2 out of 5 stars
Color me confuzzled.
I've read a shit ton of books. I've loved some, hated some, as well as fallen somewhere in between. When it comes to romance novels, in my experience at least, there's a plethora of books that that bring the spice but fall flat everywhere else. The sex scenes may smolder yet there is little to no (or poorly written) plot. Not uncommon. What IS uncommon though, are books like Tempted by the Devil by Cora Black. For me, it was the EXACT OPPOSITE.
I'm a sucker for MC books and while not created equally, I'm always willing to give them a shot, with my fingers crossed of course. I loved the intro. Our heroine, Charlotte, finds herself on the side of a back road with a blown tire. Along comes Uncle Wally and his MC to save the day. A deal is made, as Uncle Wally has someone in need of saving as well, and so it goes...
THE PROS-The dynamic between Ben and Uncle Wally. The rough, tough love, that is sprinkled throughout was nicely done. I would liked to have gotten more of a back story there. Those two needed more scenes together. They were my favorite, hands down. Noah was another character that I felt drawn to and just like with Uncle Wally, Ben's character really shined in scenes with this seemingly misplaced 'kid'. Another pro was Ben's vulnerability. The only problem is, it wasn't consistent. At one point, it had depth, it was intriguing and pulled me. Two seconds later, he's a petulant man-child who needs to be put in time out and possibly medicated. There's a healthy dose of high drama, angst and even true romance...in part.
THE CONS-Hands down, the WORST SEX SCENES IN THE HISTORY OF EVER, and there's a lot of it. It was cringe worthy, stomach churning, over the top cheese that I just could not deal with. Words fail me to fully express just how bad it was. It's what nightmares (and bad 70's porn) are made of. Do people really say these things? Do people really talk, yammer on THAT MUCH? Moving on. Another con was the sheer silliness of it all. Again, the idea, the attempt, had great promise. The delivery however didn't quite work. Charlotte was stepping into a foreign, sometimes dangerous and volatile, world that she knew nothing about and for a reason that would not be acceptable in that culture. Yet she can't wait to spill her shit to the first MC side piece who offers her a smoke?! Just like that and with no backlash? Come on now. She's cute, okay fine. So cute that no one bats a lash when this stranger sits in on literally EVERY SINGLE MOVE this MC conducts? Every deal and they, as well as the MC's they do business with, are all OK with it?! Again, COME ON! Finally, my last con of note is Ben and Charlotte's relationship. It felt creepy and wrong. They're relatively the same age but more times than not, it felt like she was his mother. It wasn't sexy. It wasn't cute. It wasn't for me.