Favorites Wednesday

Every Wednesday between now and June I’m going to be talking about my favorites – movies, books, whatever, and giving those away to share the love. Today I’m going to start with Jenny Crusie’s Welcome To Temptation, which is one of my favorite contemporary romances of all time.

From Jennifer Crusie’s Website:

All Sophie Dempsey wants to do is help her sister make a video of a washed-up actress and get out of town before they get into trouble. The daughter of generations of con men, Sophie’s trying to walk the straight and narrow, but it’s, well, difficult.

All Mayor Phineas Tucker wants to do is run Temptation with as little fuss as possible and win his upcoming election without cutting into the time he needs for his real passion: playing pool. The son of generations of mayors, Phin’s trying to be an upstanding citizen, but it’s, well, boring.

It only takes one look before Sophie knows that Phin’s the kind of boy her mother used to warn her about– a fast-talking town boy– and Phin knows she’s the kind of woman his father told him to stay away from– the devil’s candy.

And in no time at all, boredom is the least of their difficulties. Gossip, adultery, and blackmail; pornography, politics, and murder; vehicular abuse of a corpse and slightly perverse but really excellent sex: all hell is breaking loose in Temptation, Ohio, while Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble… and in love.

When I read this book it was a huge epiphany for me. I came to romance in my mid 30’s and when I did, I binged across genre lines to see what I liked most and didn’t like at all. Welcome To Temptation is a book that gives me hope. It’s a funny book with flawed people all trying to figure their way through some crazy stuff. Mainly crazy family stuff, but also just crazy small town stuff. Phin, the hero is a single father and his daughter (and this is a feature in Crusie’s writing that I really adore) is so much more than an accessory to try to make him look fatherly or stable. He’s stumbling his way through like every other parent, and his struggle is relatable, even as it’s the silly stuff of a novel. Sophie is a fabulous heroine. She’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. She’s *real* and her dealings with her siblings and the crazy people of the town were really well done.

The chemistry between Sophie and Phin is like a master class in fiction writing. So well done and again, relatable.

Really I can’t do justice to how much I love this book and these characters. But it inspired me then and it inspires me today. It makes me proud to be a romance writer and proud to be a fan of Crusie’s books.

What do you all think of flawed characters? Yes? No? Any faves of your own? So – would you like to win a copy of Welcome To Temptation? Winner will be chosen from the comments to this blog entry and announced on the next prize announcement day, April 2. All winners are responsible for checking back here to see if they’ve won.

21 comments to “Favorites Wednesday”

  1. Mariann with Belle's Book Bag
    March 28th, 2012 at 5:19 am · Link

    Hi Lauren,
    I am not entering the contest (I already own this book) – I just wanted to say how much I LOVE LOVE this book. It has everything I look for in a romance. Jennifer has such a great style of writing that pulls you into the story right from the start!! 🙂
    Have a great day!! 😀
    Mariann at Belle’s Book Bag

  2. AmyH
    March 28th, 2012 at 5:58 am · Link

    GREAT post! (Don’t enter me in the contest either – I already have it/love it like it’s a puppy, etc.) – If I already didn’t think you were brilliant, you would have succeeded with this post.

    You hit it right on with this book – I love the characters because they are flawed in the best of ways.

  3. Host
    March 28th, 2012 at 6:11 am · Link

    I love flawed characters because they are easier to connect to and it’s easier to understand their motives and choices.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Michelle Bledsoe
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:29 am · Link

    This was one of the first books that I read by Jennifer and I absolutely adored it. Flawed characters make the stories more believable. Life is not perfect so why should our romance books be…LOL

  5. Erin
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:47 am · Link

    I love reading about flawed characters, especially flawed heroines. I just finished reading Call Me Irresistible by SEP and I loved Meg and all of her flaws. Welcome to Temptation is in my ever-growing TBR list and this post makes me want to shift it closer to the top. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. StacieD
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:57 am · Link

    I find flawed characters to be more interesting and believable. That is why I love Megan Hart’s books. She writes great flawed characters. I don’t want to read a story about perfect people with perfect lives.

  7. Melanie J.
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:57 am · Link

    I love flawed characters. Like other posts they are easy to connect with, they are more believeable and it’s more entertaining. I think the more flawed you are, the better the book is. I think Erin Brown’s character is a perfect example.

  8. Dede H.
    March 28th, 2012 at 11:55 am · Link

    I already own this book, so no need to enter me in the contest. It is one of my all time favorites. I read it over and over and it never gets old/boring. Wish there was more so we could follow what Sophie/Phin and the gang are doing now. Sets the bar for other romance novels.

  9. Viki S.
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Like the others have said, I like flawed characters because it makes them more real and easy to relate to.

  10. Alaina
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:08 pm · Link

    i love it when my characters have a slight flaw.. i love amanda quicks books because those characters are quirky!!
    would love to win, thanks for the chance!

  11. Kimh
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:26 pm · Link

    Do not enter, love Jen books whoo

  12. Jane
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:43 pm · Link

    I do like flawed characters. They’re more relatable and realistic.

  13. Ericka Spivey
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:18 pm · Link

    I like flawed characters. They are more real and relatable.

  14. Christine
    March 28th, 2012 at 3:03 pm · Link

    Whatever character is there to read but a flawed character. You have to take Eve Dallas. Look how many books it has taken us to get to know her and I think there are still layers left to peel back.

  15. Jordan H
    March 28th, 2012 at 3:18 pm · Link

    I do like flawed characters, they are fun to read and very relatable.

  16. Diane
    March 28th, 2012 at 4:50 pm · Link

    I love flawed heroes and heroines, makes me feel normal… Reading Linda Howard books gives me that feeling, with her strong heroes and strong heroines.

  17. bn100
    March 28th, 2012 at 5:06 pm · Link

    I like reading about flawed heroes. They’re very interesting to read about.

  18. Pamiam
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:13 pm · Link

    Flawed characters are believable because we all have our flaws.
    I also have this book so don’t enter me into the contest. 😉

  19. Lori
    March 29th, 2012 at 4:01 am · Link

    I loved Welcome to Temptation. It was the first of J. Crusies books I read. There brothers book Faking it was good also. Flawed characters? If we didn’t have flawed characters then it would be so very boring. Who wants to read about totally perfect people? No one could relate to the characters. My all time favorite books (the ones I recommend to everyone) is Judith McNaughts- Paradise and Perfect.

  20. Lori T
    March 29th, 2012 at 6:36 am · Link

    Do not enter me as I have this book too and I LOVE it and love Jennifer Crusie’s books. This is one of my favorites too. I do love flawed characters as they are easy to connect with.

  21. Chelsea B.
    March 30th, 2012 at 11:41 am · Link

    It may be wrong, but flawed characters for the WIN! 😉
    Jennifer Crusie is one of the best writers evea!