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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis

Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (273 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Review by Poppy

T.J. Wilder is the perfect package of breathtaking adventure and raw sex appeal. Even better, he's about to reconnect with the one woman he's never been able to forget...

Get Your Pulse Racing

To Harley, the landscape around Wishful, California, is exhilarating, untamed, and more than a little dangerous. The same could be said for T.J. Wilder, who's invited himself along on her trek to study a rare coyote. Harley's career is riding on this trip, and she doesn't need a stubborn, incredibly sexy distraction. But T.J. is a professional guide who knows when to stay back and when to provide invaluable expertise-just like he's done since they were in high school. And Harley, as usual, is torn between throttling him and giving in to the raw attraction that's been smoldering all these years.

T.J. knows how proud and capable Harley is, but he's damned sure not letting her put herself at risk when there are illegal hunters in the area. She needs him, with the same soul-stirring urgency that he's always craved her. And here, in this beautiful place days from civilization, he'll finally have a chance to prove it-over and over again...

Don’t tell my husband, but I’ve fallen in love with another man. His name is T. J. Wilder, and he’s the incredible hero in Instant Temptation.

I’ve completely enjoyed all of the “Instant” books by Jill Shalvis, so I didn’t expect this book to be any different. Thankfully, it met and actually surpassed all my expectations. I literally could not put this book down. I skipped work, I cooked dinner with the book in hand, I even stayed up well past my bedtime in an attempt to get to the end. And the ending was worth it all. It made me choke up and get weepy, it was that packed with emotion.

This book was all about internal conflict. Both the heroine, Harley, and our yummy hero, TJ, have abandonment issues. Neither is willing to take that last step and open themselves up to being completely vulnerable to hurt again. They’ve known each other pretty much forever, and there’s an underlying affection between them that we know will easily bloom into love, especially considering the sexual tension that’s so hot it made the pages sizzle beneath my fingertips.

The author throws in some external conflict, but it’s nothing substantial – we know the fact that Harley is casually dating another man isn’t going to truly figure into things, even when she makes a list of why he’s so much better for her than TJ. It’s obvious that TJ is the only man she wants. The only man she’s ever really wanted.

I think that’s what made this story so amazing to me. The emotional angst of the two main characters is so honest and real, so completely believable and heart-wrenching. TJ is absolutely incredible. He’s not perfect, by any means. He has a temper, he’s arrogant, and has trouble staying in one place. But his heart is so huge, it all but bursts out of his chest. He cares, really cares about Harley – as a friend first, and as a woman, too. He doesn’t want to hurt her, and he doesn’t want to be hurt.

They want their relationship to be all about sex, but it’s clear to the reader (if not to them, at least not at the beginning) that it’s about so much more. Don’t get me wrong, the sex is hot, hot, hot but it’s also incredibly tender.

I can’t express how much this book affected me. I own the other two, but haven’t picked them back up to read again.... not yet, even though they’re really quite good. This book? As soon as I finish writing this review, I’m giving it another spin.

If you like your romance with an enormous amount of heart and plenty of heat, grab a copy of this book. In fact, do yourself a favor: read the entire series... and enjoy the fact that Ms. Shalvis saved the best for last.