Your heart misleads you.
That’s what my friends and family say.
But I love Noah.
And he loves me.
We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms.
It should be
ROSE & NOAH
But it won’t be.
Because he’s Amish.
And I’m not.
I have always found the Amish way of life fascinating. They are cut off from technology, incredibly entrenched and involved in their close-knit communities, and they follow verytraditional gender roles. They are also, for the most part, very kind, loving, and hard-working people. These characteristics and more were well-portrayed within the pages of TEMPTATION, and I was happy to see that Karen Ann Hopkins did her research. She is also a very talented writer, which is why TEMPTATION earned the 3 stars that it did. However, aside from the solid writing and the fact that the story line did keep me intrigued enough to continue reading until the end, there is not much that I particularly loved about this book.
I knew from the synopsos (and from reading reviews of friends) that TEMPTATION would feature a bit of Insta-love. I’m okay with that, as long as there are other redeeming qualities about the plot line and characters, and initially, there was. Rose was independent and feisty, and it was her moxie that attracted Noah from the start. Well, that and the fact that she was “English” (i.e., “not Amish”), and therefore offered Noah the temptation of the “forbidden fruit”. Noah was not the most likeable character. He had his moments, but overall, I found him to be controlling, obsessive, and close-minded. I don’t care how “hot” a boy is; if he doesn’t stimulate you intellectually and encourage you to grow as an individual, then he isn’t worth it. Probably this is what concerned me the most – the fact that Noah was so willing to let Rose throw away college plans, her passion for dancing and dreams of the future just to be with him. I know that it wasn’t too long ago that I was a lovesick teenager myself and probably did think my boyfriend at the time was “it” for me, but where does Rose’s common sense finally kick in?!
The book isn’t very plot-driven, which certainly hurts its rating in this case, depsite the fact that I usually am more of a character-focused reader. The plot in TEMPTATION seems to revolve solely around the romance and attraction between Noah and Rose, which becomes repetitive and nerve-grating after a while. They know each other for such a short time and by the end of the book, Rose is ready to leave behind her family and the modern conveniences of the “English” world for a boy who doesn’t appreciate her love for dancing and to whom she must apologize for wearing lipgloss. GIVE ME A BREAK! I did keep in mind that there were vast cultural differences at play between Noah’s world and Rose’s world, and I did sympathize with this to a point. In fact, I am dating someone right now whose culture and background are very different from mine, and we’ve encountered our difficulties because of this, but never once have I considered giving up my identity for this man, even though I love him.
Maybe I’m a bit jaded or perhaps I’m more wise – or both – but this book just doesn’t hold the appeal for me that it may have had I read it several years ago. As it is, I wouldn’t be quick to suggest that any young teen girls read this book because it’s just full of risky decisions born of raging hormones. I know there are two books that follow TEMPTATION, and I am slated to read BELONGING next. I hope Rose develops some common sense in the next book, and that Noah realizes that if he really wants to be a man he will need to develop his own beliefs and values and not just blindly follow the Amish herd.
Overall, TEMPTATION wasn’t a bad read by any means. As I stated previously, Karen Ann Hopkins is an excellent writer and the story is very well outlined and paced. I also admired the skill with which she painted each scene. Her background as a riding instructor and farmer really shines through in the descriptive prose! The actual plot and characters did not necessarily appeal to me, but I do know many wonderful people who loved this book, and so it’s just a matter of “to each her own.” I suggest that you give TEMPTATION a try, dear reader, and see for yourself!
About Karen Ann Hopkins
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A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
Special thanks to Harlequin Teen and Kismet Book Tours for allowing me to be part of the BELONGING BLOG TOUR! They are offering a super special giveaway (3 copies of TEMPTATION and 3 copies of BELONGING, as well as a fabulous surprise package) which you can conveniently enter below! The giveaway runs through the end of August and is open to US/CA residents!