By: Jane Green
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: April 6, 2014
What if an innocent night out with girlfriends changes the course of one woman’s life for the rest of her life thanks to temptation? Jane Green presents an intriguing story that dissects and answers this very question in her latest novel, Tempting Fate.
Gabby is forty-three. She has arrived at that moment in a woman’s life when she questions her desirability. Happily married to Elliott for eighteen years, they have the proof of their wonderful life together in their two teenaged daughters. Yet, Gabby wonders if her husband Elliott still sees her through the eyes of desire. Not too thrilled to be going out on a girls’ night out, she is practically forced into the excursion by her best friend Clare. The last thing Gabby has on her mind is the possibility of catching the eye of a man—any man at the trendy bar the girls settled upon for their night out.
Gabby was more than uncomfortable watching the display before her. The women—half of them ‘happily married,’ were behaving like a gaggle of college girls at their first mixer—overly flirtations in their provocatively plunging necklines. Their debauchery was more than awkward for Gabby’s conservative British background. Of course, even though she didn’t know how to flirt, the thought did cross her mind more than once that it would have been nice to be noticed perhaps by one or two of the many men in the bar. When the extremely handsome man nearly ten years her junior takes an interest in her and saddles up next to her at the bar, unbeknownst to Gabby, she has arrived at her crossroads. Matt is engaging and charismatic and for all intents and purposes, truly seems like a gentleman who is merely looking for light conversation. He is on business and fate has deposited him next to her at the bar. He is confident and polite and immediately shows interest in talking with Gabby. It would seem he is the young, powerhouse owner of a renowned social media company and Gabby can’t understand how someone so young can be so successful, let alone interested in talking with her.
Deep in conversation, when Gabby surfaces for a moment and realizes her friends have abandoned her, she has no choice but to make alternate arrangements to get a ride home. Matt is all too willing to assure her she can follow him across the street to his hotel while he checks in. It will give them a chance to continue their conversation and he can call her a cab from his hotel. Innocent enough or perhaps not. After their chance encounter, as the days ahead unfold, Gabby realizes the choices she will make as a result of that girls’ night out will not only change her life, but may very well destroy everything she held so dear and loved.
Jane Green portrays a confident comfort and familiarity in the story she has written. Tempting Fate is easy to read and the topic has appeal to many women when it comes to questioning their own desirability. While there may be some predictability to the story, I enjoyed the fact that Ms. Green quashed obvious outcomes with a consistent element of surprise. I admire an author who knows the audience she is targeting and is sensitive to delivering a solid story. Ms. Green has mastered wonderful conversation and dialogue throughout Tempting Fate which breathes credibility into this work of fiction. Overall, this book is a read that is enjoyable and manages to keep the reader engaged.
Quill says: Think long and hard about temptation. Tempting Fate is a testament to the old adage: “Be careful what you wish for…”