by Kinley MacGregor, historical (2000)
Harper, $5.99, ISBN 0-06-108712-2
With a title like Master Of Seduction, boy, does this book has a lot of expectations to live up to! Which is why it is more disappointing that this admittedly very enjoyable read doesn't try to cover much new grounds when it comes to the pirate romance subgenre. Even more, the hero... well, let's just say he's not going to raise my body temperature, not even by one smidgen of a degree.
Lorelei Dupree decides to help her fiance capture the bad pirate Black Jack Rhys, but ends up getting kidnapped by the pirate instead. The pirate has issues with her fiance, after all, and decides to hold her for the usual reason.
There are pretty fine romance and adventures, but the whole scheme of things isn't something new. I've read the same old revenge, fall in love, save her from her evil fiance, etc plot countless times before, and there is no successful attempt in MOS to make the story stand out from its predecessors.
Which is quite a pity as Lorelei is a fine heroine, the latest in a long line of seductresses who is more than capable in handling her man. Her characterization never falters - she remains more an asset than a troublesome liability, and she doesn't turn into a teary-eyed wimp in the end. Then again, Lorelei doesn't make any claims to be a hellion either, unlike many other fake tomboys in other romances, so it is more the satisfaction in seeing Lorelei a great match for any romance hero.
The hero, however, is a different story. Same old Past, same old line of thinking (she's... different), and for a Master Of Seduction, he is one limpie (pun intended). It's bad enough he has lines that make him look cheesy enough (No woman resist Black Jack Rhys. No one shoot Black Jack Rhys!), but I'd think a well-traveled pirate would have an arsenal of sexual ooze at his disposal. There should be an illustrated Kama Sutra in the drawer, lots of interesting accessories, and at the very least, some eye-popping, mind-boggling exotic positions. You aren't called Master Of Seduction for the missionary position, buster. Guess what limp noodle is served up instead - not even a full two pages of Grand First Let's Shag Scene. Maybe he's tired. But that's no excuse! Talk about an anticlimax. Hmmph!
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