To Be Seduced
Ann Stephens
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Buy *To Be Seduced* by Ann Stephens online

To Be Seduced
Ann Stephens
320 pages
February 2010
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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The last two books I have read have shared the idea of a titled man having to marry a fortune and of the marriage of convenience turning into a love match. While both historical romances in worlds of horses and carriages, large family estates and more, only one of these books is a good read - and unfortunately it wasn't this one. To Be Seduced isn't a bad book, just middling. It suffers from a lack of direction in its feel; events trundle along and the characters never really come fully to life. Its characters also have a distinct whiff of modernity about them, particularly our heroine, Bethany Dallison, who despite living in the 1660s has remarkably modern ideas at times.

When Bethany is kidnapped by her neighbor Lord Richard Harcourt, who is crushed by debt, she knows that she will have to marry him to save her reputation. He only wants her because she's an heiress, of course, but she sees the opportunity to gain a small amount of control over her own fortune - and takes the chance.

In order for this book to work, it needs a baddie (who comes in rather suddenly and whose motives seem distinctly unconvincing) and a Big Misunderstanding and all the normal aspects of books like this, and it has them. Somehow, however, it doesn't quite tie together. The romance is difficult to believe - neither hero nor heroine is particularly nice to the other - as is the jeopardy of Richard at the end of the book, nor that his wife would be able to sway the people before whom she speaks (which surely wouldn't be allowed anyway). There are many books like this, and this one - unlike the other on this theme I've recently read, Rose Lerner's excellent In for a Penny, is sadly just middling.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2010

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