The Devil Who Tamed Her

Heart of a Warrior

The Heir

Joining

A Loving Scoundrel

              The Pursuit

 
No Choice But Seduction
by Johanna Lindsey
(Pocket, $7.99, PG)  ISBN 14165-3733-3
***
There’s nothing like the Malorys. When I want to read a story that captures my mind and heart, I go back to read about Anthony, James and Regina.  Not all the books were equally captivating, but they were all good.  And the series carried on with the in-laws – the Andersons of Bridgeport Connecticut, brothers to James's wife, Georgina.  No Choice But Seduction is Boyd's story.  There is some of the magic of the Malorys in it, but overall it falls in that "good" rather than "great" category.

Boyd, along with his brothers, owns Skylark Shipping and his life has been spent with his ships.  He has sailed almost the whole world.  The story opens in Connecticut where he is preparing to leave to head to England.  He is thinking of retiring to run the London office.  His brothers are all either married or still at sea and they seem to spend more time in England these days than in America.  Boyd meets a young woman who will be a passenger on his ship.  He is intrigued and finds himself falling for her, only to discover that she is married.  But his fantasies don’t want to end and it is a tortuous voyage for him.

When he reaches England, Boyd finds James and Georgina off on an adventure and he is asked to keep watch on his seven year old niece, Jack.  He also finds a ransom note delivered to the wrong house asking for money if they want Anthony's seven year old daughter Judith back.  Boyd helps Anthony recover her, only to find the woman who has plagued his dreams somehow involved.

Katey Tyler is ready for a life.  She was raised in a tiny village in Connecticut by her widowed mother.  She has fond memories of her father, who worked the town store, but it was her mother who raised her.  Adeline Tyler was a lady, a daughter of an Earl who disowned her when she married.  Her inheritance was saved for her daughter and is it this money that Katey is determined to use to tour the world, now that her mother is dead.   Katey is lovely and is not married; she just uses that story to keep men at bay.  Boyd Anderson makes her nervous and almost overpowers her, a feeling Katey doesn’t like and is not used to feeling.

Katey’s role in the kidnapping is actually that of rescuer. She found Judith tied up and decided she would return her to her family. But her attempts at escape get misinterpreted. Boyd is so overtaken by his lust, he doesn’t know whether to believe her or not. The bottom line is that Katey spends a night in jail and blames Boyd for it. When they meet again, she vacillates between her attraction to him and her anger.  All this does is cause Boyd to be more determined to have her…but he has now decided he wants her for his wife. 

Boyd sets out to seduce Katey into marrying him, with the advice of James and Anthony.  But complications arise when it appears that Katey may actually be Anthony’s daughter from a long-ago romance with her mother, and when Katey decides that she can’t marry until after she has seen the world. 

This story is filled with Malorys.  If you liked the banter between James and Anthony in the earlier books, then you will delight in their antics now.  Readers get a glimpse of their happiness about eight years after their marriages and they are as happy now as it was hoped they would be.  Judith and Jack are precocious as only Malorys can be.  And the “hatred” between the Andersons and the Malorys lives on in their bantering and insult-throwing ways.

But much of the story drags when it revolves around Boyd trying to seduce Katey.  She likes to spin stories, and at times, her "daydreams" seem real. This is a bit boring. Boyd thinks more with his anatomy than his mind, not something that endears a hero to me. They are well-matched at times, but they don’t totally engage the reader in their romance.

No Choice But Seduction is for fans of the Malorys.  It is like a shot on goal that just misses the net. 

--Shirley Lyons


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