Tempt Me by Shiloh Walker
Contemporary Romance released by Shiloh Walker Inc. Feb 15, 2011
She’s a temptation he can’t resist…
Roxanne ‘Rocki’ Monroe’s life is full of secrets and hidden heartaches. Cole Stanton would love to heal her pain and chase away the ghosts of her past, but she’s just a complication he doesn’t have room for in his life.
Or so he thinks.
It doesn’t take Cole long to realize he’s more than willing to let temptation get the best of him, more than happy to deal with complications if that’s what it takes to get her.
What he has and what he needs are two different things…and what he needs is Rocki.
Rocki Monroe is a heroine many people will like. She’s smart, savvy, and strong willed, but human. Rocki also owns her own lingerie store, and designs many of the products sold. I liked that she had well developed interpersonal relationships and a core group of friends. Rocki is independent, but knows when to ask for help. She’s happy with herself, and that’s a character I think we can all enjoy reading about. Her warmth and personality come through clearly, and within the first few pages, if not chapters, you know exactly what kind of person she is – and would love to have a friend like her in your corner.
Cole Stanton seems like, and almost reads like the perfect hero… (well, other than you know, being engaged to another woman at the start of the story), but I actually don’t feel like I know him that well. We know he’s a District Attorney (and yes, cue the lawyer jokes – there’s some of that), but otherwise… not much about him. We know he’s loaded. However, I just got the feeling it wasn’t a huge city, so… I expect Cole is independently wealthy. It seemed like he had no base. It’s hard to explain, but all I knew about Cole was how he felt about Rocki, really, and that he’s generally a good guy. That’s probably enough for most people, and it was definitely sufficient for the story, but I would have liked more. I think part of it is due to his ex-fiancee Mara – I found her to be too one dimensional. I know there are straight up evil bitchy people out there, but if it/she was so bad I don’t know why Cole stuck around so long. Yes, it’s “explained” and I understand sometimes it’s hardest for us to see the people around us clearly… Still.
There is one “throwaway” line that I loved, and I think will resonate with many readers.
“That’s because you are beautiful.” Rocki lifted a brow. “Beauty doesn’t have anything to do with the size of your clothing.”
Which she says after a woman in the store admits the corset she bought makes her feel beautiful – a nice surprise as most of the other corsets she’s tried haven’t worked for her. Speaking of corsets, perhaps it’s my unfamiliarity with them, but sometimes the descriptions were a bit lost on me, which made me sad because Rocki is almost always wearing corsets in this book. (Which is a nice touch and fitting considering her occupation…)
There’s a slight blip when an “ominous voice” is heard in a crowd, and I didn’t quite believe that. Personally I think if you know someone well, even after a period of time you’ll recognize his/her voice. (Or at least, I’ve noticed that.) Anyway, there were a few such instances that took me a bit out of the story. I’ll say the “suspense” is the sub plot, and unfortunately for me it detracted from the story. I felt that there wasn’t enough focus on Cole and Rocki. The other events seemed to diverge from Cole and Rocki’s budding relationship. I don’t want to give spoilers, but I felt an effort was made to “hide” who the “villain” was, and that it was a bit too coy.
Over all, I liked the characters. Rocki and Cole are personable, as were most of the secondary characters. As an aside, I expect some of the groundwork laid for Lacey’s story will come to fruition. The characters were very human, and they had definite depth. The interaction between Rocki and Cole was fun, and I enjoyed reading it, but for me it was missing that extra something to make it click in that “perfect story” way. There were, however, some nice touches of humor and I actually laughed a few times.
What I’m trying to say is that I liked the characters, but less so the story. I think the ending has something to do with it – it’s just a smidge too… tentative for my taste. Granted the story takes place over the course of only a few days. I guess I just wanted more about and on Rocki and Cole, not the other events that took place, with stalkers and hospital trips, etc. It would’ve been nice to see them react to each other, not to circumstances.
I can see Ms. Walker writing more stories set in this town – possibly with the characters from Tempt Me making only cameo appearances – or even just being mentioned. If you’re a fan of Ms. Walker you’ll want to check it out – it’s a novella that would be a nice read when you have a free evening.
Grade: C –