Title: The Second Seduction of a Lady
Author: Miranda Neville
Availability: E-Book novella ($1.99) (Avon)
Eleanor Hardwick and Max Quinton shared one night of incredible passion . . . that was shattered the next day, when Eleanor learned of a bet placed by Max’s friends. Now, five years later, Max still can’t get Eleanor out of his head or his heart. He has a single chance to make a second impression—one that will last forever.
Memorable Line: “The human heart rarely traded in logic.”
The Second Seduction of a Lady is a prequel to Miranda Neville’s new “Wild Quartet” series, which is centered around a group of badly behaved late-Georgian art collectors. This novella introduces readers to Caro, the heroine of the first “Wild Quartet” installment, The Importance of Being Wicked (to be published this December).
Long before meeting Max Quinton, Eleanor Hardwick decided she would never marry. A whirlwind couple of weeks spent with Max Quinton soon has her reconsidering. Unfortunately the interference of a petty and cruel relation drives a wedge between the two and Eleanor escapes home to her well-meaning but neglectful father. To escape the boredom of her life (and thoughts of what might-have-been with Max), Eleanor travels around England visiting her many relations. It is on just such a visit to a distant cousin (Caro’s social climbing mother) that Eleanor encounters Max for the first time in five years.
Max Quinton has never forgotten the beautiful young woman he fell in love with and intended to propose to. One moonlit, he and Eleanor let their passion overcome them – before he could ask for her hand. By the light of day, circumstances (and an odious relative) led to her believing him a seducer and a cad. Despite his repeated attempts to contact her and profess his love, Eleanor refused to listen. Five years later and Max has improved his lot in life, professionally and financially. He is serving as the guardian to a young man about to reach majority when he mets Eleanor again. This time he will not take no for an answer. Conveniently for Max, his ward Robert is smitten with Eleanor’s young cousin, the irrepressible Caro, paving the way for many interactions between the former lovers.
If this were a full length novel, I fear I would have tired of Eleanor’s ‘assume the worst and run’ attitude. It was difficult for me to warm up to her. Once she starting relaxing around Max, her character was more appealing. I was glad to end this story believing she was worthy of Max’s devotion.
Max was a steadfast and honest man throughout the entire story. Yes, he claimed the wager for having succeeded in kissing her, but only so they could start a life together – he did not pursue her to win the wager, the money was not a factor in his attentions. It was refreshing to read about a hero who didn’t have a sudden revelation that he was in love with the heroine. Max knew he loved Eleanor and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her quickly into their initial courtship – his feelings and intentions never wavered.
This was a quick and entertaining read, with wonderful dialogue and fully realized characters. Other than the introduction of Caro and Robert, I’m not certain this novella has much else to do with the “Wild Quartet” series. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone.
My Rating: 4/5 bottles of polish
*I received a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review*