by Jenika Snow
Temptation Unveiled is the second in a series of books called The Dimi of the Seven Moons series. In Book 1: Deliciously Wicked, two characters are transported through a portal from Earth to Dimi. This is alluded to in the beginning, but the first book is not a prerequisite for enjoying this second book in the series.
The book opens with a thirteen-year-old Keirak, a child in the KayKow tribe with admiration, dreaming to not only join the ranks of the fierce, noble males, but to become the best of them. His dreams and his life are changed in an instant as an invading group of rogue warriors attack and kill all of the KayKow males and older women and take the younger women as their own. Helpless to prevent the slaughter, he is left with the haunting promise of a scarred man, the leader of the rogue group; he will be spared so that each day of his life, he will remember what he had lost and by whose hand.
The story then jumps forward to present day. Kitty, one of the two Earth women who had been transported to Dimi of the Seven Moons, a planet devoid of the modern technologies and comforts of Earth, pines for her old life. She has remained withdrawn from Dimi life, maintaining a close relationship only with Mena, her friend and fellow Earthling. Mena, married to the leader of the ZorZack tribe, has accepted her fate and made Dimi her home.
The one other person Kitty has allowed past her shell, is Keirak. His silent support makes her feel safe and comforted. They meet daily in the garden, she teaching him English and he teaching her how to speak the ZorZack language. Their relationship grows, and each admits their love for one another.
What follows is an emotional journey for both, one which forces them to face their past, search their hearts to discover what is most important to them, and ultimately, to make a decision: can they let go of the past to make a future?
Throughout the story, Jenika Snow shifts point of view several times within each chapter, allowing the reader to remain deeply invested in the inner thoughts and feelings of our two main characters. Her technique is handled flawlessly, spending just enough time in each character’s head to enable us to know them deeply, to anticipate their behavior, and to struggle with them as they battle their own demons.
The love scenes are written with intermittent intensity and sweetness, powerful and visceral, describing the mental bliss in conjunction with the physical pleasures. She introduces conflict at appropriate times, keeping the reader on edge, but never dragging the story, prolonging a conflict of tension for too long. In fact, stretching some of the tension a bit more may have increased the intensity of the story and my reactions throughout. I particularly enjoyed how she introduces the love interest to become the focus in Book Three about three-fourths of the way through the story. I find myself anxiously awaiting the next installment to find out how Keirak and Kitty have fared and to experience another compelling story of love.
The one element of Temptation Unveiled which I would have like to seen handled slightly differently, was how Jenika resolved the conflicts. Other than the final conflict, which was highly satisfactory, the smaller problems grew and, when faced, were over within a page or two. Lengthening those moments would have deepened the overall impact of the book for me.
However, the book was not written to be an epic. It is a novella, meant to pull at heart-strings and explore love; both loving oneself and opening up to loving another. Each trial the character’s face is believable. Their reactions are relatable; ones we can all understand. In the end, what has been delivered is a sweet example of how the journey to happiness may have bumps and barriers along the way, but the ultimate reward makes the trip worthwhile.
I will definitely read more work by Jenika Snow.