First Published 2000, by St. Martin's Press
About the Book:
Sophie Dempsey wants to help her sister film a video and then get out of Temptation, Ohio. Mayor Phin Tucker wants to play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. But when Sophie and Phin meet, they both get more than they want. Gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, vehicular abuse of a corpse, and slightly perverse but excellent sex: all hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble... and in love.
Okay, so I kind of stole this paperback from a friend's house we visited last weekend... I woke up too early and everyone was still asleep and there were books on the shelf over the bed... and I LOVE Jennifer Crusie! This was a book of hers I don't think I've read before and haven't been able to find... so yeah, I totally stole it. Sorry, Sarah.
Jennifer Crusie is a master of contemporary romantic comedy. Smart romance. Sassy, independent heroines who don't fit any sort of cookie cutter stereotypes. Realistic romance and plenty of hot sex without the purple prose. She is my inspiration for choosing to write in the genre and I can only hope to someday make my readers feel a little of what she inspires in me.
If you write romance, you should read a book or two from this masterful writer... If only to feel humbled by her awesome turn of phrase and her appreciation of the absurd. After reading a string of books by debut authors and mediocre writers that I'm not going to post reviews for, it was totally refreshing and wonderful to be reminded what smart romance writing can be. It's all about the emotions, the thoughts, the feelings, the word play, the human interaction. Yes, it's also about the sex, but it needs to be more than that.
There's a great line in this book - well, for me as an author anyway - that reveals some of Crusie's writing philosophy:
"The problem was trying to write a love scene and stay a lady at the same time. It wasn't possible. The minute you started thinking that writing sex was cheap and disgusting, your mind froze up and you wrote boring dreck. It was sort of like having sex. You either threw everything you had into it, or it wasn't worth the bother."
Anyway. If you've never read a Jennifer Crusie book GO GET ONE AND READ IT.
If you've read all her books, try Penny Reid's Knitting in the City series, also filled with smart, sassy, thoughtful characters (who also have hot sex and lots of emotional revelations...)
Find this book on AMAZON or at your local bookstore.