Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Temptation: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Temptation is a novel I very much enjoyed recently so I’m happy to have Karen over on the blog today for a quick guest post on the Amish culture. We’ve also got 2 fabulous giveaways going on. First, let’s have a look at my review!

Temptation
Karen Ann Hopkins
Series: Temptation, #1
Release date: June 26th, 2012
by Harlequin

 

Your heart misleads you.  That’s what my friends and family say.  But I love Noah. And he loves me.  We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms. It should be  ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won’t be. Because he’s Amish. And I’m not.

*A copy was provided by HarlequinTEEN for review purposes*
The Amish fascinate me. Really, they do. Their rules, their beliefs, their antifeminist ways; a lot of if it actually seems kind of ridiculous, but regardless if you consider them as a cult, or counterculture religion, I can’t see anyone not being intrigued by their ways. This is a novel about love: Forbidden love. A love so authentic that I found myself at the mercy of a burning restlessness at thoughts of their relationship’s imminent unraveling and collapse.

The relationship that Rose and Noah have is just as wonderful as it is frustrating. It’s also genuine; how they deal with each other’s different belief system is convincing. Told in a dual perspective, we not only get to see firsthand how they both feel about each other, we also get to understand how they reason their actions, both of them having two contrasting ways of life. This is especially important for Noah’s character; I often felt frustrated towards him to tell you the truth, and I’m sure a lot will share this feeling. His antifeminist ways, his controlling nature, his selfish behaviour – in any other circumstances I would have loathed him. Loathed!. However, one can’t blame someone for their beliefs due to a culture that is so different from our own. A lot of things that seem absurd to us are simply their way of life to them. The whole Amish culture, very foreign and old fashioned, can seem exaggerated towards certain aspects; even though I may not agree with how Amish woman are treated, I understand that that is how they are raised. Thus, I do not begrudge Noah for his upbringing. Besides, you can see that Noah is a truly nice, kind person who cares immensely for Rose. He’s likeable. He’s frustrating, but he’s likeable. Funny, huh?

Rose is just a naive teenager who fell for the Amish boy. She’s the girl next door – in the proverbial and literal sense. She’s caring, sweet, naive at times, but what really wins me over is how she thinks for herself. No matter how emotional she becomes, she’ s not blinded by love – at least not foolishly. She thinks of her own well being, giving a lot of thought to her final decision. Even though I don’t completely agree that it was a smart decision, it’s easy to understand with a connection that is so thoroughly felt between her and Noah. Their chemistry is palpable, their love unmistakable; a story of forbidden romance needs these elements to work, and I can assure you I was completely mesmerized by their requited love.

The romance is at the heart, but there are other aspects that make this novel compelling. The family dynamics between Rose and her brothers, Rose and her father, and the Amish community, are all beautifully captured. There is also a scene with a pained horse that I know will stick with me.

I came into this with no expectations and finished feeling completely satisfied. We do have the formulaic forbidden romance story, but the journey is wonderfully compelling, becoming highly emotional with an interesting ending. There will be a sequel, and I’m extremely curious to see how this will… work out.

4 Hot Espressos
Guest Post by Karen Ann Hopkins

Karen Ann Hopkins’ debut novel TEMPTATION (July 2012, Harlequin TEEN), focuses on an Amish community in America:

Overall, the Amish culture is mesmerizing on many levels. The fact that it’s a growing culture, indicates that most of the children raised in these large families are choosing to remain in the culture they were born to, instead of opting out for a more convenient way of life. Seeing the buggies trekking up the road in front of my house is the most baffling of all. Although I, myself own seventeen horses and enjoy using them as recreational transportation, I can hardly imagine life without my SUV. And to think, there are generations of Amish people living out there who’ve never pressed the gas pedal before. Every day, I find new questions to ask my neighbors. Sometimes I get a straightforward answer and other times the randomness of an answer or complete avoidance of the question reminds me that I’ll never fully understand the culture…and maybe that’s one of the things that intrigues me the most about the Amish. 

 
Karen’s Website / Goodreads / Facebook
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.

