Another thing: I need to stop playing games on the computer!! It's sucking away my time and I don't have time to spare... I've been able to cut down Bejeweled Blitz a bit - although I've just realized today is new tournament day... instead, I've been addicted to Letter Box which is the same as Word Twister.
Finally, I'm reading Burn by Linda Howard! It's a library book... and I have the bad habit of borrowing them, but not reading them ^_^;
Now, onto my review :) When I posted my August monthly reads list, many asked what I thought of the Laura Lee Guhrke or that they were looking forward to the review. Well, here it is... a bit later than I planned, but still :)
With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke
published by Avon in August 2009
A thoroughly modern woman…Genre: historical romance
Daisy Merrick has to earn her living, but she keeps getting the sack. When her rash tongue costs her yet another job, the feisty, outspoken girl-bachelor is undaunted, and she comes up with a plan that could give her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There’s only one problem. Her success depends on a man, the most infuriating, impossible, immovable man she’s ever met.
A most notorious man…
Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, is England’s most famous author, but when writer’s block steals his creativity, Sebastian becomes more well-known for his notorious reputation than his work. When Daisy arrives on his doorstep, hired by his publisher to help him write his next book, Sebastian has no intention of cooperating. The provoking, fire-haired beauty stirs his senses beyond belief, and when collaboration forces them together at his country home, Sebastian knows he has only one way out. Seduction.
Series: The Bachelorettes, book #4
The Story: Daisy Merrick just lost another job... really, that's the story of her life. This time though, instead of looking for a new position, Daisy has decided to focus on her passion and dream: become an author. Unfortunately for her, while Viscount Marlowe thinks she has a lot of potential, her writing is to raw to be published. Still, he offers her a job...
Sebastian Grant, the Earl of Avermore, is England's most famous author... but he hasn't written anything decent in years. Short on funds, he produced his last written work into a play... even though he knows it's no good. He never expected the most scalding review to come from his own publisher though! Even worst, Marlowe wants Sebastian's new book... the one he paid for years ago. Marlowe just doesn't understand that he cannot write anymore, that his career is over... and then, he throws Daisy at Sebastian, so they could work and learn together while working on their respective book...
My Opinion: I love Ms Guhrke's writing... there's something about it that I find unique and really enjoy. I think it's the flow of her writing, it's so easy, and I like the fact that her books really focus on the main characters. I also love the period setting of the book - the 1890s. I'm not great with history, but from what I got out of the books, that's when women started having more freedom. The same applies to aristocrats as well... So I love the basis of this series, the Bachelorettes, but so far, there's been lots of ups and downs... and I'm sorry to say, With Seduction in Mind is a miss for me :(
Let see, the best element of this book were the characters. I think that Ms Guhrke has written two very interesting characters. I admit not liking Daisy as much as the previous heroines, Maria and Emmaline. However, I think most of it comes from prejudices - I didn't like her in her few appearitions in previous books ^_^; I like how outspoken and honest with her emotions she is. What I find annoying with her is her optimism or actually, her naiveness. I have nothing against optimism, hell most of the time, I consider myself pretty optimistic LOL. However, there's a difference between optimism and naiveness. For example, when she said that she'd be glad to have someone read her work and give her some feedbacks and that any criticism is constructive... I felt like she didn't know what she was talking about. Or perhaps I think she's perhaps a tad too idealist. It was great though to see her not be so sure of herself when the tables were turned. As for Sebastian, I really like his character. I thought he was quite complex and I liked his torment :P I like that without wanting to, he assumed the role of mentor to Daisy. I liked his past as well, he doesn't apologize for it... and I don't think he regrets it either. I like his pride... I do think that Ms Gurhke could have elaborated a bit more on his past. It would have been quite interesting.
I also really enjoyed the subject of the story: writing. It was quite interesting to see the contrasts between Daisy and Sebastian, two very different and opposite writers. Daisy is a fast writer, writing everything that goes through her mind... Sebastian is one who agonized through each word, each has to be perfect. I liked the scene where Sebastian called out Daisy for not killing the dog in the storyline. I relate to that problem (killing off characters) when I wrote fanfics... So that was very interesting and enjoyable...
So what was the problem with this book? Well, I thought Daisy and Sebastian had no chemistry. Yes, they do have common interests, but that's just not enough. Did I buy their love at the end? No. Although the timeline of the books span several weeks, even months... I didn't feel their relationship grow. I don't even buy kissing as an incentive to work. I mean, perhaps for a couple of hours, yes, but weeks? Nope. To edit pages and pages, work days and days and your reward is a kiss... Okay, a very good kiss, still. It was just hard to buy, especially when you think that he's had a writer's block for years. Perhaps it would have helped if the characters were a bit more developed... I did like the fact that Sebastian didn't run after Daisy right away after she left... Of course, that doesn't make it for the lack of chemistry.
Another problem I have and this is more with the series than this book... all these heroines are bachelorettes, working women... and they all land a titled man. I mean, of course, it could be possible... but for them to all know each other and come from the same housing?!? No, that's a bit pushing coincidence... Four women living under the same roof, being friends, met and married a viscount, duke, marquess and earl. It would have work better in my opinion if not all were good friends or living under the same roof. Some variations would be nice as well (like the heroes not necessarily being an aristocrat). However, I do like the fact that all four heroes know each other and I enjoyed seeing the interactions in this book... but then, this makes more sense, since they are part of the ton and must run in the same circle, especially given their age.
My Grade: At first, I was debating between a B and B-... leaning more towards B-, but that's my love of the author speaking... However, With Seduction in Mind is more a C+ for me. Two strong characters, a strong idea, great writing. Still, chemistry can make or unmake a book and the latter happened in With Seduction in Mind.