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An Invitation to Seduction (Avon Romantic Treasures) Mass Market Paperback – May 2004

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An Invitation to Seduction Wealthy Kitty Robertson has already accepted the Marquess of Farthingham's marriage proposal when she meets the gorgeous but roguish Richard Stanbury, the sixth Duke of Weddington. Now the duke must convince her to marry him instead. Original. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
American heiress in Victorian England--overbaked, familiar 7 Jun. 2004
By C. Vowels - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mary Ellen "Kitty" Robertson, the adopted daughter of an American tycoon, wants to be an elegant and respected lady like her adopted mother. Well travelled and supposedly sophisticated, Kitty is engaged to a handsome, impoverished English lord. Having selected her betrothed because he is charming, a good friend, and seems a "safe" (you won't be able to forget that term, believe me) choice for a husband, Kitty is surprised to find herself passionately drawn to the dark and serious Duke of Weddington.
The duke, a close friend of Kitty's fiancé, is instantly taken with the beautiful red headed American heiress after he encounters her near his home on the coast of Cornwall. Knowing that Kitty's fiancé has a dark secret, Weddington is convinced that Kitty will never be happy with the man she has chosen and decides to pursue her himself.
At the beginning of "An Invitation to Seduction" I liked Weddington. His character showed some hints of depth regarding a tragedy in his past and some lingering physical ailments, but any interesting character development is lost in the overwrought plot of this story--though I did like the fact that he had his own money and didn't need Kitty's, but liked her for herself.
I find Kitty to be a very grating character, with little to recommend her beside the facts that she is beautiful, rich, and American (in that order). The primary issue driving her life choices is so silly and immature that even the author ends up brushing it off as an over-complicated hang-up toward the end. I must say that she did seem to have grown up a bit by the end of the book, but it wasn't enough to make her sympathetic or likeable.
One of the redeeming points of this story is that Kitty's fiancé is a relatively three dimensional character and is not conveniently vilified as is so often done in the romance genre. His secret, however, is painfully apparent from the beginning.
There are occasional hints at what the story could have been if it had been drawn out with a more subtle hand, but that's not enough to make "An Invitation to Seduction" a good read. It does pick up a bit toward the middle, but by the last thirty pages it was so ridiculous that I put it down for a week, only bothering to finish it when I got sick of seeing the book on my night stand.
If this is your first Lorraine Heath book, I'd encourage you to try some of her others, like the very good "The Outlaw and The Lady" or even "To Marry an Heiress".
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to like it, but I couldn't! 31 May 2004
By lovesbooks - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, let me tell you that I could read only about 100 pages of "Invitation to Seduction," so I can only tell you why I didn't finish it. I like Lorraine Heath's other books--at least most of them--but I found it totally unbelievable that in Victorian England, Kitty--terrified that she will imitate her mother who had her out of wedlock--would allow a total stranger within five minutes of meeting him to fondle her, regardless of his physical attractiveness. Now, as a reader, I readily accept unbelievable events all the time. It is the mark of a successful book to establish the internal fictional reality over the truth in the real world. That's why I can readily accept that a kidnapped lady falls in love after one day with a noble-born, but peace-loving vengeful pirate who wrecks the ships of the man who slaughtered his family, the present fiance of the kidnappee. That's an author's magic to make the reader accept her version of reality. However, maybe because I couldn't warm up to either Kitty or to Richard, I couldn't accept their instant lust which immediately causes Richard (a duke who has avoided marrying, who refuses to let his sister marry a commoner, and who disdains American women) to propose to a woman who breaks the most basic stricture to swim nude, alone, and who allows "liberties" to be taken. That he would desire her as a mistress is believable, that he wants to marry her, wants her to continue his family line, after seeing her less than an hour never rang true. Lorraine Heath performs magic in her other books, but it was missing in this one. My recommendation to you: pass and read an earlier Heath.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The hero is one of those characters I wish were real. 27 Jun. 2004
By Thea - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lorraine Heath has a gift for creating the most wonderful heroes. The kind I wish were real instead of just a character of a novel. The hero of her previous book "Love with a Scandalous Lord" Rhys Rhodes is one of my all time favorites, therefore, I was coming to this book with great expectations about the male character. Well, I'm glad to say that I was not dissapointed in the least. Richard is a fantastic hero.
Unfortunately I can not say the same thing about the heroine "Kitty". I got tired of her rejection of Richard in favor of Farthingham. Her fears and worries do seem rather foolish, and somewhat annoying, but to be fair, she is quite young, inexperienced and raised in a society that had very rigid moral standars, so I guess her position is understandable. It is just that I fell in love with Richard since the moment he sends her the 1000 flowers that he had grown himself. Talk about a romantic gesture! I admit that the logical side of my mind thinks it was a little exagerated, but the romantic side thinks that is precisely what makes it more endearing.
The story is engaging and entertainning. The first chapter had a surreal quality to it. As if it were something out of a dream. I don't know if I was the only one that got that impression, but the dawn, the desserted beach and the nature of their encounters seem just the stuff romantic dreams are made of. The sex scenes passionate and well written.
What else can I say? The book is great all around. I just hope Loraine Heath keeps writting about Victorian England, because as much as I like her writting, I'm not really into cowboy stories.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Mediocre melodrama from an otherwise talented author 30 Nov. 2004
By Fruit Loop - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Love With a Scandalous Lord" was the best romance I read last year (and will remain one of my favorites for a long time)but this was a disappointment. Kitty was a bit annoying and didn't use good old American sense. The hero's tactics weren't really noble or heroic. I love Victorian England and she could have utilized the time period more. This couple just wasn't as passionate or exciting as some of her heroes and heroines.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not the Lorraine Heath I know and love. : ( 20 Sept. 2004
By Freelance Reviewer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first time I've read a book by Lorraine Heath and was sorely disappointed. Not only was the emotional treatment of the heroine appalling, but the storyline was a bit too controversial even for Ms. Heath, IMHO. The hero was far from honorable in that he kept trying to "steal" the heroine away from her betrothed - dark secret, or not, on the betrothed's part, and the heroine was a confusing mix of repeated should-I-or-shouldn't-I's back and forth between the two men.

I think Ms. Heath has played this series out. : (
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