by Thea Devine

April 2001
ISBN: 0-739-41675-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Kensington Publishing

Erotic Fiction never ceases to amaze - one would think these sexual happenings are impossible! Thea Devine in Seductive lets the reader believe otherwise (wishful thinking!). Moreover, there was an acceptable story to boot.

Nicholas Massey has come to England from Russia to claim his inheritance. His uncle's widow Elizabeth however is resistant to the fact Nicholas would claim Shenstone, her beloved estate. The secondary characters support the narrative but provide no comic relief. Well, maybe at times. The tone of the book is sinister - Nicholas with a secret mission to accomplish as well as trying to catch a killer living within his midst. And Elizabeth, while no simpering miss, doesn't seem quite to be of any purpose until the reader realizes that everyone else has a purpose for Elizabeth. Nicholas and her father are manipulating Elizabeth throughout the book while she tries to figure out what it is that she really wants.

The thing about erotic fiction is that the steamy sex tends to be a distraction. It was a bit disturbing that the dialogue was rude and crude which makes the reader wonder if uninhibited explicit sex just normally comes with crude talk. In any case, Devine does not quite begin with the sensual scenes but once they started, it kept going for a good portion of the book. Moreover, the nice thing about it was that it was only between Nicholas and Elizabeth - it was romantic erotic fiction defined. But when it was time for Devine to get back to the story of Nicholas and Elizabeth outside the bedroom, it was a bit disappointing after all that sensual haze. The disappointment did not last, however, since attempts to Nicholas' life and his spy-ish stratagems were brought into the foreground. There were times when the spy story was a bit flimsy but it was easier to just go along with it rather than question it as to not ruin the fun. The only annoying part was that Nicholas, being the super- duper spy, could not figure out who the villain was when the reader had correctly guessed almost immediately.

The ending to the spy part of the story was a bit anti-climactic but the ending overall was splendid because Nicholas and Elizabeth never proclaimed that they loved each other to death. It was brilliant of Devine to create a levelheaded ending for the couple that was almost constantly in a lusty haze. Some of the surprising revelations that surfaced at the end made the reader believe in Nicholas and Elizabeth's happily ever after - yes, even outside the bedroom.

Reviewed in July 2001 by Veronica.

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