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Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Flashback

From September 2002:

Tempting by Hope Tarr. Historical romance.

I was really happy to finally read Tempting, after all the teasers we got a couple months ago. The scene where Simon rescued the cat for Christine was even better than I'd imagined it.

What a dilemma for Simon! His political ambitions are already on shaky enough ground due to his Jewish heritage, and now he falls in love with a woman he rescued from a brothel he was responsible for closing down!

And then Christine, who had to escape from between a rock and a hard place more than once. She proved herself very strong in fighting for herself, first against Hareton, then the madam, then Mr. St. John. Three different kinds of fights---the first for her life, then for her spirit, and last for her.... okay, I can't think of a good word here. But I noticed it. Not accepting Mr. St. John's offer was a fight as well, even though he wouldn't have treated her badly, and she'd have had a comfortable life, but she wanted more for herself than to be a mistress to a man she didn't love. Nice contrast when she tells Simon she will be his mistress if that's the only way they can be together.

Anyway, Hope, you're very good at putting your couples in impossible situations. I love watching them overcome all the obstacles you put in their way. It's almost like they're rats in a maze, and every time they get close to the cheese, you put up another barrier and force them down another part of the maze.

Like Annie mentioned, the humor was just right.
Tempting wasn't a comedy, but there's humor in life, and the humor in the story made it that much more real to me. One of my favorite scenes was when Simon had callers and Christine went out to work in the garden, and the callers went out to the garden and caught her at it. Such a poignant scene---I had the interesting sensation of laughing with a lump in my throat.

Margot was a wonderful friend to both of them. I felt so sympathetic toward her---just when she's thinking how she'd never found anyone better than Simon, he shows up, drunk, bent on seducing her, and she realizes it's because he's in love with Christine. So she does everything she can to help them get together. I'm so glad things looked hopeful for her and the police inspector at the end. She deserves some love and happiness.

And Rebecca---thanks so much for finding that village physician for her! I felt so bad that so much of her life had been wasted because of the attacks, and was afraid she'd go straight from a child-like dementia to spinsterhood.

I think I've covered everything I mentioned the first time I wrote this. It was much better the first time--no rat mazes, and I had a better way to talk about Christine's 3 challenges. Soon as I get that time machine working, I'll fix it.

Thanks so much, Hope, for stomping again on my illusion of the glamorous life of the romance novelist. I'll be stopping by www.hopetarr.com once I'm done here & checking out the ice breaker questions--maybe they'll jumpstart my brain a bit!
You can read the entire thread, including a conversation with the author, here.

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