Title: A Touch of Temptation
Author: Tara Pammi
Publication Date: Oct 2013
Series: The Sensational Stanton Sisters #2
Reason for Discovery: GoodReads First Reads Program
I received this book from the GoodReads First Reads Program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cool, calm and collected CEO Kimberly Stanton is following hot on the heels of her scandalous sister Olivia. Not only has she revealed her (very sudden!) pregnancy, but she has rocked the international business world with the shock announcement of her marriage to outrageous Brazilian bad-boy-tycoon Diego Pereira! If rumors of huge blowout arguments, bailout money for Kim's company and dark secrets are already besetting society's most notorious couple, who can say what lies ahead for these two lovers? One thing's for sure; it'll be so much fun watching!
Kimberly Stanton is your average, brilliant, and organized CEO of her very own start-up company. Everything is going wonderful until that she discovers that she is pregnant with her husband's baby. Normally this would be fine, but they have been estranged for six years. They met up four weeks ago to sign divorce papers, and things went down a bit differently. After Kim and Diego's (her husband) quick meet-up, she had not talked to him. After she discovers that she is pregnant, Kimberly tells Diego that she is pregnant. Kimberly and Diego proceed to engage in a battle of the wills. Will they let their barriers down, be honest with each other, and allow themselves to be in love or is a final divorce in the works?
I had not read a straight-up romance in a while, and I was hankering for one. I saw A Touch of Temptation on my shelf and decided to give it a read. When I am in a romance mood, I will go to the library and check out a stack of Harlequin romance novels. I love them, because they are usually about 200 pages, and I can find a stack of romances about whatever I am craving. You want a romance with cowboys? You got it. You want a romance with a military spouse? You got it. You want a romance with a widow and kids? You got it. Harlequin has a book for everyone. It is kind of amazing.
This is a "Harlequin Presents" story. According to Harlequin: "You want alpha males, decadent glamour and jet-set lifestyles. Step into the sensational, sophisticated world of Harlequin Presents, where sinfully tempting heroes ignite a fierce and wickedly irresistible passion!" For some reason, I had thought the Harlequin Presents series was for slightly longer romance novels, not for alpha male story lines. I am not a fan of the alpha male character in romances. Sure, I like a guy who is strong and passionate; however, I do not like when the men are possessive and the man and woman spend a lot of time being cruel to one another. I am okay with a little fighting in my romance, but I do not like the marking territory fighting that tends to happen in romances with super alpha males. Diego, the romantic lead, in this story is a super alpha male. At the beginning of the book, his goal is to make Kimberly's life pretty miserable, because he is angry with her. I was not a fan of this at all. If you are a fan of the alpha male character, you will probably like his character. He just was not for me.
Outside of my dislike of Diego, the characters were well written. I was really impressed with how quickly Pammi was able to flesh out these characters. They seemed pretty believable after just a few pages. I thought the first half of the book was interesting and tight. Although I did not care for Diego, everything seemed to be going in a pretty orderly fashion. That is, Kimberly and Diego are fighting fairly regularly, but you know that eventually they are going to fall in love (I did not put in a spoiler warning, because this is a Harlequin romance novel, of course they are going to fall in love). During the first 100 pages or so, I felt myself getting into the story and feeling genuinely interested in how things were going to go.
After the halfway point, things got weird. Kimberly suddenly goes off and does something completely out of character. It was so out of character, I thought it was going to turn out that Diego was having a dream. He wasn't having a dream. After this sudden random event, Kimberly and Diego go on a little vacation and start to work things out. Although I was weirded out by the random scene, I started to fall back into the flow of things, but the story never really came back together. Kimberly and Diego resolved some of their issues, but then they kept trying to antagonize each other. They knew what set each other off, but they seemed to refuse to communicate or be understanding of each other. At the end, it felt like Pammi felt pressure to finish the book, and Kimberly and Diego suddenly worked everything out. Kimberly's sister is very happy that Kimberly and Diego are together, but I was left thinking that I was not sure at all about this.
Overall, this was not the best Harlequin romance novel that I have read. The Presents series is not my cup of tea. Additionally, the story felt like it still needed a bit of work. If you love alpha male romances, and you see this at the library, you might want to check it out. I would not pay list price for it though.
I give this book 2 out of 5 kitties.