Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley

The Seduction of Elliot McBride
(Highland Pleasures #5)
PROPERLY IMPROPER…AND DARING TO LOVE…

Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.

Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…

After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love.
The Seduction of Elliot McBride is a pleasant romance with very little conflict between the protagonists and/or seduction. In my opinion, the title doesn't really fit this book. The readers immediately know that Elliot and Juliana love each other. Elliot and Juliana also know that there are feelings between them, if not love... something! There is definitely chemistry.

This couple is kept apart when Elliot goes to India first to join the service and then stays to make his fortune. A series of events leads Elliot to be kidnapped and tortured for a whole year by a local tribe. He escapes and returns to Scotland just in time to marry Juliana as she is being jilted at the altar by her fiancé. The two go off to a dilapidated castle located in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands with a small staff Elliot brought along from India.

Julianna is pretty happy with the fact that she married Elliot, but on her wedding night finds out that there is something wrong with him. The torture Elliot suffered at the hands of those tribesmen left psychological scars and have left him traumatized. There are the flashbacks that can end up in violent reactions, and the moments when he is taken by the darkness and falls into a black pit of despair. Although it is evident that he suffers from a form of PTSD, everyone thinks Elliot is mad, including himself.

Juliana is the perfect wife, believing that Elliot will recover from these episodes even as she wishes that he would return to being that same young man she knew when they were growing up together. Elliot finds solace and peace in Juliana's presence and her kindness, but more so in her arms.

Jennifer Ashley introduces an external conflict to help Elliot come to terms with his situation providing some action and a mystery to the story. This story line also serves to establish Juliana's complete belief in Elliot. This aspect of the story is good, but frankly it takes a lot of page time and is not necessarily engrossing or intriguing.

The secondary characters are average and with the exception of Mahindar and Uncle McGregor the others do not contribute much since there is a language barrier -- there is limited to no dialog so that we are told what they think or do. Ashley doesn't establish an emotional connection between the reader and the little girl in the story, Priti, making her pretty much a non-issue.

I enjoyed this historical romance by Ashley as an average read.  I found chemistry, love between the main characters, and plenty of well written sexy scenes. Unfortunately, the lack of conflict and sexual tension between Juliana and Elliot makes this an average romance without any of those ups and downs that make for a memorable and/or emotionally charged read. Regardless, I am looking forward to reading the next installment in this series, The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie! Yes to Daniel!

Category: Historical Romance
Series: Highland Pleasures, #5
Publisher/Release Date: Berkeley/December 31, 2012
Grade: C

Visit Jennifer Ashley here.

Series:
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Book 1
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, Book 2
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Book 3
The Duke's Perfect Wife, #4
A MacKenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift, #4.5
The Seduction of Elliot McBride, #5

14 comments:

  1. I started this yesterday and it wasn't long before I realized that the title has nothing to do with the book other than including Elliot's name. Still, I think I see now where this is going and I'm enjoying it. Sometimes a nice relationship story with little internal conflict is a very relaxing thing.

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    1. Phyl, yes... the title is quite misleading. I think I've read one too many of these romances with little to conflict between the H/H lately. They are relaxing, but not doing it for me.

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  2. Didn't read the review, but the cover is nice ;) Might want to read this as I have the first 2 in the series.

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    1. You like this cover? LOL! Ohhh, read the first one! I love, love the third book of this series too... Cam's story. Check it out!

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  3. Sounds pretty good, I guess. I never got around the Madness of Lord Ian so I don't know how I would fare with this series. :P
    Thanks for the review.

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    1. Alex, you would have to read the series to decide for yourself. Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie is wonderful and I love Cam's book (#3), the others I liked but didn't love. But you know what they say about tastes. :D

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  4. I agree - wasn't that great in the chemistry department. I was disappointed. But like you -bring on Daniel!!!!

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    1. Mandy, this story is enjoyable in an average sort of way. It just didn't light my fire. Absolutely bring on Daniel!! I'm so excited about that book, that I didn't even read the excerpt because I don't want to spoil it for myself. :)

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  5. I'm curious to read the reviews for this book, even though I'm a few books behind in the series. It's too bad it was only average. Ah well, hopefully Daniel's book is better, I liked his character.

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    1. Ames, this is a good series, and this book features the MacKensies too. I would read it to keep up with the lot. Daniel makes an appearance, which I think is a hook for his book. I'm hooked anyway... I love Daniel. :D

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  6. Very nice review, Hilcia. Have a question though... how does this book connects to the previous books of the series? What is the link? Elliot is a cousin or something?

    I think this book can be enjoyable if you know what to expect...

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    1. Nath, Elliot McBride is Ainsley's brother. Ainsley is Cam MacKenzie's wife, but Juliana has also been Ainsley's best friend since they were children. That's the link.

      I think you're right about the book being enjoyable if you know what to expect beforehand. :D

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  7. Duh, I didn't even realize that his name was McBride and not MacKenzie ^_^; Jeez.

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    1. Oh, lol! I didn't realize you thought Elliot was a MacKenzie. :D

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