Catherine's Reviews > Seven Secrets of Seduction

Seven Secrets of Seduction by Anne Mallory
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's review
Jan 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: romance, manipulation-plot, england, excellent, historical, hot, read-2010, class-difference, read-2012
Read on January 02, 2012 — I own a copy

*Originally read 9/4/10*

I think whatever I say about this book won't do it nearly as much justice as I feel it deserves. When you think about the plot, it seems like it has been done to death and that it's just a cliche. But this author takes every expected outcome or reaction and twists it in an unexpected manner. When you would normally see a dramatic moment or a villainous character, you don't end up with the expected. It was so refreshing!

Miranda was a simply awesome character. She's a "lowly shop girl" who somehow catches the interest of Viscount Downing. Their first encounters are full of playful banter and hidden innuendos. I loved how Downing skewed things in his favor so that he had an excuse to see her again. As their acquaintance deepens, Miranda cannot help but feel that Downing has cultivated their friendship for another purpose, but she quite rationally thinks it through and decides to risk it anyway. Miranda is an optimist, but she's also very pragmatic and realistic. There were a few moments in the story where I expected her to react with high drama, but she didn't. She took the time to think things through and decide what she was willing to accept and what the motivations of the offender were. I couldn't help but love her for it.

Downing was quite fascinating. When we got further into the story and discovered his hidden motivations, I just wanted to smack him upside his head, and then cuddle him. That man needed love. He was constantly plotting and maneuvering, but he was afraid to trust it when he finally achieved his goal. His dual nature was so sad. He had incredible self loathing, but he desperately wanted someone to see him and love him for who he was. I was so devastated for both him and Miranda toward the end. The anguish and yearning that was shown in that final scene in the killed me.

I loved how there were no villains in this story. Even though there were characters who caused issues and problems for their family, they were still sympathetic. Also, there was a situation involving a woman that I felt was handled extremely well. I was afraid she would turn into a caricature, but the author held true to her determination to make every character feel real and understandable.

At times the writing was quite poetic and lyrical. Downing was the biggest cause of that. He liked to seduce Miranda with his words, and he had quite a compelling turn of phrase. The sexual tension in this book was excellent. The characters don't have sex until far into the book, but I'm glad they didn't. I really enjoyed watching them seduce each other with their conversation and their personalities. It made their final capitulation so much more meaningful and sexy.

This book wasn't dark and angsty, but it wasn't light and irreverent. It felt like a nice balance of all those factors depending on the requirements of the scene. There were times it was humorous and cute, and times it was powerful and sexy, but it was also tortured and dark too. I like that it couldn't be easily typecast.

I cannot wait to try more by this author. I can only hope that I enjoy them as much as I liked this one.

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Reading Progress

09/04 page 4
1.0% ""Did you just ask me for sex, sir?" - I can already tell I'll like it! :)" 2 comments
09/04 page 26
7.0% "What a delicious conversation filled with innuendo and flirtation!" 7 comments
09/04 page 49
13.0% "That man has some fast hands. I love how he keeps making sure he has a legitimate reason to see her again." 3 comments
09/04 page 72
19.0% "How neatly he manipulates her! I'm really enjoying all their conversations." 9 comments
09/04 page 85
22.0% ""I consider you the answer to a question that resides in my very soul." - I love that line." 3 comments
09/04 page 95
25.0% ""I hardly think myself so witty or pretty to have captured the notorious Viscount Downing's attention." He smiled. "Then I have all of the advantage, do I not?"" 6 comments
09/04 page 139
36.0% "Ugh! Colin is an irritating little toady!" 4 comments
09/04 page 158
41.0% ""I'm not going to let you seduce me," she blurted out. "Not much of a seduction if you simply let me." He opened the door. "I was rather hoping that you would choose to seduce me instead.""
09/04 page 161
42.0% "I knew the author was avoiding his pov for a reason. She didn't want to give away the game too early." 3 comments
09/04 page 174
45.0% "What's up with the servant Galina? She's acting hinky." 3 comments
09/04 page 214
56.0% "What is your game Downing? You can't just ignore her like that!"
09/04 page 234
61.0% ""An emotional tease. You are physically quite happy to follow through, but you make far too many empty promises concerning your feelings." - Miranda to Downing" 2 comments
09/04 page 235
61.0% ""Miranda didn't trust the slow smile that spread across his face, not for a second. Not with the darkness reflected in his eyes, beneath the temptation. As if he were mortally wounded and needed her to find the injury, to heal the harm.""
09/04 page 266
69.0% "I can see this is going to implode soon. I'm dreading it, but I can't wait to find out if my suppositions are correct. It seems like everyone understands the game but Miranda. :(" 5 comments
09/04 page 280
73.0% "Finally some sexy time. I'm glad the author waited so long. I loved the tension. I thought it was sad that he kept telling her he wouldn't let her regret it. He knows it's coming. *sniff*" 10 comments
09/04 page 308
80.0% "I am not happy about that document on his desk. You sir are an idiot!!!" 4 comments
09/04 page 340
89.0% "I am constantly surprised by Miranda's reaction to unpleasant news." 3 comments
09/04 page 362
94.0% ""I do love you. In all the forms you've presented to me. As a complete picture of a man fractured and broken."" 13 comments
04/27 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-43 of 43) (43 new)

