Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke

Let me say something... work sucks. I was talking to Lori yesterday and wondered why we had to work. I mean, seriously... Yesterday was an awful day, so stressful I really wanted to cry at the end of it. Today is better for me, but I think my co-worker is the one who is in need of a good crying jag. Of course, he's a guy so it won't happen. Basically, I predict that the next couple of weeks will be shitty :(

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…

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.
Genre: historical romance
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.


  1. Nice review - it is hard to like characters that don't have chemistry.

    Those are some lucky girls too...can I move in? ;)

  2. Aww, I didn't realize yesterday was such a bad day for you. :(


    As for LLG, I've only read one book of hers, and I did enjoy it. :P

  3. Hang in there with work. Just when you think you can't take it any more there's often a light and it gets better and you move to the next level.

    As for LLG's book. Great minds I guess because I gave it the same grade!

  4. Mandi - Thanks Mandi. And yes, it's hard when characters don't have chemistry... especially when the books have so much potential.

    LOL, well you should be able to move in... with 4 married ladies, there should be some vacancy! :)

    Ames - Thanks sweetie. Again, like I said yesterday, it's circumstances. It always happen all at the same time :(

    Rosie - I know, I know. I just hope everything works out well.

    and yay on the same grade :D

  5. nath! I agree... works sucks! ((Hugs)) Hang in there, it will get better. :)

    No chemistry and not buying the HEA? I hate it when that happens, especially if you like the characters. :(

  6. Sorry work is so bad for you right now. Books and chocolate might help. (((hugs)))

    I haven't read this author but have about 6 of her books on my TBR (some probably because of you. LOL)

    Like you, I like this time period it's different, so maybe I'll start with this series. Nice review. :)

  7. Sorry you had such a bad day. Hopefully things will improve.

    I've not read a Guhrke - even though I have one of her books (can't tell you which one off the top of my head) on my shelf. The books sounds cute but I think it might bug me if there's no chemistry. huh. I'll have to see what I have on my shelf and go from there. :)

    thanks for the review.

  8. Hilcia - I know, me too. Especially when the book has potential! You know, sometimes, the characters realize that they fell in love and they don't know how or when. That's okay, but in this case, it felt a bit awkward.

    Leslie - Read her, Leslie! I enjoyed most of her books :) I do think she's one of the best historical author out there... most of her books are different, in a good way :)

    Tracy - Yeah, I think the lack of chemistry would bother many. I mean, after all, that's what we're looking for, romance fan no?

    What books of hers do you have?

  9. I need to get back into this series, I've the 2nd book in my TBR pile.

    I hope your work week gets better - I think we all have those days where we just want to crawl under the desk and hide - or is that just me? :-)

    Just remember - at the end of the day, it is only work, and not your entire life!

  10. Hmmm.... I still haven't read the 3rd one. So I guess I don't have to feel rushed to get to this one. Phew!

    Hoping the shitty week is getting better!

  11. Li - LOL, I would say, jump straight to the third :) but I'm curious to see what you think of the 2nd book :)

    My boss just keeps telling me how busy it'll get and I get more depressed. Bleh. And no, it's definitively not just you!!

    and you're right, it's just work.

    Lori - Read the third one, Lori!! I really liked that one, i thought it was cute!! :)

    I just want it to end!!

  12. I'm sorry for such a shitty day, work is sucking for me too lately, so I know the feeling.

    I'm also sorry this book didn't do it for you, I usually enjoy LLG, but I haven't read this one.

  13. Lisa - I usually enjoy her books too... this one just didn't work out for me, too bad :(

    and yeah, work... bane of my existence LOL :)