Reviewed: March 19, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: N/A ~ (Non-Series / Stand-Alone)
Line: Harlequin Temptation
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Length: 218 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Samantha O'Ryan lives life on her own terms. She surfs when she wants, owns her own beachfront sandwich place, and lives a simple and easy-to-maintain lifestyle above it. She dates casually when she wants, goes where she wants, buys what she wants. The only thing she can't do is bake brownies. And she's tried. Repeatedly. She doesn't do relationships - her choice. Losing her parents at a young age scarred her and she's never felt comfortable with commitment. The only two people she's close to is the uncle who raised her as best he could and the best friend she's had all her life. She'd do anything for either of them.
That's the only reason she ends up agreeing to a blind date even though her best friend Lorissa has set her up for some real doozies. There was begging. And pouting. And puppy dog eyes. She caved. When Jack Knight knocked on her door, though, it appeared her blind date luck had significantly improved.
Jack "Scandal" Knight retired from a highly successful basketball career after a crippling knee injury a year ago. Surgery gave him back the ability to walk, but years as the media's bad boy had him shunning the spotlight since then. Only a dedication to his sister and a desire to help her cause to aid underprivileged children caused him to need a date to a fundraiser. He didn't have high expectations for the blind date...or any, really. By the end of the night, though, he was smitten with the free spirited Sam. He knew he was in real trouble when her intention of keeping things casual bothered him in ways it never had before. Convincing the gun shy woman that he wanted to be in this for the long haul could prove more debilitating to his heart than a career in the NBA ever was to his body.
This light contemporary romance has all the earmarkings of a traditional Jill Shalvis novel: likable characters in realistic situations overcoming personal issues on their bumpy road to love. It lacked a little of the depth and complexity of some of her longer books, as one would expect, and I would have enjoyed a little more depth in both the characters and the plot, but Seduce Me does very well for itself as a Harlequin Temptation book.
I had a hard time warming up to Sam, though. I don't know if it was just that I had difficulty relating to the surfer girl who wears her bikini under everything from the ballroom to the bedroom and dumps any guy who she gets close enough to sleep with, or if I thought her character definition wasn't enough of an explanation for her personality, but something just didn't quite click with me in relation to her character. There were moments I liked her a lot, especially when she was helping out with the kids, but other times she left me cold. Jack, on the other hand, was the total pleasure package. He was an endearing charmer, especially when he was trying to learn to surf or calling Sam every day just to talk.
There isn't much in the way of groundbreaking fiction here, but it's a sweet, endearing romance that developed nicely over the course of the book. The characters were sufficiently developed and I appreciated the scenes where they were apart and dealing with secondary and ancillary characters, as it gave me a good glimpse of them outside of the parameters of the romance plotline. There were nice touches, like the daily phone calls and the dunking booth, that really made me smile, and I was pleasantly surprised that the affection between the characters was solidly based on genuine friendship and mutual admiration as opposed to simple lust. All in all a nice, pleasant, feel-good read without much in the way of surprises or serious conflict.
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