Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

by Karen Ann Hopkins
Publish: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Available: Amazon

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 forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.

Temptation is not a book for everyone. Yes, it is a sweet romance, but it also walks a very fine line with its message to young girls. I think when a lot of readers see an Amish / Non-Amish love story they have the assumption that the Amish person will give up their life style to be with the other person, or that the two will find a compromise between life styles.

In Temptation, Noah and Rose don't have the luxury of being adults and being able to handle the consequences of breaking the rules. Noah has no interest in entering into an "English" life, and Rose doesn't know if she can handle the Amish life, yet they are forced to choose.  They both decide they are willing to try the other's way in order to be together. This is where I think a lot of readers will struggle with the story. They won't struggle with Noah giving up his Amish ways, because there is a judgement people place on the Amish for being uneducated, old fashioned, and a male dominated culture. But the idea that Rose would consider giving up her education, equal rights, and chance to live in a technologically advanced society will infuriate many readers. I'm one of those that can see that both life styles have their advantages and disadvantages, so for me it wasn't a question of whether they were making the right choice, but whether they were making a realistic choice.

I loved the characters of Rose and Noah. Rose is lost after the death of her mother, and then a move to the country. It seemed natural that she would fall for a handsome, older, good boy. He's off limits due to his religion/culture, yet he's also safe in that those beliefs will keep him from pressuring her. There are times when she is a whiney, manipulative teenage girl, but that's what she is and those reminders are what makes her actions and choices hard to stand behind. Noah is content with his Amish life, he loves working his farm and attending church sponsored events. Rose is the only thing he desires that he can't have. He lives the Amish life without apologies, and it dominates his character. He is sweet and loving, he is considerate and charming, but there is a part of him that wants to control Rose. It's a control that he feels is a natural part of a relationship and that if she understood Amish ways she would control herself. It is definitely interesting to see him struggle with the knowledge that Rose doesn't want to be controlled and it is actually that uncontrolled part of her that attracts him.

I give fair warning that I cried for about the last third of this book. And that ultimately is why I rated it 5 stars. Whatever I thought about the choices made by Rose and Noah, their story was well written and drew me in. I was a bit surprised to discover that this is a sequel, but I'm glad it is, I am really interested to see how Rose and Noah deal with the consequences of their decisions and how it effects their relationship.

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