Tempting Adam, by Dorie Graham

>> Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Tempting Adam (excerpt) is a Harlequin Blaze by , by Dorie Graham, an author who was, until now, a complete unknown to me.

Seducing your best friend

It starts when Lauren Bryant receives an erotic cookbook from a secret admirer. Her admirer can only be her best friend, Adam Morely—especially when his comments suggest his interest. Suddenly, she’s looking at him in an entirely new way—as a sexy, irresistible man. She values his friendship, but the gift speaks for itself. And their new sensual encounters are so incredibly hot, she’s powerless to resist. Too bad Adam’s vision of their future gives Lauren cold feet.

When Lauren propositions him, Adam is sure his fantasies have come to life. While he’s always wanted to sleep with his beautiful best friend, he’s not her secret admirer. Now he has to tempt her into a commitment before she discovers the truth…
There were many things I liked here, and the only reason I didn't wholeheartedly love this book was that I didn't believe in the resolution 100%. Still, I'd grade it a B-.

What I liked best about this friends-turned-to-lovers story (a favourite theme of mine, BTW), was the fact that it explored the issue of what happens when a man who wants to marry an old-fashioned, woman, who'll be ready to give up her career for her family and be a cookie-baking stay-at-home mom, and a woman who loves her career and isn't sure she even wants to have children, ever, fall in love and try to build a relationship.

I'll come right out and admit that the reason I liked it was that while they compromised, it was Adam who did most of the adapting. Considering the position he'd started from, anything else would have offended my feminist sensibilities and made the book a wallbanger to me. At the end of the book, Lauren hasn't decided to quit her job and begin the cookie-baking and breeding immediately. She has realized she's got to make more room for a personal life and keep her work in perspective, she's accepted that she might want to have children someday, but she hasn't magically turned into the home-cooking broodmare Adam had said he wanted at the beginning.

The reason I say I didn't completely buy the resolution was that I had a bit of trouble swallowing Adam's complete turnabout. I mean, I believe he believes he's ok with what Lauren wants, but this is a guy who, up until the age of 30, hadn't even considered that a married woman could actually want to work outside the home, not because the family needs the money but because it gves her satisfaction. I found it hard to buy that a guy like this could completely abandon these long-held beliefs, and a part of me tends to think that before long, he'll start resenting the time Lauren spends on her company, or pressuring her to start a baby right now, even though he said he'd wait as long as she needed...

Oh, well, even if this is so, Lauren was a strong enough character that I'd bet all my money on her not allowing herself to me mowed over :-)

Tempting Adam was a fast, steamy read. There were maybe a couple of love scenes too many, though, scenes that didn't really add much to the story and took up pages that could have been better used to further develop the very interesting things that were going on outside the bedroom (or kitchen, or lake-side, or pretty much anywhere). I liked all the secondary characters and enjoyed Lauren's interactions with them, especially with her mother, who had an interesting, if underwritten, little storyline of her own. I'm definitely going to be keeping Graham's name in mind and see if I can pick up some of her backlist, as this was a good read.

Oh, and extra points for not making Lauren's secret admirer a deranged stalker!

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