Guarding Temptation Cover
Synopsis from the Creator:

Protective. Obsessive. And rough around the edges.
James Foster knows the rules: you don’t fall for your best friend’s little sister. Nina is too young, too reckless, and too busy saving the world to be tied down by the commitment he craves.
If he was smart, he’d stop wanting her. But she’s the one thing on earth James just can’t quit.

Fierce. Principled. And impossible to resist.
Political campaigner Nina Chapman is sick of one-time things. She wants forever, and she wants it with her brother’s best friend—but James still sees her as a child to be coddled.
So when a controversial article lands Nina in hot water, she finds herself under his protection and under his roof. It’s a shame James doesn’t want her in his bed, too.
…Or does he?

Warning: this red-hot novella contains one radical leftist heroine, one over-protective hero, one annoying childhood nickname, and a shared apartment with only one bed. Also, Brexit. But not too much, I promise.

Please note: a version of Guarding Temptation was previously published as Resisting Desire in the Rogue Nights anthology. This version has been revised and expanded to double its previous length.

Review: Guarding Temptation, by Talia Hibbert

[fa icon="calendar"] May 14, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Melanie

Guarding Temptation was previously published as a short story titled Resisting Desire in the Rogue Nights anthology. The new and updated version has been revised to double the original story so if you’ve already read the original version, there’s a lot more to the story of Nina and James in this novella.

Nina is the anonymous founder and editor of an independent political news blog dedicated to exposing the truth about current political events. When her identity is doxxed and threats made against her safety, she seeks refuge with James, her older brother’s best friend and the object of her long time affection. Unbeknownst to her, he also harbors secret feelings for her but given that she is the younger sister of his best friend, he feels conflicted about acting on said feelings. The story opens 6 weeks after the two spent a very hot evening together which abruptly ended with James apologizing and Nina leaving hurt and angry. Needless to say, there is a lot of unresolved tension between them when Nina seeks James out.

If there is anything I adore, it’s two people secretly pining away for each other. There’s something so romantic and sweet about it and throw in a forced proximity trope and you’ve got a boatload of tension as evidenced by Nina and James and their inability to keep their hands (and eyes) off each other. Seriously, this is my only heat warning: there’s a couch scene in this book that may require you to take an ice bath, it’s so ridiculously hot.

But there’s an emotional component to this book that goes well beyond the intense physical attraction Nina and James share. James’ need to take care of Nina, to protect her while coming to terms with her right to make her own professional choices really endeared him to me. And Nina, fierce and fearless and yet, emotionally vulnerable when the situation calls for it, was, as Talia Hibbert is prone to write, a force to reckon with. I loved them and their push and pull.

I should also add, there were some content warnings that deserve to be mentioned in this book. I appreciate Talia Hibbert because she always includes the content warnings at the very beginning of the book. As previously mentioned, Nina has been doxxed and is the target of some terrible online harassment. She’s reluctant to go to the police because, as she explains to James, being a black woman with a past gives her good reason to distrust the authorities. And when they finally do go to the police, the resulting conversation is, sadly, very much unsurprising. The way that Talia manages to incorporate these very difficult themes and intertwine them with a steamy, hot, nuanced love story in the space of a novella is really quite the feat. I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read - it packed a real punch.


Content Warnings: Sexism, racism, online harassment, police corruption


Topics: review