Tempt Me Tonight
Toni Blake’s latest comes across as your typical small town romance laced with erotic undertones. But there is a telling message underneath the hot sex: How do you forgive and trust again the one who betrayed you?
Trish Henderson has finally returned to her small hometown of Eden, Indiana, to help with her parents’ retiring from running the local diner. At 32 she is a big city lawyer who broke away from the small town life. The night before she went away to college, she almost gave her virginity to her childhood sweetheart and possible soul-mate, Joe Ramsey. But she was afraid and felt the time wasn’t right. She soon learns from her best friend that Joe turned to the town slut after Trish wouldn’t give it up. He broke her heart and because of it, she hasn’t returned for fourteen years.
She runs into Joe during her first night back in town, and all the underlying passion and heartache she feels for him is still there. Joe has gone on with his life, but the minute he sees Trish, all his memories flood back and he wants to pick up where they left off. But he hopes this time will be with more than just making out.
Trish was emotionally scarred for all men after Joe’s betrayal, which I found extreme. I wanted to scream at her to get over it and, had I been her, I’d have said good riddance and welcomed those college boys with open arms. As for Joe, I was prepared to dislike him on the spot, but the author presents him in a redeemable light. He made a mistake, but he has a conscience and realizes what he did was wrong. He doesn’t make excuses or worse, blame Trish. And while the author makes too big a to-do about how the incident affected Tess in the past – and continues to affect her after she comes home, at least she allows the two to communicate with each other and nips in the bud a big misunderstanding that creeps up between them.
What you have here is a steamy romance set in a small town setting. Trish and Joe were childhood sweethearts in every sense of the word. But with so much history between them and different lives, how can they make it work out? Joe is content owning his own garage and fixing cars. Trish loves her life as a lawyer and is still at odds with Joe deciding if she can forgive him.
A man like Joe could play dirty, but instead he courts Trish by taking her out on actual dates and lends a hand at her parent’s farm since her father is getting too old to do the work. And of course Joe is a master in very steamy sex. They engage in any fantasy you can think of. Joe even has a cute nickname for Trish; he calls her “cupcake”, and along with the name there is a very interesting scene involved some of those treats and icing.
Trish is a tough nut to crack. She realizes Joe is now a responsible man who cares for her, but she just can’t let it go. Some would say she needs to get over these unresolved issues – that are way past due. Any other woman would let it slide and give Joe everything they are. Trish makes him work for it. In the context of the story this is somewhat successful, but it almost bordered on pathological.
Fans of redemption storylines and childhood sweethearts will enjoy this one. Afterward you may want to bake some cupcakes and go walk in the rain much like Trish and Joe do during their sweeter moments together.