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    With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke
  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 12th, 2009

Guhrke_SeductionReviewed by: Andrea Williamson
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: August 25, 2009
4.75 stars

I’ve been sacked.  Again.

Those are words Daisy Merrick has uttered more times than she can count in her twenty-eight years, due mostly to her outspoken ways.  Mostly, but not always.  This time she is sacked because she spurned her boss’s appalling proposition.  No doubt her sister Lucy would’ve handled the situation more diplomatically, but not Daisy – “But you’re so old!”  (I love it!!)  On the way home, Daisy believes that it is fate that prompts the omnibus to halt directly in front of Marlowe Publishing, the company owned by her friend, Viscount Marlowe.  You see, Daisy has always wanted to be a published writer.  Having plenty of completed but unpublished manuscripts, she figures that this is her best chance to finally achieve her dream.  She finally gets her first piece of writing published, though it wasn’t what she expected it would be.

Renowned writer and playwright Sebastian Grant’s newest play opened following a three year hiatus.  Anticipations were high, but the show suffers from a disastrous opening night and is made worse by a scathing review printed in the very paper owned by his publisher.  With murder on his mind, Sebastian dashes to Marlowe Publishing the next morning and comes face to face with the man who would be his intended victim, George Lindsay.  Only, George Lindsay isn’t a man.  He is a woman.  A woman with bright red hair and golden freckles . . . along with an impertinent tongue.  When Lord Marlowe suggests that the two work together (so Sebastian can conquer his writer’s block and Daisy can hone her writing craft), Sebastian instantly balks at the idea.  How can an amateur writer help him?  The infuriatingly stubborn woman agrees with the viscount and doesn’t give up trying to convince Sebastian to comply.  Eventually, the equally stubborn Sebastian gives in and remembers how exhilarating writing can be, especially with the pretty young woman as inspiration.

This fourth entry in Laura Lee Guhrke’s popular Girl-Bachelor Chronicles is a beautifully written character-driven story.  It centers on a writer’s inner struggles and I couldn’t help wondering if this is how so many writers feel at least once in their career.  I felt the sting of rejection, regarding Daisy’s manuscript, and the anguish of a harsh, critical review, pertaining to Sebastian’s play, along with the angst in his attempt to write again.  The night his play opens, he has unbelievable anxiety.

“It’s bound to fail, of course,” he muttered as he paced.  “My last play was a disaster, and this one is worse.  God, why didn’t I burn the stupid thing when I had the chance?”

Most people would have been shocked to hear England’s most famous novelist and playwright disparaging his work in this manner, but his friend, Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne, listened to Sebastian’s condemnation of his latest play with the forbearance of one who had heard it all before.  “You don’t believe a single word you’re saying.”

“Oh, yes, I do.  The play is shit.”  Sebastian reached one end of the stage and turned to start back in the opposite direction.  “Utter shit.”

“You always say that.”

“I know, but this time, it’s true.”

I’ve heard author/writer friends utter similar words, so this passage hit close to home for me.  Not only does Sebastian struggle with his writing, but he also wrangles with a former drug addiction.  A life changing event caused him to give up the drug, but he continues to fight the urge to go back to it, especially since it made writing so much easier.  His relationship with Daisy may start off volatile, but he ultimately sees the wisdom (in more ways than one) in working together.  From verbal sparring to smoldering glances to heated embraces, Sebastian and Daisy are just so well-matched.

Daisy is my kind of heroine.  Yes, she’s outspoken and impulsive, but she is also extremely optimistic and doesn’t give up on Sebastian when he continues to blow her off.  I marveled at her tenacity.  As a child, she was teased for her carrot-top hair and unsightly freckles, so she finds it hard to believe that Sebastian views those attributes in a positive light.  It was incredibly sweet how he convinces her.

Fans of the series will be happy to visit with a few characters from previous books.  I absolutely loved the literary quotes at the beginning of each chapter that coordinated perfectly.  Laura Lee Guhrke’s books always have at least one scene that renders me speechless and makes me tear up and this one is no exception.  It’s one of the many reasons I enjoy her books.  They are always filled with wit, intelligence and passionate characters you think about long after you close the last page.  I can’t recommend With Seduction in Mind enough!

9 Responses to “With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke”

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  1. PJ
    on Sep 12th, 2009
    @ 12:46 pm

    I love Guhrke’s books. I’ll second your recommendation of “With Seduction in Mind”, Andrea. I thought it was terrific!

  2. Lisa from Temple
    on Sep 13th, 2009
    @ 10:13 am

    I loved the book, and Sebastian and Daisy! Though one of my favorite lines of the book has to be, “You have to kill the dog.” I can’t wait to see which girl bachelor gets their book next.

  3. Andrea
    on Sep 13th, 2009
    @ 12:40 pm

    Lisa, I LOVED that line!! And I’m anxious to see who’ll get their story next, too. I’m kinda hoping for Lucy. 😉

  4. Stacy ~
    on Sep 14th, 2009
    @ 6:48 am

    I read the first 2 and have the 3rd one. Sounds really good. Great review Andrea!

  5. Lisa From Temple
    on Sep 14th, 2009
    @ 12:40 pm

    Stacy, you’re going to love Secret Desires of a Gentleman! LLG has said she used Darcy as the inspiration for the hero, and who doesn’t love Darcy???!!!

    Andrea, what was the scene that made you speechless? For me, it was at the end when Sebastian showed Daisy the dedication. What I love about LLG and this series is the big sweeping romantic gesture the hero makes to finally win over the heroine. 🙂

  6. Andrea
    on Sep 14th, 2009
    @ 3:52 pm

    Thanks, Stacy!

    Lisa, that is exactly the scene I was referring to! When I read that part, I had to pull the book away and just sit there to take it all in. Absolutely beautiful. And in SDoaG, it was the ribbon. Sigh. LLG is awesome. 🙂

  7. Lisa from Temple
    on Sep 14th, 2009
    @ 9:27 pm

    Ah yes, the ribbon. How do you not melt at that scene??? And at the end when he tells Maria he’s always been afraid he wasn’t good enough for her? ::SIGH::

  8. Pam P
    on Sep 14th, 2009
    @ 9:37 pm

    I just got it in the mail today. I’m behind on the series, but after reading all your comments here, I just might skip ahead and read this one now.

  9. Andrea
    on Sep 15th, 2009
    @ 7:51 am

    Enjoy it and catching up on the rest of the series, Pam! 🙂

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