Review: Tempting Her Neighbor by Laura Jardine

Reviewed by Sara

Tempting Her Neighbor is book one in Laura Jardine’s Small Town Temptations series. In it, Cole Sampson, a curmudgeonly, misanthropic software designer, moves to a small town to get away from all the people in the big city. Cole had an abusive father and it’s caused him to be mistrustful and generally grumpy. He’s hoping small town life will allow him to live simply and in peace.

Have I mentioned Cole hates people?

Cole hates people like I hate bathing suit shopping, with an unholy passion. Unfortunately for him, his neighbor, Rachel Malone is not getting the people hating message.

Rachel Malone has lived in Georgeville her entire life and hates it. She’s always dreamt of leaving the small town, with its gossipy citizens and complete lack of takeout options and sexy guys for the big city, but is held back by fear and anxiety. She feels bored, burnt out and unfulfilled, that is until she sees new resident Cole. There’s something about Cole that pushes all of her buttons and makes her continue to chase him even with his grumpy, antisocial attitude.

The two eventually begin a sexual affair that blossoms into a wonderful, healing relationship. The problem the two will have to overcome is that Cole wants to stay in Georgeville and Rachel can’t wait to leave.

Tempting Her Neighbor is more an Erotic Romance than a straight-up Romance. For the majority of the book, Cole and Rachel have a purely sexual relationship. What makes this book different is that Rachel is the more experienced of the two partners and she spends a lot of time guiding Cole through new experiences like, outside blowjobs, light spanking and voyeurism. Rachel is the one whose sexual fantasies are explored through Cole, and Cole, really, just learns how to listen to a woman, snuggle and not be an asshole. Girl power!

One of the things I struggled with in Tempting Her Neighbor was the author’s Canadian enthusiasm. Culturally speaking being a Canadian is like being the ugly younger sister to the glamorous, smarter, older sister the USA. The USA is where all movies, books and television take place, all fads starts there and you’re not ever famous unless you are famous in America. Canadians have a bit of a complex about it (although less of one since 2016) and it’s why whenever Canada is referenced in something popular we will crow about it constantly in a semi-obnoxious way. You like Ryan Reynolds or Seth Rogan or Alex Trebek? They’re Canadian. You like Supernatural? It’s mostly filmed in Canada. You’re a diabetic? Well, a Canadian scientist co-invented insulin. This complex is absolutely one of the reasons I picked up Tempting Her Neighbor. Canada was mentioned in the blurb. At the same time though this whole complex or enthusiasm for Canada thing is one of my biggest issues with the book.

Laura Jardine has set her book in the Canadian province of Ontario. Cole is from Toronto (it’s where Drake is from) and he moves to Georgeville which, according to my very brief map search seems to be a fictional town. Laura Jardine is constantly referencing Toronto, Ottawa where Cole’s mother lives and the capital of Canada. Jardine also mentions John A Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister and other Canadianism. She mentions all this Canadiana so much that I found it tedious. I can only imagine what a reader from the US or another part of the world might feel like. Yes, I liked seeing Canada mentioned and used as a setting, but I felt like I was constantly being beat of the head with it which is not ever how you want your readers to feel.

Tempting Her Neighbor was an alright book. I enjoyed the characters, particularly the fact that Rachel was the more experienced partner, but felt the sheer amount of Canadian Pride bogged the story down in tedium.  Also, in Canada we spell neighbor with a “u”. It’s “neighbour”.

Rating: C

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tempting Her Neighbor
by Laura Jardine
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Publisher: Entangled

Comments

  1. Christine says:

    Thanks for your review. As a Canadian, I can’t say that I noticed the overuse of Canadiana. I suspect, since the author is Canadian but the publisher is American, it’s the publisher who made her use the US spelling of ‘neighbor’ in the title so that it would sell to an American audience (and they wouldn’t get mail saying that it was spelled wrong).

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      It’s funny and fantastic how two different people can get different things out of a book. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.
      For the record, I completely understood why neighbour was spelled the American way. I can only imagine the letters the spelling and grammar police would rain down on that poor publisher’s office if it hadn’t been. Yikes!

  2. This is an incredibly insulting review with a very small-minded view about another country. While the book may not have portrayed it well, your review makes it difficult to tell the scope of the issue as your own biases are clouding what might be in the book. Not cool.

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