Is it adultery when it’s not a secret? When there are rules? Can you be unfaithful to someone who’s given his permission?
A while ago I read my first Megan Hart book, Broken and it is one of the best books I’ve read. I then went on to read Dirty and Stranger (I must space her books out, they take so much out of me) and I enjoyed them. Dirty was really, really good. Stranger – I didn’t like Sam as much, but Jack completely stole my heart.
By chance, I had Tempted in print sitting on my bookshelf, I had found it at a used bookstore awhile ago. So I picked it up a few nights ago, intending to read the first chapter before bed. Ha! Three hours later, I was an emotional wreck and stayed up half the night with anxiety. See, somehow Megan Hart writes words that seem more powerful than other books I read. I can’t explain it. Her characters are flawed and realistic. Things are not always sunshine. In Tempted, James and Anne have been married a few years. They are happy. They have a good sex life. As always, her sex scenes are edgy and an integral part of her storylines. But as you read, Anne isn’t 100% head over heels in love with her husband. Oh she loves him, and respects him and has found friendship with him. But I think at one point she says something to the effect, she “chose” to fall in love with James. She didn’t free fall into love with him. In your standard romance book, this would never be the case. You would never look upon your spouse with any doubt. But Megan Hart writes gritty. And I thank her for that.
James’s best friend from college who he hasn’t seen for many years, comes home from overseas and needs a place to crash for a few weeks. James is ecstatic to reunite with his friend. Anne is not so sure. James and Alex have a very interesting past. It is hinted that Alex has fooled around with men. He comes off as a charming playboy. James can’t get enough of him. (as a friend)
All of a sudden, the three of them end up together in bed, with James’s permission, Alex is allowed to basically do anything he wants to Anne except have sex. But even without the sex, feelings become confused. And here is where Megan Hart shines. It’s probably the most realistic ménage I’ve read.
Until he gave me Alex, I hadn’t realized something was missing but until he gave me Alex I didn’t know I wasn’t the only one who missed it.
James misses and falls for Alex, just as much as Anne does. And it’s not necessarily sexual with James and Alex, although Megan Hart rides that fine line real hard. They stand too close sometimes. It’s always in the back of Anne’s head. Does her husband really want Alex? It’s not over done, but stressed just enough.
And Anne realizes, Alex instinctually knows Anne better after meeting her for a few days than her husband recognizes her needs after years of marriage. Confusion blooms. Doubts come to the forefront. Feelings of love and anger start to grow. It gets realllll messy.
At the end, there is peace, but as I like to say – it is a Megan Hart type peace. It’s not a perfect end – as in everyone is riding a unicorn and there will never be a bad day again. But it is a perfect end – as in, feelings have been hurt and now there is peace to rebuild a future.
I have one niggle. At the very end. I’ll put it under a spoiler tag but it may be talked about in the comments section.
So Broken and Tempted devastated me (in an amazing way). Dirty and Scandal hurt me almost as much. I think I’ll try Naked next and I also want to read Pleasure and Purpose. Okay, I will eventually get through her entire back list. But I need time to recover!