by Megan Hart


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My husband, James. The house on the lake. Our perfect life. And then Alex came to visit. The first time I saw my husband's best friend, I didn't like him. Didn't like how James changed when he was around, didn't like how his penetrating eyes followed me everywhere. But that didn't stop me from wanting him. And, surprisingly, James didn't seem to mind.

It was meant to be fun. Something the three of us shared for those hot summer weeks Alex stayed with us. Nobody was supposed to fall in or out of love. I didn't need another man, not even one who oozed sex like honey and knew all the secrets I didn't know, the secrets my husband hadn't shared. After all, we had a perfect life. And I loved my husband.

But I wasn't the only one.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778315223
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 609,386
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Megan Hart is the award-winning and multi-published author of more than thirty novels, novellas and short stories. Her work has been published in almost every genre, including contemporary women’s fiction, historical romance, romantic suspense and erotica. Megan lives in the deep, dark woods of Pennsylvania with her husband and children, and is currently working on her next novel for MIRA Books. You can contact Megan through her website at www.MeganHart.com.

Read an Excerpt

Light and shadow painted him. On little cat feet, like the fog, I crept toward the bed. Tug-tugging, I slid the covers off to reveal his body.

I liked to watch him sleep, despite the way it sometimes made me want to pinch myself to prove I wasn't dreaming. That this was my husband, my house, my life. Our perfect life. That there were good things to be had in the world, and I had them.

James stirred without waking. I crept closer to stand over him. The sight of him, all long, muscled limbs and smooth, sun-burnished skin, curled my fingers in anticipation of touching him. I held off, not wanting to wake him. I wanted to watch him for a while.

Awake, James was rarely still. Only dreaming did he loosen, soften, melt. If it was harder to believe he belonged to me when he was sleeping, it was also easier to remember how much I loved him.

Oh, I played a good game of confidence. I wore the ring and answered to the name Mrs. James Kinney. I even had the driver's license and credit cards to prove I had the right to the name. Most of the time, our marriage was so matter-of-fact I couldn't have disbelieved it if I'd wanted to, not when it came time to do the laundry and buy groceries, or clean the toilets, when I packed his lunches or folded his socks before putting them away. Then our marriage was solid and substantial. Granite. But sometimes, like when I watched him sleeping, the rock turned out to be limestone, easily dissolved by the slow-dripping water of my doubts.

Sunshine filtered through the tree outside our window and dappled him in all the spots I wanted to kiss. The twin dark circles of his nipples, the ridges of his ribs made sharper as he flung a hand over his head, the soft patch of hair furring his belly and meshing with the thatch between his legs. Everything about him was long and lean. Hidden strength. James looked thin, sometimes even breakable, but underneath he was all muscle. He had large, callus-fingered hands, used to working but perfectly suited for playing, too.

I was more interested in the playing as I bent over him to blow a puff of breath across his lips. Fast as sin, he grabbed me. He could pin both my wrists with one hand, and he did, pulling me onto the bed and rolling on top of me. James settled between my thighs, the only thing between us the thin fabric of my summer-weight nightgown. He was already getting hard.

"What were you doing?"

"Watching you sleep."

James pushed my hands above my head, stretching me.

It hurt a little, but then that's what makes the pleasure so much sweeter. His free hand inched up the hem of my nightgown and found my bare thigh.

His fingertips grazed the curls between my legs as he spoke. "Why were you watching me sleep?"

"Because I like to," I told him just before his questing fingers made me inhale sharply.

"Do I want to know why you like to watch me sleep?" His grin tipped the corners of his mouth. Smug. His fingertip settled against me, but he didn't move it yet.


I laughed. "No. Probably not."

"I didn't think so."

He lowered his mouth to mine but didn't kiss me. I craned my neck, seeking to meet his lips, but James kept them a breath apart. His finger began the slow circling he knew well would drive me crazy. I felt heat and hardness on my hip, but with my hands still held fast in his grip, I could only wiggle in protest.

"Tell me what you want me to do to you."

"Kiss me."

James had eyes of summer-sky blue, ringed with deep navy. The contrast could be startling. The dark fringe of his lashes swept down as his eyes narrowed. He licked his lips.


