Welcome to Temptation
Welcome to Temptation is a contemporary romance written by Jennifer Crusie and released in 2000. The novel explores the love story between Sophie Dempsey, a screenwriter making a movie in the small town of Temptation, and the mayor, Phinneas "Phin" Tucker. Over the course of the story, they solve a murder and deal with conflict around Sophie's movie, which is alternately a documentary or a porn flick. The lead characters appear in supporting roles in the sequel, Faking It, which centers on Sophie's brother, a secondary character in Welcome to Temptation.
Crusie, who has often defended the romance genre against critics, wrote the novel to deconstruct the complaints levied against the genre. The novel examines perceptions of reality versus fantasy and concludes that embracing a fantasy may lead to greater self-awareness. Through imagery and plot points, Crusie shows the shift in the power dynamics between the couple change as their relationship progresses, resulting in a more equal balance of power. Sophie's movie, which includes scenes taken from her courtship with Phin, provides an opportunity to explore the boundaries between private acts and public events. Using a protagonist who is also a con artist, Crusie highlights the inherent con in romance novels - that two extremely different people who have known each other for only a short time could live happily ever after.
The book was well-received; reviewers highlighted its humor, dialogue, and more daring sex scenes. It was a New York Times besteller and was number two on Amazon.com's list of top contemporary romances of 2000.
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