by Paula Quinn, historical (2006)
Warner, $6.50, ISBN 0-446-61782-2
Good grief, if Paula Quinn's medieval Lord Of Seduction is any more generic, it'll be as memorable as a brown grocery bag. It is also amusing to realize that while Ms Quinn's debut Lord Of Desire is akin to a Brava historical romance that is trying too hard to be sexy, the author takes the complete opposite route here. The heroine here is so girlish at times that I worry about growing pigtails just following her antics in the cloyingly sappy "Special sensitive girl saves innocent animals from mean bullies!" prologue.
The biggest problem of this story is that the grand infatuation the two main characters supposedly had took place when he was ten and she was six and they got to know each other for one summer. It's hardly a grand love in the making, much less a Gone With The Wind epic saga of young love found and lost that this story is making it to be, so when heroine Tanon Risande laments that she hardly knows her husband Gareth ap Owain and that he's changed completely since she last met him, I can only shake my head. Of course he's changed. Twelve years can do that to a ten-year old boy, if puberty hasn't gotten to him first. Therefore, whenever Tanon wails that she doesn't know the man she is made to marry, I can only remind myself that sometimes stupid people can't help being the way they are. Seriously now, she was six and he was ten.
The story is pretty simple, if you can't deduce it by now: those two had a childhood bond until they were torn apart by dire fate of unimaginable cruelty (her parents took her home once summer was over) and now she was ordered to marry him. He's Welsh and she's Norman so there are bound to be political differences as well as that obligatory bad guy wanting to harm everybody. In the meantime, Gareth mopes and sighs because as amazing as his prowess in the bedroom is, he has issues about love. Tanon, who announces that she's resigned to marrying without love early in the story, begins to very predictably mope about loving a man who doesn't seem to love her back when she's not hard at work cleaning up her husband's place, delivering babies, and generally being a super woman around the place. Everything about this story from the plot developments to character development is so familiar and unoriginal and Ms Quinn doesn't even present these overused elements in any interesting variation or twist that she can call hers.
Characterization is also inconsistent as the characters often behave like very different people from page to page and frankly, the whole "We Had A Grand Love, Can We Recapture That?" angst between Tanon and Gareth is laughable. After all, he was ten and she was six when they had this grand bond so Ms Quinn is really not getting away with this one.
Lord Of Seduction has a very nice cover but the story itself isn't interesting. Everything feels like a rehash of better stories. This book is so dry and uninspired that... well, let's just say that I will be very surprised if I remember anything about this book come tomorrow.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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