Once Tempted - Silver Creek Series, Book 1

Author: Laura Moore

Publisher: Ballentine Books

Release Date: March 26, 2013

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5


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Following the death of her estranged husband, Tess Casari needs a fresh start.  With the aid of a map and a pin-the-tale-on-the-donkey type game, Tess finds her next destination.  She is aiming for Acacia, a densely populated town located in scenic California.  Upon her arrival while looking for work, she is pointed in the direction of the Sliver Creek ranch.  It is there that she is greeted by Ward Knowles who has the audacity to reach into her car and turn it off, just because it is spitting and sputtering and smoking like crazy.  To say that Tess and Ward get off to a rocky start is an understatement!

Luckily for Tess, Ward’s mother hires her on as her assistant and provides her with a cabin to live in.  Tess loves her new job and the beautiful countryside, but she still avoids Ward like the plague.  When she and Ward are given a job working on a wedding together, they are forced to interact with one another. They both feel a lot of heat when they are around each other, but they’ve both been through bad relationships and are a little gun shy.

Just when things start to take off between the two and they both agree to a friends with benefits type relationship, Ward’s ex-fiancé shows up on the scene to wreck havoc on their budding romance.  Although Ward wants nothing to do with his ex, he must convince Tess that his heart lies with her.

Ward is one heck of a sexy, brooding cowboy.  He wears his painful past on his sleeve and he doesn’t easily let Tess into his life.  But, when he decides that she is the one for him, he does everything possible to make her his own.  Beneath the rough exterior lies a gentle soul just waiting to shower the woman of his dreams with love.

Tess is tough as nails and is so brave to drive cross country in order to start over.  She has a rough time, at first, acclimating to life on the ranch.  She isn’t much of an animal person, but when Ward introduces her to a baby sheep, she is soon in love.  Having been through an abusive relationship, it takes a lot for Ward to win her over, but when she decides to give her heart, she does so with everything that she’s got.

There is so much to love about ONCE TEMPTED.  Everything from the way that the characters interact with one another, to all of the animals who reside on the ranch is perfectly executed in the expert hands of Laura Moore.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect story to read.  The romance is super hot and the sex is off the charts.  If you love to read Western romances with a flair for seductive cowboys and sweet as well as shy heroines, then you won’t want to miss this stellar novel.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chris Mead

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