Tuesday, March 2, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Seduced By A Stranger

*This is just my opinion, my personal take on any given book, use as a reference. I will not be overly gushing. I will also endeavor not to give too much of the plot away.
I will not hand out 4 star ratings for every book, or try not to.*

Seduced By A Stranger by Eve Silver
Zebra Historical Romance
Sept 2009 352 Pages

Visit Eve's site HERE

This is the author that introduced me to full-bore romance novels. And only a few years ago. I read "Dark Prince" and was enchanted, what have I been missing all these years? So thanks Eve, for bringing romance reading into my life.

That said, Eve is from Canada, like myself, and writes Gothic historicals and also paranormal under the pen name Eve Kenin. Most of her previous Gothics took place in the Victorian era, this one, is Regency, but really it could transfer very easily to Victorian.

Eve's novels are moody, Gothic, shocking, with a dash of mystery and lots of romance.

Seduced by a Stranger is no different. Catherine Weston, the heroine, has been plagued by poverty, now with no place to live, her childhood friend invites her to Cairncroft Abbey, where she meets her friend Madeline's cool and austere cousin, Sir Gabriel St Aubyn. He is blond, beautiful/handsome and cold to the extreme. Much like the abbey itself.
Catherine finds herself drawn of course, to this cool, forbidding man, with the strange housekeeper and Madeline the paranoid and strange friend/cousin. All key ingredients to a Gothic manor steeped in secrets. Murderous ones, it turns out.

I can't give away the plot here, only to say Gabriel is a tortured hero in spades. His past is shocking and downright horrifying. My jaw literally dropped open at what this man endured through his childhood and beyond.

No wonder he is so closed off. But Catherine is determined, and manages to break through his defenses, eventually. Gabriel turns out to be quite passionate under the stone facade. He is the perfect, tortured, romantic hero.
Both characters are fascinating, well drawn and fully realized. Catherine herself has a tragic past and secret. They are actually, well-matched.
However, gruesome Jack-The-Ripper type murders are plaguing the countryside, is Gabriel a suspect? The mystery kept me utterly captivated, and for once I didn't guess the true villain.
The murder's POV sections were chilling to the extreme.
Well satisfying conclusion, a great, Gothic read. Eve does it again.

3 and 1/2 stars out of 4

KOVER KUDOS: Nope. 1.5 out of 4 stars. The cover model looks nothing as Gabriel is described in the book. This guy looks like a woodsman with those thick, hairy arms and hands. Nothing of the blond handsome beauty described in the book. What he is wearing looks Medieval, not Regency. Nice pose though, a lot of dress ripping on covers lately, LOL!

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