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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Seduction by Jeanmarie Hamilton

Seduction by Jeanmarie Hamilton
Publisher: Highland Press
Genre: Action/Adventure; Historical
Length: Full (204 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3 Books
Reviewed by Water Lily

They challenged the town and each other with their forbidden affair.

Belinda Rose is two people. On stage, she's a confident vocalist who entertains her audiences. Alone, she longs for a secure home and her own opera house where she can entertain or book others to perform. She carries with her the painful memories of her past, but won't be denied her future. Can her love for a handsome businessman derail her plans?

Cole MacPherson has become a wealthy entrepreneur in spite of his loveless childhood. Believing he doesn't know how to love, he seeks power instead. What a shock when a beautiful singer knocks him for a loop. Could he learn to love? Does he dare?

Belinda Rose isn’t your classic 1878 Wild West singer—the harlot with a heart of gold—that Collinsworth MacPherson (Cole) expects. Author Jeanmarie Hamilton makes it clear from the start that Belinda is pure and intends to remain that way. One glance at the title says the girl won’t succeed.

Belinda is a likeable character haunted by her past yet clinging to the hope she can overcome her present position in life and achieve her dreams of a stable home and a family of her own. Cole has a mansion, money, and the security Belinda lacks. He wants a beautiful woman to play hostess and warm his sheets, not a loving wife. Therein lies the problem.

Seduction holds the promise of heartfelt conflict on the deepest levels. However, when Belinda falls in love with Cole, she trades her dreams for passion. While Hamilton certainly makes the pages smoke with sexual tension, I wanted Belinda to hold a little tighter to her morals or at least mourn their loss. Without commitment to Cole or the strength to say no to him after the first time, Belinda becomes the person she wanted to avoid becoming.

Hamilton’s research of the era is apparent throughout Seduction. Her portrayal of life in Arizona Territory is vivid, filled with thieves, railroad men, adobe haciendas and gun fights, but the story would have benefited from tightening and a bit more emotional conflict between Belinda and Cole. Still, there are plenty of scenes that make it clear why this book became a finalist in Romantic Times’ American Title Contest.

Seduction is the perfect title for this sexy Western.