Last Temptation


Romance - Contemporary
217 Pages
Reviewed on 02/07/2021
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Author Biography

A decade ago, Sloane Virago moved to Taiwan to teach English. After a year apart, she realized that she couldn’t stay away from the love of her life any longer. She flew home on Valentine’s Day to surprise him, but the surprise was on her. He proposed that day, and they’ve been together ever since. Today, Sloane spends her time writing novels and hiking with her husband and son. Last Temptation is her debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite

In Last Temptation, Sloane Virago challenges us with character evaluation. Each character is a troubling mixture of good and bad. With one exception they are twenty-somethings making their separate ways through finding careers and love. Each inspires and disappoints. Jacob, at first the seeming protagonist, a shy nice guy who must cheat to graduate from college, is seduced into the drug and prostitution trades where he meets Sarah, his first girlfriend. Peter, Jacob’s childhood friend, seems to be on his way in law enforcement before he becomes embroiled in its ambiguities. He’s in love with his childhood friend, the red-haired and beautiful Esperanza who thinks she is in love with him also. And it’s all being choreographed by the amber-eyed, demonic/angelic Daemon, who pops up at all the critical moments. Then, there’s the one featured adult, Miriam, Esperanza’s grandma, a devout Catholic who falls into moral dilemmas of her own. All along the way, there are biblical references, even in the names.

As I finished the last page, my mind was swirling with Last Temptation’s message (not that there needs to be one) until it hit me that the theme is that the world is a swirl of good and bad, right and wrong, and we navigate through our lives trying to figure it all out and finding our place somewhere near the middle of the milieu. In that sense, Sloane Virago’s debut performance is profound. Her prose is smooth and clear, no lack of clarity there, but as these well-drawn characters wend their ways, the gist of it all eluded me until I closed the book and gave it some thought. Personally, I love a book that makes me think, that forces me to tweak my view of things. For instance, Daemon says to Miriam, “… sometimes you have to do the wrong thing to help someone.” So, would such an act, I pondered, actually be wrong? All the moral haziness, however, is occasionally relieved with some quite clear and graphic sex. Everything together -- plot, characterization, prose style, message, and lovemaking -- cooks up one heck of fascinating stew. Bravo, Ms. Virago! Welcome to the literary world.

Samantha Gregory

Last Temptation by Sloane Virago tells the story of three childhood friends -Jacob, Peter, and Esperanza - who find their lives entangled with a man called Daemon. He is trouble from the get-go, dragging Jacob into his wild ways and coming between Esperanza and Peter's budding relationship. But Daemon is in danger of really falling for Esperanza, something he was not planning on. Their lives are changed for good as they struggle with their intense feelings and desires. The story moved at a good pace and jumped straight into showing how Daemon is able to corrupt them, starting with cheating on a test and growing from there.

Sloane Virago has written an interesting story with Last Temptation. Jacob starts out discontented with his life, forced to take a path in life he doesn't want, so when Daemon shows up, he is looking to cut loose and shake things up. There are strong biblical themes from the beginning, including the use of names and Jacob taking a religious test when he first meets Daemon. The characters are taken on a journey, leading them down some dark paths at times. The story was well-written and the characters were interesting, so it kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. Each character was well-developed and I liked Esperanza best. I think it would do well in the dark romance market more than contemporary but plenty of romance fans would snap it up. I would recommend it.

Kathryn Bennett

Last Temptation by Sloane Virago introduces the reader to Esperanza and the men who are trying to gain her love, Peter and Daemon, along with the wingman of the group, Jacob. Peter has been a friend since childhood, but now Esperanza finds herself unable to resist the allure of his striking passion. That is, of course, until a tragedy happens and while her other longtime friend Jacob is caught up in his own problems, Daemon is able to sweep in and seduce the beautiful Esperanza. Will the bad boy be turned into something else? Or will he instead corrupt the beautiful Esperanza with his wicked ways?

I usually read historical romances, but when I saw this contemporary love triangle, I couldn’t resist Last Temptation and had to give it a read. Boy, am I glad I did! This book has a lot of passions involved and some characters with depth to them. You don’t always find a depth of character in romances, so it is fantastic to find an author who makes sure it is there. Watching Daemon struggle with the choice between his life purpose and his true love is something I think many of us can relate to. And Esperanza falling for a bad boy? Well, who hasn’t done that on occasion? Sloane Virago has created a compelling story with characters you want to get to know better. My only complaint about this book is that I wish it had been a bit longer! I wanted to spend more time with the entire group of characters involved. Let love and passion reign, I can’t wait for the next one.