Monday, December 14, 2009

Feature Review: "Seducing the Heiress," By Olivia Drake

By Melanie Murray, RBTB Correspondent

CONTEST Today!!! One randomly chosen commenter wins a copy of "Seducing the Heiress!" Please have your email available in your comment or your blogger profile.

If I had a nickel for all the historical romance heroes who are described as “rogues,” “rakes” or “libertines,” well, let’s just say I could afford my own carriage. And if I were given a penny for each of the heroines who don’t quite fit in, there’d be a team of six to pull said carriage along.

We, as romance readers, are used to recurring character types. This isn’t to say that we don’t whole-heartedly love them, because we do. But don’t you feel just giddy when a book comes along that breathes new, wondrous, I-feel-like-I’ve-never-read-this-before life into these types of premises?

For this reason, Olivia Drake’s “Seducing the Heiress” will land on your keeper shelf. The author takes what could be a been-there, read-that story of a scheming scoundrel and a headstrong hoyden, and weaves a tale of wit, seduction, secrets, and sensuality that’s as vibrant as it is refreshing.

Despite her common birth and unusual upbringing in India, Miss Portia Crompton is the most sought-after heiress of the Season, thanks to her massive dowry. Her parents plan to make her a good match, thereby ensuring their family’s status. Except Portia isn’t interested in any of London’s eligible suitors, who are clearly after her money. Instead she has dreams of her own: to return to India as soon as possible.

Enter Colin Byrd, Viscount Ratcliffe, a true ne’er-do-well. He’s notorious for bedding and abandoning women. He’s famously in debt and desperate to get out of it. And there are troubling, horrible rumors about his treatment of his own family, stories so awful that he’s been effectively shunned from society.

But Colin’s not as stuffy as Portia’s other gentlemen pursuers. He’s honest about his reasons for courting her. He’s genuinely curious about her past and moved by her sense of humor and spiritedness, two attributes that get her into trouble with the other members of society.

Not to mention that his very glance has her dreaming of things most English misses would be shocked to speak of, things like kisses and embraces and other acts of passion. Portia finds herself wondering if she can change her life’s plans for a man who may not be worthy of her. And Colin has to come to terms with the fact that, despite his best intentions, he’s falling in love.

Colin and Portia’s romance isn’t the only intriguing part of “Seducing the Heiress.” These are fascinating characters. Colin’s heart truly does have some black in it, and Portia never for a moment questions why she doesn’t fit in. They are each fabulously content with whom they are as people – no insecurities to overcome here. And this is why, when they get together, there are true, honest-to-goodness sparks. I think you’ll agree that reinventing the wheel was never so satisfying, after you --

Buy the Book.

Are there character types in romances that you never tire of reading? What is it that makes the rake so darn appealing? And who are your favorite unconventional heroines?
Two romance authors boldly take the genre where it's not gone before! Don't miss the news!

Thursday: Gannon and PJ are back 12. 17 to celebrate the “magic” of the holidays with their best-girlfriends take on Janet Chapman’s “Highlander Christmas!”
Friday: RBTBs Holiday Exclusive Gift for You! Read Becke Martin’s sweet n’ just-a-teensy-bit-sexy short story, "Silver and Gold!" The promise of healing love when one least expects it – and a little boy’s Christmas expectations fulfilled in just the right way – reminds us that hope still can glitter in anyone’s heart at Christmastime.
Dec 24: Rocki St. Claire returns for her Annual Holiday Kick-Off! We love to spend a few moments before everything goes holiday haywire to wish each other happy, and to Win Prizes!

PLUS: Jan 4 Liz Maverick visits to talk “Crimson and Steam” her wicked-cool upcoming release. I glommed it recently and now have to read the rest of the series!
– and – A huge RBTB contest is on the way w/deets soon.


Anonymous said...

I just loved your review !! Keeper you said...hmm, can't wait to read it !

I read and love many different romance sub-genres but in my experience, there is nothing like a GOOD historical *sigh*

Congratulations Olivis !!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Great review - especially if this is going to land on my keeper shelf. It's definitely on my tbr list now!

