- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Zebra (2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0821772392
- ISBN-13: 978-0821772393
- Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 2.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,138,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Without giving away the plot, let's just contend with the fact that Brock has caused a lot of hurt to Maddie with his pride and lack of insight. Yet love makes fool of all of us - and Brock and Maddie matures towards the epilogue to clear away their misunderstandings. Their love is riddled with thorns of insecurity and seated vengeance - and readers will no doubt seep into this melodrama inexorably. It is fortunate that Shelley Bradley has fluidly narrated their overwrought love story and gloss it with sensuality. The love scenes sizzle and crackle. Though to some cynics it may not convince them to endear themselves to the thick-skulled Brock, yet STRICTLY SEDUCTION comes alive with Bradley's impassioned writing. It renders it a strictly love-or-hate affair.
Somewhat typical plot. "Tortured" (read: abusive) hero and "Misunderstood" (read: doormat) heroine. Hero hates, hates, hates Heroine who betrayed him. So of course, it makes perfect sense that he wants to marry her so he can spend the REST OF HIS LIFE making her miserable! Hasn't he ever heard the saying, "Living well is the best revenge"?
And since he has been treated SO badly, he is perfectly justified in using the threat of bodily harm to force the heroine to sleep with him.
But he's entitled. After all, she married another man only a few weeks after he: had sex with her, took a huge chunk of cash from her father and left town WITHOUT TELLING HER WHERE HE WAS GOING!
It never occurs to him that -
A: taking money from the father of a girl you have just seduced and leaving town without leaving a forwarding address could be miscontrued as a payoff,
B: sex sometimes makes babies, and
C: babies without a father in 1830's England don't have much of a future.
Ms Bradley has a talent for writing self-centered, egotistical "heroes". Brock is the biggest whiner I have ever seen on the printed page. "Oh, how I have suffered! Feel sorry for me, everyone!"
Not to mention paranoid. The entire world is plotting against him, you know. Brock actually thinks that EVERYONE in the world wakes up thinking, "Well, what can we do to screw up Brock's life today?" Of course, HE is an injured saint. Poor, poor Brock. None of it is ever his fault.
Until Ms. Bradley learns to write a hero that we can actually care about, I'd advise everyone to pick up a Judith Ivory or Mary Jo Putney instead.
This plot was not your 'average' plot. The hero, a stable boy at her father's house, fell in love with and abandoned a very young Maddie, who unbeknownst to him was pregnant. He leaves to become a man worthy of her and that's just what he does, thinking that she's betrayed him by marrying someone else. So when her very indebted husband dies, he sees his chance to get her back and also to get her land that he needs.
Ms. Bradley very craftily creates a hero with a past that has overcome his stable boy beginnings, but lacks the one person to complete his life, Maddie. So he goes after what he wants most in life and he gets her. But in the process of learning his life lessons, Maddie teaches him a thing or two about love and seduction. This tale is a very powerful, gripping love story that leaves you feeling satisfied at the end. You know that the characters have felt real emotions and have changed and grown into people that deserve each other.
If you enjoy stories that show powerful women overcoming huge obstacles to find love, then this story is for you. But beware, Ms. Bradley has some love scenes that leave the pages smoking with sensuality. This book is not for the timid reader who doesn't enjoy experiencing all that life has to offer.
I can't wait for Ms. Bradley's next book and look for her soon to be on the best sellers list. Move over Mary Jo Putney and Judith Ivory, a new talent has emerged. Enjoy!
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