Series: Dempseys

Throwback Thursday Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

Posted May 3, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer CrusieReviewer: Casee
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
Series: Dempseys #1
Also in this series: Welcome to Temptation (Dempseys, #1), Faking It
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: July 11, 2004
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Sophie Dempsey is content living a quiet life filming wedding videos until an assignment brings her to Temptation, Ohio. From the moment she drive into town, she gets a bad feeling; Sophie is from the wrong side of the tracks and everything in Temptation is a little too right. And when she has a run-in with the town's unnervingly sexy mayor, Phineas Tucker, making a little movie turns out to be more than a little dangerous.

Yield to oncoming desire...

All Sophie wants to do is film the video and head home. All Phin wants to do is play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. They both get more than they bargained for when Sophie's video causes an uproar and the proper citizens of Temptation set out to shut them down.

Welcome to temptation...

As events spiral out of control, Sophie and Phin find themselves caught in a web of gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, and really excellent sex. All hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble...and in love.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally published on June 3, 2008.

So after reading Bet Me, I checked my shelves to see if I had any other Jennifer Crusie books. Shockingly enough, I had this one. Coming down off the high that was Bet Me, you’d think that I’d go into this book w/ high expectations. Well, I did not. Holly reminded me (more than once) that Bet Me is JC’s best book. So I started this book expecting to love like it, which I did.

When Sophie travels with her younger sister, Amy, to Temptation, she has no idea what she has gotten into. What is supposed to be a documentary on a once semi-famous actress has turned into something she doesn’t want to think about. From the day she arrived and got hit by Temptation’s most vocal citizen to the day she realizes that her sister is shooting porn, Sophie can’t wait until the day she leaves Temptation. Even Phin Tucker, Mayor of Temptation, can’t tempt her to stay in a town that is bringing up all sorts of bad memories.

As for Phin, he knows Sophie is trouble the moment he lays eyes on her. That doesn’t stop him from wanting her, nor does it stop him from pursing her. What is supposed to be a week long fling doesn’t take long to turn into something more. While everybody in Temptation seems to want something from Phin, Sophie only wants sex. Phin has no problem accommodating her, of course.

While I did enjoy this book, I wasn’t really feeling the chemistry between Sophie and Phin. Or maybe I wasn’t feeling it at first. I kept asking myself why they were attracted to each other. What at first seemed forced ended up working as both Phin and Sophie realized that their feelings for each other went beyond just a brief affair.

It was also exchanges like these between Phin and Sophie that really made me enjoy the book:

Twenty minutes later, she was suffocating on top of him in the heat of her un-air-conditioned bedroom, the ancient box springs squeaking under them like a bad accordion, and her head was unbanged because the sex was lousy.

It wasn’t Phin’s fault. He was as thoroughly competent at the Phallic Variation as he’d been orally the night before. So it must be me, she thought, as he moved under her, doing absolutely nothing for her. She felt embarrassed by the whole situation. Zane had been right. She just wasn’t the type for headbanging sex. She was too detached. She was too prissy and straight. She was doing this to write a sex scene for a movie she wasn’t even sure she wanted to make. She was hot and sticky and she could feel her hair kinking in the heat even as Phin breathed under her, so she knew she looked awful. She was unexciting. Whatever the reason, it didn’t matter, she was never going to get anywhere at this rate.

She thought briefly about faking it, and then dumped the idea when she realized that Phin would probably see through it and make fun of her performance. That pretty much left her with no option except tapping him on the shoulder and telling him to play on through because she was out of the game. Sorry, she’d have to say. I’m not even close. Or she could let him figure it out on his own, except guys never did. They just—

“You’re not even close, are you?” Phin said, breathless below her, and she refocused back on him.

“What?”

“Hi, I’m Phin Tucker, and I’m inside you. I know how these things slip your mind.” He didn’t sound annoyed, but she felt bad anyway.

Sophie’s dejection literally comes through the pages. It is funny as hell to read b/c she seems to be able to find humor in just about anything. Even the fact that what she expected to be great sex is anything but. That really makes for a fun read.