Stacy~ said...

Hey Michelle :) I've been neglecting my blog-hopping, so I'm hoping to get back into it again. Hope y'all are doing well.

The book sounds interesting, a little different. I've been on a paranormal kick lately, but I always come back to those historicals.

Happy holidays to you and your family.

Lynz Pickles said...

I need to read this book. Like, now. It sounds absolutely fantastic and I've been having a hard time finding good historicals of late. Plus I love the sexy red cover. Great review!

Gannon Carr said...

Oooh! I must go find this book ASAP! Wonderful review, Melanie!

Becke Davis said...

Melanie - Fabulous review! I'm so glad I ran out and bought this as soon as I saw you were going to be posting about it here. As soon as I finish the book I'm reading, this one is up next!

And, Melanie, I can just see you as Cinderella in that coach and horses. I was at a Barnes & Noble on Saturday (no surprise there) and the first person I saw when I walked in was a Disney Cinderella in full costume. I'd pay good money to see you in that role!

mariska said...

looking forward to read this book. it sounds very seducing :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Leigh Duncan said...

Michelle, 'Seducing the Heiress' sounds like a yummy read for my holiday vacation. Can't wait.

leighduncan at bellsouth dot net

Sissa said...

Wonderful review! ^^ The book sounds so good and look forward to reading it.


amy kennedy said...

Melanie -- great review, don't you love it (and I know you do, but it bears repeating) when the hero really does have a somewhat black heart? And the heroine doesn't want to change him!

I agree with Emmanuelle -- there is nothing like a good historical!

His Stace! Hope to see you "around" more often.

Becke, I love it how you've always bought the book!

Becke Davis said...

Amy - You should see my TBR pile. It was fairly manageable until Melanie converted me to historicals!

Melanie Murray said...

Thank you to everyone for the kind words about the review! I really enjoyed the book and there's nothing that makes me happier than a good historical. Maybe some of you have figured that out by now?

Lynz: That red cover is part of why I picked this one up. I'm a sucker for jewel-toned covers.

Becke: I had some childhood fantasies of being Cinderella, that is very true. Wish I could find a place to house a team of six plus carriage in NYC!

Melanie Murray said...

Amy: I like the shade-of-gray hero because it's just more realistic. Nobody in real life is all good. And it always adds such a layer of suspense to the read when you're wondering if and how the hero will do the right thing. This book really had that going for it. Not that Colin is all bad, because he has some very redeeming qualities about him, and redeeming actions that he makes. But he's dark enough that you wonder about him...

Becke Davis said...

Melanie - You might like Diana Holquist's HOW TO TAME A MODERN ROGUE. It doesn't have a coach and horses, but it does have a coach and HORSE.

Melanie Murray said...

Becke, I've read that and I did like it. That grandmother was one of the more original characters I've read in a long while, and not unlike how I envision my future. You know, living and making plans as if I were in a historical novel.

Maureen said...

The book sounds like a great story. I think rakes are so appealing because it's fun to watch them meet their match in a heroine who has them changing their ways.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Unknown said...

in my TBR pile! woohoo

amandasaucy at gmail dot com

Melanie Murray said...

Hi Maureen. It is so much fun when your standard rake has that crisis of conscience that can only be inspired by the right heroine, isn't it?

Yay for the TBR piles! It's my goal to make them bigger, Amanda.

Myrin said...

Hi Melanie, fabulous review (and I can now say that with all my heart since a few days ago I've read a review that seemed like my cousin who's only had English lessons since this year could have written it - let's hear it for the girls who can write reviews!).

I really, really never tire of historical heroes/heroines who aren't from fine breeding, like Lisa Kleypas's (who was it who called her the other LisaK?) Bow Street Runners, for example. Or Logan Jennsen from Jacquie D'Alesssandro's Tempted At Midnight. There's just something appealing about people who were able to stand their own in that time and age.

