Series: Temptation #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on June 26th 2012
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
Wow! This is the reason I love Young Adult so much! The Butterflies! How much do I love the Butterflies? That feeling of unbridled joy, untainted by adult sensibilities that captures the brilliance and purity of youth and young love. This book enveloped me in that feeling and I was more than happy to curl up in it. I couldn’t put it down all evening and it was only when fatigue finally overcame me that I gave in and put the Kindle down.
I find the whole subject of the Amish way of life compelling. Last year, a TV show followed six British teens as they spent the Summer living with various Amish families in Pennsylvania. I was hooked as I learned about this community who follows the codes and rules of their lives without straying and little to no complaint. At times I found myself yearning for their simpler way of life where Divorce and Adultery seemed to be non-existent. I don’t think I could give up my way of life completely, particularly the rights to my own body (Hello contraception!) but there were definitely aspects that were to be admired and I wouldn’t have any issues adopting. Learning more about the Amish way of life through Temptation was fabulous and Karen Ann Hopkins really gives a unique and interesting insight into how their world and our world both combine and collide.
Temptation is the story of Rose, a young ballet dancer from Cincinnati who moves to a sleepy farming community with her father and brothers after her mother dies. Meeting Noah, the young Amish man next door, pulls her from her grief and awakens feelings in her she thought didn’t exist. As Noah and Rose fall for each other, desperately trying to hide their love from their families, we see just how much the young couple have to lose to ensure their love survives.
It’s a story as old as time – Forbidden love and boy is it a good one! I really liked the characters of Noah and Rose.
Noah in particular was fascinating. His views at times were frustrating and anti-feminist and he came off as rude at times but there was always an understanding and lead back to his upbringing. His way of life and the rules he’s followed since birth shape his outlook in a way that for an outsider looking in seems archaic and otherworldly. Despite his ways it was very clear to see what a good, kind and strong young man he was. His morals and ethics ensured his concern for Rose always came from a good place and his love for her warred constantly with his baser instincts and it was interesting to witness his dilemma to not succumb to them like a boy his age would in our society without any hesitation. There was a clear comparison and contrast between Noah and Roses’s brother Sam which showed how much their societies shaped their outlook on life, women and their respective futures. His worries about Rose being able to become a member of the Amish community if she chose it were comical at times, wondering whether she would always want to sleep late rather than work on the farm for example. You could tell that Noah was struggling under the weight of his families expectations. At eighteen, it was time for him to settle down and his disinclination to do especially when Rose wanders into his life put a strain on his thoughts.
Rose was very much the teenager. Vividly written, I had the sense of her youth and naivety at all times. Caught up in her first romance, unable at times to deal with the rush of love and emotion that comes with your first love, it was easy to sympathise with her plight. Noah quickly becomes everything to her but she can’t help but feel the pull of her own life, the opportunities she would give up, education, travel, technology, her own family if she decided to make the sacrifice and become Amish. Noah’s impatience with her as their romance grows into something far deeper was infuriating at times, Rose simply wants a boyfriend who loves her and neither party can understand that the simplicity of such a want brings a whole mess of complications for each other. I do think the loss of Rose’s mother, her sudden thrust into the role of home-maker for the men in her life and her father’s yearning for his own personal life away from his kids plays a huge part in the speed with which she falls for Noah. While it’s no big deal for a young girl of sixteen to want to marry and have children straight off in his community, for Rose it’s a huge deal and her indecision and fears are tangible. It’s easy to see how quickly one could be swept away by a young gentleman, with old world manners, who wishes to “court” rather than “hook up”.
The chemistry and sexual tension between the two was palpable and so breathtakingly romantic at times. The first time Noah reached for Rose’s hand my heart skipped a beat. Their love grew to be genuine and authentic and I was yearning for their first kiss almost as much as they were and it was worth it!
While the romance plays a huge part in the book, the themes of family, friendship, and sacrifice are equally as compelling. When Rose and Noah’s passion overspills and exposure is threatened we see just how far-reaching its effects are. Rose’s relationship with her family was interesting to explore and the dynamic between the Cameron’s and the Amish community was my favourite part of the book. The seemingly strict community has its own rule-breakers and it was fascinating to see the younger members succumb to certain temptations from the “English”.
The book is told from both Rose and Noah’s POVs which worked excellently and really gave you a feel and understanding of both characters and their feelings.
Temptation is very much a love story but it’s more than that, passionate, evocative and compelling, it’s a story about honour, tradition, family and acceptance. The tension builds nicely throughout the novel and when we reach the summit, and we see the trials Rose and Noah face in the sequel we’re left very much in the knowledge that while they may say Love conquers all, it doesn’t come easy and without a stiff price.