Because who can resist a story about an overweight 25-year old virgin and an attractive, successful hero, who want each other in every hot, wet and dirty way?
Grace Jenkins has been attracted to her elderly employer’s grandson, Noah Harper, for years, but he’s been oblivious and engaged to someone else. When his engagement ends under mysterious circumstances, Grace knows he doesn’t deserve to be disowned by his grandmother over the break-up. She visits him to offer her support and ends up in his bed, knowing he isn’t interested in a relationship. Noah and Grace soon realise that they want more, but Noah’s grandmother wants him back with his fiancée and Grace back on the payroll and away from Noah.
This was a book that made a huge impression on me when I first read it about 6 years ago (when I was new to contemporary romance) and one that I’d meant to reread long before now.
Grace is an overweight, shy, 25-year old virgin but has a lot of spine, loyalty and the ability to let go of her self-consciousness over her weight and nudity at those crucial moments, while Noah is tall, attractive, successful and well-built. On paper (no pun intended), they seem to be mismatched—he’s the type of hero I’d expect to be interested in someone with Grace’s weight and inexperience only in a romance novel. But there are times when it’s easy to see how Grace might appeal to him. She stands up for him when the people closest to him turn against him and is much more responsive to his attentions than his fiancée ever is.
I’m conflicted over whether or not I buy the handling of Grace’s weight and her shedding of inhibitions, where a woman who sees herself as unappealing to men gets so swept up in lust that she forgets how she believes men perceive her. On the other hand, if she was hung up about it, the story wouldn’t have been able to advance as well as it did and the sex scenes wouldn’t have been good at all, and they were very, very good. After a lacklustre response from his fiancée, Noah wants a woman who wants him in every hot, wet and dirty way and Grace definitely fits that bill.
I also found her bone-deep belief bordering on hero worship of Noah’s inherent goodness to be rather naive, even if she was proven right through the course of the book. She accepted Noah’s sex-only proposition and I kept thinking, If he wasn’t your hero in a romance novel, he could have easily knocked the rose-coloured glasses off your face and the stars out of your eyes. Foster’s handling of her hero is quite similar to a regency ‘rake’ who is always a gentleman no matter how uncivilised everyone but the heroine (and maybe the hero of the next book) believes him to be.
My conflicted perceptions aside, I really enjoyed the chemistry between Grace and Noah and especially seeing Grace , who believed herself to be unattractive to men, manage to attract someone who genuinely cares for her, and as her confidence grows, she becomes attractive to other men besides Noah (not that she wants or needs them).
Yay or Nay?
Even after rereading with older and (hopefully) wiser eyes, I’d still definitely recommend Too Much Temptation for the romantic and sexual chemistry between Grace and Noah.
This book was originally published in 2002 (ISBN: 9780758200846) and reissued in December 2007.
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