The Fraser Bride
Highland Enchantment
Highland Hawk
Highland Scoundrel
The MacGowan Betrothal
The Princess Masquerade
Seducing a Princess

An Accidental Seduction
by Lois Greiman
(Avon, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-06-184934-3
An Accidental Seduction is a historical romance with a free-thinking heroine and a roguish, appealing hero that falls somewhat flat in the middle but manages to pick itself back up again by the end.

Savaana Hearnes is a talented, spirited Gypsy troupe performer. She’s been content to travel and entertain with her grandfather and the other interesting characters in the group for years. She love to act, and is irresistibly challenged when a stranger tracks her down to ask her to pull off the performance of a lifetime.

This stranger is Lady Clarette Tilmont, and she wants to leave her brand-new husband to engage in a lover’s tryst. When Clarette sees Savaana, she realizes that they look very similar, and how will her bridegroom know the difference? She tempts Savaana with an offer of a hundred pounds sterling, which would help Savaana buy her ailing grandfather’s medicine. Savaana’s love for her only family runs deeply and also, she wants to try out a completely different life. So she heads to the Tilmont estate, and finds that Lord Tilmont is away in London, which makes her impersonation of the lady of the house that much easier until Sean Gallagher shows up.

A handsome, seductive Irishman who’s come to work with the Tilmont horses, Sean has an ulterior motive for meeting Clarette. His brother Alastar was left heartbroken by the uppity, nasty, spiteful Clarette. Sean met the unfortunate Lord Tilmont in London at a gaming hell, and managed to receive enough information from the drunken lord to discern that his new bride is the same woman who destroyed his brother without a second look.

So, Sean comes to seek out Clarette, seduce and leave her so that she understands how Alastar felt when she did the same to him. But as Sean gets to know Clarette, he knows that something is wrong, and that the descriptions given to him by Lord Tilmont and Alastar don’t quite match the at turns adventurous, loving then snooty and mean lady of the manor.

Savaana panics as she feels her careful act begin to crack around the charmingly sweet Irishman, but she would feel a great deal worse if she figured out that Sean is starting to think that she may be two women, and that he is not at all who he has presented himself to be.

An Accidental Seduction is a bit of a quirky title for this story, as Sean’s planned seduction of Clarette is anything but accidental.

Sean was a gorgeously alive hero; he was strong, charming, quick with a compliment or witty conversation and intensely passionate. I loved him. Savaana was an interesting balance to Sean. I had fun listening to her impersonate the villainous Clarette and try to remember to keep Clarette’s face on as she battled with her attraction to Sean and her own guilt at living a lie. I did have difficulty believing Savaana’s noble motives at leaving her gypsy life behind in an instant to live as a terrifying noblewoman.

While Sean and Savaana’s risqué banter had their chemistry start sparks right off the charts, it slows and nearly dies near the middle of the story, and nothing else is really happening at that point either. I was really bored and set the book down for a while at that point. While there is the interesting mystery of everyone’s motives being slowly revealed to show a tangled web behind the life-swapping in the story, it really comes out late in the story, and that is what eventually drew me back into the story.

Also, speaking of deflation in the story, Sean and Savaana’s relationship definitely has more bark than bite for me. They talk a big game, but there is really very little action to match all of the talk.

While the dubiously named An Accidental Seduction has a few wonderful points, it also has some equally dismal moments to offer.

--Amy Wroblewsky

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