Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-691-4
Historical Romance, 2007
The Seduction of Widow McEwan is an older woman-younger man story set in 1883 Texas. There is only a four year gap between the hero and the heroine though, so I don’t think it is that significant enough for any Mrs Robinson fantasy to work. It’s the third of the Leather & Lace series, although I don’t see any connection between this story and the other two apart from the fact that they all feature cowboys in a historical setting.
In this one, we have our widow, Jameson McEwan, who is not keen of marrying again after her not-so-blissful marriage to an older man. Our hero, Seth Conner, has been infatuated with her since he was sixteen. When he hears that Jamie has decided to marry Tucker Portman, he decides that it is time he steps up and stops Jamie from making that mistake. You see, Tucker is a mean old son of a dog who was the partner-in-crime of Jamie’s late husband when it comes to boozing and skanking it up in whorehouses.
Jamie, however, is not going to marry Tucker. She’s not that stupid, thank goodness. She is, however, becoming frustrated by all these men around her coddling her and treating her as if she’s too simple-minded to make a decision of her own, especially when some of these men, like Seth, are younger than she is. She likes Seth, in fact, she is starting to believe that she likes him more than she initially suspected, so the last thing she wants is for him to step up and become another overbearing know-it-all who thinks that she should be protected and pampered. A road trip to San Antonio with Seth may do the trick in getting him to see her in a different light. Tucker Portman, of course, is going to be a nuisance later on in the story.
The Seduction of Widow McEwan is easily the best of the Leather & Lace stories. Jamie is on the whole a likable and smart heroine who is intelligent without coming off as too contemporary. Even her insecurities about her performance in the bedroom seem pretty reasonable in the context of the story. Seth is a nice fellow, often being protective without getting overbearing in the process. On the whole, he is a rather earnest and likable kid. The relationship between those two is on an accelerated pace, which is to be expected given that this is a short story, but it’s a well-paced and reasonably convincing one given the circumstances and the fact that these two have known each other long enough.
Therefore, for a short story, this one is pretty enjoyable. The story is familiar and won’t rock anyone’s world, but hey, it is what it is.