"Everywhere…." My reply trailed off into a sigh and then a startled gasp when he stroked me again.



"Say it."

I wouldn't, not at first, though I knew sooner or later he'd have me doing what he wanted. He always did. It helped that I usually wanted what he wanted me to want. We were well matched in that way.

James bit down into the sensitive spot where my neck met my shoulder. "Say it."

Instead, I writhed under his touch. His finger dipped inside me, then out, swirling gently when I wanted him to press harder. Teasing me.

"Anne," James said seriously. "Tell me you want me to lick your cunt."

I used to hate that word until I learned its power. It's what men call women who have bested them. It's what women call each other when we want to wound. Bitch has become something of a badge of pride, but cunt still sounds dirty and harsh, and it always will.

Unless we take it back.

I said what he wanted me to say. My voice was hoarse but not weak. I looked into my husband's eyes, gone dark with lust. "I want you to put your face between my legs and make me come."

For one moment, he didn't move. Against my hip, his heat and hardness shifted and grew. I saw the pulse beat in his throat. Then he blinked slowly, and the smug smile spread across his mouth. "I love it when you say that."

"I love it when you do it," I murmured.

Then there was no more talking, because he moved down my body and lifted my nightgown to put his mouth exactly where I told him I wanted it. He licked me for a long time, until I shuddered and cried out, and then he slid up again to fill me and fucked me until we both came with shouts that sounded like prayers.

The telephone's jangling interrupted the postcoital laziness to which we'd succumbed. The Sunday edition of the Sandusky Register, spread out on the bed, crinkled and rustled as James leaned over me to grab the phone from its cradle. I took the chance to lick his skin as he did, sneaking a nibble that made him jump and laugh as he answered.

"This better be good," he said into the phone.

A pause. I gave him a curious look over the lifestyles section. He was grinning.

"You son of a bitch!" James settled back against the headboard, his naked knees pulled up. "What are you doing? Where the hell are you?"

I tried catching his eye but the conversation had immersed him. James is an intense butterfly, flitting from focus to focus and giving each his undivided attention. It's flattering when it's you. Not so charming when it isn't.

"You lucky son of a bitch." James sounded almost envious, and my curiosity was piqued even more. Generally, James was the object of admiration among his peers, the one with the newest toys. "I thought you were in Singapore."

I knew, then, who had disrupted our Sunday afternoon lassitude. It had to be Alex Kennedy. I looked back to my paper, listening while James talked. There wasn't anything particularly interesting in the newspaper. I didn't really care about the latest summer fashion or what cars were trendy this year. I cared even less about burglaries and politics, however, so I scanned the columns of text and discovered I'd been ahead of my time in painting my bedroom pale melon the year before. Apparently it was the season's hot new color.

Listening to only one side of a conversation is like putting together a puzzle without looking at the picture on the box. I listened to James talking to his best friend from junior high school with only the barest comprehension and frame of reference to help me assemble the pieces. I knew my husband as well and intimately as any one person can know another, but I didn't know Alex at all.

"Yeah, yeah. Of course you did. You always do."

The keen admiration was back, along with an eagerness new to me. I glanced at James. His face was alight with glee and something else. Something almost poignant. Despite having what could be a somewhat narrow focus on his own priorities, James was unafraid to be happy for someone else's fortune. He was, however, rarely impressed. Or intimidated. Now he looked a bit of both, and I forgot about the vapidity of pale melon altogether to listen to him speak.

"Ah, get out, man, you'd rule the fucking world if you wanted."

I blinked. The sincere, almost puppyish tone was as new to me as the look on his face. This was startling. A bit disturbing. It was the way a boy speaks to a woman he's convinced he loves, even though he knows she'll never give him a second look.

"Yeah, same here." Laughter, low and somewhat secret, crept out of him. Not his usual guffaw. "Fucking-A man, that's great. I'm glad to hear it."

