A Seduction at Christmas
Cathy Maxwell
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Buy *A Seduction at Christmas* by Cathy Maxwell online

A Seduction at Christmas
Cathy Maxwell
384 pages
October 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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A Seduction at Christmas is an enjoyable tale of two people clearly suited to each other who meet under unusual circumstances. Fiona Lachlan has agreed to pose as a courtesan to teach a lesson to an acquaintance's lover. When she arrives at the room organized for the assignation, however, she discovers instead the Duke of Holburn, a man for whom she's carried a torch for some time and who is expecting her to be a Spanish thief. Amid the confusion, Fiona and Nick - the duke - find themselves in a gunfight and escape, along with Fiona's dog, to the relative safety of Fiona's small rooms. When the mysterious murderous Irish gang follow them to Fiona's place, they have to escape once more.

By this time, Nick has discovered that Fiona is a special lady, but he's wary of her - as he is of everyone - since he was badly hurt by the betrayal of a Spanish friend many years ago. Nick has been on a mission ever since to find his stolen signet ring. He was also warned by an Oracle at Delphi to 'beware innocence,' and he suspects the prophecy may refer to Fiona.

Still, Nick isn't about to leave Fiona to the mercies of the men trying to attack them, so he looks after her. As the story moves from London to Nick's Kentish residence, he begins to uncover the real meaning of the oracle's prophecy - and that sometimes the biggest danger isn't from strangers but from those to whom you are close.

A Seduction at Christmas isn't a particularly complex book with a plot that's fairly easy to follow, interesting changes of scenery as the story moves from Delphi to London to Kent, and some appealing characters. Both Nick and Fiona are sympathetic heroes, and the romance between them feels believable and long-lasting. The historical detail was good in places, although the dialogue slips into modern Americanisms occasionally. Overall, this one is a good read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2008

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