So while this book was no Bet Me, it was a good read. The cast of characters could only come from a place called Temptation, Ohio. Where the mayor’s name has stayed the same for more years than you can count. Where the city council tries to pass a “no porn” law and where one man will do just about anything to beat Phin in the next election. It’s a fun, quirky read that readers of romantic comedy will enjoy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dempseys

four-stars


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Review: Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

Posted May 8, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Faking It by Jennifer CrusieReviewer: Holly
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
Series: Dempseys #2
Also in this series: Welcome to Temptation (Dempseys, #1), Welcome to Temptation
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: March 29th 2011
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 352
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who have run a respectable art gallery for generations. There's Gwen, the matriarch who sedates herself with double-crostics and double vodkas, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), and Nadine, the granddaughter who's ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn't leading off a cliff. Holding everyone together is Matilda, the youngest daughter, who's inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret that she's willing to do almost anything to keep, including break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.
Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who's justbeen ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he'll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.
One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, a painting of three evil fisherman closing in on a dyspeptic tuna, multiple personalities, miscellaneous Goodnights and Dempseys, and the growing realization that they can't turn their backs on the people they were meant to be...or the people they were born to love.
Faking It: What has reality ever done for you?

Faking It is the (not)sequel (see the explanation on Jennifer Crusie‘s site) to Welcome To Temptation, which Rowena reviewed here.

This is one of those novels I had to read more than once before I fell in love with it. The first time I read it, I was coming off the high of Welcome to Temptation and had high expectations for how this one would turn out. I was disappointed, no two ways about it.

But there’s a particular scene that stuck in my mind, so I decided to go back and do a re-read several months after reading it the first time. And you know what? I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Then, I re-read it again. And loved it even more. By my 5th re-read, my original opinion of this novel had drastically changed, and it has become one of my favorite Crusie novels.

One of the things I think Ms. Crusie excels at is writing characters with personality and depth. Davy and Tilda are both wonderful characters (from Tilda’s plug-in vibrator to Davy’s shady past) who compliment each other well. Both are quirky and fun, but have hidden depths.

The plot is an interesting and engaging one, if a bit on the ridiculous side. Though I do have to say, no one does ridiculous as well as Jenny Crusie does. As with all her novels, the secondary characters are a complete riot and fully enrich the story. I love Tilda’s crazy family and their interactions with each other.

Nadine sighed and opened a cupboard, taking down a loaf of whole wheat. “According to Grandma, there are two kinds of men in the world, doughnuts and muffins.”
“Is there anybody in your family who’s sane?”
“Define ‘sane’.” Nadine dropped two pieces of bread in Gwen’s yellow Fiesta toaster.
“Never mind,” Davy said. “Doughnuts and muffins.”
“Doughnuts are the guys that make you drool,” Nadine said, taking a jar of peanut butter from the cupboard. “They’re gorgeous and crispy and covered with chocolate icing and you see one and you have to have it, and if you don’t get it, you think about it all day and then you go back for it anyway, because it’s a doughnut.”
“Put some toast in for me when yours is done,” Davy said, suddenly ravenous.
Nadine pushed the bakery bag toward him. “There are pineapple-orange muffins in there.”
Davy fished one out. “You have a thing for pineapple-orange?”
“We have a thing for tangy,” Nadine said. “We like the twist.
“I picked that up,” Davy said. “So doughnuts make you drool.”
“Right, whereas muffins just sort of sit there all lumpy, looking alike, not chocolate icing at all.”
Davy looked at his muffin. It had a high golden crown, not lumpy at all. He shrugged and peeled the top off and took a bite. Tangy.
“And while muffins may be excellent,” Nadine went on, “especially the pineapple-orange ones, they’re no doughnuts.”
“So doughnuts are good,” Davy said, trying to keep up his end of the conversation.
“Well, yeah, for one night,” Nadine said, as her toast popped. She dropped in two more pieces for Davy and then dug into the peanut butter, slathering it on her bread like spackle. “But then the next morning, they’re not crisp anymore, and the icing is all stuck to the bag, and they have watery stuff all over them, and they’re icky and awful. You can’t keep a doughnut overnight.”
“Ah,” Davy said. “But a muffin -”
“Is actually better the next day,” Nadine finished. “Muffins are for the long haul and they always taste good. They don’t have that oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-that thing that the doughnuts have going for them, but you still want them the next morning. ” She bit into her toast with strong white teeth that were a testament to Dr. Mark.

