Wednesday, April 16, 2008

TBR Day: The Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter

Yep, it's TBR Day!! and I'm happy to say, I did complete the challenge for this month! :) So today, I'll be reviewing The Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter. I've had this book... I think since it came out? I pretty much bought this on impulse and because it was cheap. I've never read Madeline Hunter, but I saw her books and heard of her... but yeah, it's a historical... I know, I know. I don't love that genre so why do I keep buying it? Because I do enjoy it when it's well written... and thanks to Brie's review, I've now read it :P

The Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter
published by Dell in November 2006

His rules will teach her the most sensual seductions and pleasures.

Her rules will bring him to his knees.

He enters her home without warning or invitation—a stranger of shadowy motives and commanding charisma. Within hours, Alexia Welbourne is penniless, without any hope of marriage. Until Hayden Rothwell takes her innocence in one impulsive act of passion. Society’s rules of seduction force Alexia to marry the very man who has ruined her family. What Alexia doesn't know is that her masterful, sensual new husband is driven by a secret purpose and bears a dark debt of honor. He will risk anything, give everything, to repay it. Except, he discovers, the woman who starts playing by her own rules.

Genre: historical romance
Series: Book #1 of ...

The Story: During the Greece War, Hayden Rothwell's life was saved by his boyhood friend, Ben Longworth. Ever since then, Hayden has been looking out for the Longworths, not the family itself, but their business - banking, even after Ben's death. However, London is facing a bank crisis and when Hayden decides to remove his aunt and cousin's funds, he finds out that Tim, Ben's younger brother, has been embezzling money. Because of his honor, Hayden saves Tim's life by covering up the secret - provided that Tim reimbursed everyone... which means ruin for the Longworth's family. Too much of a coward to admit his faults and crime, Tim tells his younger sisters and cousin, Alexia Wellbourne, that Hayden has removed his family, the Eastbrooke, funds from bank and forced him out of business.

Alexia Longworth has become the poor relative when her father was ruined by bad investments. Upon hearing that the Longworth family is ruined as well, she knows that there's no way she can return with them to the country. Thus, she seeks employment as a governess... however, never in a hundred years did she expect Hayden to be her employer...

My Opinion: I think that Brie did a better job to summarize the book than I did. Anyway... so the whole storyline centers around Tim's lies to his younger sisters and Alexia. Alexia believes that Hayden ruined the Longworth and Hayden has too much honor to tell her the truth. Nonetheless, they're attracted to each other and both succomb to the attraction... which results in a very interesting situation.

I really liked Hayden... Most probably because he's not too alpha. In fact, I think he'd be the perfect poster boy for gentlemanhood, LOL :) I also think he knew from the moment he started seducing Alexia that he loved her. It wasn't just lust from his part, it was something else... which is refreshing :P As for Alexia, she was a good heroine. Not TSTL; however a bit of a coward. I like how she was honest. My only issue with her is I think that the author made her a bit too naive. I understand why Alexia feels so strongly against Hayden - after all, he "ruined" them, and I guessed that in that time, you didn't really second-guess what you're being told... but still.

I really like that although the situation made it awkward, it didn't stop them from marrying and falling in love. My only problem with the book was that the whole truth would have been sooo easy to uncover. I mean, if only Alexia went to the bank or asked around, she would have known that Hayden did NOT remove his family funds from the bank and therefore, did not ruin the Longworth. Sure, she had other worries and so on, but how difficult would it have been? So I thought it was a bit too convenient that Alexia never found out by herself before the end of the book.

All in all, I think this was a good book and a solid read. This is my first time reading Madeline Hunter and I thought her voice was good. It's kind of strange though, I feel a bit more detached reading this story than most historical romance novels I've read... and I guess I like it that way. I'm also very interested in Hayden's brothers. i know that Elliot's book is out, Lessons of Desire, unfortunately, I'm not a fan of the heroine...

My Grade: B+


  1. I have always wondered about this one. I might have to see if the library carries it. Nice review. Have you read the next and that's why you don't like the heroine or can you just tell?

  2. I've got this in my tbr. I'm usually all over her books and can't remember for the life of me why I didn't read this one when it came out. Maybe next month?

  3. Good review.

    You know, when I first finished this book, I had the same reaction as you. I felt slightly detached from it because the characters were both smart and levelheaded. I initially graded a B+ too. But the story stayed with me and I have reread it several times since then. Upon rereading, you really see all the subtle touches and how well-crafted it is. It has since become one of my all-time favorites romances.

  4. Sarai - I think you should give it a try :D It's pretty good and refreshing. As for the next book, it's just I dislike the genre of heroine... I haven't read it yet... if I can find it cheap or borrow it, I might read it :P

    Rosie - LOL, sometimes you overdose on an author... maybe that's why you're not reading it. At least, you have it in your TBR pile :P

    Seton - Thanks... I actually thought my review was a bit all over the place, but I guess I get the message across. It's nice sometimes to be detached and you're right, I think it's because the characters are both smart and levelheaded.

  5. I've never read any of her books before, but I'm not keen on plots that seem to hinge on the hero and heroine not talking to each other and making assumptions. Especially since you mention they're both smart and levelheaded?

    I may look out for another book of hers though, since it sounds as though you like her writing!

  6. I liked this one, too, and agree with your review. I have a couple other of her books in my TBR and I'll have to pick one of them for later this year.

  7. I have loved Hunter's medieval books but haven't tried her regency historicals. This one sounds good. This TBR Day is adding to my TBR :)

  8. Hi Nath,

    How's life? Long time no talk. My blog is no more. It's now a collective place for people to ramble on forever about nonsense.

    My new blog is at

    Do drop by sometime.

    Take care,
    ~ Edmund

  9. This is the one and only Hunter I have read so far, and I remember loving it! I really should move the next book in the series up the TBR pile!

  10. I've added and deleted this one from my amazon wishlist at different times. I can't ever decide if I want to read it! HA!

    Hmmm maybe. (Someone gave me their copy of an older one by her called The Seducer, which I liked well enough, so yeah, I may eventually pick this one up!)

  11. Great review! I really like Hunter's voice and though I like her medievals best I've enjoyed her regencies, too.

  12. Li - I think you should try it :) It's not that bad, the misunderstanding, and the story is well-written. The thing is, it's not an assumption from Alexia part. She's been told that and has no cause not to believe it and Hayden is just too honorable :P If you give her book a try, let me know what you thought of it :P Apparently, her older books are medieval... and I like medieval even less than historical ^_^;

    Phyl - Can't wait to read your reviews of them! Unfortunately for me, that one was my only one by her in my TBR pile.

    Renee - Did you review them on your blog?

    Edmund - Hi there Edmund :) Yeah, I realized that you had some contributors. Glad to know that you started a new blog :P Can you just email me though? I think you own me one reply :P

    Marg - You have the next one? Then I'll wait for your review of it :P

    Zeek - I saw the whole series of the medieval one at the UBS but I'm a bit wary... medieval. If you read it, let me know what you thought of it :P

    Jan - She really has a great voice :P

  13. How did I miss this review?

    I'm glad that you read and liked this book, Nath.

    I agree with Seton, the story stayed with me after I read it. And I rarely do rereads of books, but this is one that I can see rereading in the future.

  14. Brie - I think you were playing with your template, that's how you missed it :D I don't think I'll be re-reading this one. I like the story, I'm keeping the book, but it's not one I would gravitate towards... I think it's because it's a historical ^_^;