intimate with the man she loves. There are some shenanigans with a family-owned restaurant and Noah's ex, but those are pretty much beside the point.

Grade: B

I understand why it only got six mentions out of fifty sources in terms of being a 50 Shades readalike. Too Much Temptation is essentially a traditional romance novel that plays a little bit with kink (the theoretical bedroom "slave" scenario) and is distinguished by its dominant male protagonist. However, there are several similarities. Like Ana, Grace is a virgin. Noah does have the tormented foster kid backstory that 50 Shades fans will be familiar with, and perhaps drawn to. The story takes place in a setting of wealth and privilege.

The parts I liked about this book had no bearing on its relationship with the E.L. James books. I liked that Noah talked with Grace about her body and how she saw herself, and how she slowly gained confidence, especially sexually. I liked that the relationship between Noah, Grace, and Agatha was thorny and complicated. I liked that Grace actually had to find a new job, and that she pursued it even though she knew it would make Noah frustrated. It was an enjoyable read, and I'd definitely read the sequel featuring Noah's half-brother.

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