Lulu McQueen runs an exclusive honeytrap agency, to test the fidelity of rich men for their suspicious partners. While her business flourishes and her track record in the field remains unbroken, earning her the nickname of The Temptress, her personal life isn’t so successful.
A trip to Paris, years ago, led to the most erotic encounter of her life with Luc, a charismatic, dominant, irresistible Frenchman. For one night she experienced bliss on a scale she’d never encountered and fled in the morning, ashamed of herself, but her Parisian one night stand was burned into her memories and no one since had compared.
With no one available on short notice, Lulu steps in to lure Mrs. Le Grand’s rich husband, for an extortionately high fee. Lulu’s in for the shock of her life when she finds her mark at the hotel bar. Luc Le Grand still has a face and body to make Adonis weep. He exudes confidence, masculinity and raw sex appeal.
As a fan of Ms. Fallowfield’s For the Night series I was excited to get the chance to read more of her work and The Temptress proved to be just as enjoyable of a read. I found the way in which the author began the book by alternating chapters in the present with those from the past worked well to set the stage for the conflict that would play out later in the book. We were afforded a view of Lulu today and how she compared to the Lulu of six years ago and how her personal life came to be what it is. This not only helped me to connect with her character, but gave me a perspective into her mindset as she was torn between whether or not she could allow herself to fall in love with Luc.
I found the concept of Lulu’s business intriguing and the scene in the beginning when she had to fire one of her employees for breaking one of the company’s most important rules illustrated how seriously she took her venture. It was because of her standards that I found myself shocked when she accepted Mrs. Le Grand’s assignment – actively enticing a man to cheat is one thing, but to be willing to fabricate evidence seemed to be the antithesis of Lulu’s business model and contrary to what I had learned of her character up to then. Yet it was necessary for the story to move forward and provide an opportunity for Luc to reenter her life. As Luc tries to convince Lulu that they deserve a future together, she does her best to stick to her convictions to not get involved with a married man – not even one who is in a loveless marriage of convenience and who has never once cheated on his wife. The alternating past-present format provides the reader the opportunity to be seduced by Luc as Lulu was and to experience the sizzling attraction between them and compare it to the way they respond to one another in the present. Not to mention we were treated their first night together and it was HAWT!!! It seems as though Luc may have been cut from a similar cloth as Logan Steele when it came to sexual prowess and his willingness to exert his will to get what he wanted – and I loved it. The inclusion of chapters from Luc’s point of view enriched the story for me immensely as I got to see how he dealt with the various obstacles that appeared as they worked toward an eventual future together. And the showdown with Mrs. Le Grand as the end of the book was tremendously pleasing to watch. There is another relationship that is built in The Temptress that I won’t explain because of spoiler issues, but its development tugged at my heartstrings several times.
My only real complaint about the book is that I found Lulu’s surprise at Mrs. Le Grand’s “trump card” a tad unbelievable. With Lulu running an investigation firm and making use of background checks on a regular basis, the thought that she would not expect an obscenely wealthy woman as connected as Mrs. Le Grand not to have run a background check and investigation on her didn’t ring true. Other than that minor detail, I found the book to be a real treat to read. I also liked that the author included cameos from a few characters from the For the Night series and did so in such a way that fans of that series will enjoy seeing them again, yet those who have not read it will not feel as though they’re missing out on any backstory. And I’m glad that I read Ménage for the Night prior to this book so that I had a better appreciation of who Trey was. The Temptress was a wonderfully stimulating erotic romance and I look forward to catching up with Coco, Hunter, and Dominic in All That Glisters.