Pure Temptation, by Vicki Lewis Thompson

>> Sunday, November 03, 2002

I read Pure Temptation, by Vicki Lewis Thompson yesterday. She's becoming one of my favourite category authors; I think I'll have to read some more of her books (oh, what a hardship!!).


"Tess Blakely's innocence is getting downright embarrassing. But growing up in a small town with four very big brothers... well, she might as well have been wearing a chastity belt. She's read loads of books about sex, but now she needs some hands-on training. And her best friend "Mac" MacDougal, looks like the perfect teacher...

Mac can't believe the sexy siren propositioning him is the girl he's known forever. Suddenly Tess is on his mind, in his fantasies... and setting the sheets on fire in his bed! And he's thinking about keeping her there indefinitely. But Tess is supposed to leave at the end of the summer. And Mac can only hope their blazing nights together mean more to her than research..."

At first glance, this sounds like the typical contrived Harlequin. A 26-year-old virgin, who has to find a way to lose said virginity pronto. But the reason I loved this book, and it gets a B+, is that it's very different from the rest. For starters, there is a very good explanation for why the heroine is a virgin, and her attitude towards it makes sense. This is no naive girl, who's been dead beneath the waist until she kisses the hero. She hasn't had the opportunity to do anything, though she would have been interested in doing it. And I identified in how she thought of her virginity as just something to get rid of. Maybe this is not very realistic to some women, who see it as a gift, yadda, yadda, yadda, but for me, it makes a lot of sense.

Another difference, and an element which I loved and which was present in Acting on Impulse too, was that both protagonists liked their small town, but saw its defects and prefered New York. It was very refreshing to see the heroine leave the hero, because she didn't want to give up her dream (actually, he never asked her to stay, so she didn't really make a choice like that, but it was still good) and the hero refuse to even ask her to stay, for the same reason. And I loved that Mac wasn't crazy about his land, as all heroes seem to be, and wanted to go to New York too.

I adored Mac and Tess together. They know each other very well, and the fondness they have for each other shows in all their interactions. And when they finally get together, they're HOT!

The only thing that didn't work for me here was how Tess and Mac tolerated some of the more extreme interfering by their families and neighbours. I couldn't believe how Tess's whole family felt they had the right to just walk into her house, without knocking. Lock the door, you idiot! You have the right to walk around naked in your own house, if you want! Same thing with her brothers. Their sexist attitude really bugged me, so I couldn't like them at all, which I suppose is what the author wanted. Oh, and it felt a bit weird that Tess and Mac returned to Coppersville so soon after leaving. It would have been better that they'd stayed some more years.

But that were small nits, in an otherwise very enjoyable book.

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