- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 764 KB
- Print Length: 308 pages
- Publisher: Jove (28 May 2002)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0010SB6NQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #189,784 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Beyond Seduction Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Also the sex is really HOT - if you don't like your sex honest and not hedged in by fluffy euphemisms DON'T get this book, some of the descriptions are so down to earth explicit they could grace a manual on 'improving your relationship'.
Nicholas is very taken with Merry’s attractions, and is in fact eager to paint her. Merry deceives him by posing as a servant, and he in turn is taken by her unaware beauty and charm. The two soon realise their attraction for one another, and act upon it. For each it starts out as a temporary thing, but when Merry finally has the opportunity she had been working towards, she finds she cannot simply walk away from Nicholas. Together they go to Vience, city of lovers. But Nicholas still does not know the truth, and in fact he is hiding something himself…
I enjoyed that Merry takes control of her situation here. She comes under considerable pressure and in fact blackmail from her family, and unusually for the time (considering her station) she does not bend to their wishes, but comes up with her own plan, takes action and then also takes responsibility for the consequences. Nicholas is more a product of the time, but is nevertheless an engaging central male character, with his own strengths and weaknesses, and provides the opportunity for Merry to blossom into the person he uniquely perceived her as being from the outset.
Taking the romance outside of London was also different. The lifestyle Nicolas leads in Venice is not a particularly attractive one, but it is this section that leads to the epiphany for both characters independently as well as for the structure of the story as a whole.
The sensuality sizzled, the characters are unique and distinctive, and altogether I found the book to be something more than the standard Regency Romance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This novel contains the most insatiable sex scenes recently written. And I thought I'd read smoldering scenes before! But the best part is what happens before Nicolas and Merry hit the sack. The scenes in which Nicolas seduces Merry are incredible. The building of tension made me tingle all over. And I loved the story. I love historical romances, but this one's the best I've read in a long time. I couldn't put this book down and savored the last pages like fine wine. Beyond Seduction has become my favorite Emma Holly novel. I so look forward to reading all of her books. In the meantime, I recommend this wonderful novel. It'll awaken your loins as well as your intellect. Your partner will be grateful once you're able to put this book down.
Merry Vance, the daughter of Duke of Monmouth cherishes her freedom and has no intentions of abiding by her mother Lavinia's fervent wishes for her to marry Baron Althrop's son Ernest. Fear of her past affair with Althrop being exposed to her husband, she is forced to compromise Merry's happiness. Merry is pushed to the wall and finds herself succumbing to being a model for the notorious but talented artist Nicolas Craven in a twist of fate. What she did not gamble on was the inexplicable attraction that bounded Merry to the complex Nicolas...
Emma Holly's latest historical romance may be sexually explicit and at some times challenging the boundaries of romance to hint of decadent carnal adventures like menage a trois and homosexualism. It is precisely Ms. Holly's courage to push the envelope that makes Beyond Seduction her most accomplished historical romance. Her characters, Merry and Nicolas are flawed and both vulnerable with their insecurities. Merry's plain beauty catches the eye of Nicolas in his portrait of her as Godiva. It is her candor and independence - and ultimately her undying love for Nicolas that makes him confront his own demon and guilt to his "son".
Beyond Seduction is lusciously tempting with the flagrant sexuality but it is even more evocative and poignant when Merry and Nicolas both fight off temptations and remain committed. It explores facets of sexuality - from naivete, experimentation to understanding faith and promises. Though I would like the ending to be less abrupt with Lavinia's sudden shift of character and less fairy tale like, it remains quinessentially a romance. Ms. Holly has proven that she has gone further beyond seduction to present a romance with heart that rekindles wounded souls. This is no doubt the erotic romance of the year.
The book starts with a character from EH's last book "Beyond Innocence," Merry Vance. Merry is now 20 years old and looking to avoid marriage to a suitable young man that her mother has chosen for her. Merry's mother has ulterior motives for wanting this marriage and is pressuring her daughter incessantly. To escape the marriage, Merry schemes to pose for a notorious artist in the hopes that this will make her unsuitable for marriage to anyone as she longs for "freedom" to live the way she wishes. The artist she has chosen is Nic Craven. Nic is talented, handsome, and a rake who is reputed to be a real Lothario. She lies to Nic and tells him that she is only a servant when she is really the daughter of a duke. Nic is immediately attracted to plain little Merry and decides that she must move in with him so that he may use her as a model for his paintings. From there their affair begins and what an affair it is!
I know from my earlier comments that this book sounds like nothing but a sex-fest, but there is actually a poignant love story amid deception, guilt, denial, and lust. Nic is a man who is plagued by doubt and guilt over his past. He cannot get over what happened to him when he was a teenager and thus considers himself unable to love nor feel he deserves love. While Merry unconsciously feels as if she will never measure up because of her looks or lack thereof. She makes bad choices and later, too late, realizes the selfishness of said choices.
I give it four stars instead of five because of the ending. The ending was a little too neat and tidy. Nic's revelation about his family background was too convenient. It's a small complaint, nonetheless, to an otherwise satisfying story.
Set in the late 1800s England, a union between a sinfully notorious artist and a Duke's daughter would be scandalous! But this is the perfect setting for Ms. Holly to weave her tale. Nicolas Craven and Merry Vance don't just seduce us, they let us into their intimate lives and share with us all the sorrows and ultimate joys on their journey to happiness. The supporting characters -- Evangeline, Sebastian, Lavinia Vance and Althorp do their jobs well and are just as interesting to "watch." In fact I would love to see my favorite supporting character, Ernest, in his own novel ...
As in past novels, Ms. Holly allows the reader to experience each thought, each sensation and each emotion of the characters. Read this one when you have time because you won't want to put it down.
Having met the scandalous and most sought after artist Nicolas Craven who just happened to have rescued her form being accosted one night, she thought he might be just what she needed. He thought her a servant, and as such, offered her his card wishing she would come and model for him. Working out an elaborate ruse with her best friend so that her family thought she was away in Scotland, she approached Nicolas as the servant he thought her to be, saying she had just been tossed from her position.
Nicolas was not immune to a woman's charms - he'd had several models and affairs, none ever lasting longer than a month or so or until the painting was done - quite a lover but never in love. Divine sexual satisfaction would be all they would get from him - but nothing more. Merry knew this, but the feelings he stirred in her were also something she would have no control over - and for that matter, she had no intention of ever marrying anyhow so...
The nude painting of her was done, the centerpiece of Nicolas' exhibition. Merry's original intent was to scandalize herself in the eyes of the ton but when it came right down to it she was a coward to face her parents. She ran again, still not telling Nicolas who she was, she took him up on an offer to see Venice. Her brothers finally caught up with her and dragged her home. Leaving Nicolas feeling bitter and betrayed.
Both Nicolas and Merry had secrets they hid from one another - their true identities were one, Nicolas' son another, as well as the love they both began to feel towards one another. They both gained from the relationship as well, Merry, finally realizing that she was beautiful when seen through Nicolas' eyes, and Nicolas, opening up to finally tell her the truth about his son and, knowing he loved her, the strength to admit who he truly was and to try to live up to be the person Merry deserved.
I really liked this story. I love the fact that both of these people grew so much. It took a bitter parting and time, but they needed the time to discover hidden strengths within themselves. The sex in this story was really, really hot - more so I think than the first novel - but tastefully done. It was a very good story, again, not for the faint hearted but one I would definitely recommend.
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