Tantalizing Maria is the seventh and final (for now?) book in Helen Hardt's Temptation Saga. While it can easily be read as a standalone, I recommend seeking out the previous books so that you can fully appreciate all of the characters.
Maria and Jefferson found each other and fell in love while they were young. Jeff was the bad boy you should probably stay away from, but couldn't help yourself falling for. When he ends up in prison for a crime he did not commit, Mia finds herself pregnant and alone. Left with few options and none of them desirable, she ends up with his brother so her unborn child can have the name and life she deserves. Jeff is extremely hurt by her betrayal, but he never stops loving her. When he is released from prison they are reunited and the chemistry is still there. Can these two overcome all of the baggage and hurt they are left with to find the true love that has always been there?
This is a second chance love story that features older characters (a very nice change from the age group usually represented in most stories these days) who need to overcome much adversity and angst to find their happy ending. Each chapter alternates between the past and the present letting their love story and the hard choices and betrayals felt by each unfold. I was instantly invested in their story and despite the things going against them I was rooting hard for them to reunite. It becomes quickly early on both Jeff and Mia are meant to be together and how strong their love is. This is definitely the type of story that will have you alternating between smiling and crying. My heart broke at certain points. Hardt has a unique writing style that I have enjoyed across this series, a series I'm sad to see end.
Reviewed by Rosemary Feil
Maria Gomez married her lover’s brother to give the baby she carried the name and future she deserved. Now she is widowed, and her oldest child’s father—the only man she ever loved—has returned.
In prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Jefferson Bay never forgot the beautiful woman who betrayed him with his own brother. When DNA evidence proved Jeff’s innocence years later and he was released, he vowed to find Maria and seek his revenge.
The passion between the two has never died, but can they learn to trust each other again?
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2enyfAn
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2eDJXVR