I'm not so big a fan of the rake. I mean, I don't have objections against him, but he's just not my favourite type of hero. That might be because I don't accept them in real life and somehow don't think men like that ever change. That might sound pretty harsh and of course I enjoy reading about a womanizer who's different when finally meeting his match, but my BFF just recently had an experience with a modern day rake and that makes my general attitude kind of ... meh...

Favourite unconventional heroine: Sophia Sydney from my all-time-fav Lady Sophia's Lover, hands down. I love how she's so honest with bother herself and Ross and that she doesn't bother doing the works of a maid despite her fine origins.


Myrin said...

And I love the cover, btw. I'm very pleased with the direction cover art seems to take for some time now.

Melanie Murray said...

LisaK, thank you for the kind words. This day is good for my ego, but I'm really happy that people are interested in the book!

I LOVE Tempted at Midnight! In fact all of Jacquie's books appeal to me because of the unusual heroines. They are all so independent!

And I like all versions of Lisa Kleypas. Some may say I like her too much.

throuthehaze said...

I loved the review! SOunds like a great read

The Reading Frenzy said...

Great review Melanie, Ok I'm convinced it just went on my list, that ever growing monster. I can't buy any kind of pleasure reading material in Dec by edict of my family so I have a shopping spree planned at B&N the first week of January.

Unknown said...

What a great review! We all love the rakes for some reason, not sure why! I would love to read this books it sounds fabulous also love the cover! I have never read her books before so please enter me!


Tiona said...

Oh, great review, Melanie! I know, I just love the rake. And these characters sound so unique. It's nice to be refreshing!
LisaK, I know, rakes are fun in fiction. I think it's fun to watch them come down a notch for the heroine, hehe. But, in real life, not so much. Those players can stay far away, hehe.
That's why romance is fantasy, right?

Tiona said...

Oh, by the way e-mail is:

Melanie Murray said...

Debbie, they should do a reality show about your January shopping spree! I would watch that.

Virginia, it is funny that we all love the fictional rake but would never go near him in real life. I guess that's why readers read - for an escape into another reality.

Princess Bumblebee: There's nothing more fun than reading about a rake who is reformed by a no-nonsense woman!

Pamela Keener said...

Thanks for the review! It sounds oh so tempting to add it to my tumbling TBR list. I love the red dress on the cover.
Love & Hugs
Pam Keener in PA

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. I have added this book to my get-this-one-now list. It would be refreshing to read a different take on what makes a guy a rake

Melanie Murray said...

Pamela and Anonymous: I hope you like the book. I think you will. There's a lot of layers to it, and the hero and heroine are just very engaging characters.

Jane said...

Great review, Melanie. I'll definitely have to check out Olivia's book. I'll never tire of reading about an alpha hero who finally meets his match. I like seeing a hero running around in circles trying to get the heroine.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Melanie Murray said...

I enjoy that too, Jane. It's nice to see female characters with the upper hand. That's so often what I love about romances.

Katrina C said...

Hey, everyone! This sounds great. I think the rake is so attractive in novels because they're so unattractive in real life. I read something by Loretta Chase recently where she said STDs don't exist in the world of her novels (I'm paraphrasing a lot!).

Amber said...

Hi! This book sounds great, and can't wait to read it. I like that it's something different then what were use to reading. I can never get tired of reading a good historical book.

I enjoy reading about rakes, and think they are so appealing to everyone because there is nothing like a bad boy turned good for the woman he loves. Thanks for the review!


Linda Henderson said...

Your book sounds great. I think the rake is so popular because most women, I think, love a bad boy. That with the love of a good woman that he can change. Happy holidays everyone.

seriousreader at live dot com

maered said...

This book looks really good. I love reading about the heroine who doesn't fit in. I mean, who hasn't felt like that at some point in their lives?

matt_potter6 AT hotmail DOT com

pjpuppymom said...

Great review, Melanie! Looks like I'll be adding another book to the tbr mountain. I better take good care of myself. I'll need another 30 years, at least, to read all these books y'all keeping adding to my stash! lol!