Another pause while he listened. I watched him rub the curving white scar just above his heart, his fingers tracing the line of it, over and over, absently. I'd seen him do that before, rubbing that scar like a talisman when he was tired or upset or excited. Sometimes it was brief, a passing touch like he was flicking a crumb from his shirt. Other times, like this, the stroke-stroke of his fingers took on an almost hypnotic pace. I could be mesmerized watching James run his fingers along that scar, which sometimes looks like a half-moon, or a bite, or a frown or a rainbow.

James's brow creased. "No. Really? What were they thinking? That sucks, Alex. Really fucking sucks. Fuck, man, I'm sorry."

From elation to sorrow in half a second. This too was unusual from my husband, who might move easily from focus to focus but always managed to maintain his emotional stability. His syntax had changed during his conversation, reverting a little. I'm no prude about bad language, but he was saying fuck an awful lot.

In the next instant his face brightened. He sat up, bent knees going straight. The sunshine of his smile burst from behind the storm clouds of a moment before.

"Yeah? Right on! Fucking-A! You got it, man! That's fanfucking-tastic!"

At this I could no longer hide my expression of surprise, but James didn't notice. He was bouncing a little, shaking the bed so the papers rattled and the sadly neglected classifieds fluttered to the floor.

"When? Great! That's…yeah, yeah…of course. It'll be fine. It'll be great. Of course I'm sure!" His glance flicked His mind was too taken up with whatever was happening in Singapore. "Can't wait! Yeah. Just let me know. Bye, man. See you."

With that, he thumbed the disconnect button and settled back against the headboard with a grin so broad and vibrant it looked a bit maniacal. I waited for him to speak, to share with me the piece of brilliant news that had so excited him. I waited quite a bit longer than I expected to.

Just as I was about to ask, James turned to me. He kissed me hard, his fingers tangling in my hair. His mouth bruised mine a little, and I winced.

"Guess what?" He answered before I had time to reply.

"Alex's company just got bought out by a much larger corporation. He's like a fucking millionaire now."

What I knew of Alex Kennedy could fit on one side of a sheet of notebook paper. I knew he worked overseas in the Asian market and had since before I'd met James. He'd been unable to attend our wedding but had sent an elegant gift that must have been exorbitantly expensive. I knew he'd been James's best friend since the eighth grade, and that they'd had a falling-out when they were both twenty-one. I'd always had the feeling the rift had never fully been repaired, but then, men's relationships are so different from women's. If James barely spoke to his friend, that didn't mean they hadn't forgiven each other for whatever it was that had driven them apart.

"Wow. Really? A millionaire?"

James shrugged, fingers tightening again in my hair before he sat back against the headboard. "The guy's a fucking genius, Anne. You don't even know."

I didn't know. "That's good news, then. For him."

He frowned, running a hand through dark hair already tipped blond, though the summer had barely begun. "Yeah, but the bastards who bought him out have decided they don't want him part of the company any longer. He's out of a job."

"Does a millionaire need to work?"

James gave me a look that said I clearly didn't get it.

"Just because you don't have to do something doesn't mean you don't want to. Anyway, Alex is done with Singapore. He's coming home."

His voice trailed off at the last, sounding almost wistful for the barest second before he looked at me with another grin. "I invited him for a visit. He said he'll probably stay for a few weeks while he puts together his next business."

"A few weeks? Here?" I didn't mean to sound unwelcoming, but…

"Yeah." James's grin was small and secret, for himself.

"It'll be great. You'll love Alex, babe. I know you will."

He looked at me and was, for an instant, a man I didn't know. He reached for my hand, linking our fingers before he took them to his lips and kissed the back of my hand. His mouth caressed my skin, and he looked up at me over the top of his kiss, his blue eyes dark with excitement.

But not for me.

I was Evelyn and Frank Kinney's only daughter-in-law. Though my reception into the family had been chilly when James and I were dating and through our engagement, once I became a Kinney, I was treated like a Kinney. Evelyn and Frank had taken me into the bosom of the Kinney clan, and like quicksand, once I was so enfolded there was little I could do to escape.

We all got along well enough, for the most part. James's sisters Margaret and Molly were several years older than us, both married with children. I didn't have much in common with them aside from our gender, and though they were careful to include me in every "girls' night" party they had with their mother, we weren't close. It didn't seem to matter.

