To Tame a Renegade

A Taste of Sin

A Touch So Wicked

Seduced by a Rogue by Connie Mason
(Leisure, $6.99, R) ISBN 0-8439-5134-6
Connie Mason fans will like Seduced by a Rogue, the second of Mason’s Rogue series. Others should decide if they can tolerate the following:

a) a heroine who doesn’t trust the man she loves, but believes a family friend who bad mouths that man with no hesitation
b) a hero who sulks for four years without even questioning what happened
c) a wealth of sexual encounters
d) a mystery that is easily solved by the reader long before the revelation in the book
c) lots of misunderstanding and mistrust.

Phoebe Thompson, daughter of a professor of Egyptology, meets and falls in love with Ramsey, the Earl of Braxton. He falls for her too, and they secretly elope and have their wedding night. The next morning, Phoebe is confronted by a friend who shares all of Ram’s past sexual conquests. Phoebe is convinced Ram will never be satisfied with her forever (despite the fact he married her to get in her bed) and she leaves for Egypt to follow her father. Ram is devastated and spends the next four years drinking and bedding every woman who lets him. He never pursues an annulment or divorce.

Ram is approached by the Foreign Ministry and asked to do one last service for his country. He is asked to seduce the daughter of a professor who is believed to have stolen a priceless artifact from Egypt, and secure the amulet for the government. Amazingly, that professor is Phoebe’s father and Ram determines this is a great way to get revenge on his estranged wife. He figures he can seduce Phoebe, make her love him again, get the amulet for his country and then leave her high and dry.

There are a few kinks in the plan. First, Phoebe doesn’t know where the amulet or her father is, as she returned to England ahead of him. She only knows there was an amulet and now her father has been kidnapped. The ransom is the amulet, which she does not have. Her only helper is David Phillips, her friend who gave her the information on Ram four years ago. David is also her father’s assistant. He sailed with her father and discovered him missing as they were leaving the ship.

Another problem is that both Ram and Phoebe still have feelings for each other. These feelings explode in lust every time they come near each other. Of course even as they are tearing each other’s clothes off, they are denying these feelings as anything other than lust.

The final kink is of course, the mystery of where the amulet is in the first place. No one seems to know and Phoebe’s father is missing.

The entire book is based on the initial BIG misunderstanding and then lots of little misunderstandings along the way. There is no trust in this relationship and I have a difficult time believing that these two love each other when they cannot even be honest with each other or trust anything the other person says when they do talk.

The mystery is actually innovative and creatively done, although it is obvious who the bad guy is because there is no other choice but one. Finding the amulet and determining the how actually kept me interested in the story.

And other than the misunderstandings, I did enjoy the interactions, repartee and seeming intelligence of the two lovers. Yet every time I thought the tide had turned and they were actually going to use their brains, the old lust-bug bit and they resorted to uncontrollable and bodice-ripping sex, which led to another misunderstanding so they did not have to confront their feelings.

As I said at the beginning, Connie Mason fans will like this story, as it follows the patterns of her other tales. As for me, Seduced by a Rogue contains too many of the things I dislike for me to really enjoy it.

--Shirley Lyons

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