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Tantalizing Maria (The Temptation Saga) Paperback – October 25, 2016
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From the Author
Maria Gomez married her lover's brother to give the baby she carried the name and future she deserved. Now she is widowed, and her oldest child's father―the only man she ever loved―has returned.
In prison for a crime he didn't commit, Jefferson Bay never forgot the beautiful woman who betrayed him with his own brother. When DNA evidence proved Jeff's innocence years later and he was released, he vowed to find Maria and seek his revenge.
The passion between the two has never died, but can they learn to trust each other again?
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helen Hardt's passion for the written word began with the books her mother read to her at bedtime. She wrote her first story at age six and hasn't stopped since. In addition to being an award winning author of contemporary and historical romance and erotica, she's a mother, an attorney, a black belt in Taekwondo, a grammar geek, an appreciator of fine red wine, and a lover of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. She writes from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her family. Helen loves to hear from readers.
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Top Customer Reviews
Helen does a great job of carrying the story from past to present, which is completely relevant to capture the story of Maria and Jeff. They had a strong love for one another when they were both very young, but Jeff's pride gets in the way and he finds himself in a difficult situation with his family. Decisions he makes as a young man will shape him in ways he never imagined. Because of this, Maria has to make some difficult choices of her own.
One thing that does not change is their love for one another. After some time, they both have to decide if putting their past behind them is worth fighting for one another. It's a beautiful, emotional story of lost love and never giving up!
This is the last book of this series, and it's the only one I have read and I had no problem reading it as a standalone.
Jefferson Bay is home from prison, he served over 30 years for a crime he did not commit. He is determined to claim the inheritance he was denied, but a long held secret from the only woman he has ever loved turns his world upside down. Maria has always loved Jeff Bay, but her secret just might destroy any chance they have to rekindle the love so cruelly taken away 32 years before.
This is a deeply emotional story of love, betrayal, heartache, redemption, and second chances. I teared up more than once while reading this story. I hated what Jeff had to endure and the deep betrayal that he suffered through. To be honest, I wasn't real thrilled with Maria for part of the book, her betrayal was borderline unforgivable to me. But, through flash backs to the past throughout this story I was able to see Maria's side of the story better and understand why she chose to do what she did. Jeff and Maria's story seamlessly flows through the past and the present to give a full, well written, and cohesive story.
I haven’t had the privillage of reading the other novels in the Temptation saga but that didn’t take away from this book at all.
In this novel Maria is a senior in high school and dating the quarterback. She is heading to college in the fall with him but can’t shake the feeling that something is missing between them. She likes him well enough but is not really in love.
Jefferson Bay is the black sheep of his family. He feels that he will never measure up to his older brother Wayne who is the apple of his grandfather’s eye so when his grandfather disowns him he makes sets off to make his own way. He runs with the wrong crowd and spends his time fixing his bike and working in a motorcycle garage.
When Jefferson and Maria see each other across the parking lot all bets are off. Sparks fly and it is love at first sight for both of them. After two passionate days and nights together Jefferson is already making plans for the future with Maria and that is something he has never thought about before with any woman he’s been with. Before he can set about creating that future for them Jefferson’s “friends” talk him into robbing his grandfather to get the inheritance that he was cheated out of when his grandfather disowned him. Things go horribly wrong during the robbery and a man ends up dead and Jefferson is arrested. Maria has found out she is pregnant and, thinking that Jefferson is going to jail, she seduces his brother Wayne and makes Wayne think the baby is his so that her child can have the Bay name and the future she can’t offer the baby on her own. When Jefferson finds out he gives up fighting and goes to jail for 30 years for a crime he never committed.
Thirty years later Jefferson is released from jail after DNA evidence clears him of the crime and he returns home to claim the ranch his brother left behind when he passed away. To do this he must confront Maria and their past that neither of them has been able to move past. Maria is still in love with Jefferson and Jefferson is still in love with her but will they be able to move past the secrets and betrayal that have tainted their story of true love?
I wanted to have sympathy for Maria in this story but I really saw Jefferson as the victim throughout the novel. I wanted to scream at Maria for immediately turning to Wayne to fix everything instead of fighting for the man she loved and defending him but I can see where she might have thought that wouldn’t work and she wanted to do the best she could for her unborn child. I liked the way things ended however.
I give this book four out of five stars.