Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Oh my, Seduced by a Stranger is absolutely phenomenal!
Catherine Weston has a secret to hide that holds the truth of her past. The gossip is everywhere, so when her old friend Madeline St. Aubyn requests Catherine visit her at Cairncroft Abbey, the St. Aubyn family estate, Catherine is happy to go. She owes an old debt to Madeline, who saved her life as a young girl. However, when Catherine arrives, it is obvious the Abbey has a dark history as well, not the least of which is Madeline's declining health and terrible fear of her cousin, Gabriel St. Aubyn.
Gabriel St. Aubyn has a very dark past that affects all he feels and does. He has no desire to share these secrets though if anyone could break down his walls, it would be the enchanting friend of his cousin. When a young woman with ties to Catherine ends up dead, Gabriel becomes a prime suspect because of the very past he keeps hidden. Now it appears Catherine may be in danger as well and she is torn - trust this man who haunts her dreams or fear him for the villain he might be? Catherine has been Seduced by a Stranger and it could mean her death... or her greatest fantasies come true.
Seduced by a Stranger is a story of overcoming the sins of the past to find happiness and love in the present. However, it is also so much more than that. Catherine and Gabriel are two deeply wounded individuals who have experienced horrors no one should ever have to face, especially alone. They each have plenty of reasons to doubt one another and turn their backs on love, but these two are so much stronger than they believe they are. They belong together and following along with them as they finally let go of the past to find happiness in the present makes for a beautiful love story.
Most everything Eve writes is dark in tone, but Catherine and Gabriel's story is her darkest yet. Also I feel it important to point out, if you are squeamish or have problems with reading graphic violence, you may want to think twice about Seduced by a Stranger. There are several parts with explicit descriptions of the murders the villain commits and of the torture one of the characters suffers as a child. I do think however, that Eve did a fantastic job of giving just enough detail for us to understand what drives the characters and how these events affected them, without crossing the line into unacceptable. Just be forewarned when you start this one.
I have read everything Eve Silver has written, under both pseudonyms and she only gets better with each book. I was sucked in to Seduced by a Stranger from page one. Here we have a highly complex tale of passion and intrigue that keeps us reading long into the dark night, though most likely leaving the light on when it is time to go to sleep. There are a few stunning plot twists and I was completely blown away by the conclusion and exactly how everyone was involved.
Eve Silver is an amazing writer and I for one cannot wait to read her next book.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, August 2009. All rights reserved.