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Seduction: A Novel of Suspense Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Seduction: A Novel of Suspense + The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense + The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451621507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451621501
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Jac L’Etoile, the mythologist and television host who starred in The Book of Lost Fragrances (2012), returns in a book that is pretty much the same as that one. Like Fragrances, this novel involves a lost item from history (here it’s a supposedly lost transcription of a conversation the French author Victor Hugo had, during a séance, with someone from beyond the grave). It also, like its predecessor, involves a present-day mystery linked to the historical item (in this case, a man’s wife died in a manner much the same as that of Victor Hugo’s daughter, whose death spurred him to try séances in the first place). But does the fact that the two books are very similar mean this one is bad? Not at all. What sells the book—what sells all of Rose’s books—is not the characters or the plots; it’s the author’s boundless enthusiasm for the material. She believes passionately in her characters and their stories, and we can’t help getting caught up in that enthusiasm. We care about Jac, despite her being not particularly well drawn (she’s more a series of brushstrokes than a real person), because Rose cares about her so deeply; we care about what happens to Jac when she travels to the British island of Jersey and discovers she’s been lured there under false (and mysterious) pretenses, because Rose does. Rose’s growing fan base will probably devour this one. --David Pitt


"Reads a bit like Brontë sisters classics. Dark and brooding...characters are haunted by the present and by the past. There is loss... pain... love... temptation. And, of course, there is a feeling of impending doom." --Greenwich Time
"If you are looking for a 5-star read that will puzzle you at so many turns, then get SEDUCTION." --Blog Critics

"Highly descriptive and sensuous prose" --Historical Novels Reviews
"This is gothic horror redefined... It's Henry James' Turn of the Screw done up with all the post-modern trimmings. Atmospherically romantic and perfectly toned. Classy and elegant literary seduction of the highest measure. As wondrously crafted as it is written."--Providence Journal

"Readers will be enchanted by M.J. Rose's supernaturally charged novel Seduction, inspired by Victor Hugo's self-imposed exile on the British island of Jersey in the 1850s.Great elements of suspense are present -- a remote, misty island teeming with century-old Celtic ruins, an unreliable narrator who may or may not be going crazy." USAToday

“M. J. Rose's Seduction has just about everything a thriller fan could wish for.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Readers will be enchanted by M.J. Rose's supernaturally charged novel Seduction, inspired by Victor Hugo's self-imposed exile on the British island of Jersey in the 1850s.  Great elements of suspense are present -- a remote, misty island teeming with century-old Celtic ruins, an unreliable narrator who may or may not be going crazy." (USA Today)

"Rose’s vivid  imagination and beautiful writing make this a book to savor." (RT Top Pick 4 ½ stars)

"Well-crafted paranormal novel of suspense. Rose is especially good at recreating Hugo's despair...making his abandonment of rationality all too plausible."  (Publishers Weekly)

“Rose’s growing fan base will probably devour this one.” (Booklist)

"The sensuality, and the pure and utter dreamlike state with which [Rose] writes is effortless and engaging, producing [a] story that’s impossible to leave behind... drawing the reader into the depths of a sensual mystery that they will truly never forget! This deserves a standing ovation!" (Suspense Magazine)

“Full of well-researched history, the paranormal, and modern intrigue, this atmospheric tale of suspense is fully engrossing to those willing to suspend their disbelief.” (Library Journal (starred review))

"Rose interweaves mythology, the supernatural, psychoanalysis and Evil Incarnate, creating an amazing amalgam of narrative wonder... will haunt you."  (Mystery Lovers Bookshop)

"Mysterious, haunting, and tragic, Seduction emerges as a suspenseful alchemy of potent ingredients, beautifully blended, that ignites your senses and leaves you aching for more." (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet)

"Seduction is an absolute pleasure to read -- clever, suspenseful, exciting, mysterious, learned, and engrossing.  Some of the best historical fiction I've read in quite some time and just plain reading fun.  M.J. Rose is at the top of her game, and that is saying something." (David Liss, bestselling author of The Twelfth Enchantment)

"A sophisticated book that plunges you into a sensual, fascinating world filled with secrets and dreams and ghosts. There's a sweeping, old-world feel to every page, and you'll want to stay here, spellbound, a very long time." (Caroline Turgeon, author of Mermaid and The Fairest of Them All)

More About the Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her blog, Museum of Mysteries at

Her photo was taken by Judith Pushett utilizing an old relic: a turn-of-the-century 11 x 14 inch wood camera.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Her most recent novel THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and her next novel, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS will be released March 2015.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors -

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president..

