Seduction, by Amanda Quick

>> Sunday, January 05, 2003

I started another Amanda Quick this morning: Seduction.

Plot summary:

Townsfolk called him devil. For dark and enigmatic Julian, Earl of Ravenwood, was a man with a legendary temper and a first wife whose mysterious death would not be forgotten. Some said the beautiful Lady Ravenwood had drowned herself in the black, murky waters of Ravenwood Pond. Others whispered of foul play and the devil's wrath.

Now country-bred Sophy Dorring is about to become Ravenwood's new bride. Drawn to his masculine strength and the glitter of desire that burned in his emerald eyes, the tawny-haired lass had her own reasons for agreeing to a marriage of convenience. One was vengeance, and in its pursuit she would entangle Julian in a blackmail plot, a duel at dawn, and a dangerous masquerade. The other reason was dearer to her heart, but just as wild a quest: Sophy Dorring intended to teach the devil to love again.

I'm about 80 pages into it, and it's an atypical Amanda Quick in that I can't stand the hero, Julian. He's of the "My first wife was a bitch so now I hate all women" variety, and a monstruosly arrogant jerk.

Right now, Sophy has drugged him when he tried to seduce her (in spite of having promised not to force her for the first 3 months of the marriage. It seems he doesn't feel he has to fulfill a promise made to a woman. The nerve of that man!). She tried to make a fake blood-stain on the bed so that he thought he had succeeded, but she went a bit overboard and the stain was huge (a similar episode happens in Desire). Julian now thinks he was some kind of beast, and I'm enjoying his suffering very much, thank you. I'm afraid Sophy will be made to pay, though.

Posted later...

Seduction did get better, though it'll never be my favourite Quick. I'd rate it a B.

It had many interesting elements, like Sophy succeeding in making Julian see that she had as much right to her honour as any man (I loved the duel between her and Charlotte Featherstone!), but I'm not too fond of the story-line of the heroine in love with the hero from the beginning and trying to make him fall in love with her. Plus, here, I never really saw why Sophy fell in love with Julian. She never spoke to him, or anything. She just saw him from afar and danced with him once, hardly enough for an enduring love. Just a crush, as far as I'm concerned, but we never get to see Sophy realizing it was just that and that what she's feeling now is love.

A further problem for me was, as I mentioned before, the jerk of a hero, who sees nothing wrong in doing exactly what he's promised his wife he won't do. The evil first wife is a cliché, and I hate it when heroes use it as an excuse to treat other women badly. Julian does improve, but I never really liked him.

I was intrigued by the potential secondary storyline between Anne Silverthorne, Sophy's friend, and Julian's friend (whose name I can't remember). I know JAK doesn't do 2ndary stories (at least, I don't remember ever reading any), but if lays the groundwork for one, she should follow through. Maybe she was setting up another book, but she never did write it.

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