TK Turner does so many things right with Her Temptress that I only wish it didn't have to end . . . and yet, part of the reason it works so well is precisely because of how and when it does end.
The story opens with a perfectly normal scene of domestic tension that serves well to upset our expectations. TK introduces us to Meredith through the unflattering reflection of a bathroom mirror, and the melancholy memories of the woman in question. Besieged by age, a disinterested husband, and a stagnant career, Meredith is the kind of woman readers can identify with.
As if her situation weren't already bleak enough, she's been called into work . . . on a Saturday . . . during a hurricane . . . to train her own replacement. It would be easy at that point to write her off as a sad woman, desperate for any hint of happiness, but we quickly get to experience the fire inside that put her into a position where she has a career to lose. She may be a woman faced with dwindling options, but she has no intention of accepting them quietly.
Fortunately, TK wisely relieves the dreary tension soon after Meredith arrives at the office. The brief confrontation with her young replacement quickly establishes Meredith as the stronger of the two women, especially once Hitomi panics and flees the weather with comical cowardice. Left alone with her boss, Meredith sets off to confront The Panther - who, having been set up as an untouchable woman of powerful perfection, is immediately made at least a little bit accessible by the all-to-familiar situation of being dumped by her boyfriend over the phone.
In contrast to Meredith, the beautiful Lakeisha Lewis (aka The Panther), she is a woman of passion and power. A kind of corporate dominatrix, dressed in leather boots and tight skirts, she senses Meredith's forbidden attraction and teases a more intimate response from her. It's that seduction, that tension between the two women, that drives the core of the story and gives it far more intensity than your standard affair-with-the-boss cliche. The sex is hot and nasty, entirely physical, and unencumbered by any emotional commitment. Just reading it leaves you breathless and aroused, flushed and desperate for more. Meredith surprises (and delights) us by giving just as well as she takes, and while The Panther is clearly the instigator, both women get what they need from their moment of mutual weakness.
There are so many ways TK could have ended the story, but she pushes through the sex and gives us not just a realistic ending, but an empowering one as well. To say more would be to spoil it entirely, but it's safe to say you will be tempted into reading more from this wonderful author. Definitely recommended.