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Temptation (Natalie’s Edge, #1)Temptation by R.B. O'Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first thing that grabbed my attention on this book was its cover. A beautiful woman with only her underwear and her Ballet shoes, not quite the ballerina type. As a professional Ballet dancer with a keen eye for the "perfect" body I saw some flaws on this image of a ballerina. Actually her overarched back already gives it, almost like denying her sexual pleasure, although wanting and craving for it. And the way she tied the ribbons on her pointe shoes showing some sloppy terms with her Ballet training, or lack of instruction on how to do it well. If she cannot lace her own shoes, never mind thinking about her hiding the knots. She is definitely not an expert, but immature. A kind of a Lolita, as the way she looked at the photographer in the picture. So you already get the picture of what´s inside. Whoever made that cover is an artist and an expert in communicating a feeling and a storyline. Natalie is indeed that kind of girl who tried to hide herself inside assorted masks, making her appear vulnerable and self-confident,at the same time, but she´s totally naked on the outside. And so it goes with her attitude towards life itself. Her boyfriend (and I mean Michael, the one she didn´t cheat on... yet!) is in no way insecure, but totally controling. Where people see flaws in character I see a very courageous woman. Natalie lives her life to the fullest. She is eager to experiment. But she draws the line, the boundaries in bondage. And, like any girl who had to endure years of Ballet discipline and exercises to ensure a good performance, she expects more of herself than anyone else. It´s no secret that Ballet forces you to get into a more Masochistic scenario. After all, for the sake of beauty and pleasure for the eyes of others you get to force yourself into a regime that not many can take. Some readers may get mislead, though, and failing to see her character as faulting where she is actually just showing how human one can be, and they are oblivious to the thruth beneath the domineering process. Natalie is being true to herself when she tries to walk into the wild, to reach out to her self-discovery, her true self. And there she might even get hurt, or fall in love. Fall will be the exact word. For she is much more falling in love than being loved or in love. She starts to get her broken pieces and put it all together again. The guilt about her cheating on who appears to be as a cold, self-absorbed, bloated-minded, selfish boyfriend Scott doesn´t impede her a bit to the beat (and beating)of a sensual symphony. The author was crafty enough to let loose ends on him. She doesn´t allow the reader to get into deep with this guy, and in turn you don´t give much credit on him. So cheating is like shitting in the sense that you do crap while sitting on it and as you get up it´s just then that you see what you have done. You couldn´t get more real than this. The realistic characters are well portrayed. But the guilt she feels upon her boyfriend seems innocuous. Nothing would take her out of her purchase, per-chase per se (purr... poor?) poor cat being chased by a rat. Maybe if the story was not told in first person it wouldn´t touch so deeply as it does. And it won´t cause as much impact, and we wouldn´t feel such empathy for the main character. Michael became a subterfuge for her psyche - she likes to play games. She likes kinky stuff, she is into it, into becoming objectable and objectionable, to be subdued, dominated. She found that part of her and she thanked Michael for that. But that´s where lies the devil: She´s really confused, she doesn´t really want to loose it. The devil is not as ugly as they painted. R.B. made a real portrait of what´s underneath the veil. She mastered on making characters so close to us, so not at all perfect, disturbed and lost. The way Michael turned what seemed so right into something so wrong... Let´s just hope that Redemption will come easy on the series goes, well, I think that this is more like a trilogy and I just hope I could see different colors and covers for the extreme make over.

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In another note, not as hysterical but historical as the devil, my book about the ballerinas and their complexity with passion is also in Italian. Pierrot & Colombina Who knew this romantic language would make so well with my mystery/historic novel and in tune with the characters? Well, one of the main characters is Italian, so no wonder it was fascination and drill all over the deal.