Customer Reviews

Well developed characters and great story.
Janice H. Grokett
I read and reviewed The book of lost fragrances by MJ Rose and so naturally looked forward to the next one.
This story combines historical facts with fictional details to create a great book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laura Kay on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The most stunning novel I've read this year is SEDUCTION by M.J. Rose. I've not read tons of historic fiction, but it is a genre I am finding I very much enjoy. I've found many of the historical books have a contemporary feel to them. This is not the case with SEDUCTION, I immediately felt transported back in time. Rose's writing style was haunting, aged and authentic.

SEDUCTION moves back and forth between Victor Hugo's story taking place in the 1840's and present day. While reading Hugo's story I was mesmerized and I wasn't pleased when I would begin the next chapter where I was back in the present with Jac. Here's the thing, I wasn't pleased when I left Jac's story back to Hugo either. I found myself completely engrossed in each of their stories never wanting to deviate being equally fascinated by both stories as I was trying to figure out the connection.

This was my first book by M.J. Rose I've read and I am now a fan! I was incredibly taken in by SEDUCTION, a suspenseful fictional account of Victor Hugo using an outline of his real life. He is living in Jersey in political exile from Paris. His eldest daughter drowns. In an effort to know she is alright Hugo enters the word of séances evoking a sinister entity.

The present day story is about Jac L'Etoile, a mythologist who is suffering from a great loss and looking for an escape. Jac receives a request to help her old friend, Theo. Her adventure takes her to Jersey, for the first time...or is it? She is hoping to discover the island's Celtic history, but while there she and Theo begin searching for the lost journals of Hugo and suddenly everything begins to intersect.

SEDUCTION had me totally engrossed, it's beautifully written and made my heart race making it difficult to put down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Seduction by M.J. Rose is a haunting tale that will take you from modern times to past lives that existed centuries ago; it is a suspenseful ghost story with a bit of history that is sure to captivate Rose’s fans as it did me. This novel comes after The Book of Lost Fragrances which I have also read and enjoyed (my review) but Seduction stands on its own. The benefit of reading the first one is getting some of the background on the main character Jac L’Etoile but Seduction delves even further into her life. I loved this novel and could not put it down – the setting, the mythology, the past lives – all of it drew me in and held me there until the very last page!

Our story opens in 1855 in Jersey on the Channel Islands where we meet the famous author Victor Hugo. Ten years earlier Victor had lost his beloved daughter in a drowning accident. He has not gotten over it, nor has he moved on and when he learns of seances as a means to contact a dead individual he jumps at the chance that he may once again speak to his daughter. What starts as a game really – a pastime to enjoy with friends turns into hundreds of seances in which he claims to have spoken to Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus, and even the devil. This is actually the true aspect to the story. The mythical comes into play when Hugo’s interactions with the spirit world take a disturbing and deadly turn.

In present time we meet Jac L’Etoile who is trying to regain her life again after suffering a loss. Being a mythologist and loving her work leaves her no choice but to travel to Jersey when an old friend Theo contacts her for help in uncovering some of the islands intriguing and mysterious Celtic history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Kelly on June 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This story actually starts in The Book of Lost Fragrances about Jac L'Etoile, a mythologist, and her family who were perfumers. Jac receives a letter from an acquaintance, Theo, from 17 years previous at a clinic that Jac was at as a young girl. Jac has had nightmares and dreams of things she cannot explain but does not believe in reincarnation. A mentor, Malachai, has tried to help her with these memories but Jac is still tortured with the memories that she can not explain.

Malachai gives her a letter from Theo who is asking Jac to come to the Isle of Jersey, England to do some research on his property regarding the Druids, an iron age people that populated Europe. Malachai does not want her to go because he thinks she might be in danger and there are things about Theo that worry him.

A part of the story involves Victor Hugo, a French poet, novelist, and dramatist, who lived on the Isle of Jersey after being exiled from France after he openly declared Napolean a traitor to France in 1855. Victor was a haunted man after the death of his beloved daughter Léopoldine who dies in a tragic accident. Victor is so distraught with his daughter's death that he starts to conduct seances with close friends and family. Victor has a mistress, Juliette and she has a woman who works for her, Fantine that Hugo befriends and becomes enchanted with. Fantine has her own demons to deal with as she lost a child and her lover has abandoned her and has no desire to carry on.

In the story, Victor Hugo has written detailed accounts of Fantine and the seances, where one of the entity's that was called forth is The Shadow of Sepulcher. Victor is compelled to continue the seances as he has a firm belief in the spirit world.
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