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Tempted by You by Tiffany Clare
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Tempted by You

by Tiffany Clare

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Originally published on Tales to Tide You Over

Tempted by You has a complicated storyline with compelling characters I enjoyed reading about. The focus on music made for a wonderful connection between Rosa and Teddy, especially since it offers a glimpse into the minds of musical geniuses. When I reached the end, I was sad to let them go.

That said, I had a few quibbles in the read mainly because it felt like the story was trying to be too much all at once. On top of a fallen woman and nobleman romance with music tying the two together heart and soul, the book played at explicit sex enough to be light erotica and introduced a suspense element as well as a complicated back-story that shadowed the present. While any of these elements could have made for a solid book, the length did not allow for all of them to be explored deep enough to succeed. Clare made the right call, though, in focusing on the musical connection.

The first sexual encounter came too early for me because I didn’t know the characters well enough and with detailed description that made me worry the budding story would devolve into straight sex. I could not have been more wrong. The level of description remains the same, but once I knew Rosa and Teddy, it worked well into the clash between their instincts and worries, mostly hers.

Having read and written in this period, both her concerns for his reputation and his dismissal of same rang true. Plus her back-story, both before and after she became a courtesan, supports her reaction. I do, however, feel Clare was equally concerned by her past as there were several passages implying she’d been courtesan in name (and gossip) only. This muddied Rosa a bit because I wasn’t quite sure what sacrifices she’d made or whether she’d just been tarnished by gossip.

The suspense aspect is the weakest because there are many places where a deeper meaning is implied only to have no real conclusion. Personally, I would have eliminated that aspect rather than having it fold in on itself, but others might be satisfied with how it played out.

So with these issues I mentioned, why do I recommend the book?

The music is a big part of it, but also a heroine who has made the hard choices to survive and suffered for them. Rosa is neither the innocent victim of fate nor untouched by the mistakes she’s made. It makes her a stronger character with real depth so that the reader understands why she does what she does even when it’s the wrong answer.

Teddy, on the other hand, is a man of conviction. It takes a lot for him to give up, and even then, he leaves the door wide open for Rosa to step through and plans more subtle ways to break down her walls beyond direct confrontation. It makes him likable, even lovable, because he refuses to stand aside when he sees a situation in need of correction.

Tempted by You had a lot to offer, and the weaknesses boil down to attempting to offer too much rather than a significant flaw. While it could have been a stronger book without so many other elements, perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps everything was necessary so I’d understand their journey, especially Rosa’s. Oh, and what I didn’t mention is that Rosa is blind. This is a beautiful element that blends smoothly into the story and offers wonderful moments like when she asks to “see” Teddy for the first time.

P.S. I received this title from the author through NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  MarFisk | Aug 22, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0993719619, Paperback)

Nothing to lose . . .

As a renowned pianist, Rosalie Montgomery had the world at her feet until a tragic accident took it all away. She lost so much—her fiancé, her dreams, and her sight. But Rosalie refuses to let her blindness define her, and she becomes a sought after courtesan. When her brother goes missing, Rosalie will do anything to find him—even if it means risking her heart.

Everything to gain . . .

Thaddeus de Burgh is on the brink of becoming a great composer. Except that future depends on the success of his newest concerto, if he can ever finish it. When he hears Rosalie playing the piano, Thaddeus knows he’s found his muse. He offers to find her brother if she helps him with his music. It’s a perfect solution so long as he doesn’t fall for her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:13 -0400)

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