Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not Another Romance Blog's 2010 Summer Reading List!

   I don't know what day you official start YOUR summer, but for some reason, June the 15th always seemed like as good a day as any to me! Half way through the month of June and your probably asking yourself, "What the bloody hell am I going to do this summer!". Have no fear, for I, Historical Romance Junkie Rita, shall save you all from unparalleled boredom this summer!
   I am aware that many blogs and book sites put together their own Summer Reading List or Summer Challenge, or some sort of festive, summer-centric event centering around books. Why should N.A.R.B be left out?  2010 is the year of first's for this little blog. April 14th was it's birthday, May was the first change of the calender page and the presentation of the first Author of the Month feature, and June is seeing the first month-long Series Spotlight (June with Julia Quinn). This being the first Summer for the blog (can't wait for the first X-mas, first New Years...Aww, this really IS my baby!) I figured we do it up in proper fashion.
   While this IS the Summer Reading List-Challenge , I thought I'd take it up a notch and sensationalize this momentous occasion further by adding a special theme to this years list.

Introducing: The Seductive Summer: A list of some scandalously seductive titles guaranteed to spice up your summer nights. You'll find that all the selections for this years SRL (Summer Reading List; because acronyms are trying little buggers) will have predominantly similar plot lines (The name of the game is Seduction) with a myriad of different twist and turns to keep the lineup interesting. If you've read one/most/all of these books already, then now is the time to reread!You can read the books in any order you fancy, but try to challenge yourself and go categorically (also try to finish up by the last day of summer, which for this blog will be Sunday, August 22nd). So let's jump right in!

1.) 'No Choice But Seduction' by Johanna Lindsey
-A fitting start to your literary voyage. I, especially love Boyd's tactics to sequester the reluctant Katey's affections! You know that question all the interviewers ask their guest- "If you were stuck on a desert island, and could only bring one thing, what would it be?"...well read this journey of a novel and you'll know why I'd pick Boyd ;)!
   "After her mother died, vivacious Katey Tyler fled her dull Connecticut town, hoping to meet her relatives in England and find adventure and romance on a grand tour of Europe. She had no idea that her life-changing travels would have both in spades - as well as danger and intrigue - when she catches the eye of ship owner Boyd Anderson and inadvertently stumbles upon a high-stakes kidnapping.
   When Sir Anthony Malory’s young daughter is abducted from London’s Hyde Park, her kidnapper mistakenly sends the ransom note to the home of Sir Anthony’s brother, James. With James and his wife, Georgina, in the Caribbean, the demands are received by their houseguest – Georgina’s youngest brother, Boyd Anderson. Searching for the girl with Anthony, the notoriously hot-headed American sea captain fully intends to make the foolhardy villain pay. But he hardly expects to find exquisite Katey Tyler, recently a passenger on his ship, at the center of the plot!
   Little does Katey realize that in having caught the attention of Boyd Anderson - and in meeting up with the Malorys – she’s about to experience more excitement than the typical young lady encounters on a grand tour, and her life will never be dull again. For a multitude of surprises await Katey, from the startling truth about her mother’s early life. . . to the lengths a man will go to win the affections of a lady who has every reason to despise him - but who can’t resist the seductive, impassioned love he has to offer her."Source [Read an excerpt: here ]
2.)'Seductions Of A Proper Gentleman' by Victoria Alexander
- The last book in the 'Last Man Standing' series by Alexander proves to be seductive indeed. Seduction more often times than not, leads to marriage, but when marriage is the intended goal, is it still considered seduction, or perhaps coercion? Either way, seduction plays a big part in this book, so it's going on the list!

   "To break a centuries-old curse, beautiful, headstrong Lady Kathleen MacDavid knows she must ignore every rule of propriety by seducing — and marrying — the Earl of Norcroft. So she sets off for London, braving scandal and ruin to achieve her goal...until a crazy bump on the head makes her forget nearly everything.
   The thrill of winning a bet — that he'd be the last of his set to wed — hasn't eased the earl's pain of losing his friends to marriage. Still, he'd be willing to settle down if he could meet someone worthy of his love — and desire. But he has met no such woman, until Kathleen is brought to him. Suspicious of her motives, he's determined to resist her seductive ways. But sometimes even the most proper gentleman finds it expedient to act improperly..".Source [Read an excerpt: here]
3.) 'At Last Comes Love' by Mary Balogh
-What!?! The word seduction ISN'T in this title? How will we know if it meets our SRL requirements? Well, never you fear, for I have read this wonderful book and can tell you for a fact that to 'woo' is codeword for seduce! Sometimes, the only way to coax a hesitant heart is through splendidly sexual trickery. (and some genuine feeling towards one another helps too!)

