Welcome to the Temptation Blog Tour! My stop includes a review of Temptation, an interview with author Kathryn Barrett, and giveaways.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Publication Date: 2/13
Source: Received from publisher for review
Laura Hayes has been acting since she was an infant, making Hollywood the only home she has ever known. But when she moves to Pennsylvania's Amish country to film her next movie, she discovers there's more to life than a pair of Jimmy Choos and a Marie Claire cover.
Intrigued by the Amish simplicity, she's soon gardening and baking plum pies—and enjoying it. And when her neighbor turns out to be the local heartthrob and a talented furniture maker, she realizes that what's missing from her life might be the love of a good man—not to mention the perfect heirloom tomato.
Jacob fights the urge to question the teachings of his Amish beliefs—despite his desire to create furniture that is beautiful as well as useful—and struggles with his longing for the sexy stranger who makes him feel truly alive for the first time. As his attraction grows, so do his doubts, until he's forced to face temptation and decide once and for all what is truly worth the fight.
A story of forbidden love, self-discovery and following your heart.
I had a good feeling about Temptation from the moment I read the synopsis. I mean, what's better than reading a tale of forbidden love, right? But Temptation is more than a story of two people who should have never crossed paths, let alone fall in love. It is a story of questioning: questioning your choices, your path, and your faith. I found it to be quite beautiful and intensely provocative.
Temptation asks "What happens when a Hollywood actress falls in love with the Amish man next door?" The answer? "It's complicated." One of the many aspects I loved about the story was, it never felt contrived, or like a huge stretch to believe Laura and Jacob could actually fall in love. Laura, who is in town to shoot a movie, isn't the conventional starlet. Acting since she was a baby, she wants more; a home, personal fulfillment, love. Sensing should might find this in Pennsylvania, she buys a home among the Amish community. Jacob, being a kind man who wants to be a good neighbor, helps Laura as she learns to take care of a home and garden. A talented furniture maker, Laura buys some of his pieces, and they begin to form a friendship. This is frowned upon among an unmarried man and woman, forbidden between an Amish man and English woman. As Jacob and Laura become closer friends, it's apparent that the two could, are, fall in love. Laura wants to be with Jacob, to build a life with him. Jacob, though he loves Laura, is bound by his duties to God, family and faith.
I was so wrapped up in Laura and Jacob. Laura is looked upon as a temptress, and she sometimes is. She quickly falls in love with Jacob, and is desperate to be with him. She walked a fine line of showing him what they could have together, and pushing him too far. Laura is so lonely. She should have this huge, glamorous life, but what she wants is true love. What's really interesting, and helped keep her from becoming a too much was that she didn't want Jacob to leave his religion for her, she wanted him to do it for himself.
Jacob was simply wonderful. I feel weird saying this, but I've never considered a deeply religious man to be a really good leading man in a story. That's not a knock towards religion, I grew up in a religion that is very strict (no dancing, no music in church, etc.). But the author did a wonderful job of portraying Jacob as simply a man. A man who is ruled by his beliefs and duties, but still human, with doubts and desires. Jacob has always been content with his life. A widower with a young son, he has found his calling in building magnificent pieces of furniture. When he meets Laura, Jacob feels the passion that has always been missing in his life. And when the church elders forbid his making of beautiful furniture, Jacob obeys, but loses a piece of his soul. He begins to question everything in his life. Does God really care if his work isn't Plain? Is what is on the outside (approved clothing) more important than what is in a person's heart? Why can't he love a woman outside of his faith? Jacob's spiritual journey was so beautifully written, showing a man who decides whether or not to follow his heart.
Temptation held my heart while I read it. I know that sounds melodramatic, but guys, I put my whole heart into reading books this good. I wanted Jacob and Laura to get their happy ending, but I also wanted Jacob to be true to himself. To make the decision not only for the woman he loves, but also because it is what's right for him. Doing otherwise wouldn't have him being the man Laura has fallen in love with. Kathryn Barrett handled these decisions perfectly, and did her characters justice. It's unclear until almost the very end what Jacob decides, but once that time comes, it is perfect for the characters and the story. And what an epilogue!
Temptation was a enchanting story of a forbidden love, and choosing to take a bite.
He didn't want it to end, the afternoon, or the kiss. He brought his hand up, holding her chin in place while he kissed her more thoroughly. If he was giving in to temptation, he'd darn well get a good taste of it. ~eARC, 26%
His eyes opened slowly, his clear blue gaze settling on her.
Laura looked right into his soul, and saw something she'd never seen before: honesty, and honor, and uncompromising integrity.
She could spend her life with him--wanted to spend her life with him. The knowledge rocked her, then settled over her life warmth from the sun. ~eARC, 48%
"Do I scare you?"
His eyes raked her, lingering on her belly, her breasts. "Yes, you scare me, Laura Hayes. Ever since I first saw you, I knew I was in trouble."
A grin crawled across her face. "I know," she said, circling his nipple with a delicate fingertip, "and you are..." ~eARC, 80%
INTERVIEW with KATHRYN BARRETT
Describe Temptation, Twitter-style
KB: What happens when a Hollywood sweetheart falls for the guy next door, a talented Amish furniture maker?
Did you have a specific inspiration for Temptation?
KB: I didn’t have any specific inspiration for Temptation, but as I wrote, bits and pieces of inspiration came to me almost serendipitously. For instance, when I wrote the first scene in Jacob’s workshop, I wondered what book might be on his desk, and it turned out to be a biography of Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect. This told me a lot about Jacob, and what sort of furniture and homes he dreamed of building.
The Amish culture seems to be receiving a lot of attention now, especially from reality shows. Did you do a lot of research into the lifestyle?
KB: Yes, I did, but all my research was before the current crop of reality shows. I was quite surprised, and saddened, to see what seems like exploitation of the Amish in those shows. I actually visited Amish country in Ohio and spent some time in their homes and even got a buggy driving lesson! They were all very polite and kind, even when they learned I was writing a book about them.
Do you have a favorite genre to read? Can you recommend a book?
KB: My favorite genre is contemporary romantic comedies, a la Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I devour her books! My favorite is First Lady, or maybe The Great Escape. Or Dream a Little Dream. Or maybe This Heart of Mine…
Is there a message you'd like readers to take away from Temptation?
KB: Follow your dream. It took Laura tempting him to convince Jacob to follow his dream of making furniture that wasn’t Plain, and to build the house that he dreamed about during long church sermons.
Have any of your readers had to be urged to follow their dream? I’d love to hear their thoughts in the comments!
Thanks to Kathryn for stopping by. I loved her answers, which are as thoughtful as her book.
About the author
Kathryn Barrett has been writing women’s fiction since the day her youngest daughter left for pre-school. All was going well, until she read a book called “30 Mistakes In Fiction Writing” and realized she was making all of them.
One by one, she’s overcome the mistakes and learned to make a few more along the way. “The best way to learn to write is to write,” she says. “Period.”
Kathryn lives near London in the enchanting countryside of England. When she’s not writing, she’s busy training a rescue dog, tramping around archeological ruins, and occasionally making wine runs to France. Because nothing fuels the imagination like a good Bordeaux.
Connect with Kathryn at:
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Purchase Temptation at:
First up, Kathryn is giving away signed bookmarks. I will select one random commenter for that prize. Open Intl.
Kathryn is also giving away a Kindle Paperwhite. Fill out the form to enter.