Tempt Me Eternally
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In last month’s Fabio Files, I reviewed the first half of the Kresley Cole / Gena Showalter collaboration, Deep Kiss of Winter. This month, I’ll review the second half, Tempt Me Eternally by Gena Showalter.

Tempt Me Eternally is set in the modern day, here on Earth, although it definitely fits into the science-fiction subgenre of romance novels. Aleaha Love is living with a secret; she’s able to entirely change her appearance (and even take on a whole new persona) simply through skin-to-skin contact. She’s desperate to keep this a secret from her job, seeing as how she works as an Alien Investigation and Removal (AIR) agent. Although she’s human (she’s pretty sure, at least), Aleaha wouldn’t want to find herself the target of her own coworkers.

At the book’s beginning, Aleaha and her fellow AIR agents are on a stakeout, trying to prevent a particularly nasty group of aliens from visiting Earth, when they encounter an entirely different group of aliens—this one led by the mysterious and gorgeous Breean of Raka. Through several mistaken identity scenarios, Aleaha and her group are taken captive, and Aleaha begins to suspect that Breean wants more than just information out of her. Can they work together to stop a horrific alien invasion? And will the otherworldly lust between Aleaha and Breean blossom into something more?

I have to admit that I found this book to be somewhat weak. I’m going to assume it’s because it’s the shorter of the two books in the collection; I call it the “lunch break e-books syndrome,” where the author simply doesn’t have enough space to really flesh out a good, solid plot and characters. Still, at 215 pages long, Tempt Me Eternally isn’t exactly a novella.

In preparing my review, I went back and read some earlier reviews I’d written of other Showalter books, and I was amused to see that not much had changed. She still uses far too many one- or two-word sentences, and while the sex scenes are pretty hot, they have their flaws. In this instance, Breean’s alien superpower is that he can spiritually possess people, forcing them to obey his will. And while I can appreciate that Breean is attempting to find a way around Aleaha’s shapeshifting nature, their first sexual encounter is a little too “your mind says no but your body says yes” for me. Even the barest suggestion that one of the partners is not fully consenting sets my teeth on edge.

Also, on a completely trivial and petty point, I hated Breean’s name. It sounds too feminine to me—too close to Brianna or Breeanne, and doesn’t really fit his uber-masculine description.

I would still read this book again, though—especially if I happened to re-read Kresley Cole’s contribution, since I have a feeling that I wouldn't just put the book down halfway through. Showalter does do a good job of conveying Aleaha’s terror at having her secret discovered, and she uses humor to good effect. But I didn’t quite see how it could be considered a “holiday” story, other than the fact that it’s set at Christmas time.

Still, if you found Deep Kiss of Winter in your stocking this year, you won’t be too disappointed. It might not be a perfect book, but it’s better than a lump of coal!

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