Three and a half stars goes to this very interesting story that almost hit the mark, but fell short in some ways. Having read the second book before this one (Awakening Desires: Erin's Fancy), and not finding it heart stoppingly great, I wasn't holding the first book in high hopes either. When I actually started reading "Katie's Art of Seduction" I was pleasantly surprised. The dark brooding atmospere, with the small ray of sunshine that is the heroine, drew me right in and I wanted to know the hero and heroine better. What started out very interestingly though tapered off to a mildly interesting story instead, hence the "okay" rating.
Katie Wallace is a sweet and reclusive artist working in a small coffe and pastry shop. With no family left, she depends a lot on her boss Lucas for familial support. Lucas displays a self-portrait of Katie in his shop window and it's not long before the shy artist's likeness is snatched up by an eager buyer. Cain Benjamin brings new meaning to the word reclusived and the dark brooding man is becoming more and more obsessed with the painting's subject. Determined to meet the woman in the painting, he follows Katie home one night from work. Part of the night, mysterious and dangerously cold at times, Cain nevertheless persues Katie with all the passion and emotion he feels capable of. But will his scarred past keep him from commiting to the beautiful and honest Katie, who has just as much at stake in their relationship? She's set on bringing Cain into the light with her, no matter the cost to her heart.
I loved this book in the beginning. It's very much a beauty and the beast type story. Cain's obvious pain and torment were heartbreaking to read about. I felt so much sympathy for his character, but also felt he couldn't have had it any better with a heroine like Katie. Passionate, caring and loyal, she's almost too good for the cold and detached man Cain often was. And that was the problem I ran into. I was waiting and waiting for Cain to quit being such a jerk at times, but he became so wrapped up in his pain and misery that he couldn't see what was right in front of him. Personally, I came to feel like he didn't deserve Katie, even after they reconciled. If you love dark brooding romances with sexy, but somewhat bent heros, pick up a copy and enjoy. I ended up disappointed in the hero though and it kind of ruined the rest of the book for me. I think the book may have been better, for me, if it had been longer and therefore given a better chance for the main characters to reach a more believable resolution. Three and a half stars for a wonderful heroine and very good first half.