 This post is a part of:

Full tour schedule:
Monday, June 25th – Ravenous Reader
Tuesday, June 26th – Xpresso Reads
Wednesday, June 27th – Harlequin Blog
Friday, June 29th – Page Turners
Monday, June 2nd – Evie Bookish
Wednesday, July 4th – I Like These Books
Friday, July 6th – The Cozy Reader

Giveaway 1
As part of the blog tour, one finished copy of Temptation was provided for giveaway
Open to US/Canadian addresses
Giveaway ends July 2nd, 2012
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter
Giveaway 2 
Harlequin Romance Pack Blog Tour Grand Prize
Open to US/Canada addresses

Includes: 
1 copy of TEMPTATION by Karen Ann Hopkins, 
1 copy of SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington, 
1 copy of INSIDE by Maria V. Snyder, 
1 pair Harlequin socks, 
1 red Harlequin bag, 
1 large Harlequin notebook,
1 small Harlequin notebook
1 pack of 3 Harlequin notepads 
How to enter:
Enter daily tour giveaways! All giveaway entries for Giveaway 1 will also count as entries into the Grand Prize. Therefore, make sure to visit all the stops on the tour for more giveaways that will get you more entries into the grand prize!
(Tour schedule found above)

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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46 Responses to “Temptation: Review, Guest Post & Giveaway”

  1. Nick

    I watched an episode of Bones once that featured an Amish community and I was absolutely taken aback. I didn’t know much about them, so I found it to be so shocking that in a world so modern and technology-ridden they were able to survive in such an old-fashioned way. I think I saw this book some time back on NetGalley, but I forgot to request it. Your review just made me regret that I didn’t, but I’m probably going to purchase a copy for myself. I would love to learn so much more about this community and this books seems to deliver exactly that.
    Lovely review, Giselle. 🙂

  2. Sarah (saz101)

    Giselle, your review is PERFECTION! I wasn’t truly that interested in this one before reading your review, but now? Oh my word. It sounds beautiful and heartbreaking, and I MUST pick up my copy and get cracking! LOVE!

  3. Amy

    I am a bit fascinated by the Amish too!! This books sounds really good. I passed over it on NetGalley only because I didn’t have time to read it before the publish date. It is still a book that I really do want to read though. Fantastic review and great guest post!! I used to have a horse too! Not seventeen of them though. 🙂

  4. Meg K.

    I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one! I find the Amish culture pretty intriguing as well–they don’t even use the internet (and I don’t think I’ll be able to survive without internet, you know. :P) or any of these modern stuff. Ooh! Sounds like juicy romance! 😀

    The only thing I’m worried about is the sequel. I hope it lives up to its expectations!

    Great review, Giselle. I’m gonna have to check out TEMPTATION soon. 😀

  5. Jasprit

    The Amish community always fascinates me too! I remember seeing this book up on netgalley, and despite some really good reviews I didn’t request it but after your review I wish I had! 🙁

  6. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I agree that they lead a fascinating lifestyle and this one sounds really interesting. I’m not sure I would be able to look past the guys behavior on account of his beliefs, since I don’t have a strong belief system I find it VERY hard to relate to fanatical characters. But it’s so good that you could do that!

  7. Katie @ BlookGirl

    Great review, love. I’ve always been fascinated by the Amish as welll, and can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t be.

    I love a good romance, and it sounds like this one will make me happy (and probably piss me off a bit). I will definitely be on the look-out for Temptation 🙂

  8. Shooting Stars Mag

    Wonderful review! I’m glad this one worked for you, even if Noah was frustrating. I’m very curious about the Amish culture too. That’s crazy the author lives in northern Kentucky, as I do too!! I don’t live near the Amish though.

    -lauren

  9. Evie

    Gah! I liked this book soooo much, too! Wasn’t it absolutely fascinating to learn about the way of the Amish people? I loved the rural setting, too. I’m on the tour, too, as you probably noticed (duh!), but still… greedy for the awesome SWAG bag and entering the giveaway muahahahah *evil laugh* My lovely purple Random House bag is ripping and the Harlequin one would make for a beautiful replacement *I know, I’m horrible!*

    Great review, G! 🙂

  10. Eileen

    I went to an Amish town once with a bunch of family friends and I have to admit, it was so different than what I was used to, so I can understand how frustrated you were with Noah’s behavior because of his Amish upbringing. Great review, I want to read this so bad! -.-

  11. Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan

    I admit that I know very little about the Amish but I always thought they lived in their own settlements, away from regular people, so I was surprised to read that most of Karen’s neighbours are Amish. I think its great that she took her inspiration for the book from them. I prefer a more paranormal read myself but this sounds good. Great review Giselle.

  12. Sam

    The Amish was of life is pretty fascinating when you think about it. That’s partly why I want to give this a shot. Plus I love romance and this seems like something a little out of the norm. Amazing review, Giselle!

