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To Seduce an Earl (The Seduction Series) Paperback – November 20, 2012
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About the Author
As a child, Lori Brighton relished the thought of a life filled with adventure in far-off places. Determined to become an archaeologist, she earned a degree in anthropology—only to discover that digging in the dirt beneath the punishing sun wasn’t much fun. She packed up her love of history and took a job in an air-conditioned museum, yet still her thirst for adventure wasn’t satisfied. And so she began to write, bringing the people in her imagination to life on the printed page. With her debut novel Wild Heart, she finally married her loves of history and adventure. Today she is the author of more than a half- dozen historical romance, paranormal romance, and young-adult novels.
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Top Customer Reviews
"To Seduce an Earl" started out promising. Alex is one of three young men that is serving in Lady Lavender's House of Sin, helping young women get some knowledge of sex before heading into their marriage beds, and in some cases, easing them through the loss of their virginity. He'd been blackmailed into the position by the so called Lady Lavender, along with two other boys. But now, ten years on, the secret that kept him there isn't so terrible anymore and he's tired of the life, but Lavender won't let him out of his contract.
When Grace walks into this bedroom, he thinks that he is, again, breaking in a virgin. Grace's step-brother on the other hand, got her there under false pretenses and she thinks she's there to pick up a book. So the initial contact between the two protagonists is very amusing. Still, if Alex is tired of simpering little virgins, I have a hard time figuring out why he latches on to Grace in the first place, as she seems extremely tightly strung, even when she does return for a real "lesson".
Now...there's something going on with Lavender, another secret as to why she "recruited" Alex and his two other associates at the same time, and while it's discussed, that part of the story line is never really developed. The boys are just terrible detectives. Also Grace's treasure hunting hobby comes to not, and we don't get a rollicking adventure leading to gold and wealth so the pair can buy their way free of Lavender's clutches. No, instead, Alex degenerates in the angst ridden state that gets very tiresome, and a lot of the book ends up being just boring.
Plus I still can't figure out why, if they boys want out so badly, they just don't tell Lavender that if she doesn't leave them alone that they won't go public with her client list, as that would completely ruin her business. But no, the boys won't blackmail the blackmailer in return, and even watching Gracie freak out about someone finding out that she's visiting a "whore house" doesn't help then catch a clue about blackmailing their way free of Lavender.
In the end, it's a pair of minor characters in the book that have to wrap things up, so that Alex and Grace can get on with their happily ever after. I just didn't feel the conclusion of the story was worth all the angst we went through to get there.
And of course the last bit I still don't get...Alex's younger brother shows up in the book in passing as a "rake and darling of the ton". I guess it's okay to be a libertine as long as you're not taking money for it, but once you accept cash you're just a "dirty whore". Perhaps it's because the clients feel ashamed that they have to pay for sex and take it out on the providers? Victorian values...who can figure those out?
So, if you feel like taking a good wallow in self hatred and despair, be sure to check this book out. Otherwise you might want to curl up with something with a lighter tone.
The heroine in the story is like every heroine in every story, beautiful, smart, overlooked, optimistic, etc. The tortured soul in this story is, obviously, gorgeous, tortured (duh), sacrifices himself for others, giving, etc. The villain is, well, the villain. Mean and vile in any way imaginable.
So Alex and Grace meet and there's an instant connection, but Alex is not good enough for Grace because of his line of work. Grace is a woman who is looking to marry an earl because she thinks she loves him, plus it would save her financially stricken family. Ophelia is the Madame in this book, she has some sort of secret for holding Alex, and will not allow him to leave otherwise she'll ruin his family. Any who, it all works for them in the end and they live happily ever after.
The development of the 2 main characters was well done, it wasn't fantastic, but it allowed for the reader to imagine them. There were a few more characters whom I wished would have had further development, but alas it did not happen and it left me yearning for more.
Overall, the book was a good read once I got through the excruciatingly slow beginning. I'm a fast reader and this took too long because it lacked interest in the beginning.
The ending was a happily ever after, I would not read a tragedy, so believe me when I say it ends on a happy note and almost with a, "Suck it all you other characters."
It is truly a one book story and it left me, at least for the most part, satisfied. I'm glad it didn't turn into a series, it sure come dangerously close into ending with cliff hanger. I was already set on not purchasing the next book when I realized there was an ending to this.
Has a plot twist in there that is quite surprising, it'll make you say, "WHAAAAT?" But it's good because the book needed the excitement to stay interesting. I recommend this book if you are yearning to read a book about a forbidden love and if you are sick and tired of books turning into series when it can definitely be a one book read.
Grace's step-brother sends her to the bordello telling her it's a hotel where a man has a book about hidden treasure she would like. She doesn't realize until Alex strips naked that he set her up. The step-brother has gambled and drank away all the family money (that is like a lot of things I've read) and is wanting Grace "trained" so he can basically sell her to his friend to cover his debts. Grace has been trying to get the friend to ask her to marry her for years so she decides to go along with the plan to make herself more seductive. There's a twist I won't ruin for you because it's so perfect.
Alex is trapped by secrets in his past into sexual slavery by Lady Lavender (who in a rare disappointment crumbles pretty easily at the HEA point). He sees Grace as his salvation and reason for living. I love that it's the guy that needs a hero for a change. Alex is so damaged and so heartbreakingly desperate for a new life I couldn't put the book down until I was sure he would make it out from under Lady Lavender's thumb. There were many points when I thought he'd finally succeeded then got snapped back along with him when he was dragged back to his room/prison.
While this was a sort of happily ever after, it wasn't the classic romance all encompassing HEA. There were consequences and there were disappointments. The ending was realistic and believable - so rare in romance. I can't wait for the next book in the series.