Book Reviews

Book Review: Temptation Rag by Elizabeth Hutchinson Bernard

Title: Temptation Rag

Author: Elizabeth Hutchinson Bernard

Publication Date: December 3, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars=Great Page Turner

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Temptation Rag is a historical fiction novel with a focus on ragtime music and theater. The story is about a poet and a pianist destined to be together but go their separate ways. They find each other again but a lot has changed. This being the second book I’ve read by this author, I enjoyed it more so than the first.

The story is told in third person and introduces well-developed characters. I could tell the story was researched due to the descriptions of the ragtime music era and theater as well as the 1800’s and 1900’s. I was invested in May, the poet of the story and Mike Bernard the pianist and musician of the story. The author has a unique connection to the characters and it showed throughout the book. There were several historical characters in the book, which added to its charm, but it was May and Mike I rooted for and wanted to know how their story would end.

I was hoping the story would have a happy ever after, but I’m glad the twist played out as it did. Temptation Rag was more realistic, dramatic when it needed to be and easy to relate to the characters. I couldn’t help visualize the scenes and felt like I was back in the 1800s. I’m not a big fan of historical fiction, but after reading this book, I may just have a change of heart. I recommend Temptation Rag to those who love history, music and the theater.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Temptation Rag by Elizabeth Hutchinson Bernard”

  1. Thanks for the terrific review, Teresa. The original inspiration for my novel TEMPTATION RAG came from the fact that Mike Bernard, crowned “Ragtime King of the World” in 1900, is my husband’s grandfather. But as I got into the research for the book, I became equally fascinated with the stories of other historical figures from the era, particularly the early icons of African American musical theater such as the composers Will Marion Cook and J. Rosamond Johnson and the incredible soprano Abbie Mitchell. These people became characters in my book which, though largely fiction, is based on many actual historical details. If any of your blog followers are interested in hearing some authentic music of the era, they can visit my website at where I have posted original recordings and reproductions of the music of Mike Bernard, Abbie Mitchell, Will Marion Cook, and others.


    1. Elizabeth,
      Thank you so much for sharing some of the authentic music of the era. I think it is wonderful that your husband’s grandfather was the Ragtime King of the World, which made very interested in the story. Thank you for the privilege of reviewing this precious gem.


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