Typically, James didn't notice the superficiality of my relationship with his mother and sisters, and that was fine with me. It was all fine with me, that veneer. The shiny reflection that kept anyone from seeing what was underneath, the eddies and currents and depths of the truth. It was, after all, what I was used to.

It wouldn't have been so bad, except that Mrs. Kinney had…expectations.

Where we were going. What we were doing. How we were doing it and how much it cost. She wanted to know it all and was not contented with the knowing. She always had to know more.

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Tempted 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 114 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually read Naked before this and fell in love with Alex, now I can really understand the story. Great read!
Romance_Flunky More than 1 year ago
A must read. I love the way that Megan Hart takes the other "unimportant" characters and makes them the main charaters in her other books. It is great!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been so disappointed in a book I have read as I was with this one. The characters in my opinion were weak minded and annoying. It had erotic content but it was ruined by the constant whining of Ann. I kept thinking that it would get better, that at some point the characters would come to an understanding and realize that they all needed each other, that they all loved each other and need to come to some kind of solution together. Instead I got some stupid, delusional female who was bound and determined to be 'happy' in a life she had chosen before she met Alex. Instead of seeing that things have changed and there is no changing what has already been she decided to go back to the way thing were 'suppost to be' at the expense of the two people she claimed to love. She dragged both James and Alex down with her because of her self-righteous and condemed them to live a lie as well. She destroyed Alex and James' relationship, screw over Alex and continues to lie to James with her inability to face the truth. This story says to me that it is alright to be selfish and disregard what other people need. That it is better to hold on to something that is no longer there and short change yourself and the people you claim to love in order to save face. I would not recommend this book to anyone in fact I would recommend not wasting your time and money. I wish that I had not.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Sandusky six years into what outsiders believe is the perfect marriage without knowing that Anne and James Kinney still share great sex the only negative is his mother demanding an infant for the rest of the gang to play with. Now James¿ best friend from his junior high school days Alex Kennedy is coming back to the states after spending time in Singapore and elsewhere. Without a second ¿f¿ing¿ thought to his wife, James invites Alex to spend the summer with them. --- Anne has never met the infamous affluent Alex, but she expects not to like the world traveler. Instead to her shock and chagrin, she is attracted to her spouse¿s buddy and him to her. Adding to her confusion is that James seems to encourage them. Soon an acceptable triangle forms with the thought in the back of the heads of the threesome being that Alex would soon move on to his next venture so let¿s live for today. However, Anne finds herself further mixed up when she realizes she loves both her sex buddies. --- The three lovers come across as genuine especially when the two males use DIRTY language with every other word spoken between them and more so with the bewildered heroine. She knows that her entire universe for moments is the hardened penis of her respective sex partner until the supernova orgasm occurs. Erotica romance fans will appreciate this complex tale as Anne is more than TEMPTED by Alex while her marriage to James is not yet BROKEN, but no longer perfect. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 8 months ago
Such a good story. I love James... but I love Alex... Anne had a tough decision to make... in the end... wow. Happy and sad all at once. Wow! Great writing style. Great characters. Great story line. Great sub stories!
kysmom02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I think Megan Hart has a new follower! I can't wait to get my hands on a couple more of her books. This was just a little different than Deeper, and though I loved this one, it still wasn't as good as Deeper.This book was also so much more than I expected. It wasn't just threesome smut, but it had feelings and meaning. There was so much going on between Anne and James, but also between James and Alex, and Alex and Anne. The triangle had so much sensuality! It was classy and well written for this type of book. I loved Alex. He was the bad boy that every girl wants. I would have liked to have had him even more developed than he was, but as it was, it kept him as the mystery partner. The one with the shadows in his eyes and soul. So, while not developed as much as I wanted, it actually worked well and was most likely done on purpose. Anne and James have an amazing marriage. Even though there is some tension and they bring another man into the relationship, it's one that I'm sure most people dream of. They communicate very well and are able to share their feelings with each other while not hurting the other. It was awesome to read about.Can't wait to pick my next Hart book!