   "Only desperation could bring Duncan Pennethorne, the infamous Earl of Sheringford, back home after the spectacular scandal that had shocked even the jaded ton. Forced to wed in fifteen days or be cut off without a penny, Duncan chooses the one woman in London in frantic need of a husband. A lie to an old flame forces Margaret Huxtable to accept the irresistible stranger's offer. But once she discovers who he really is, it's too late - she's already betrothed to the wickedly sensual rakehell. Quickly she issues an ultimatum: If Duncan wants her, he must woo her. And as passion slowly ignites, two people marrying for all the wrong reasons are discovering the joys of seduction - and awaiting the exquisite pleasure of what comes after..."Source  [Read an excerpt: here]

4.) 'Beyond Seduction' by Stephanie Laurens
-So we're back with the seduction titles? But this one is worth the repetitive nature of this list! Once again, that troublesome, hesitant heart is in need of a good seducing! Part of the lively Bastion Club series, let this inadvertent stroll down the path of true love, interrupted by various nefarious kidnapping plots, steal your heart!

    "In a moment of recklessness, Gervase Tregarth, 6th Earl of Crowhurst, swears he'll marry the next eligible lady to cross his path. Cloistered at his ancestral castle in Cornwall, with nary a suitable woman for miles, he never expects he'll have to fulfill his pledge, at least not until the London Season begins. But then he meets his neighbor, the very appealing Madeline Gascoigne.
    Years of secret service to the Crown have taught Gervase the value of always having a loophole—there will be no wedding if he and Madeline are incompatible in any way. So he sets out to prove that they would make a most dreadful match . . . by luring her into his arms and, ultimately, his bed.
From their very first kiss, Gervase discovers that the headstrong and independent Madeline is no meek country miss . . . and that the fire between them will burn long beyond that first seduction."Source [Read an excerpt: here]

5.) 'The Magic Of You' by Johanna Lindsey
-Shall that be the pattern then? Title with seduction, title without, ect.... Maybe it's just the fact that I am writing this list, that the overuse of the word 'seduction' is an entity. (?) Well, this is a marvelous book. The cliche is, it is always the man seducing the woman because he wants to bed her, or make the best of their marriage. Or, it is always the heroine, when given the role of seducer, who has some grand plan to retrieve a lost medallion or some other priceless relic. Finally, a story where seduction is used for the right reason UPFRONT; For love and time constraints are never a good mix! I felt slightly scandalized after the first few chapters, but I loved it!

   "As wild and reckless as the most incorrigible of her male cousins, Amy Malory has reached a marriageable age and has set her sights on a most inappropriate mate: the straight–laced American ship captain who once nearly had her Uncle James hung for piracy.
    Warren Anderson is shocked by the brazen advances of his despised enemy's beautiful niece. Though determined to resist her, he burns for the enchanting British minx. And an impassioned heart implores him to surrender to a love that could stoke the smoldering fires of a family feud into a dangerous, all consuming blaze."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
6.) 'The Rules Of Seduction' by Madeline Hunter
-Well if there is a more competent author on the subject of the 'S' word than Madeline Hunter, I've yet to read her (or him, you never know). No good seduction themed list is complete with out this title added to it's ranks! Diabolical plan or no, the sensuality in this book is ever-present.

   "Dangerous. Sensual. Handsome as sin. Meet Hayden Rothwell, the shamelessly erotic hero of The Rules of Seduction and author Madeline Hunter’s most irresistible alpha male yet: a man of extraordinary passion and power, a man who can bring out the seductress in any woman.…
   He enters her home without warning or invitation–a stranger of shadowy motives and commanding sensuality. Within hours, Alexia Welbourne is penniless, without any hope of marriage. Until Hayden Rothwell takes her to bed. When one impulsive act of passion forces Alexia to marry the very man who has ruined her, Hayden’s seduction of Alexia is nearly complete. What Alexia doesn’t know is that her irresistible new husband is driven by a secret purpose–and a debt of honor he will risk everything to repay. Alexia is the wild card. Reluctant to give up their nightly pleasures, Hayden must find a way to keep Alexia by his side...only to be utterly, thoroughly seduced by a woman who is now playing by her own rules
."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
 7.) 'With Seduction In Mind' by Laura Lee Guthrie
-Really, can you tell? This book's title is dauntingly accurate to a description of your truly! But better yet, based on the context of this book, perhaps 'Seducing The Muse' would be an accurate title. Coining the title, you authors out there, so don't get any ideas, lol.

