The Seduction of His Wife
by Tiffany Clare
(St. Martinís, $7.99, R) ISBN 978-0-312-38183-7
***
The Seduction of His Wife is a story with great potential, but the lackluster writing left it under performing. The story is about a man and his wife who are estranged, but find each other again and develop a relationship that was worth waiting for.

Emma Hallaway is a woman who was married at the age of fifteen to Richard Mansfield. Richard was not ready for marriage, but is forced into the arranged marriage by his father who hopes Richard will mature into the Earl of Asbury, for which he is being groomed. Richard follows through with his fatherís wishes and marries Emma, but the night of their wedding he leaves her. He is not ready for the life his father wants for him, so he heads to the Orient to look for adventure, work in trade, and earn a fortune.

Emma has been alone for twelve years and over that time developed a talent for painting. Her favorite subject is naked women, which is very scandalous in society. A man by the name of Waverly has been sending Emma notes that have her very worried. He knows about her secret and is threatening to expose her. And to add to that stress, her husband shows up and starts dictating her life.

Emma is stunned that Richard has returned and has mixed feelings about his intentions and her feelings. When Richard informs Emma that he would like to make an heir, Emma pushes him away. She doesnít understand how he can come home and expect things to be normal when he is nothing but a stranger to her. Richard comes to the quick conclusion that he will have to court his wife if he wants her to cooperate.

The Seduction of His Wife is an intriguing concept and contains a story line that is entertaining. There are some problems with the writing and this makes the book underwhelming. There are a few inconsistencies in the book and the flow is disorderly. One chapter will end and the next begins a few days or a few weeks later. The transition is sudden and leads to confusion. In the beginning, the descriptive portions are repetitive as if the author doesnít think the reader will be able to keep up. It doesnít help, it is just frustrating.

The main characters, Emma and Richard, are appealing and the author does a decent job of developing them and getting the reader invested even though a lot of details are fuzzy. The writing is best when Emma and Richard are alone and exchange dialogue. The intimate scenes are also written very well and are engaging. The writing is deficient during the rest of the book, but there are a lot of steaming scenes, so over all it is likeable.

I give this book 3 hearts because the story line is good and the plot is worthy. I wish the writing in The Seduction of His Wife was a little sharper and lived up to the potential that is there.

--Nichole Howell


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