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Monday, October 8, 2007

Review: Welcome to Temptation

Welcome to Temptation
By Jennifer Crusie

Sophie and Amy Dempsey are just two wedding filmers trying to hop to the next level of their careers when they agree to produce a documentary of aging film star Clea Whipple's return to her hometown of Temptation, Ohio. And when the local mayor, Phin Tucker, and the police chief, Wes Mazur, proffer themselves as willing subjects for quick flings, Sophie and Amy aren't the type to object.

But things are never easy in rural Ohio, and what starts off as an esoteric art film project soon evolves into potential porn--and that's just the relationships, let alone the documentary. Clea's husband Zane turns belly-up, the race for mayor turns dirty, and Sophie and Phin turn on the heat full steam.

I enjoyed this Jenny Crusie novel, my first, from start to finish. From the moment Sophie and Amy stumble into Temptation, what follows is one laugh after another, tossed with HOT love scenes and a terrific collection of minor characters. Crusie does an outstanding job of creating a small town filled with gossip and backstabbing, adultery and lust. Sophie provides just the right amount of no-nonsense conservative newcomer, who meets her match in sexy Phin, the town’s golden boy who’ll stop at nothing to please her, both in bed and out.

Welcome to Temptation is a page-turner from the very opening pages, when Sophie and Amy make a less than impressive crash entrance to the Ohio small town, to the totally satisfying ending, when the sisters realize Temptation might be more than just a place to pass through. Steamy sex fills nearly every scene with Phin and Sophie, and humor, murder, attraction, and unanswered questions keep the reader wondering just who’s committing murder, who’s sabotaging the race for mayor, and who’s going to show up in whose bed, the morning after.

My only criticism would be that in the final third of the book, the cast of characters becomes cluttered, and the action/murders/backstabbing accelerates to an unbelievably high level. The happy ending, then, is almost too neatly and quickly wrapped up. It’s a small issue, however, and overall I’d highly recommend Welcome to Temptation to anyone looking for a humorous, steamy page-turner.

Review by Dandelion