By: Karen Ann Hopkins
Published: June 26th 2012 by Harlequin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads description--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
But it won't be.
Because he's Amish.
And I'm not.
My first thought when I saw the description for this book was that this is not a new idea—Amish boy meets English girl and they fall into a forbidden love affair. As a pre-teen I read an enchanting trilogy written by Lurlene McDaniel about this same topic—well as always a little different. That series was actually my first real experience learning anything about the Amish culture. And I became fairly fascinated with the culture—not like I want to go join up or anything like that, but I can really see the appeal of the simple lifestyle they live. I even did a paper in college on rites of passage in culture and used Rumspringa as an example. So while not claiming to be an expert or anything, I do know some about the Amish culture. And I guess I took my knowledge about the culture for granted because Rose’s ignorance about their culture really frustrated me. Other than them not having electricity, growing beards, and driving buggies, the fact that Amish people don’t allow intermarriage with English people is (to me anyway) a pretty obvious and well known fact.
The forbidden romance blossoming between Noah and Rose drove this story forward. And I enjoyed reading it much more than I thought I would. However, the part that I struggled with the most was that both Noah and Rose seem to have an ulterior motive—changing the other. I understand that they find themselves in an impossible situation where there really can be no compromise. Either, Rose chooses to become Amish; Noah chooses to become English; or the two have to part ways and move on with their lives. There can be no half-Amish half-English compromise. I can completely understand the conflict in values and morals that these two are up against. But I have found that relationships where one or both parties are seeking to change the other are doomed to fail. It’s one thing to want the best for your significant other, to hope to see growth in them as a person. But it’s a completely different thing to want to change them and their entire world view just so that it aligns with yours. If you want someone who shares your views, you find someone who already does. You don’t try to change someone into what you want them to be. It’s not going to work. We can, in contrast, be inspired by our significant other to change ourselves.
I suspect there will be drastically different views on this book. Some will probably really struggle with the Amish culture, specifically where it comes to the difference in roles between male and female. Not being a huge feminist myself—and actually rather getting quite annoyed with those who are—it didn’t bother me in the least. Knowing what I do about the Amish culture, it was not surprise to me to see this played out throughout the story. And while I’m not saying women should always get their food last, after the men, I have no problem saying “you before me.” The Amish women are brought up this way and for the most part I’d assume they don’t resent it or even disagree with it. It’s part of their world. The book isn’t trying to force the Amish culture on anyone. But we don’t need to rally against them for their views either. If you don’t agree with it, just move on and find another tasty book to dig into.
Temptation ended in a place where I was happy with. After rooting for Ethan to become English in the Lurlene McDaniel trilogy I read as a pre-teen, I found it interesting that I was rooting for Rose to become Amish in this book. I won’t tell you what happens, but I was satisfied with the end. UNTIL, I read the first chapter of the next book (another time I wasn’t expecting this to be the first of a series). I’ll definitely have to check out book 2 to see what happens with these characters.
I didn’t want to put it down, especially when a certain scene involving a Semi happened and it was approaching 11:30 pm (past my bedtime) and I had to stop reading for the night. Overall I enjoyed Temptation more than I expected. 4 Stars. Check it out! If you’ve already read it, what did you think? Let me know!