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
For some reason, many readers dislike the first person point of view. But not me. I think it makes a story more powerful and lets the reader get deep into the psyche of a protagonist, in this case Anne Kinney, a twenty-nine year old woman happily married for six years. This story takes place in Sandusky, Ohio, in a beautiful house on Lake Erie near Cedar Point, a hugely popular amusement park. Being from Michigan, this is very familiar Midwest territory. James and Anne’s house on the lake is a symbol of their seemingly perfect life: the waterfront, the lake breezes, and a summer season constantly outdoors. “Sometimes the picture someone else paints of us is a more accurate portrayal than a reflection. What we see in the mirror is always reversed. A portrait not only allows us to see our own faces, but how it looks to others.” But Anne has a lot of emotional baggage that is slowly revealed. She’s the daughter of an alcoholic, the eldest of four sisters in a close-knit family, “…a good girl. A quite girl.” And she’s used to smoothing things over and taking charge; “Keeping the surface polished.” She’s also not sure if she wants a baby and has not told James the entire truth about her sexual history. Tempted takes place in one summer when James’ oldest friend from junior high, Alex Kennedy, comes to visit. Alex is a self-made billionaire, handsome, and very charming. He’s also troubled and his relationship with James is complicated but close.  Anne is immediately attracted to Alex–which unsettles her–but their flirtation is gradual and is encouraged by and also includes her husband. Eventually, the three engage in an affair with one rule: Alex is not to have intercourse with Anne. When Anne discovers that Alex and James discussed her without her knowledge, she becomes angry and that’s when she realizes their unusual summer fling may be more than just that. And much more than James and Alex thought it would be as well. I admit I liked James more than Alex; he’s a loving and sexy husband who adores his wife.  As the story progressed and I got to know more about Alex, however, I liked them both equally.  Lest you think this erotic novel is just about sex, alongside this intense and steamy ménage à trois there is the drama of Anne’s troubled family, her sisters and their own problems, her hesitancy to have a child, Alex’s sad past, Anne’s overbearing mother-in-law, and her alcoholic father. And the camaraderie between Anne and her sisters is both authentic and loving. But, oddly enough, this book never feels depressing or overly angsty; Hart creates a nice balance between all these complexities and reveals a depth to all the characters even with a first person point of view. The marriage between Anne and James is both caring and sensual and becomes even more so when Alex enters the picture. Along with the good, we also see the unflattering intimacies in marriage: “Through the half-open bathroom door, I could see my husband scratching himself in places I didn’t need to see scratched.” It’s an odd relationship to be sure but Megan Hart creates a heroine who displays a great inner strength despite the turmoil of her life. It’s raw and beautiful to read. This is my first Megan Hart novel but it will definitely not be my last. Tempted is the first in the Alex Kennedy series and the ending of this story definitely leaves readers hungry for more.
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dayzd89 More than 1 year ago
I picked up Tempted at the book fair last week and started reading it right away. I found myself engrossed by Megan Hart's writing. She's a great writer, and on many pages I found passages that resonated with me. I was a little weary that this was going to be a novel that bashed bisexual/queer people, but it wasn't like that at all. Instead, I found myself caring for the characters and how the story would unfold. The only thing I didn't like was how the main character made that comment about the trans* woman in the bathroom, saying she wasn't really a girl. I rolled my eyes at that. But overall it was a very emotional and deep story. I definitely recommend it.
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The family issues in this story seemed to be as important as the main story line. The end was horrible although the tempted romance was good.
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This book was depressing and very cynical about everyday marriage. Marriage is work but it is not a death sentence. In the book Anne should have gotten a divorce and everyone would have been better off.
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This book was good in the sense that it makes the reader think. But while I thought the writing was good I didn't like the ending and I can't stop thinking about the book.  I wish it wasn't written in the first person so I knew what both Alex and James/Jamie were thinking.   ??????Possible spoilers??????Is James really bi or does he just love Alex?Was Anne a go between so that James and Alex could have sex without actually having it?Why couldn't they all talk it out and have a better ending and some closure?         End of possible spoilers.    While I prefer a feel good book with HEA the writing was good and like I said it makes the reader consider many things.   I gave it a 4 for the wetting  but a 3 for how sad it made me.