I have read a few books by Kinley MacGregor this past year. I am a long time historical romance reader - over 20 years - and am always looking for a great new author to add to my library. I have picked up a few books by KM as her reviews are always sound and readers really seem to like her. I read "Master of Desire" (so-so) and "A Pirate of Her Own" (good just not great). I picked up this third book "Master of Seduction" hoping for even better but, instead I got less than I expected. So...I think I may give up on this author as after three attempts I feel I have gotten a taste for her writing and although she has promise, it's just not enough to please a long standing reader like me. After thousands of books and hundreds of authors...you really want MORE in a romance book. KM gives but, not enough.
I am always weak when it comes to a good pirate story - they don't get written about much anymore so, I can't wait to get a book and read it. I thought "Master of Seduction" might be fun to read. Ahoy maties....looking for some high seas action! Unfortunately, this one had a pirate as the lead and pirates as the premise but, that was about it. Captain Black Jack was our hero but, he was a bit too perfect for me. Granted...he looked good in his pirate costume (often mentioned) and his flowing golden locks and deep tan and spell binding eyes but...that was it. He seemed to spend quite a bit of time eating, drinking, playing cards, reading and sleeping on his ship instead of roaming the high seas looking for serious adventure. We read one or two passages that delt with keeping off the Spanish or British in battle scenes but, they were minimal and after a few cannon shots or two...the battles were done. Since when are battle scenes over in the blink of an eye? I think this book caught Captain Jack at the tail end of his career and thus...part of the fun was lost. As much as I appreciate a leading man leaving behind a naughty and risky life and turning over a leaf to become a better person...a little "badness" goes a long way in the mean time. This book had none of that. He was polite, kind, friendly and good from the start - almost to a fault. I think women want a little "devil" now and then in their leading man. Jack seemed to leave behind a lifetime of loss, heartache and lack of tenderness and love fairly quickly once he and the leading lady got together. I found that very unrealistic. Deep set loss and wounds as Jack had would take longer to heal. I do like that our hero was not nasty, angry or a serious womanizer - that gets old in leading men. So...he was a decent guy...just not fantastic or dreamy.
Our main heroine Lorelei was fine. Pretty gal as expected but, a wee bit on the spoiled and boring side. Daddy's little girl and all. For a sheltered society gal, I thought she got over being kidnapped by Captain Jack and settling into life on a pirate ship pretty fast. She made friends and took to ship life like she'd been there her whole life (which she hadn't). Why she was so polite she even offered to take her food tray out of her cabin in to the kitchen - what good manners even on a pirate ship!(Yet she grew up in a family and era when servents waited on the wealthy hand and foot and the "help" was seen not heard.) Our heroine was better than most apparently. In fact, Lorelei was only on the ship for a handful of days yet, she made friends with everyone and bonded with our hero as if years had passed. I found this a bit strange. Most gals would fight tooth and nail if they got kidnapped to find a way out. Not our heroine. I would say her redeeming characteristic ended up being she wasn't a simpering miss even with her goody goody background. She was a decent leading lady just nothing outstanding or memorable. Some of her comebacks to Captain Jack kept the banter up and that was a plus.
I had to laugh at another reviewers comments over some of the unrealistic things that happened in the book as I noted them too. Why how many pirates ships allow men to bring their wives and kids aboard? It sounds like a Carnival cruise for the pirate jet setters! Or... Lorelei's favorite color being "yellow" and viola - within hours of her request her room is refurbished with curtains, bedspreads, flowers and more all in her color scheme. Who knew that pirate ships had accounts at Bed, Bath & Beyond? Or...that Lorelei just happens to be an artist and so is another pirate named Henri on the ship (fancy that - in the middle of a huge ocean you meet a French man from Paris named Henri who is a mini Van Gough - what are the chances?). And....that he had a ship full of paints, brushes, thinners, charcoal and boards/books for painting? At least he shared - that was very friendly of him. Or that our head pirate Jack loves to read books. Why he had more books in his bedroom alone than you could find at the Library of Congress! Jack apparently read all the time and was quoting Shakespeare at a moments notice. Yet...when the ship catches fire and goes down...does anyone get upset over the loss of these precious books at a time when printing presses weren't exactly everywhere on the high seas? Nope...not a peep from anyone. So much for holding precious flowers, art supplies and books. Guess the pirates will just go shopping tomorrow and replace everything. Don't forget your Pirate Visa or Master of The Seas Card! Do enjoy this book but, please have a sense of humor and laugh at some of the silliness you can find in each chapter.
The love scenes were fine in this book. Nothing really happened until middle to ¾ of the way through the book and that was fine with me. I prefer when characters have some time to develop before they are jumping in bed together anyway. There was clearly some early interest and attraction between the two and that made things a little more interesting. I liked the challenge they each issued the other - she'll make him love her and he'll find a way to seduce her. Nothing too mysterious or creative here. Needless to say...they both win as expected. It's a draw. I would have liked the challenge to be more detailed, in depth and had lots of scenes showing how they could each win. Too little was done with this - a real mistake if you ask me. You can't bond with characters if you don't really get to know the heart of them. Just giving some written dialogue scenes where the characters spill their guts is not enough. Once again...an author needs to give you MORE.
There were quite a few secondary characters in this story...friends, family, enemies and more. It helped to round out a busy cast. Everything and everyone kind of stayed light and airy and fluffy. I found it odd that many of the scenes written in each chapter were quite short. A scene would start with a character, something light develop and then that would end and another scene or action piece would start. This kept repeating itself a few times in each chapter. Soon as I would get into something, a change would occur. I found this a little distracting as I wanted things to develop much more. Nothing ever seemed to get too detailed or deep. Perhaps that what was lacking the most for me. Everything was simple and superficial.
If you are a fan of this author, continue to enjoy her works. If you are looking for more as I do, feel free to see my other reviews and take stock of the other authors I have been finding this past year. There is something out there for everyone. Happy reading!