Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Tempted – Susan Arden (Playing the Edge #1)

18502404One day is all it takes to be tempted into playing the edge.

After escaping an abusive past, Eliza refuses to accept the mind-numbing existence she’s cast into. Living in the shadow of her overprotective sister, leaves Eliza suffocated and stifled, until Graham Gordon takes up residence in her yoga class and in her head. Just like that, her vanilla world is turned upside down. Graham is everything she should avoid and everything she’s ever desired.

Graham Gordon is wealthy, privileged, and harbors a secret vice no one would ever suspect. In Eliza, he has found the perfect acquisition: an innocent teacher he can’t seem to forget. During a private yoga session, Graham makes Eliza an offer she can’t refuse and teaches her what it means to submit to his every desire.

Within Graham’s powerful presence, the veils under which Eliza hides are stripped away, unlocking her inner hunger to be dominated. But will Graham’s possessive nature save her from the demons of her past, or be another experience she must survive?

My Review‘Tempted’ is the first taste of what promises to be a tempestuous relationship between Eliza a reluctant yoga teacher and Graham an ultra powerful and rich business man. This is not a ‘Fifty Shades’ story although there are some obvious similarities. The age gap between Eliza and Graham makes it  more like an erotic ‘Pygmalion.’
Eliza is easy to empathise with, although you can see why she frustrates her sister, when she seems hell bent on turning self expression into self destruction. I like the setting of this story in the world of Yoga. The first person point of view gives the story an edgy, rawness. Eliza’s emotions, fears and reactions are more immediate.
Graham is harder to like because of his overt dominance but he is a fascinating character. His point of view illustrates perfectly the depth of his controlling nature. Eliza threatens his control from their first unspoken meeting. He craves her but fears she will jeopardise the foundations of his existence.
The sensuality between Eliza and Graham is immediate. The couple’s first erotic encounters are steamy and mesmerizing and the perfect appetiser for what is to come, if Eliza accepts Graham’s offer.
Realistic emotional responses echo the story’s eroticism. The reader is drawn into Eliza’ world and can enjoy a few ‘what if ‘ moments as Eliza makes a life changing choice.
I am interested to see what happens next in this mature adult read.