HarperTorch, $5.99, ISBN 0-06-108712-2
Historical Romance, 2000
With a title like Master of Seduction, boy, does this book has a lot of expectations to live up to! Which is why it is more disappointing that this admittedly enjoyable read doesn’t try to cover much new grounds when it comes to pirate romance. Even more, the hero… well, let’s just say he’s not going to raise my body temperature, not even by one smidgen of a degree.
Lorelei Dupree decides to help her fiancé capture the bad pirate Black Jack Rhys, but ends up getting kidnapped by the pirate instead. The pirate has issues with her fiancé, after all, and decides to hold her for the usual reason.
There are pretty fine romance and adventures, but the whole scheme of things isn’t something new. I’ve read the same old revenge, fall in love, save her from her evil fiance, etc plot countless times before, and there is no successful attempt by the author to make the story stand out from its predecessors.
Which is quite a pity as Lorelei is a fine heroine, the latest in a long line of seductresses who is more than capable in handling her man. Her characterization never falters – she remains more an asset than a troublesome liability, and she doesn’t turn into a teary-eyed wimp in the end. Then again, Lorelei doesn’t make any claims to be a hellion either, unlike many other fake tomboys in other romances, so it is more the satisfaction in seeing Lorelei a great match for any romance hero.
The hero, however, is a different story. Same old troubled past, same old line of thinking (she’s… different), and for a Master of Seduction, he is one limpie. It’s bad enough he has lines that make him look cheesy enough (“No woman resists Black Jack Rhys. No one shoots Black Jack Rhys!”), but I’d think a well-traveled pirate would have an arsenal of sexual ooze at his disposal. There should be an illustrated Kama Sutra in the drawer, lots of interesting accessories, and at the very least, some eye-popping, mind-boggling exotic positions. Guess what limp noodle is served up instead – not even a full two pages of grand first shag Scene. Maybe he’s tired. Talk about an anticlimax.