Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
May Contain Spoilers
I am a fan of forbidden love stories, especially if the major obstacle is cultural. When I saw the tour invite for Temptation and Belonging, I quickly signed up. I wondered how Rose and Noah would find their HEA when so many road blocks stand in their way. Their families are against their relationship, so much so that Noah’s parents are willing to send him away to live with relatives in Pennsylvania. They want to split them up and force him to find a more suitable wife among his own kind. I was wondering if Rose would give up her privileged life to be with Noah. I know that I would have a hard time letting go of my electronics and gadgets, so I hope the zombie apocalypse is a long time in coming (at least until my Kindle is solar powered).
I am not sure how I feel about Temptation. It’s a compelling YA romance, but I thought the resolution was over simplified. Rose and her family have just moved from Cincinnati to a more rural part of Ohio, and after meeting Noah, she is smitten. So is he. Neither has met anyone like the other, and neither can stop themselves from thinking about the other. Noah has never met a girl as wild and outspoken as Rose, and she fascinates him, unlike the Amish girls he’s expected to pick a bride from. Rose finds Noah gorgeous, and she’s impressed by his maturity.
Noah is a guy who knows exactly what he wants out of life; a loving wife, a large family, and his own land to work. He loves his way of life and can’t imagine living any other way. After he and Rose fall for each other, he’s determined to convince her to convert. Though I hate to admit it, his reasons for her converting as opposed to him made a whole lot of sense. His community would help them build a house, his parents would give him some land, and he would continue to work for the family business. Those opportunities just would not be there if he left the Amish community.
Now, while I understood Noah’s thinking, my upbringing didn’t allow me to agree with it. Rose would be giving up her dream of becoming a vet in order to marry Noah and start a family, far sooner than she ever imagined she would. She would be joining a society where she would have little to no freedoms, and she would be giving up everything she owned. I wouldn’t be able to do it, and I honestly don’t know many people who could. Noah’s parents caution him, fearing that Rose will grow to resent him for giving up her former life. I think he would have done himself, and Rose, a favor to have listened to them.
I enjoyed the alternating points of view, especially Noah’s. The book was impossible to put down after the buggy accident, which was raw and emotional. The end also left me conflicted. Rose still thinks she can get Noah to change for her, which made me think that her attempts to become Amish weren’t really sincere. Overall, this is an engaging story and I want to read the next book in the series.
Review copy provided by publisher
About Karen Ann Hopkins
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.