Seduction Mass Market Paperback – Jan 31 2012
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"Joyce excels at creating twists and turns in her characters' personal lives." -- Publishers Weekly
"An elegant blend of mystery and romance simmering with sexual tension."-Booklist on Deadly Promises
"Joyce's latest "deadly" romance is truly a pleasure to read, given its involving plot, intriguing characters, and the magic that occurs as the reader becomes immersed in another time and place."-Booklist on Deadly Kisses
"If this is your introduction to Francesca Cahill, you'll be just as hooked on the series as longtime fans. Joyce skillfully pulls you into her characters' tangled lives as they pursue a killer. The "Deadlies" keep you coming back for more because you care about the people and you can sink your teeth into their complicated lives as they twist and turn with mystery."-RT BookReviews on Deadly Kisses
About the Author
Brenda Joyce is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels and novellas, including the popular and critically acclaimed de Warenne Dynasty Saga, a series of novels set in Regency and Victorian England. She lives on a ranch in Arizona with her dogs, broodmares and the year’s current crop of foals. If she isn’t on the back of a reining horse, she can be found madly at work in her office, penning her latest romance novel.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Set during the French Revolution, naive Julianne is an Englishwoman who sympathizes with the cause of the French peasants. She is given the care of Dominic who is a spy for the English that was hurt in France. Being comatose when he is dropped off he doesn't know if he is in England or France and if he is with enemies or friends. Hearing Julianne speak French he assumes he is with French allies so he determines to seduce her to his side.
I seriously had to force myself to read this and generally I love Brenda Joyce. I couldn't stand Julianne and Dominic was not a character that was worthy of any woman's love. The back and forth dialogue between the two of them made me cringe the whole time I was reading it. I just can't even believe that this is the same author that wrote "The Prize" and "The Finer Things." I will give the next in this series a chance in hopes that she'll return to her earlier glory but I'm really worried she won't.
I have seen Brenda Joyce's name around in the last few years and have wanted to try one of her books. So, when SEDUCTION came available I jumped at the chance to read it. I have a love of French History, so I thought this story set during its turbulent Revolution would be a great book for me to try.
Dominic Paget, the earl of Bedford, is half-French half-English and has been living in rebellious France posing as a revolutionist but feeding the English with valuable information to combat the rebels. When he is wounded he is rescued by a fellow Englishman, Lucas Greystone, and sent to England to recuperate at Greystone's residence. When Dominic finally comes to, he has no idea where he is, how he got there, who he is with, and if they are friend or foe! Lucas Greystone leaves Dominic in the care of his two sisters, Julianne and Amelia. Julianne may be English, but she is a Jacobins and strongly favors the revolution in France and isn't quite about her opinions. When she hears Dominic speak French in the midst of his fever induced delirium she assumes he is a French Military Leader and, therefore, a hero in her eyes. Because Dominic has no idea how he got there, he goes along with her assumption that he is a revolutionist and decides he will seduce her to confidence so he can glean information about Jacobins activities in England and make that part of his report once he manages to get back to London. Well, seduce her he does and she falls hard for her "hero" until she discovers he is no hero but a privileged aristocrat! Devastated and crushed over the deception she is determined to forget all about him. She delves deeper into her Revolutionary lectures and meetings traveling to London to attend a rally. When she finds herself in danger, there is only one person who can help her. But will she call on him? And will they resume their passionate affair? Will two people on the opposite side of war come together and find common ground?
This story was really good with a few drawbacks. This is the first story I've read set during the French Revolution that clearly explains the politics involved in this turbulent time, the dynamic of the French mobs, and the betrayals, secrecy, and spying. Ms. Joyce never bogged down the story trying to tell us these things, instead she showed us the lives of people living through these horrific times and the consequences of the war around them.
I was never sure if I really liked Dominic. He has no qualms about seducing this woman who is nursing him from the brink of death. He KNOWS she innocent and KNOWS she is infatuated with him, but he doesn't care about using her. His exact words? "He had cared only about using her for his own ends, and the desire raging between them." Yes, I get WHY he continues with the charade with Julianne. It took me a while to warm up to Dominic--he's had to live a double life for so long he doesn't always know where he stands.
One of the drawbacks for this story was Julianne. (Hence the 3-1/2 stars) She was extremely naïve and easily influenced by others. She is completely ignorant of the consequences to her actions--of openly activating the Jacobin cause and of taking a lover. Others described her as malleable, naïve, stubborn, hard to control, susceptible to persuasion, and easily manipulated. This is the first story where I STRONGLY agreed with the hero in stating that she really needed the men in her life to give her a big spanking and take control of her life because she is borderline TOO STUPID TO LIVE.
I also had a small issue to take with Julianne's brother, who is her guardian. He leaves a wounded man for over a month with his two unwed and unattached single sisters?! He allows his sister to stay as a house guest for weeks and weeks with some man?? And then he's SHOCKED to find that *gasp* she's his mistress? Some guardian he is.
This book is filled with espionage and more espionage. Who can you trust? Which side will you pledge your alliance to? And what would you be willing to do to protect the ones you love and what you love? There was a lot of back and forth and more.
