1 star

Historical Romance Review: Sunset Temptation by Jane Toombs

Sunset Temptation, Jane Toombs, Zebra, 1989, cover artist unknown


1 Star

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Reviewed by Blue Falcon

This review is of Sunset Temptation, a standalone novel by Jane Toombs (Zebra/Kensington Heartfire, June 1989).

Heroine: Jennara Gray, 29, Brown hair, green-amber eyes. Healer.

Hero: Bramwell Sumner, 34. Brown hair and eyes. Attorney.

The Plot

The book begins at an unspecified time in Minnesota. Jennara Gray, the hero of the book, has just been confronted by Philadelphia lawyer Bramwell Sumner, the hero. Bramwell’s stepbrother, Ronald Claridge, and Jennara’s sister, Susanna, have run off together. Jennara and Bramwell make an uneasy alliance to bring the couple back. Easier said than done.

As they travel to try to find Susanna and Ronald, Jennara and Bramwell meet a Datoka boy named Cub, encounter various perils and become lovers.

Jennara and Bramwell eventually find Susanna and Ronald in Missouri, but also find more peril. In the end, Susanna and Ronald marry, as do Jennara and Bramwell. The latter couple has a baby together and both couples find their Happily Ever After.


My record of finishing every book I paid for with my own money remains intact.


Sunset Temptation is a BORING book. I’ll explain further.

Jennara and Bramwell are not strong enough characters to be leading a romance novel (they aren’t strong enough characters to be supporting players either), especially given the fact that Jennara, Bramwell, or both are in every scene in this nearly 400 page book. There is little character depth or development.

The supporting characters only exist as foils for Jennara and Bramwell to play off of. Perhaps realizing that her characters aren’t particularly interesting, Ms. Toombs or her editors try to add juice to the book by placing the characters in various perilous situations. This, too, fails miserably, as these scenes are no more interesting than the ones that precede them.


A handful of love scenes involving Jennara and Bramwell, which are just as colorless as the rest of the book is.


Assault, attempted rape, battery, killing, and rape all occur in Sunset Temptation. The violence is not graphic.

Bottom Line

Sunset Temptation probably isn’t as bad a book as I’m making it out to be. However, the stultifying boredom I felt reading it means no positive grade from me. 1.11 stars.

Settings: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri.

Time frame: unspecified but during the Civil War.

Tropes: Attorney. Healer. Heartfire. Historical Romance.

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