                              "Her proposition . . .
    London Society is harsh for a young woman with no family connections who has to work for a living. But when Daisy Merrick is sacked from yet another job, the feisty and outspoken miss comes up with a plan that could give her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There's only one problem. Her success depends on a man, the most infuriating, impossible, immovable man she's ever met. His resolution . . .
    Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, is England's most infamous author. Known for his notorious reputation, he is more interested in play than work, and has no intention of cooperating when Daisy shows up on his doorstep with a mad plan. The provoking, fire-haired beauty stirs his senses beyond belief, and Sebastian knows he has only one way to stop her. Seduction."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
 8.) 'Everything And The Moon' by Julia Quinn
-Not a traditional seduction novel. More of a love lost, than found and almost lost again type romance. You have a colossal misunderstanding which leads to a lengthy separation and a hostile reconciliation. Robert has got revenge on his mind; but the best sort of revenge is....but ofcorse, seduction. In his ploy to teach Victoria a lesson through her consequent seduction, ruin and humiliation, he BUT OFCORSE falls head over ears again! *sigh* L.O.V.E

   It was indisputably love at first sight. But Victoria Lyndon was merely the teenaged daughter of a vicar. . .while Robert Kemble was the dashing young earl of Macclesfield. Surely what their meddlesome fathers insisted must have been true-that he was a reckless seducer determined to destroy her innocence. . . and she was a shameless fortune hunter. So it most certainly was for the best when their plans to elope went hopelessly awry.

   Even after a seven-year separation, Victoria-now a governess-still leaves Robert breathless. But how could he ever again trust the raven-haired deceiver who had shattered his soul? And Victoria could never give her heart a second time to the cad who so callously trampled on it the first. But a passion fated will not be denied, and vows of love yearn to bekept. . . even when one promises the moon.
"Source [Read an excerpt: here]
9.) 'Lady Sophia's Lover' by Lisa Kleypas
-Now this is what a seductive summer is all about! Highlight book! Enough said!
  " Why is Lady Sophia looking for a lover?
And could she seduce the most marriageable man in London?
    Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal -- to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.
    Every morning, her lush presence tempts him beyond all reason...the way she bends over the table to serve him the meals she has prepared...the way her hands oh, so gently -- yet sensuously -- brush against him. Every night, she promises with her eyes -- and her body -- that the hours before dawn could be spent in unbridled passion instead of restless sleep -- if only he'd let her share his bed.
    She knows he is falling more in love with her each day. But she never counted on falling in love with him. And she never dreamed he might very respectably ask for her hand in marriage...
"Source [Read an excerpt: here]
10.) 'Lessons In Seduction' by Sara Bennett
-Wrapping up our reading list will be the ironic 'Lessons In Seduction'. That's what this whole SRL has been about anyway =) Sure to curl your toes as you pack up the flip-flop and bare the cruel September breeze (smells like school for you or your kiddies....NO!!!). A really interesting and daring novel!

   "What is prim and proper Miss Vivianna Greentree to do when her precious haven for orphans is threatened? She has no choice but to turn to the owner of the property, Sir Oliver Montegomery—yet the heartless scoundrel refuses to be swayed by reason. So Vivianna must resort to other means of persuasion ...
   Under the tutelage of Madame Aphrodite, London's most notorious courtesan, Vivianna is determined to learn the sensuous secrets that will render a man weak with desire, to melt Oliver's stony heart with a kiss, a caress and a promise. But as her encounters with Oliver become more intense, Vivianna unexpectedly discovers a fiery passion that leaves her breathless. And soon it becomes unclear exactly who is seducing whom ..."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
And there you have it! Get to reading! =)
   This list has been put together for the expressed reasons of having fun. I am sure there are plenty of great seduction-themed novels out there, but these are the ones I choose. I encourage you all to engage in something a bit different or maybe a bit the same this summer and work your way through the list. You can track your progress anyway you want, but feel free to post in the comments or on the facebook discussion board. Which books your reading now or have chosen to read, how far into them you are, ect.
   The economy is in the crapper, but that doesn't mean you should fret if you don't have a particular title. Go to the library, utilize one of the numerous paperback swap sites, borrow from the romance obsessed relative of yours, or even purchase them from any number of retailers (You can get good, quality paperbacks for penny's on the dollar at sites such as ebay, amazon, and half.com). I hope you will find some titles to relish and have a bit of a seductive summer yourself! (Okay, I am officially finished with this post, and I am pretty sure that if you goggle the word seduction, this blog shall pop right up!...lord (pardon the blasphemy) help us when I decide to do 'A Spring of Sin' or 'A Wanton Winter' or my personal favorite 'An Alabaster Autumn')


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