The romance in this story had to grow on me. It was hard to watch Julianne succumb to Dominic's seduction in the beginning when I could see how completely stupid she was and what a cad he was being for following through with it. When things progressed later after he is unmasked, it seemed that they all too easily just fell into bed together all the time. They had so many obstacles to overcome in their relationship that by the time the end came I was strongly rooting for them.
It might sound like I didn't like this story, but I did. I just had a hard time getting over Julianne. She did redeem herself to me; she grew and developed. She didn't end the story as the same naïve and malleable young lady.
I am really looking forward to more spymaster stories. I really hope we get to read about Julianne's brothers, Lucas and Jack.
I love spy stuff and England and France and deception! I was expecting to really enjoy this. Sadly, it fell short for me. And with that, here are my thoughts (I've bolded the most important points, just in case you're a skimmer!):
1. The romance took a back seat to the extremely political discussions and explanations in this book. At 30% of the way through, I knew very little about the characters, but had received a very thorough history lesson on the French Revolution, the Tories, the Jacobins... the battles... the sympathizers and the different thought processes from everyone involved. I started to space and skim through large chunks. I love history, but not this much! I wanted a romance, and there were parts that felt like I was reading a textbook rather than a novel. I felt like the framework of the story took forever to be put into place. It really took away from the romance, which felt like an afterthought. Historical fiction? Yes. Historical romance? Not really.
2. With all that being said, her story was very well researched. I understand that the author wanted her readers to receive all the background information to really understand the story. However, the reader is bombarded with so much! Too much to be enjoyable.
3. I didn't connect with/like any of the characters. Julianne made the stupidest decisions, and was unbelievably naive and spineless. I like romance novels that have strong women. Yes, she had strong opinions, but she was so naive and clammy that I had a hard time believing they were her own thoughts, and not something she had read in a pamphlet. And she kept getting into trouble! Dom was just annoying. He spent so much time with his nose in the air that he didn't even see what was going on. He totally lacked common sense. The supporting characters aren't really worth mentioning. Julianne had two brothers, but they were so similar and hardly ever spoken of, that I had a hard time differentiating between the two of them. Julianne had a maid/servant while staying at Dom's house that I liked, but I think it was only because she didn't bug me.
4. Too. Much. Drama. Everyone threw tantrums. Dom deceived Julianne, and she was so mad that she pouted forever! Julianne deceived Dom, and he got so mad he refused to look at her. Can't we be more adult here, and talk about this? They were on opposing sides of a war. Feelings are bound to be hurt. All of this pouting and cold shoulder business caused pointless misunderstandings. Julianne ends up getting into trouble because of her radical ways, and spends less than 24 hours in a jail cell. She won't eat. When she gets out, she's so weak and traumatized that she has to spend a week in bed. Seriously? That's a pretty wimpy reaction. I kept wishing she'd suck it up.
5. About 3/4 of the way through, things pick up a little. At this point we've been given all the info on the French Revolution, so the focus settles on Dom and Julianne and deception. It was a bit more enjoyable, but I felt it was too little too late. There was not enough time to recover, which was disappointing. So much time was spent on historic details and politics that time ran out before I could connect enough with the characters or the story to care how things ended.
6. For so much frustration and confusion, the ending gets wrapped up in a perfect little bow way too quickly to be believable. I was actually worried that things would be continued in the next book (which I won't be reading), we had so little time left. After all this time of being mad and annoyed and hurt and brooding and pouty, everyone just falls into place and life is perfect. This doesn't happen! People go from hate to love in the blink of an eye! I'm really glad their story ended with this book, because I would have been frustrated if I had plowed through this one, only to still not be finished.
I've read a lot of historical romance. Like I said, it has always been one of my favorite genres. I would not classify this as a romance, though. Julianne and Dominic's story was so weak, that it just annoyed me. Honestly, I didn't care if they sorted out their battles. I didn't like either of them, or their families. Everything took a backseat to the history lesson, which was really pretty boring. I skipped entire pages of history with no dialogue or happenings. It was just history. Now, I have nothing against history. It's just not what I wanted to be reading when I picked up a romance. I will applaud Ms. Joyce for her impeccable research. It was obvious that she spent a ton of time reading up on the French Revolution and the spymasters. If you like historical fiction, I can see that you might like this. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
At her family estate, Julianne Greystone helps Dominic heal from his near fatal wounds. She believes the French Revolution is a great thing for the masses. Julianne also thinks her patient is the heroic freedom fighter Charles Maurice. Dominic seduces his hostess though he knows he should not treat her as he does. As they fall in love, Juliana learns of his duplicity and tells him to leave. However, she is arrested for treason and brought to the Tower to await punishment. Only Dominic, risking his life, can save her.
This is a superb look at the divided opinions on the French Revolution as pragmatic Dominic feels the nightmare is dangerous for all classes while romantic Julianne relishes Lady Liberty. The romance is a sort of star-crossed affair as their political views divide them. Readers will enjoy this terrific late Georgian historical as love may not be enough to overcome monumental events sweeping both sides of the Channel.