Too Much Temptation by Lori Foster
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kensington (February 2002)
“In so many ways, Grace was taboo. She worked for his grandmother, sacrosanct in her position as personal secretary. She was a marrying kind of woman, not meant for one night or even one week of hot sex—no matter how incredible he sensed it’d be. She was earthy and real and domestic and…honorable.”
Luckily for Noah, the choice is taken out of his hands by Grace herself. This is definitely not a normal Lori Foster novel, although I believe it is one of her best and it is certainly one of my favorites. Admittedly, it doesn’t have much of a plot at all, and a conflict that should have taken backseat to some other issue, but the characters are so lovable that it’s impossible to not truly enjoy the novel.
Basically, the whole book is about Noah and Grace falling in love (well, Noah falls in love, and Grace falls deeper) and solving the conflict between Noah and his grandmother. Like I said, not much of a plot, so let’s get right on to the characters.
Grace is sweet but not in the oh-my-God-she’s-giving-me-a-cavity kind of way. She has a temper, something I often admire in the seemingly shy heroines, and she is able to control in most situations. It is only when Noah seems to need protection that she pulls out the big guns. She’s passionate and loyal to a fault, a common combination in these kinds of novels (particularly the passion part), but Grace is somehow more unique because of it. Although it may seem like I’ve just described about half of the heroines you’ve ever met, Grace really is no run-of-the-mill female protagonist.
Noah, on the other hand, is not really all that original, but that’s only because his character stereotype is so successful with the lady readers that he can be used and renamed over and over again. He’s intelligent, tough on the outside, soft on the inside, concerned about others, tall, dark and handsome. Every girl’s hero, if you know what I mean. Luckily, he isn’t the Darcy-type that annoys me so much. They’re great brain candy but horrible conversationalists when it comes to scenes with the female. In case I just lost you, I basically said that he has awesome scenes with Grace, and even with the other characters involved.
Finally, there’s Agatha, Noah’s grandmother. When Noah breaks off his engagement for legitimate reasons that he refuses to tell in order to protect his ex-fiancé (not a common thing in those kinds of situations, and an admirable, if unrealistic, trait), Agatha is outraged and immediately disowns him. She then further strengthens the tensions by firing Grace when she discovers that she and Noah are lovers. Despite these rash reactions, she truly loves Noah and wants him to remain close to her. The only things standing in her way are pride and her temper. I suppose she’s so endearing to me because she reminds me of my grandpa, but I’m fairly certain she would be endearing to others, too.
There are several other minor characters, like Noah’s brother, who are just a lovable but not so important to what there is of a plot.
This is truly an enjoyable novel. Foster, a master at creating characters, lucked out with this one. The reader is able to get hooked on the characters and their development when she fails to get them hooked on the plot. I would certainly recommend this novel to anybody looking for a good romance to just sit down and read in a couple sittings. I cannot think of anyone who would not really enjoy the experience.