Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Twice Tempted, Holland Springs Series #1 (by Marquita Valentine)

Twice Tempted rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Release Date:  July 8, 2012
Holland Springs series rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

"Twice Tempted" is the first novel in the Holland Springs Series

How are the sex scenes?
Moderately steamy. The sexual tension makes every hero/heroine interaction simmer.

How are the story lines?
Consistent and humorous. A bit too many characters and their history for the first novel in a series, but I was never bored.

Would you read it again?
Parts of it. It's a long book, so probably not the entire thing.


Twice Tempted by Marquita Valentine is a contemporary romance.

Romance author Zoe Ambrose heads to Las Vegas for a book signing. Accident prone and living life on the safe side, she's encouraged by her sister-in-law to let loose and find "...a man. Or five." Little does she know that Zoe's already found her man, and lost him the very next day.

Actor Christian "Ian" Romanov is a reformed drug-addict determine to use his success and millions for good, but old pictures with Photoshopped date-stamps threaten to ruin his new image and his endorsement of the Back to School organization. His agent requires he fix this by dating a normal woman or she'll not represent him, leaving his reformed image to be ruined yet again.

An accidental run-in has Christian pursuing Zoe all around Vegas, but she wants nothing to do with him or his conceited movie lines or his seductive smile and stalking-ass press.

He doesn't even remember her.


Twice Tempted reads like a romantic comedy and kept me laughing the entire time. From the start, someone's telling the heroine to find someone fun.
"That's your advice: get laid? This conversation is quickly going the way of cliched romance novel opening."
That may be true, heroine Zoe, but a funny cliche it is. And very appropriate.

Zoe is clumsy and exceedingly lucky [to find her dream man], making her the ultimate cliche for every romantic comedy heroine everywhere.

Sure, she isn't the only person to get lost in an airport, be sprayed by a fountain, have her suitcase stuck between motion-censored doors and have her luggage lost.

But toss in her bumping into Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, and then being pursued by Mr. Right continuously until she stabs him with her steak knife and relents...

Yes. Yes I think she's the only person to have experienced that.

Christian is the cliched playboy: a Russian second son set to inherit his family's money, yet not the title, and is content to make his millions being an American actor. He's been everywhere, done everyone and now decides he has finally found the one in Zoe.

Despite these traits being unlikeable, you can't help but like him. He knows he's messed up and he knows Zoe's too good for him. He also says the dumbest things and quotes his movie lines to her, assuming she'll fall like every other girl.
"You smell delicious, Zoe.  Good enough to eat and I haven't had any dessert...yet." 
"I get the distinct feeling there's more than meets the eye when it comes to you." 
"Why don't you follow me on Twitter?  I could tweet our picture."
Zoe calls him on his moves, don't worry. But my favorite conversation between these two destined-to-be love birds?
"North Carolina." 
"Small town?" How serendipitous would it be to land at McCarran and find his small town image remake at the airport? 
Her fingers paused [on her cellphone] and her brows drew together. "No, it's a state." 
Oh, good God, she thought he didn't know... 
This defines their entire relationship.  Christian searching for an in, trying to be suave and impressive...while Zoe is preoccupied with anything other than him and thinking he's the dumbest thing since...well, ever.

I would love this story, except:
* There are some editing issues.  Ms. Valentine did hire professionals and she's always reading her manuscript for typos and flaws. (Not her fault, but the story still pays);

* Zoe has many siblings whom we mostly meet all at once and I got lost in the conversations; and

* The Holland Springs legend kinda comes from nowhere and reads like it should be cut from the story. For being the series's name and central theme, I'd have liked for it to be introduced sooner.
Do these things make it a bad novel? Not even close.

Will I continue with this series? Most certainly.  I really want to know how the hero of Valentine's next book, Third Time's a Charm, ends up dead in a tobacco field.

Fine, almost dead...

Learn more about Marquita Valentine and her upcoming titles on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Published by Marquita Valentine.
Disclaimer:  No compensation was received for this review.  eARC provided by Marquita Valentine.

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