This post may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover, book trailer, author biography, and plot summary for Playing With Temptation are courtesy of erikawilde.com.
As much as I wish I had won the book lottery and I had millions of dollars to spend on books, that’s sadly not the case. What does one do in that situation, then? They browse the free Kindle books on the Amazon Marketplace, of course! I was looking for a popular book that I could give my unique opinion on, and when I found Playing With Temptation among the highly rated books, I thought I’d take a look. The story of Logan and Raina was my first Erika Wilde novel, and I hope you enjoy my take on it.
Playing With Temptation in 85 Characters or Less
Player’s Club acquaintance/bodyguard helps adult boutique owner believe in love
Full Plot Summary
TEMPTATION HAS NEVER BEEN SO HOT . . .
When Raina Beck is given an invitation to The Players Club, all she wants is a night of decadence with a gorgeous, sexy stranger. The seductive, mysterious man she meets fulfills her deepest desires and most erotic fantasies, giving her a night she’ll never forget. But forgetting him isn’t quite so easy.
Logan Cruz prefers his women submissive and compliant in the bedroom . . . everything the independent Raina is not. Yet from the first moment he lays eyes on her, he’s determined to make Raina his. Despite her resistance.
When Logan is assigned to protect Raina from a stalker, everything between them changes. Sex becomes more than just physical, and emotions run deep. Falling in love was never on Raina’s agenda, but can she let go of the past and surrender the one thing he wants the most . . . her heart?
Unique Perspective Of Business Ownership Insecurity
Raina owns an adult boutique, and it’s been commonplace in her life for guys, their families, and their friends to be ashamed of her for her career choice. As she said, she’s perfect to have some fun with behind the scenes, but as far as a society wife? Never. It’d be scandalous. Raina’s definitely insecure over what people she cares about may think of her business and how that may affect her relationship with a guy, and that’s a perspective that I haven’t often read in books.
She started Sugar and Spice in order to help women develop confidence of their sexuality and to help improve pleasure in couples’ lives. Sounds honorable enough to me, and I give her props for having the guts to go after a potentially controversial dream like that. It was a good thought on Wilde’s part to add this dimension into Raina’s life and her relationship with Logan. I can’t say I’ve ever read about a skeleton in the closet like this one before, and I’m always in the mood for something new.
Somewhat Repetitive Language
One thing was very clear through Wilde’s writing: she wanted you to be crystal clear on how her characters felt and the details of their daily lives. Perhaps a bit too crystal clear. Even at the end of the book, for example, we were still being told about “Logan’s sister, Emily” after we had already met and interacted with her multiple times.
I noticed this mostly during the heated scenes. Wilde was quite impressive with her use of synonyms and finding different ways to say how turned on Raina or Logan was, but it was a bit overkill. There’d be multiple paragraphs detailing the feelings, which, in my opinion, detracted from the scene that was actually going on. It led to me skimming those paragraphs, something that could have been dangerous if there was a critical piece of information in one of those paragraphs. Though I understood really well how Raina and Logan felt about the other person, a good chunk of those descriptors could have been cut out without compromising the reader’s understanding.
Necessity For Third Person?
This is purely personal preference, but I find that I can relate much better with the characters when the story is told from a first person perspective. Whether it stays with one person throughout the novel or switches between the two main characters, the story then gives me an unobstructed view into the character’s mind without confusion of who’s actually thinking what.
Most third-person novels that I enjoy encompass the inner workings of a handful of characters, which would make using first-person and switching between the characters a bit extreme. Playing With Temptation was written in third person, but we really only had two characters: Raina and Logan. Even then, most of the narrative was through Raina’s perspective. As I said before, it’s personal preference, which means it’s also the author’s choice whether to write in first or third person. In this scenario, though, I would have been better able to understand and relate with Raina if the book was written through her eyes. It’s the difference between hearing a story through the grapevine and hearing a story directly from the participant. That’s a pretty big difference, in my mind.
Sex Is Like A Conversation
I remember reading one of the final scenes in Playing With Temptation when Raina finally and completely surrenders to Logan and thinking that sex is like a conversation. You can put on a plastic smile, shutter your eyes, and reveal absolutely nothing beyond surface pleasantries. You can also let down all your guards and be soul-wrenchingly open with another person. You can have a business meeting or you can get to know the other person inside and out. Which would you prefer?
Logan put the moment when he and Raina switched from something partially superficial to a deeper relationship perfectly:
He’d played this game with her before and knew she was angling to be on top, so to speak, so she could be the one in control and keep her emotions under wraps. So she could keep this encounter all about pleasure, without letting messy feelings take over. Not gonna happen tonight, because when he had Raina beneath him, he was going to make her feel everything that was changing between them. There would be no hiding from her fears and no denying what she meant to him.
This was a revelation to me. In a world where we talk about sex as intimate and emotional, yes, but generally separate from getting to know and discuss the other person’s hopes and fears, Playing With Temptation’s conclusion proved that those two acts can complement each other perfectly for an explosive relationship that consumes your mind and body, past and future, seamlessly.
Where to Buy
Erika Wilde (aka Janelle Denison) is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances for multiple print publishers.
So, why the new pen name?
As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.
Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship. I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates.