Monday, August 3, 2009

Seduce Me, by Robyn DeHart - Review

The Facts
Title: Seduce Me
Author: Robyn DeHart
Release Date: July 28, 2009
Subgenre: Historical (Victorian), Paranormal
Page Count: 297

The Premise
Mercenary treasure hunter Fielding Grey snatches legendary treasure from bad guy; unexpectedly acquires beautiful, brainy damsel in distress along with it.

The Good Stuff
This is a very well-done love story. The outstanding element here is the way the characters struggle against forces they don't understand, both internal and external, to figure out whether the feelings they have for each other are real or based on illusion. The characters are interesting, 3-dimensional, believable. The love story tends to be a little overshadowed by the adventure and the constant threat of the Bad Guys, but the way it unfolds-- quietly, gradually-- is a nice counterpart.

DeHart's writing is smooth and completely professional. It flows, and the setting, the characters, and the action all come to life effortlessly.

Things That Make Me Say Hmmm

Suspension of disbelief is an elusive and sometimes fickle thing. I picked up Seduce Me right after finishing The Fire King, which involved a three-thousand-year-old being who could take the form of a man, a dragon, or a lion; a heroine who can understand and speak any language she comes into contact with; assorted secondary characters with a range of fictional superpowers--and I loved it.

So why did have trouble with a story revolving around Pandora's Box?

Honestly, I think this story would have been better without any paranormal manifestations. The things that did happen could easily have been written as superstitions vs. demonstrably paranormal events (*/spoiler-avoiding contortions*).

Then there were significant liberties taken with the legend, at least the legend that I know: Like Eve, Pandora is offered a temptation she can't resist. Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, while Pandora unleashed all the ills of the world -- Bad Things such as disease, famine, etc., though *hope* remains. Right? So several centuries or millenia later, the box should be empty. I mean, the cat has been out of the bag for a long time, right? (This is probably where someone smarter than me will leap in with scholarly information about how there are other theories... anyone?)

However, DeHart's plot revolves around anyone opening the box being cursed with one of those original Bad Things, and then figuring out how to break the curse. I'm sorry to say that the world-building on this point was muddy and inconsistent-- tattoos? full moon? severed hand? whaaaa??

Bottom Line
I'd put this book in the average category. I will forgive a lot of plot sins--which this had-- in return for good characters and good romance-- which this had. If you are intrigued by the notion of hunting not just ordinary mortal treasure, but legendary, mythical treasure, it should have extra appeal-- not to mention that it's pretty easy to insert a young Harrison Ford into your mental landscape for this book.

I think ultimately it was the story itself that didn't appeal very much to me-- which is good in a way, because that means that the next story could work out just fine. It did seem that the set up for future books such that future books could be fairly stand-alone.

The Blog Tour
The next two weeks will see a flurry of activity around this book, with reviews, interviews, and giveaways, and there are sure to be some alternate opinions, so be sure to check them out. And I'd like to extend my thanks to Hachette for providing the review copy.

Participating Blogs: - Aug. 1 - 14 review and giveaway - Aug. 1 - 14 giveaway and review - Aug. 2 guest blog and giveaway - Aug. 3 Q&A, review, and giveaway - Aug. 4 giveaway - Aug. 4 Q&A, review and giveaway - Aug. 5 giveaway - Aug. 5 guest blog, review and giveaway - Aug. 6 Q&A, review, and giveaway - Aug. 6 giveaway - Aug. 7 Q&A, review, and giveaway - Aug. 7 giveaway - Aug. 9 Q&A, review and giveaway - Aug. 10 review and giveaway - Aug. 10 review and giveaway - Aug. 11 review and giveaway. - Aug. 11 giveaway - Aug. 12 guest blog and giveaway - Aug. 12 - Aug. 12 review and giveaway - Aug. 13 review and giveaway - Aug. 13 Q&A, review and giveaway - Aug. 14 guest blog and giveaway - Aug. 14 review and giveaway - Aug. 14 review and giveaway - Aug. 14 review and giveaway


made4books said...

Everyone is entitled to thier own opinion. I really enjoyed this book! I thought that the whole treasure seeking element was fresh and new in historical romance. It involved all of the things that are important to me in my life, books,history,and real love.I am a follower at all of her stops so far on her scavengr hunt. I,ve made seperate blogs at all of them feel free to add your opinion to these. Angela

Nicola O. said...

Angela, thanks for stopping by! I enjoyed the book as well, I hope I was clear about that.

made4books said...

Yes I realize you liked it but to me it was really good. I found that what made me enjoy this romance was all the things you thought a little much. I read ALOT of historical romance(only thing I read) so to me it was pretty fresh. I still enjoy your site though!!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cover and the story sounds great.

Alice Audrey said...

I've seen people try that real vs illusion thing before and been less than happy with the results, but see a lot of potential in it. If you say this one is worth looking for, I'll keep an eye out for it.


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