REVIEW: Dante’s Temporary Fiance by Day LeclaireSaturday, September 11, 2010 1:00
I generally enjoy Day Leclaire’s books, but I think I enjoy the Dante’s Inferno books the most. The Inferno happens when a Dante touches the person he or her is meant for. Their palms tingle and get itchy. I don’t usually go for fated mate books, and I don’t buy into series a lot, but these have an appeal for me and I’ll read every one she writes.
This one is about Rafe Dante, who runs the courier service for Dante’s jewelry business, and Larkin, who he first meets when she’s waitressing and drops a tray of glasses. Because she does so, she is fired, although regretfully. Rafe Dante is tired of his family trying to find “the one” for him, and doesn’t believe in the Inferno. Most Dantes start their story by not believing. It is becoming a little tired, that trope, but so far Leclaire has delivered in different ways.
There is little new here, but it’s like an enjoyable variation on a theme. There’s a fake engagement, a loving family and a secret that most readers can guess well in advance. But in a way it doesn’t matter, because a good Desire comes from inside the character, not outside. The plot is just something to hang the characters on, to give them something to do while they’re falling in love. Many aspirants to Harlequin will try to cram too much plot into the story, but there’s not much you can do in 55,000 words, if you want to include a good love story, and show a couple falling in love.
Larkin is looking for something, someone, and we learn her secret early, but it only keeps her and Rafe apart in that she agrees to a temporary engagement, to deliver Rafe from his matchmaking relatives. She’s engaging and sensible, but there is one thing about her that I wasn’t too keen on, because there’s no reason for it. It would be a spoiler to say what, but if you read Desires and Presents a lot, you can probably guess what it is. She wasn’t as fully depicted as Rafe, but she was a good foil for his character.
Rafe is developed well. He’s the usual tall, dark, handsome alpha male, but his reactions are his, not anyone else’s. He comes off the page, and I really enjoyed his development. LeClaire doesn’t do anything new with this story, but what she does, she does well. His irritability is his own, as is the way he keeps people at a distance.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I’ll look forward to the next Dante book. From the first book in this series I was hooked, and so far continue to be so.
One woman who was meant only for him? Rafe Dante denied The Inferno—that passionate knowing that made the palms of destined lovers itch. But his family wasn’t so easily convinced and paraded women in front of him. Until a brainstorm struck…He would choose a bride, proclaim her his soul mate, and when she left, he’d be “brokenhearted” and his family wouldn’t dare interfere again. So Rafe hired sweet, beautiful Larkin Thatcher to be his temporary fiancée.
But Larkin had secrets—and then Rafe felt the infernal heat rising….
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