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Friday, March 11, 2016

Review: All's Fair in Love & Seduction (The Elusive Lords #2.5) by Beverley Kendall


Print Length: 179 pages
Publisher: Season Publishing (June 25, 2011)

From Goodreads.com: With her seduction she hopes to gain his affections

For Miss Elizabeth Smith, sharing her first kiss with the charming Lord Derek Creswell is nothing short of a dream come true...that is, until she is spotted by one of the most influential gossips of the ton. With scandal nipping at her heels, to avoid total social ruin, Elizabeth must present a fiancé by the end of the Season. But when the viscount proves reluctant, Elizabeth is forced to employ a seduction of a different sort...

With his seduction he is determined to ruin her

Viscount Derek Creswell believes Elizabeth set out to trap him into marriage. After all, her sister attempted the very same thing with his brother six years before. Now the delectable Miss Smith expects a betrothal and a ring, while Derek finds her ruination infinitely more appealing...

But as Derek sets out to seduce only her body, Elizabeth is intent on claiming his jaded heart.

This is a novella and 29,000 words. Included is a three chapter excerpt of the third full-length book in The Elusive Lords series, AN HEIR OF DECEPTION. The total word count for this book is 43,000 + words. 
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My Rating: 1 star out of 5

This was a novella that I couldn't stop shaking my head and laughing while reading - and not for a good reason. Not only is this plot over done (a blushing debutante is potentially caught in a compromising situation and now has to marry), but these characters were downright laughable (and a bit pathetic since we're being honest here).

But where to begin?

I suppose I should begin with the characters themselves. Elizabeth is supposed to be an utterly innocent young woman having her first season. Now that her father has unexpectedly come into money and a title, she now feels that she should be on the lookout for a husband. Unfortunately, the only man who has caught her eye (and supposedly her affections since she was but a mere girl of fifteen and she fell in love with him while he was defending his brother's honor and paying off her family to keep his brother from being "trapped into marriage" by her "whore of a sister"). Not exactly the type of man I would go for, but whatever. When she notices that the man in question has disappears, not only follows him, but upon meeting him allows him to take her to a darker part of the garden and kiss her senseless. Now perhaps it could be argued that a girl as naive as a brand new debutante should be may allow this, (although I would then argue that she would have been raised better). but Elizabeth does not react the way a blushing virgin would. No, she is an eager and seemingly experienced participant - only regretting the turn of events when she is caught by the ton's biggest gossips.

Derek on the other hand knows exactly who Elizabeth is, but that doesn't stop him from toying with her. He takes her on outings where they spend time together (unchaperoned I might add), and he even takes her to an empty house that he has recently purchased and ends up bedding her. While he originally argued that was not his intent, it certainly didn't stop him from demanding that she undress and then giving into his baser desires. If he truly did not meant to bed her, than he should never have taken her to the home alone.

Somewhere in the middle of this fiasco, they end up falling in love (because they kind of have in order for this to be a romance), and even though he's treated her horribly, she forgives them and they live happily ever after seemingly with no repercussions whatsoever from their sordid and scandalous beginning.

All in all, I am sure there are some people who will enjoy this novella for exactly the reasons I didn't care for it. And as long as its free, you really don't have anything to lose. Not even a large amount of your time as the book can be read in one sitting (probably within an hour or two). 

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 All's Fair in Love & Seduction (The Elusive Lords #2.5) is available from Amazon.com

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