- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; First Edition edition (Dec 15 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312972725
- ISBN-13: 978-0312972721
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 159 g
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,738,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Seduced By A Scoundrel Mass Market Paperback – Dec 15 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
After her father's violent death, it's up to Lady Alicia Pemberton to care for her dotty mother and profligate brother, all the while struggling to make ends meet in Regency London. When her brother gambles away the last of their money, a desperate Alicia offers herself to the infamous gaming hall proprietor Drake Wilder. He in turn proposes marriage. She refuses, but Drake makes it impossible for her to say no. Alicia finally agrees--but to a marriage in name only. Drake believes it's his marital right to seduce her, and so their battle of wills begins. Alicia introduces her husband to society, and he charms them all, especially the women. But she is baffled by his two-sided personality: is he a ruthless gambler or a generous benefactor? They become lovers and decide to make the best of their marriage, until Alicia learns that Drake had purposely ruined her family and is using her as a pawn in his devious plot to further fill his coffers. Smith (Too Wicked to Love) brings a refreshing twist to a familiar plot in this sensual historic romance. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A master of storytelling!" --Romantic Times
"One of America's best-loved authors of historical romance!" --RomEx Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Drake has a secret agenda and the lovely Alicia provides him with giant steps towards achieving is goal of attaining entrance into polite society. He also has the double satisfaction of knowing he possesses the woman his estranged father wants. However, against all his desires, Drake soon falls in love with his wife and in spite of his mistreatment of her she reciprocates those feelings.
SEDUCED BY A SCOUNDREL shows why fans think Barbara Dawson Smith is one of the genre's top historical romance writers. The story line centers on love conquering hate, but done in a fast-paced Regency format. Drake is an enigmatic character whose need for vengeance thrusts the story line forward. Alicia is a warm, intelligent, and brave person who sacrifices her own needs for her ailing mother. The secondary players provide a feel to the era, especially the gambling "hells" and the shunning of a person born on the wrong side of the covers. Ms. Smith imbues the plot with plenty of sexual tension, a move that will elate Regency readers who love a touching tale with lot of spice.
The one consistent problem with this story is that problems are solved much too easily. For example, after Gerald's one horrendous loss at the gaming tables, he is miraculously able to quit and then start counseling other gamblers from betting beyond their means. Is this realistic behavior in the son of a compulsive gambler who is himself showing signs of addiction? Another neatly solved problem is James' acceptance of his disability. For four years he has been wallowing in self-pity, yet after one visit from Alicia and the duchess, and one visit with another disabled man, he is a new man. Given his wallowing in self-pity and refusal to find ways to live with his handicap, is it realistic that he would have been, at the same time, maintaining his upper body strength by lifting weights (in the Regency era no less!)?
Finally, this book repeats the common annoyance of late-20th century names for the hero and heroine. Others in this book have appropriate names, such as Richard, Eleanor, James, Sarah, and Gerald. So why Drake and Alicia for the hero and heroine?
SEDUCED BY A SCOUNDREL is a relaxing read and an enjoyable way to while away a few hours if you don't expect too much. I figured out the mystery as soon as Drake flashbacked to the time when his mother died, but the romance was nice, although I think I would have preferred to read James and Sarah's story, rather than Drake and Alicia's. If you find this book in a used-bookstore, give it a try. If I were grading it, I'd give it a C-plus.
When they finally do consummate their marriage, we get no real explanation of the reasoning behind Alicia's change of attitude. Why has she decided to stop hating this man, and surrender her prized virginity to him?
Another thing that bothered me was that Drake was too perfect. For most of the book, no sooner did a thought pop into Alicia's head that he knew exactly what it was. That served no purpose except to constantly pull me out of the story to wonder if Drake was psychic. Who else in the world is that perceptive--especially if we are talking about men! Also, all along the story, most of the misapprehensions and errors of judgment belong to Alicia, while Drake sails along with the wisdom of a saint. And the only time he does regret his actions, it's not really made clear what exactly it is he wishes he hadn't done.
The only things that redeemed the book in my eyes were the passably humorous episodes with Alicia's mother, and the sub-plot with James and Sarah. I wish more had been written about their romance, as I thought it was the only part that didn't seem to have been written by a sixteen-year-old.