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The Seduction of an Unknown Lady Mass Market Paperback – March 25, 2008

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The Seduction of an Unknown Lady + The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell (Avon Historical Romance) + Bride of a Wicked Scotsman
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060896493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060896492
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

It was Samantha James's love of reading as a child that steered her toward a writing career. Among her favorites in those days were the Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames series of books. She still loves a blend of mystery and romance, and, of course, a happily-ever-after ending. The award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many romances and one novella, her books have ranged from medieval to Regency.

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Customer Reviews

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  • "Characters" 4
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Romance Books on April 14, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After the first book in the MacBride Family Trilogy, "The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell," the MacBride family is back in England after the tumultuous ending in India, with two wounded and brooding brothers Alec, the Duke of Glendon and his brother Aidan, but also a happy ending with Annabel MacBride and Simon Blackwell's marriage.

"The Seduction of An Unknown Lady" highlights Aidan, who is continuing to struggle with his physical and emotional injuries that took place in that final battle. Home in England as a hero, he feels anything but a hero, and spends many a long night brooding, until one night on a dark street he meets and rescues an Unknown Lady. Immediately something draws the handsome Aidan to the lonely and beautiful, Fionna Hawkes. Aidan has his physical and emotional struggles to deal with after the family's return, being partially blind in one eye, but also feeling deep guilt over the loss of numerous comrades in a battle in which he blames himself for. Fionna is a local bookseller and writer who secretly uses the pen name, F. J. Sparrow so she can assist her ill mother and provide the best of care for her.

Friendship soon develops into passion and a growing love as Aidan spends more and more time with Fionna. Fionna is frightened by Aidan's seduction and the intense passion she feels for him, while at the same time she understands the inner struggles he deals with and feels the need to help him, but at the same time does not trust enough to share her own burdens of her mother's illness and secret writing with Aidan. When Aidan discovers Fionna needs his protection from an unknown follower, he realizes that the beauty he has been seducing and is falling in love with has many unknown secrets.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 11, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The year is 1854, the height of the Victorian age. The heroine owns a book shop, lives in the apartments upstairs and is a bookish virgin. Yet she blithely goes out for midnight walks alone, has a cleaning lady in once or twice a week and goes out on dates with the hero. Is this a 21st century woman playing dress-up in Victorian garb?

As a lover of historical romances, I find myself fed up with today's publishing houses. Editors seem to have forgotten what a historical setting entails.

Shame on Samantha James for falling into that Bridget Jones' Diary trap. Women in 1850's England had real issues to confront. Not being able to own property, fear of pregnancy, knowing that your livelihood was based entirely on how your peers viewed your virtue. Not to mention the idea that any woman could manage a Victorian bookshop (as well as her warddrobe) with just a cleaning lady in once or twice a week is ridiculous. There was no electricity, no running water, no refrigerators to store food. Keeping a household clean, food on the table and clothing as well as your own personal hygiene acceptable was a full time job in itself.

As for the romance itself, it promised something never delivered. The most perilous bits came from the snippets of F.J. Sparrow's writing. The rest is a long diatribe if will she/won't she let him in the door. it had no emotional resonance. A pity since historical novels often have peril just by nature of the time they are set. In the 1850's London was an overcrowded city on the brink of epidemic disease and death. A woman alone had to be very clever just to survive.

Save yourself the aggravation of this current crop of historicals and go read some of the classic ones from a decade ago.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Irene M. on March 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Two lonely people tread the streets in the blackest depths of the midnight hour...

One walks deliberately--to let free the demons of her imagination...

One walks determinedly--to banish the demons that torment his soul.

Neither realizes something evil may be lurking in the dark...

In her latest novel, THE SEDUCTION OF AN UNKNOWN LADY, Samantha James creates a mesmeric and thoroughly intriguing romantic tale that successfully captures the style, flavor and essence of the classic gothic romance. The author gives us a heart stirring narration of her heroine, Fionna Hawkes and hero, Aidan McBride's intensely passionate love story--set in the cold winter of 1852 London, during the Victorian Era.

This is kind of a "dark" story--with several extremely poignant and heartrending elements--but I never felt it was too dark. I felt Ms James completely gains the reader's attention with her clever--and knowledgeable--use of the shadowy, eerie gothic writing style to create a wonderfully dark, mystifying, and sometimes ominously sinister atmosphere in the story. I know I was totally captivated. And Ms. James deftly sets up many delightful--or perhaps, a better choice of words would be frightful, mysterious, and occasionally disturbing--twists and turns in her skillfully constructed and multi-layered storyline... all strategically designed to keep her readers a bit unsettled, continuously guessing, and anxiously turning the pages.

And I thought she did a really superb job with the story's mood and tone, effectively using setting and language that was frighteningly suggestive--of fear, terror, gloom, menace, danger, secrecy, and a hint of the supernatural/paranormal--to appeal to all our emotions and senses.
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