Help, I'm in a historical rereading frenzy and I can't get out! They are just so darn good. But after this book, I am onto Midnight Rose, thanks to Jen's amazing review... and I'm not even that big a vamp fan! Ok... onward.
The Seduction is the first in a long line of books in the Notorious series. This is the story of Damien Sinclair, "Lord Sin". His sister, Olivia, has a terrible accident at the hands of Vanessa's brother. Vanessa winds up acting as Olivia's companion, and, in his own act of revenge/justice, Damien's mistress. The story really delves into the immediate friendship that Damien and Vanessa share, the respect unwittingly built between them, and their attempts to deny the feelings they have by sabotaging the relationship, each in their own way.
Once again, there is lots of seedy sex in the brothels of London (those boys from the Hellfire League are wicked!), and very little in the way of ballrooms, sans one country ball, although both characters are members of the aristocracy. Nicole Jordan does a great job in her characterization of Damien, especially, showing well his bewilderment and his unnerving (is that a word?) with the changes he feels taking place within himself. Vanessa is a woman trying to save her sisters from the same type of loveless marriage she was forced into. She agrees to Damien's terms and is astounded at the feelings he arouses in her (no pun intended... or was it?). She expects to hate him and finds herself drawn to him through long sincere talks held late at night in her bedchamber. For a better summary, read Nicole Jordan's synopsis. (And make sure to scroll down the Seduction webpage and read her excerpts, too! Especially wonderful! I love her web site!)
I really like that before this couple has sex, they have become friends, and developed a mutual respect for each other. The fact that they then have hot, wild, beautiful, monkey sex is made all the better because of their intense feelings for one another, although they would each deny it to the death (the little death, that is...). If it were only that easy, a million authors would be out of work and books would only be 50 pages long. So of course, neither is happy with the turn of affairs (so to speak) and they each sabotage the relationship, something it appears Damien is an expert at. How he comes around to being comfortable with his reformation (aren't reformed rakes the best? everyone says so...) is really the crux of Damien's story, and coming to terms with wanting a not-so-perfect man is Vanessa's story. There is also a really well written back story about Olivia coming to terms with the results of her accident and how she and her true love find their way back together again.
I have read all the books in this series (several times) and not been disappointed by a single one. Highly recommended.