The Tempting, by Lisa Harris

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Tempting, by Lisa Harris (aka Bethany Campbell) sounded weird but interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try.

DO YOU HAVE A SECRET FANTASY?

Carol Glendower does. More than anything, she wants her husband back -alive and well and with her.

Theirs had been a storybook romance. Evan was handsome, sexy... perfect. And extremely tempting. Within one short week of meeting, they were married. But soon, too soon, Evan was gone and Carol was alone.

Then one day a mysterious black cat arrives and shows Carol how to find Evan. Is it a dream or a nightmare? Or worse, is it real?
What a weird, wonderful book! The Tempting may well be the most original category title I've ever read. It's not perfect, but I'd give it a B+.

This book was so different that, actually, I'm not really sure if I should call it romance. It's more an exploration of how far a woman is willing to go in not letting go of the love of her life. If there is a romance here, it's in the flashbacks to Carol's and her dead husband, Evan's whirlwind romance and the short months of their marriage. Harris does a very good job here in showing the huge, larger-than-life nature of their love. It really does feel as a love that could transcend death.

Whatever, romance or not romance, it was a fascinating read. I couldn't stop turning the pages, and I found Carol an excellent character. The atmosphere was also wonderfully done, suitably creepy and mysterious, even frightening sometimes.

The Tempting would have been an A book, were it not for an ending which was a little disappointing to me. I thought it was at odds with the rest of the book, that it felt a bit like a cop-out, actually. It was also the last thing I was expecting, and I do like being surprised, so it wasn't that bad, though ;-) The main thing that bothered me (and excuse me for being cryptical, but this is one book one should go into without knowing much about it), was that it felt a bit too literal, when I was expecting something more symbolical. Hope this makes sense to someone who's read the book!

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