3.5 Stars****Posted as a guest review over at Paranormalhaven.com***** I’ve long been a fan of Laura Moore’s since 2001 when I stumbled across one of her early books, Ride a Dark Horse, so when I saw she had a new book out in March, I promptly made the request to review it. She’s one of the dozen or so authors I’ve emailed and part of my love of her books stems from the precise details when it comes to horses, believe it or not. The reality and accuracy shown in her books has made me a fan from pretty much day one, and her romances usually tend to be on the sweet and sensual side.Once Tempted is similar in style, with a romance that is both sweet and sensual. We meet Tess Casari, who’s reeling from the death of her husband, and decides to start anew by doing a sort of “pin the tail on the donkey” on a map and going where her finger winds up. She lands in Acacia, California, looking for a new job, when she’s told to head on over to Silver Creek Ranch where they may have job openings. She meets Ward Knowles as her car is on its last legs, and let’s just say first impressions aren’t good on either side. Tess does, however, make a better impression on Adele, Ward’s mother, and is pretty much hired on the spot as her assistant.Let me say this. The first 15-20% of the book plods along like a tortoise that has no particular destination in mind. There is a lot more telling than showing, and though I understand the purpose of this, it makes for a rough read in the beginning of the book. When Tess and Ward finally start interacting, that is where the book picks up, and the humor and charm that are typically present in your books starts to shine through. I was a bit worried at first, giving Ward an evil gold digger of an ex- fiancé, that he would project those suspicions onto Tess, but he judges Tess fairly on the merits of her abilities and watching them to get to know one another and fall in love was the best part of the book.Where I had a big problem with the book was the reintroduction of the ex- fiancé. In a manner of speaking, she was all cliché, with absolutely no depth to her. Beautiful, vivacious, jealous, petty, and grasping at straws to win back the guy she threw away. I could easily predict her actions towards Tess, Tess’ reactions toward Ericka (the ex- fiancé ), and lastly, Ward’s reactions to both women. When the book focused on Tess and Ward, with a glance or two at his family,that is when the book won me over. I will definitely read more about the Knowles family, as I’m dying to know more about Reid and Quinn and I cannot wait for their stories.