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Seven Secrets of Seduction Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2010
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From the Back Cover
Scandalous and provocative, The Seven Secrets of Seduction is an intoxicating insight into the mind of men and the desires of women—and the book has all the ton talking.
Secret #1: Every good seduction begins with a baited hook . . .
Well-educated, but not part of society, Miranda Chase is just as captivated by the erotic pages as everyone else in London. Intrigued by the layers she sees beneath the book's surface, she writes an editorial about it, never realizing that her passionate words will draw an actual viscount to her uncle's bookshop.
Maximilian, Viscount Downing, has very particular ideas about passion and sees truth only in desire. He freely flaunts his sensual power and seeks nothing more than another conquest—the one that could justify his entire debauched existence. But Miranda's blend of innocence, trust, and love cause a strange thing to happen on the way to this seduction. Something that just might threaten the very fabric of his jaded heart . . .
About the Author
Anne Mallory is a lifelong romance reader who soldher first novel to Avon Books after becoming a finalistin RWA’s Golden Heart contest. In Total Surrender isher eleventh book. A native Michigander, Anne currentlylives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Top customer reviews
Miranda Chase works in a bookshop and is reading a not yet released Gothic novel, when a customer comes in. She finds him confusing as he openly flirts with her whilst trying to locate a book he's ordered. There is no description of her looks, but she doesn't see herself as very pretty. When the wealthy gentleman leaves, deliberately without his order, Miranda realises she must deliver it herself. When she arrives, she realises he is Maximilian, Viscount Downing, the one who's scandulous reputation regularly covers the newspapers and who her friend, Georgette, frequently tells her about. Downing offers Miranda a job in his library organising his books. She agrees, but is still wondering why he openly flirts with someone in her position, when he could have anyone. Miranda shows him the beauty in many things, and later begins sleeping with him. Although told in the third person, it is not until around 200 pages that we see anything from Downing's perspective. He has his own secrets, one being that he doesn't believe in love and marriage together, after seeing how his parents lead their lives. This isn't good for Miranda, who's already fallen in love with him. But then she overhears that he is going to marry Lady Charlotte Chatsworth, whilst he hopes to keep her as his mistress. He thinks this is OK as he loves Miranda, but doesn't love Charlotte. Miranda acts like she's OK with this, but later on changes her mind and leaves his life, making Maximilian make a choice that will change their lives forever.
Overall, the book is good. I hoped to learn more of what they looked like, but I can only remember small bits about Maximilian's brown hair and brown eyes, and nothing for Miranda, just that she doesn't see herself as pretty, unlike her friend, Georgette. It would have been better IMO to have more parts from Maximilian from the beginning, even just small snippets to keep the story going. The cover and title suggests this is a book with heavy sex, but in actual fact, the seduction is mostly in words rather than anything physical. I liked this aspect, as it seems like a verbal chess game they are playing, waiting to see what move the other makes.
Deeply mysterious, the viscount makes her an offer she struggles to refuse - reorganising his fascinating library. Yet no matter how much he confuses her, he challenges her too, and she can't help wanting to get closer, to know him better - even when it turns out she knows him very well indeed. Whoever he claims to be.
Anne Mallory has always favoured unusual heroines - caricaturists, thieves, antiquarians, psychics - when she isn't making private investigators or spies out of her heroes, and Miranda is no different. A simple woman, far outside the realm of the ton, a dreamer and yet strangely practical after a strict upbringing, she's strong-willed and a little naïve. Which makes her an interesting contrast to the worldly viscount.
Max is cynical, dark and secretive, not helped by the lack of narration from his pov (the first is after 100 pages, but it's not until after 200 that we get an insight into his motives), but he's confused and protective too, making him a fascinating contradiction. A deeply complicated character, it's no wonder it takes Miranda so long to work him out. As their relationship deepens, I'll admit some of Miranda's choices surprised me, but I thought the conflict and resolution were nicely done.
More descriptive and lyrical than usual for Mallory, and slower paced, it fits Miranda's character perfectly. And the way she punishes Max is ingenuous. As usual with Mallory there are a few Americanisms cropping up here and there, but the dialogue is intricate and witty, the characters rich and the romance hot. I've been a fan of Anne Mallory for years, so if you can relax your inner critic, settle back and enjoy. If you enjoyed Three Nights of Sin, you should like this.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, this was a great book in the following ways:
1. Hero was complex.
2. Heroine was complex.
3. Author wrote in a lyrical style that I thoroughly enjoyed.
4. Conversations between hero and heroine were original and incredible fun. Their first meeting was a delight, set the tone of the story, and was a bit shocking in its subject matter for a Regency novel. But the goals were straightforward! :-)
5. All supporting characters were very well written and each served their purpose to the story.
6. Downing's background was uniquely described and revealed sparingly, yet at exactly the right time throughout the story.
7. Miranda's background was a little unbelievable. Her mother is a married schoolmistress with two children, running an Academy? In The Regency Period? Even up to 1940ish in PA a schoolteacher could not be married! And into the 1970's a married teacher could not be seen to be pregnant.
8. On the other hand Miranda was a wonderful character, complex, intelligent, and a perfect candidate for Downing although IMHO not at all the usual heroine for a Regency novel.
9. But the author has magic. A Regency love story where the reader believes the woman will end up as a mistress and not a wife is a good story! Especially since the then Royal family had at least one of their number maintaining a morganatic marriage. It actually began to look viable!
10. The scene between Miranda and Charlotte was stunning. The author's empathy for both...sigh.
11. And everyone knows a wife and a mistress was apparently common throughout history. The writer began to wonder if that situatio was actually going to prevail within the confines of the current Romance genre. ;-)
Miranda Chase was plain bookshop girl. On the other hand she was not that plain at all although there were no description of her looks anywhere in the book aside her hands. It was obvious that author wanted to picture her from the eyes of the spectator, Lord Maximilian Downing. But, intelligent as she was, she surrendered too easy to the schemes of the "spectator" no matter how handsome and seductive he appeared to be. This was probably my main problem with both characters. Miranda was presented as clever and intelligent girl but somehow afraid to live a real life. She lived it through the romantic books she reads. Because of that, it was really very difficult to believe how easily she surrendered to Lord Downing and became the puppet in his hands until the very end of the book.
Lord Maximilian Downing was much easier to understand. He wanted respectable marriage to the ton’s respectable Miss Charlotte Cheswick and found Miranda to his own amusement. His emotions developed carefully and slowly until they were reveal at the end of the story. It was slightly irritated at the beginning the repeating of the description of his stares, smiles and body language he emitted to Miranda. It made his character not very deep in emotion, actually rather plain.
After I’ve read this book I have quite clear picture what Anne Mallory wanted to present with the story and the characters, but the way she did it haven’t set me very well, unfortunately.
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