With a title such as Temptation, I would have been disappointed if there hadn’t been a couple of steamy scenes. No worries, Kris Bryant totally delivered, steam and more.
After reading The Traveling Triple-C Incorporeal Circus by Alanna McFall, I needed something much lighter. The good news is, so did Kris Bryant. As she explains in the foreword, “After writing about a mass shooting, a person struggling with anxiety, and a survivor of a plane crash, I decided to write something flirty and fun”. Mission accomplished. You can always count on Bryant to write endearing and layered characters, even in stories like this one, when most of the angst comes from the not-so-simple act of falling in love.
Cassie Miller is a twenty-four-year-old graduate student whose well-off doctor parents cut her off when she quit med school after her first year to study environmental science instead. Cassie had to cut back on her way of life, move in with her grandmother (the wonderful Nana) and work as a babysitter to pay for school. Things start to look up when multi-millionaire Brook Wellington offers her a job as a nanny (complete with her own apartment, a Range Rover she can drive on her work hours and a salary high enough to pay her school fees). Brook’s six-year-old son Noah is a shy and very sweet boy, and Cassie falls in love with him almost immediately. Now, if only she could refrain from falling for his beautiful and sexy as fuck (I’m quoting) mother as well… Spoiler: she won’t, she’ll fall head over heels for the older woman, and it’ll be magnificent, which is how it goes in romance novels (and sometimes IRL too if you’re really lucky).
I don’t even know where to start on the characters. They’re all excellent, and, except for Brook’s sister Gwen, not monolithic (and even Gwen is believable, as unyielding as she seems). Cassie and Brook are the best, you’ll want to be friends with them. Cassie sees through Brook’s ice queen persona from the start, to the softie whose priority is her son’s well-being. Cassie’s hurt from her quarrel with her parents gives her a sarcastic edge, but she’s really a sweetie at heart, and I love her relationships with her grandmother and with Noah. Brook’s family is rather interesting too, from her parents to her sister and brother (who left the family business to make it on his own as a chef) to her sister-in-law. The smaller characters – Cassie’s best friend, Noah’s teachers, Brook’s ex – feel genuine too.
As I’ve written before, I’m not a big fan of age gap romances. However, I thought it worked really well here. The fourteen-year difference between Brook and Cassie is real but they are both at moments in their life where what they have in common is more important than what they don’t share and I honestly can imagine them building on that.
I needed a lighter read and that’s what Temptation is. The good news is, light can be really good too.