This all being said, I'll admit I am curious how Megan Hart is going to handle the format. She's not a writer known for "soapy" plots, which lend themselves so well to serializations. However, Hart is definitely one of my very favorite writers (period, regardless of genre), most notably for the skill she shows in creating authentic-feeling characters. That was more than enough for me to give the first installment of her Every Part of You series, Tempt Me, a whirl. And wouldn't you know it? Now I'm hooked.
From her office, Simone Cooper has a direct line of sight into Elliott Anderson's office. Elliott is a high-priced lawyer, devilishly handsome, who favors classically tailored suits. He also favors willowy blonde women that he likes to take back to his office and bend over his desk. Simone admits it, she's a wee bit of a voyeur, but watching Elliott doesn't so much scratch an itch as it does get her all hot and bothered. Until, finally, one evening, working late, she finds herself sharing an elevator with him. Before Elliott knows what hits him, he's inviting Simone to a party he feels committed to attending, even if he has no desire to.
That's pretty much the gist of this first installment, but don't let the simplicity of it fool you. Hart's strength as a writer has always been in her characterizations - and she excels in laying the groundwork for both Simone and Elliott. Simone is a woman with hidden depths, and a sexual kink towards pain/pleasure. What I loved about her is that she's not a submissive. She gets off on pain, but she's not the sort of woman who cottons to a man bossing her around, telling her what to do, basically thinking that "dominating" her gives him carte blanche to take over her entire life. This was exceedingly refreshing, especially given that Elliott is, to put it bluntly, kind of a jackass. Reading in between the lines there are definitely reasons for his tendency towards being an asshole, but the author isn't about to let the cat out of the bag this early in the game. So yeah, while he's kind of a jerk? It's OK since 1) the reader knows there's more going on behind the scenes and 2) Simone doesn't roll over and die. Simone is just the sort of woman to tell him what an asshat he's being.
So while this first story doesn't feature any over-the-top soap opera shenanigans, it does feature the very best of what Megan Hart does so well as a writer - she hooks you with her characters. And hell, Simone alone is enough to make me want to walk over hot coals to get my hands on the next novella.
Final Grade = B