Tempted by the Storm by Maxine Mansfield

Cover_TemptedByTheStorm

Tempted by the Storm by Maxine Mansfield
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full (390 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rated: 3.5 Stars
Review by Poppy

Larksong Hammerstrike has always been just the younger sister of Princess Aryanna. Never quite as pretty or as smart, always lacking, a mere empath whose power gets her into trouble more often than not. But at Carnalval, the festival of all things sexual, she unleashes her sensual side for a night in the arms of a masked stranger. When morning dawns, Lark can’t resist a peek beneath the mask of her lover and is once again crushed by fate. The man of her lusty adventure is none other than the future Lord of the High Elves and destined to marry her sister.

As heir to the kingdom of Landis and current instructor of wizardry at the Academy of Magical Arts, Sarco Sunwalker is honor bound to rise above the temptation of the beautiful empathic student who invades his mind, body, and soul. But when sparks fly, lightning strikes, and thunder rolls, Sarco finds himself more than tempted by the storm of Lark’s passion and vows to find a solution that will prevent a war between races, fulfill an infamous quest, and win Lark’s hand.

If you like a bit of humor with your abundant sex, or a quest for your hero, Tempted by the Storm might be the book for you.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I chose to review this book, but I’m a huge fantasy lover, and enjoy adding heat to the fantasy. Heat I got in spades — from the start to the finish, this book is full of smoking hot sex and not just between the hero and heroine. Everyone seems to be getting some! Truthfully, I was surprised at how many different points-of-view we experienced and while it was never confusing, sometimes it seemed to be just for the sex and I’d find myself skipping pages to get back to the plot.

Now, the story was definitely interesting! Lovers who meet and connect without knowing who the each are, only to find out Sarco, the hero is betrothed to our heroine, Lark’s sister … but it’s even more convoluted when we discover the sister and Sarco’s brother are in love. Yet, there is a prophecy about peace, war, the end of the worlds as they know it which involves the marriage and Sarco is nothing if not honorable and determined to do what he must. Too bad he can’t keep his hands of Lark.

Enter a secret book, a quest, magic, dragons and more — all the perfect trappings of a stellar fantasy novel.

Ms. Mansfield is a very talented author. Her imagination was amazing and her skill with words beyond question. The sex scenes were steamy and well described, I just wish there had been just a few less. I was honestly relieved when the characters were separated for a time and couldn’t jump into bed (or on the desk or … )

However, the thing I think that made this a hard book for me to rate were the gnomes. They were clearly there for comic relief and were silly, disgusting, over-sexed, blunt and more. Yes, they made me laugh in spots. Yes, they had some great one-liners (all the way up to the end). But the rest of the story felt so much like an epic fantasy, that those scenes with the gnomes felt out of place. They jolted me from the story, from its intensity and from the fear and worry I felt. A bit like a cold glass of water in my face, it took away that urgency and anxiety that would have kept me from putting the book down (in fact, their love of bathroom humor, which is my least favorite form of “fun”, and a particular contest between two of them near the beginning nearly put me off the book entirely). This is probably a matter of personal preference, however, and I wouldn’t let it stop you from reading, especially if you’re a lover of fantasy. I was honestly glad I’d committed to reading this for a review, as it required me to move forward and the story got better and better as it continued.

I discovered that this was book two of a series, and I honestly wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t found out. I never once felt lost or felt as though I was missing something. Perhaps I would have picked up on certain things, or been excited about getting reacquainted with old friends, but as a newbie to the series I can honestly say this books stands alone quite well.

If you like your fantasy with a whole pile of heat and a side dish of comedy, then I can recommend Tempted by the Storm. Despite my issue with the gnomes, I’m really glad I had the chance to read this. I loved so many of the characters (including Lark’s father, surprisingly!) and was quite invested in the outcome of Sarco’s quest. The author has a talent for world-building and creating characters you’ll care about. Why not give it a try?

Comments

  1. Thank you for hosting

  2. Catherine says:

    As a librarian, I really appreciate an honest, thoughtful review. You’ve done a great job with this one. I may have to read it just for the gnomes! How interesting.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to read Tempted by the Storm, and for your review. I really appreciate all the thought and insight you put into it. Maxine 🙂

  4. That was a nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Great review! Love the sounds of this book

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