Historical Romance Review: Sunset Temptation by Jane Toombs

book review historical romance
Sunset Temptation by Jane Toombs
Rating: one-star
Published: 1989
Illustrator: Unknown
Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Pages: 380
Format: Paperback
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon

Historical Romance Review: Sunset Temptation by Jane Toombs

The Book

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). This is 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.

1 Star

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 1.4


If she weren’t so committed to healing, frontier doctor Jennara Gray would’ve killed that arrogant easterner Bramwell Sumner. The single-minded man had stormed into her home, accused her of trying to swindle his rich stepbrother, and was now about to go riding off into the sunset — right in the middle of a Sioux uprising. Jennara told the handsome blockhead she’d accompany him just to save his stubborn hide… and she’d never admit it was really because of the hot, intense desire the good-looking male made her feel!

No woman had ever fooled Bramwell Sumner, and that tall, outspoken Jennara Gray would be no exception. Despite her commitment to frontier doctoring, her genuine love for her patients and her caring hazel eyes, the cynical Philadelphia lawyer was convinced she was only a gold digger. Then for the first time ever his lust overrode his logic and Bramwell forgot all about his hunt for his stepbrother. All he wanted to search was Jennara ‘s silken slender body and claim her beneath the star-studded sky.

Sunset Temptation by Jane Toombs


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