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Book CoverLynne Connolly’s review of The Innocent’s Dark Seduction by Jennie Lucas
Contemporary romance released by Harlequin Presents 1 Sep 09

You know how you’re supposed to always look for the good points in a book? I decided to do that with this review. 

So – let’s start with the best thing about The Innocent’s Dark Seduction. The line editing is great. I didn’t spot one typo in the whole thing, no silly spelling mistakes, like using “they’re” for “their.” And in these days of silly spelling mistakes, typos and appalling grammar, that’s no mean thing and I’m grateful for it. I would love to see more books like this, with careful line editing that means you don’t stop every five minutes to go, “huh”?

The next best thing? Lia sure knows her brands, knows a designer suit when she sees it. She doesn’t wear a grey silk dress, she wears a Chanel grey silk dress, even if it’s a pre-Lagerfeld shirt dress. She likes expensive clothes, even if they are vintage. And she knows just the hairstyle to go with it, too, a smooth, discreet chignon. She drives a silver grey Aston Martin Vanquish convertible, because when she arrives at her Italian castle, she slams its door. Then she forgets it, because she doesn’t use it again. And when her life is falling apart she is wearing a diamond-encrusted Piaget watch. We know, because she takes a moment to admire it before she notes the time. Roarke’s not far behind, and manages to find a hotel suite in New York that costs $20,000 a night. He remembers the cost when he’s riding up in the elevator with Lia, ready for their second explosive encounter. So classy.

Lia is a good girl. A virgin widow, married to an old friend, who left her all his money when he died, stunningly beautiful, highly intelligent, with a fortune that kind of varies. At one point it’s hinted she’s spent it all. Well, she’s given all her money to buy a large park in the centre of Manhattan as a memorial to her dead sister, and for the benefit of all the children of New York. Isn’t that wonderful? Even if the Roarke wants to buy it and put five skyscrapers on it, to create a kind of alternative downtown. On the Far West Side, I suppose he’d have to install helipads so that the executives could fly between that and Wall Street when they needed to, but with Ground Zero the last real estate available there, he didn’t have much choice. But nasty Roarke isn’t going to get his skyscrapers. So rich he can afford a million dollars for a single dance with Lia, he is the man of her dreams. Our nightmares, Lia’s dreams.

More good things. Roarke certainly knows his mind. True, he treats Lia badly for most of the book, but he knows why. She kept her Big Secret from him, even if it was for his own good. It’s his excuse to treat her worse than dirt on his shoe, ignoring her by day and using her body at night. For months. Roarke has ruined Lia’s life before he met her, taking over and asset stripping her father’s business, so he died, her sister died of a rare illness and her mother killed herself. But the business was going under anyway, so maybe he did Lia a favour. But she is generous and kind-hearted and she falls in love with him despite knowing that. She can’t help herself.

We have a magic vajayjay in this book and I haven’t come across one of those in a while. One experience with Lia and all Roarke’s other women melt away as if they never existed. He can’t do without it. He craves it. He just wishes the woman didn’t go with it. And however badly he treats her, she can’t do without his purple-headed mushroom of passion, or his kisses, which are dynamite. She falls madly for him and the worse he behaves, the more besotted she gets. We don’t have enough of those women in romance. Once there were oodles of them, but not now. If you miss them, this is the book for you.

The grovel scene – go straight there if you’re in a hurry. Great grovel scene, really. Complete 360 degree turnaround from complete bastard to sainted husband and father.

I’m afraid this book didn’t work for me, but what doesn’t work for me may well work for you. And if you want to read a book with a great line edit, I can’t recommend it enough.  And since you’ve got to give kudos for good line edits, from me a…

lynnec.jpgGrade: D-

When a passionate possession leads to pregnancy…
Roark Navarre is ruthless and relentless. He wants beautiful Lia, and he will have her! When he discovers that she is a virgin, taking his prize becomes even sweeter. But the innocent’s dark seduction has only just begun!
Many years ago, Lia was the innocent victim of Roark’s merciless financial ruin of her father. But it’s too late for regrets-soon she finds she’s carrying his child. She doesn’t want Roark, her bitter enemy, to know. Because surely he will do what he’s always done-exact his price!
Read an excerpt here.