Overall this might not seem like the best novel right off the bat, but if you stick with it and follow through, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what a gem of a story this is.

4.0 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie.

Posted May 7, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie.Reviewer: Rowena
Welcome to Temptation (Dempseys, #1) by Jennifer Crusie
Series: Dempseys #1
Also in this series: Faking It, Welcome to Temptation
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: July 11th 2004
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Sophie Dempsey is content living a quiet life filming wedding videos until an assignment brings her to Temptation, Ohio. From the moment she drive into town, she gets a bad feeling; Sophie is from the wrong side of the tracks and everything in Temptation is a little too right. And when she has a run-in with the town's unnervingly sexy mayor, Phineas Tucker, making a little movie turns out to be more than a little dangerous.

Yield to oncoming desire...

All Sophie wants to do is film the video and head home. All Phin wants to do is play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. They both get more than they bargained for when Sophie's video causes an uproar and the proper citizens of Temptation set out to shut them down.

Welcome to temptation...

As events spiral out of control, Sophie and Phin find themselves caught in a web of gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, and really excellent sex. All hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble...and in love.

At the request of someone, I can’t remember who, I picked up this book and started a reading adventure that I have enjoyed immensely. Jennifer Crusie writes witty contemporaries that are full of steamy sex, lively characters and awesome storylines that drag you along for a wild, hilariously funny roller coaster ride that leaves you sighing with pleasure and groaning with disappoint at the end of each book.

This book is no different.

I have to start this book off with the mention of that water tower. LMAO. Seriously, that water tower is so deserving of a mention in this review that it just had to be done. What’s not to love about that water tower and what it looks like, oh goodness…that’s good stuff.

The whole story is about a girl, a boy, vanilla porn and a bunch of other stuff that makes for great romance reading. There wasn’t much about this story that I didn’t like. I loved the hero, the heroine, the story and that damn water tower, LOL. That crash at the beginning of the book sets the tone of the rest of the book. There was so much laughing going on and so much fanning going on that I will forever think of Phin and Sophie when I walk into my Church and see that pool table sitting in the rec room.

Because seriously, that pool table scene was the stuff Skinemax was made of. =)

Sophie as a heroine was a fantastic match for the hero, Phin. She was the ying to his yang and I enjoyed watching these two come together. Sophie was everything I like in a heroine. She was funny, pretty and most importantly, she was normal. She wasn’t this over the top simpering idiot of a heroine nor was she was this hot headed female witch, she was just normal. I love reading books with normal characters. Characters that aren’t so unbelievably perfect that I know that I will never run in the same circles with them.

Then there’s Phin. Sexy Mayor Phineas Tucker who is the sexiest man in this book. Like Sophie, I loved the way that JC wrote Phin’s character. He wasn’t this overly masculine man who was serious all the time and was building this big empire or plotting to rid the world of evil wrongdoers. He was just a simple man with a love for pool and a warm body in his bed who he was caring about more and more as the days wore on. He had a real guys friendship, where they talked about having sex, who they were having sex with, who they wanted to have sex with and they just totally reminded me of the men in my own life and the men that I can totally see myself loving in my real life that made Phin all the more sexier and lovable in my eyes.

This book was a funny, sexy book filled with lots of the good stuff so if you haven’t read this book yet, you seriously need to fix that because this book will jump start your love of all things Jennifer Crusie just like it did me.

So rush out now and read this book!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars


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