Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Review: The Second Seduction of a Lady

The Second Seduction of a Lady
By Miranda Neville
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: 
October 16, 2012

Eleanor Hardwick is an independent woman with a great respect for common sense and very little respect for the institution of marriage. Thanks to an inheritance from her mother, she enjoys an income of five hundred pounds a year. She spends her money as she likes, and she travels six months of every year for extended visits with relatives. Currently she is visiting in Somerset, having responded to an urgent summons from her father’s second cousin, the Honorable Mrs. George Brotherton, whose detestable character Eleanor can tolerate only because such tolerance is the price she must pay to enjoy the company of her delightful seventeen-year-old cousin, Caroline Brotherton. Eleanor gives an occasional thought to a time five years earlier when, as she was on the threshold of sensible spinsterhood, for a brief time her common sense deserted her and she thought herself as wildly in love as even the romantic Caro could hope for. But no one else knows of the wayward memories that she quickly suppresses when they surface.

Max Quentin is spending a few weeks in Somerset winding up his guardianship of young Robert Townsend, who is looking forward to his twenty-first birthday. Max has spent five years regretting a foolish bet that he accepted against his better instincts because he needed the money. How could he have known that the lady he’d bet he could seduce into granting a kiss would be the very woman whose grace and intelligence seduced him into thoughts of marriage? The lady’s discovery of the bet put an end to Max’s plans for the future, but he has never stopped longing for a second chance.  He just never expected to find the lady of his dreams taking a stroll on Townsend property.

Max may be pleased when he realizes the woman who reminded him of Eleanor actually is Eleanor, but Eleanor wants nothing to do with him. He greets her with open arms; she greets him by shoving him into the river. But even a plunge into cold water is not enough to cool Max’s ardor. Fate has given him a second chance to seduce Eleanor into marriage, and this time he’s determined to succeed. Meanwhile, Eleanor thinks young Townsend is just the person for Caro’s first innocent flirtation, and Max thinks if Robert harmlessly flirts with Caro, Max will have more time in Eleanor’s company. Can they have forgotten how real and impetuous young love can be?

Miranda Neville has become one of my never-fail authors. Both Max and Eleanor are intelligent strong-minded, and imperfect, qualities I associate with most of Neville’s characters. I loved them both and particularly enjoyed that they were a bit older than the typical hero and heroine. Reunion romances are my favorites, in part because I like a hero and heroine who share a history. And this second seduction is marvelous.In fact, the only thing that I regretted about this story was that the reader didn’t see more of the first seduction. “The Second Seduction of a Lady” is a novella, a mere six chapters, and it serves as a prequel to The Importance of Being Wicked, the first book in Neville's new late-Georgian quartet about art collectors. I wanted more of Max and Eleanor. I would have been happy with a full-length novel.

The novella releases today. It’s a bargain read at $1.99, and it includes a two-chapter excerpt of The Importance of Being Wicked, which is set for release on November 27, with Caro as the heroine. I’ve read TIOBW and adored it. That review will be coming soon. For now, I do recommend “The Second Seduction of a Lady.” It’s a delicious souspeçon, an appetizer for the terrific main dish of a story that’s six weeks from release
Prequel novellas are becoming quite popular. Do you like them, or do they leave you wishing for a fuller story?


irisheyes said...

I've purchased a few of these prequel novellas but have to admit I haven't read any of them yet.

My nature being what it is I'm assuming that they will leave me wanting. I always seem to want more from my favorite books. I also think it is a cute, inexpensive way to introduce people to a cast of characters or setting. The risk is very minimal for the reader to invest a bit of money and a little time to see if they will like the series that will follow.

quantum said...

I think a prequel can be a good idea, particularly for series where it can give a feel for the characters and situation and trial the authors voice. Hopefully the prequel will help to make books in a series fairly independent so that if say book #3 is highly praised, one can read it without working through the first two. This is important for those of us with limited reading time! LOL

Neville is on my radar but haven't read her yet.

Janga, I have ordered your " all-time favourite contemporary Christmas romance, A Carol Christmas (1989) by Muriel Jensen". I rather think that Mrs Q will like it as well.

I would also love to see your list of top ten ever Xmas stories ..... I'm sure you have one! Maybe in the week before Xmas *smile*

Janga said...

Irish, I really like that the prequels and other novellas within series give me more to read from favorite authors. But usually I find that the more I liked the novella, the more I wish it were longer. LOL

Janga said...

Q, you should try Neville. Her books are intelligent with some great humor and superbly crafted characters.

I hope Mrs. Q likes A Carol Christmas. It always leaves me with a sentimental tear and a big smile.

Hmm. I wonder if I can narrow my top Christmas reads to ten? I'll see what I can do.

Vickie said...

I like prequels...they help develop the stories.

Booklover26 said...

I do like prequels as long as they fit well with the books that come after. :)