  13. Camille Picott

    Wow, this sounds like an incredible twist on forbidden love! How cool to get first-hand narration from the POV of an Amish character. Great review, this is definitely going on the TBR list!

  14. Randi M

    This is the first review of this book that I’ve actually read. I’ve always found the Amish to be very interesting; we used to visit an Amish area often, when I was little, to go to the livestock sale barn. 🙂 Adding this to my wishlist – thanks for sharing! And for the giveaway!

  15. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    Hmm, interesting how we can both read the same book yet have two totally separate opinions. I definitely understood Noah but he made me want to shake some sense into him on SO many occassions. Some of his thoughts and ideas (like his “plan” for him and Rose) were just harebrained!

    I liked this one a lot, but then I also had a great deal of issues with it, but I think your review is an honest and fair one. 🙂

  16. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    I’ve always been fascinated by them as well, so I’ve been truly curious about this book, even if I haven’t dared picking it up yet! I’m definitely even more intrigued now though and it’s promising to hear you liked it as much as you did. I think I’m gonna have to add it to the pile after all. 😉 Great review!

  17. Giselle

    Thanks so much for dropping by, lovelies!! <3

    @Molli: Lol yeah I got that feeling too but that’s how the Amish are raised. I also read a book about the Amish a while ago by Jodi Picoult that went in more details about the culture and those kids are basically brainwashed so I didn’T get upset about that since it’s not really his fault. But I also knew while reading and reviewing that some people would not like him regardless so I completely get it. They have a super antifeminist old way of thinking. It’s so bizarre!!

  18. Candace

    This book sounds really good! I too find amish culture fascinating. And I think its creative and realistic thing to write about. This is definitely going on my WL!

  19. Lalaine

    Eeep. I just received a finished copy of this book and the cover is just soooo cute and sweet. I cant wait to read it and so glad you enjoyed it, I know I will too. Great review Giselle! x

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  20. Christina K.

    I love how Karen explores such a closed-off community and how awesome to do so with a romance!

    I love the review, and I’m now very interested in this one!

    Thanks so much:)

  21. Giselle

    @Felicia: Thanks! Someone told me yesterday and it’s supposed to get removed by the tour hosts (The Rafflecopter was provided so I can’t change it myself.)

  22. Judith-Pamela Ayimma

    I am a ridiculous fan of Amish love with the “English” because it is so starcrossed-lovers-esque and I’m a sucker for that! Needless to say, this book is a definite must-have to read.

  23. Lili

    I can honestly say that I wasn’t super interesting in this series before I read your review. Yeah, now I’m totally interested! Great review!

  24. reutreads

    This sounds really good, actually! I heard some rumors of insta-love but your review makes it sound kind of awesome. I’ve been meaning to read more contemp so perhaps I will pick this up.

  25. Kai

    The Amish Community just make life so simple. There are more time to be with people, they really care about. We just allow our gadgets to take over our life.

  26. Giselle

    @Kai: It’s more than just no gadgets. Much much more. The women are expected to cook/clean etc like in the old days. They can’t even eat before all the men were served, or go outside after dinner, or wear their hair down. They marry at 16. They only go to school only until 8th grade. I think you should read up on the culture a bit more.

  27. Alexa

    The Amish certainly inspire a level of curiosity from me. I actually truly don’t know much about them! This story does sound fantastic though 🙂

  28. Tiffany Drew

    I’m also pretty intrigued by the Amish. I remember watching a Dateline episode about the teens and their rites of passage rituals. I haven’t read many books about them, but this one has definitely gotten my interest!

  29. Beckie

    I am really glad to come across this review because i have recently finished it and almost finished writing my review. What a difficult review it write. This book has just a bizarre effect on me that i am sure or believe my own thoughts or feelings. I started reading this, feeling unsure with the amish community, it took me a long time to get used to this community’s ways and the references such as ‘the english’ and ‘the outsiders’- really got at me. So at 1st i wasnt too keen on the book but i had to keep reading. Once i relaxed and got used to certain things i actually started to really enjoy it, i was rooting for the couple! The horse part pained me too and will live with me, that whole scene was amazingly written and you could see it before your eyes. It definitely has had a lasting impression on me, it really has. I am eager for the 2nd book-is there definitely going to be 1? I need to know what is going to happen with the situation around Rose!! thanks for this 🙂 xx