Forbidden love is hell…
Confident and quirky, Jo Sanford thinks her boss is God’s gift to women–and she couldn’t be further from the truth. Devilishly handsome, Luc DeVille will stop at nothing to lure his administrative assistant right into his arms–and bed.
Over Rafe Goodman’s dead body…
Rafe, Jo’s best friend, refuses to sit by and watch as Luc tries to win the heart of the woman he’s always protected. After all, Rafe is her guardian angel. Suddenly, Jo’s caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil. But the closer she gets to the fire, the hotter it burns. Now, Jo’s going to learn that when love battles lust, Heaven and Hell collide.
To my surprise, Mr. DeVille scratches Atticus behind the ears instead of pushing him away. “Since we’re stuck here, what should we do?” Finished with his sandwich, he wipes his mouth with his thumb. I’d have been more than willing to lick it clean for him.
A pounding on the door interrupts us. Dadgumit, just when things are about to get interesting with Mr., er, Luc. I scurry to the door, intent on getting rid of whoever it is. I find Rafe holding a bag of food and two cups of coffee.
“Hey, I figured your power was still out, so I brought you some coffee and breakfast.” His eyes scan my small apartment, narrowing when he spies Luc.
Mr. DeVille smirks. “What impeccable timing. Goodman, is it?” He casually swings his legs over the side of the bed and steps into his pants.
“Yes, sir.” Although polite, Rafe’s voice has an edge to it. The tension in the air snaps like an impending storm. “The roads are clear, although Mrs. Cabot called and said not to come to work today since schools are still closed and the power remains off for much of the area. Here included, I see.”
“How astute of you to notice. No wonder I pay you the big bucks. Of course Mrs. Cabot said to stay home. It isn’t her losing money, is it?”
Mr. DeVille pulls off my sweatshirt, revealing those cut abs. I stare unabashedly, and Rafe snaps his fingers in front of my face. Luc buttons his shirt, glaring at Rafe the entire time.
“Well, Friday. Thank you for the hospitality. I’m sure since Goodman flew here on the icy roads to check on you, I’ll have no problems getting home. I suggest you take today to study for your classes, and remember I’ll be more than happy to help with your homework assignments.” His eyes flash with desire, and my cheeks heat.
Rafe snarls, looking positively feral.
“A-Are you sure the roads are okay? Would you like a cup of this coffee before you go?”
“I only brought two cups,” Rafe protests.
Shocked by his rudeness—and to our boss, no less—I quickly offer, “Mr. DeVille can have my cup.” What has gotten into him?
Ignoring Rafe, Mr. DeVille turns to me as he shrugs into his coat. “That’s quite all right. Thank you, Friday.” He gives me a conspiratorial wink and a smile.
Rafe, in comparison, receives a cool nod. The hair on my arms stands on end when Mr. DeVille stops and turns to face my friend. I must be having some sort of low blood sugar event because I swear it looks like the rims of his blue eyes have turned the color of a hot stove eye. I blink and find him glaring at Rafe, and the look is returned in kind. Good thing we aren’t living in a century past. If we were, I’m quite certain there would be a duel at fifty paces. He leaves without saying another word.
Rafe slams the door with a muttered, “Good riddance.”
I cross my arms in front of my chest. “Thanks a lot.”
“You’re welcome.” He ignores my sarcasm.
I sigh and gratefully accept the warm to-go cup. I can’t stay mad at him for long; he’s my best friend.
And he has coffee.
In Tempting Jo, Nancee Cain takes us back to a world where guardian angels come to earth to guide us mortals through life’s difficulties. We meet Rafael who becomes Rafe Goodman (all puns intended), best friend to Jolene Loretta Sanford and her guardian angel who takes his job seriously. Jo is a small town Alabama girl who goes to the big city to try and “better herself” by taking a job as an Administrative Assistant to Lucius DeVille. She falls madly in lust with her boss. Luc is suave, handsome, and rather pompous, and Jolene’s convinced she can be the seductive type to win him over if she just tries hard enough, studies her word-a-day calendar then actually uses the words, and is the efficient assistant Luc can’t live without. As it turns out, Luc is planning Jo’s seduction for reasons well beyond giving her a chance to “live a little.” His efforts are thwarted by Rafe who is there to watch over her and protect her, but emotions soon get in the way for him too. And then what’s Jo to do? Both men are attractive, and attracted to her; she’s stuck in the middle of a battle over which one will ultimately claim her.
This story is a classic good versus evil, right versus wrong, temptation versus choosing the right path. But what makes it special is Ms. Cain’s way of portraying the quirky characters so that you love them and cheer for them right from the start. Jolene’s so Southern, her mama named her Jolene Loretta because she liked country music. Jo tries to lose her accent, but as they say in South Alabama, that apple didn’t fall far from the tree. When she talks she says things like, “As my mother would say, sugar wouldn’t melt in my mouth. She has all kinds of cliché sayings like this. She dishes them out like fried chicken at a Baptist funeral.” Jo accuses Rafe of doing the “clam jam” when he walks in on her and Luc as they are kissing and starting to move “toward second base.” And when she gets mad at Luc, who insists on going out in the pouring rain, she tells him “Fine, but don’t whine to me if you die of pneumonia, sir.” Needless to say, both Rafe and Luc are charmed and think she’ll be easy to convince to their way of thinking, but Ms Cain shows us that no matter her background or life circumstances, when the going get tough, that steel backbone will guide her through.
The battle over Jo grows more heated and intense as the story progresses. Ms. Cain’s characters never do the predictable, which is part of what makes this story another winner for the author. She treats us to all their quirks and mannerisms and by doing so we come face to face with people we would love to meet in real life. Madge and Gabe make another appearance in this book and I really hope their stories are coming in future books. And God has a true sense of humor. I highly recommend Tempting Jo, an devilishly fun read with a heavenly ending.
During the day, Nancee works as a nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder. Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)
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