Title: Temptations of Desire
Author: Tempeste O’Riley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
At a Glance: The author really couldn’t have crafted a better character than Alex/Lexi.
Reviewed By: Chris
Blurb: Alexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.
At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.
From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.
Review: Temptations of Desire is the third book in the Desires Entwined series but can easily be read as a standalone. I would strongly suggest reading all the books in this series, though, because the characters are fantastic.
Alex is a beautiful young man who’s dealt with a world full of hurt and hate because he isn’t always what he seems. Alex is also Lexi, a gender fluid gay man who is as comfortable looking masculine as he is appearing very feminine. He’s been this way since he was a young teen, and it caused his father to beat him, almost to death, and dump him on the street many miles away from home. Now he has his life together, and the only thing he really desires is to find someone who loves all of him, both as Alex and as Lexi.
Dal is a young police officer who is the brother of Rhys from Desire’s Guardian. While he doesn’t consider himself gay, he is bisexual and admits he loves seeing a beautiful woman just as much as a sexy man. One night while out, he spies a beautiful young woman but before he can speak with her, she disappears. Then, while helping at the local LGBTQ center, he meets Alex and Dal is smitten. He likes everything about Alex, even without really knowing him, and it just makes him want to get to know Alex more.
Alex is not as receptive to Dal at first, but that’s not to say he isn’t attracted to him. Alex is attracted to the big, strong young man, but Dal also trips Alex’s previous fear of large men. Because Alex is so slight, he’s been pushed around and abused by quite a few big men before, and that doesn’t lend to him trusting that Dal won’t hurt him. Eventually, Alex softens toward Dal and they go out, but Alex is still afraid of what Dal’s reaction to Lexi will be. The decision to share Lexi with Dal is taken out of Alex’s hands entirely by accident, but Dal’s reaction isn’t what Alex expected.
The major conflict in this story really revolves around Dal and his family. With his dad sick, he becomes very vocal about Dal not being allowed to be gay, too. That one of his sons must get married and provide the next generation. This really causes Dal to become conflicted because his family is everything to him and with his dad ill, he wants to make everything better for him. On the other hand, he’s in love with Alex and doesn’t want to hurt him either. So, he’s torn in two and hates that his family is putting this on him.
I have to say that I have loved all three books in this series. All have been very well written, with wonderfully strong characters. However, Alex/Lexi really and truly stole my heart and won’t give it back. Both as Alex and Lexi, he shows different sides of himself. As Alex he is confident in his abilities as a chef, and as Lexi, he’s strong and sexy, and that isn’t always something he feels as Alex. Lexi allows Alex to walk a little taller, be a little bolder, and to feel free and comfortable in himself.
The author really couldn’t have crafted a better character than Alex/Lexi. Add in the storyline of Alex’s past history and the relationship with Dal, and this just made Temptations of Desire one of my favorite books so far this year. I hope everyone takes the time to discover this phenomenal character set in this wonderful story. And once done with this story, go back and read the rest of the series!
You can buy Temptations of Desire here: