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    WELCOME TO TEMPTATION by Jennifer Crusie (see her website)

    St. Martin's Press, 2000

    The flesh-colored water tower was the first giveaway. Sophie Dempsey's trip to Temptation, Ohio, wasn't going to be a straight-forward video shoot. Too-handsome Mayor Phineas (Phin) Tucker was the second. He is exactly the kind of man who takes advantage of low-lifes like Sophie's family--the kind of man she's had to protect herself and them from. She can't help falling for his come-on, but she promises herself that she's leaving Temptation soon. Phin has problems of his own. His late wife only wanted his money and his mother suspects all women of similar intentions, especially low-rent women like Sophie.

    Unfortunately for Sophie's sanity, the video shoot gets extended and complicated--very complicated. Sophie's brother shows up and wants to protect her from Phin. Her sister is trying to use the video to escape to L.A. A Hollywood producer wants to turn the video to porn, and the town's most eligible babe wants to follow the producer anywhere. Finally, the star's ex-husband shows up and ends up shot, sprayed with mace, pushed in a river, and dead of a heart attack (not a good night for him although things were going great for Sophie and Phin).

    Jennifer Crusie (see more reviews of novels by this author) is a very funny author and WELCOME TO TEMPTATION is a funny book. Funny situations and witty dialogue pour through this novel. Even the possible murder turns into a humorous incident. Depending on the reader's sense of humor, Crusie may occasionally seem to be pushing too hard. Still, the results generally pay off in a smile--or even an out-loud laugh.

    Three Stars

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