HQN, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-373-79934-3
Romantic Suspense, 2017
Reading Seized by Seduction is like trying to swallow pebbles without anything to stop the gag reflex. It doesn’t know whether it wants to be a romance story or a romantic suspense, and generally lumbers clumsily to the finish line without any clue.
Despite having just escaped a burning building, Quasar Patterson – yes, that’s his real name – still has time to develop a super chubby at the sight of Dr Randi Fuller, a psychic investigator. Then again, our hero doesn’t display any recognizably human emotion – he’s just an amalgamation of every super capable hero cliché whose humanity.exe has completely malfunctioned. Even three years later, he still can’t get over how horny he was the first time he saw her, so naturally it is time to get that woman into his bed. Mind you, he dates and beds women, but he doesn’t dwell on them, so he’s got to boink that woman out of his system. But once he’s in, will he ever want to get out?
Oh, and someone wants to kill her. Or him. Or me, but unfortunately, I’m not that lucky.
This one has practically every single trope out there. The hero has been betrayed by some ho before, so yes, all hos are hos, blah blah blah. Mommy issues, daddy issues. That demented women around the heroine who insist that she spreads her legs (yes, that’s the term used here) to that man because he’s so-oo-oo hot, because these characters are created to be cheerleaders and nothing else, and who cares whether it makes sense or not to do this. The heroine’s life in danger? She’s going to die? Who cares? HAS HE STUCK IN HER YET? WE NEED TO KNOW!
Because both the main characters behave more like zombie robots programmed to behave exactly like every other version of their archetypes, this one ranks high on the “Who cares?” scale.
They would wake up each morning wrapped in each other’s arms and enjoy an early-morning walk on the beach before returning for breakfast. Then it was back in bed, and they’d wake up for lunch. Yesterday he had taken her to LA to purchase a swimsuit. While downtown they decided to do some sightseeing near the Fashion District.
Isn’t this descriptive? Can you feel the passion in the air? The atmosphere? The sense of place? The author does this so often, almost the entire story feels as fun and descriptive as a shopping list.
And there are phrases that don’t mean much, tossed in nilly willy. Quasar has a “powerful, sexual physique”… as opposed to an asexual physique? What makes a physique sexual anyway? When it comes to descriptions, the author is just using words without putting much thought into it. Quasar describes Randi’s voice as “ultrasexy and incredibly professional” – what does that mean? She sounds like an agreeable lady operating a naughty phone chat service, perhaps?
And the sexy moments, oh my goodness.
Her chest was heaving laboriously, like she’d been sprinting on the beach for over an hour, and her nipples felt hard, like pebbles pressing against her short. And she didn’t want to think about the throbbing ache at the juncture of her thighs.
And that’s even before he even touches her. She reacts to sex as if she was being possessed – screaming, writhing, et cetera. Sure, he’s supposed to be giving her the orgasms of a lifetime, but I can only give the author the side eye when she puts most of her power of description into the sex scenes with little left for the rest of the story.
I can go on and on about the inconsistency of the heroine’s abilities, sluggish pacing, or the illogical moments in the story, but what’s the point? The flat shopping list-style of writing makes the entire reading experience such a chore that it doesn’t matter what the story is. It is a paranormal romantic suspense that isn’t paranormal, romantic, or suspenseful – just a morass of slipshod writing to wade through. Seized by Seduction warrants a cease and desist on this kind of thing.