Review: Seduction in Silk

SEDUCTION IN SILKReviewed by Janell

This is a story about a house. Once upon a time, a family estate passed to one daughter, with the exception of Perriam Manor, which went to the other daughter. The two family factions fought and argued through the years until the last holder of the Manor is on his deathbed. With no direct descendants, he has to return the manor to the other family line, but he is a crazy, cranky sort, and puts conditions in his will that a younger nephew inherit the manor only if he marries a certain young woman.

That nephew, Peregrine Perriam (Perry, for short, and what a horrible name that is to be saddled with), sets out to marry Claris Mallow, who lives in a cottage with her younger twin brothers, her grandmother, and the grandmother’s paid companion (who never turns out to be grandmother’s secret lover, darn it all). Claris is doing just fine, thank you very much, and she runs Perry off with a gun. But Perry’s family needs that house to restore their legacy, so he buys Claris some fancy foods and silk stockings, and promises that she can be the boss of the house because he’ll almost never be there. For the sake of providing for her brothers, Claris agrees.

Then Claris and family move to the manor and clean out cupboards and tear down ivy. She sees a woman with a baby and decides she’d like one, and since Perry is “such a pleasant companion,” she asks him to get her pregnant. “You can’t imagine me unwilling,” he says. It’s all very polite.

The crazy dying uncle claimed that he had been cursed by Claris’s aunt, and that Perry’s marriage would break the curse, so there’s some investigation into Claris’s family history. Perry also works for the king, looking for French spies, so he has to spend a lot of time in London. These are the main conflicts: will Claris be happy? Will Perry find time away from his London duties to hang out with Claris in the country? What will Claris do with the creepy memorials to dead babies out in the garden?

I didn’t feel that there was a lot at stake. The storytelling incorporated a lot of narration, especially about Perry’s spy hunting. It went: telling, telling, dialogue, telling, telling, some descriptions of clothes, snippets of Claris and Perry getting along, telling. I wasn’t engaged enough.

For a historical novel (and it’s the Georgian period, not the Regency period, if that’s important for you) it had some nice details and snippets of history. But for a romance it didn’t pull me in all the way. I didn’t feel the need to root for the couple because they were both nice and resourceful so I knew they’d be fine, and that doesn’t make for an exciting story.

Rating: C

*ARC Provided by Penguin

Click to purchase: Amazon

Seduction in Silk
by Jo Beverly
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Signet

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