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Katyana OMG yay, you are reading it!! I LOVE this book!

Catherine It's so good so far! I love all the maneuvering and flirty banter.

Katyana Yes! That's what I really loved about it. I couldn't put it down for the life of me!

Catherine I've only set it down so far when I've fallen into my sick/exhausted sleep. I keep passing out while reading! LOL.

message 5: by new_user (new) - added it

new_user LOL! Darn sickness. Wait, does that mean this is light?

Katyana Did you make a hot toddy yet? Just add a little whiskey to the water/lemon/honey mix that you are drinking. It does wonders for head colds.

Catherine I did, yes. I'm feeling a bit better, just tired all the time. I can't shake the hot/cold flashes either. Oh well, at least it's an improvement!

Catherine new_user wrote: "LOL! Darn sickness. Wait, does that mean this is light?"

Light like Julia Quinn light? Because I'd say no.

Katyana Well, tired isn't bad - lots of time, sleep is the most important part of recovering from cold or flu. But at least you have an excuse to lay around in bed and read books. Mmmm.

Katyana What do you mean by light? There's no villain, if that's what you mean. Are you familiar with Shakespearean comedies? It honestly reminded me very much of those.

message 11: by new_user (new) - added it

new_user Hmmm... okay, tell me what you think when you get to the sexy times, LOL. ;)

Katyana Mmmmm, I found them to be sizzling. I thought that the tension that built up from the innuendo and banter played out very well when we hit the smexy scenes. :)

Katyana Hurrah, 5 stars!!

Catherine It was so good!

Katyana Fantastic review! I am so glad you liked it!

Catherine Thank you! I'm glad your grade convinced me to get off my butt and order it.

Katyana *cheer*

Catherine I added it. Thanks for the info Mariel. I looked at the author's website and it looks like she's got a book coming in 2011 that's connected to this one.

Catherine I will definitely check out that book since it has gotten multiple rec's!

Katyana Is this a series? I wasn't aware. Cool!

Catherine Apparently it's the first book in a series!

Katyana That's awesome! Who is in the second book, do you know?

message 23: by Catherine (last edited Sep 08, 2010 12:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Catherine I looked on her site and it said Charlotte Chatsworth's the heroine of the next one. It will be out in March 2011.

Katyana Yeeeeeeesssssss! I would LOVE a Charlotte book!

Catherine Me too!

Lady Heather Great review Catherine!...going to read this story next!
thanks :)

Catherine I hope you enjoy it! Come back and talk about it when you're done! :)

message 28: by Angelc (new) - added it

Angelc awesome review, catherine! i'm reading this now :)

Catherine Thanks, Angelc! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

message 30: by Shay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay Wonderful review Catherine, It looks like my kind of book. I'm adding it right now!


Catherine Thanks, Shay. I hope you love it as much as I did (which is a lot :P)!

Nikki Gorgeous review, Catherine and reflects my own opinions quite a bit. Especially the part about the end scene in the bedroom... I felt like I was being ripped to shreds! And the opera scene beforehand, wow. We knew it was coming but it was still heart wrenching to read such raw emotion.

Catherine Nikki wrote: "Gorgeous review, Catherine and reflects my own opinions quite a bit. Especially the part about the end scene in the bedroom... I felt like I was being ripped to shreds! And the opera scene beforeha..."

It totally killed me. I loved it!

message 34: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri Ok, darn it, I just might as well admit it, they are all my favs! :-)

Catherine Keri wrote: "Ok, darn it, I just might as well admit it, they are all my favs! :-)"

LOL. I was pleased to see that I enjoyed this just as much the second time around.

message 36: by Kristen (new) - added it

Kristen That was a wonderful review, Catherine. You make me excited to read this book.

message 37: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri Kristen, this was an absolute fabulous read!

Catherine Kristen wrote: "That was a wonderful review, Catherine. You make me excited to read this book."

Oh man, this book was sooo good. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend you give it a try.

Catherine Mary Elizabeth wrote: "not going to read your review ... nope nope :D I need to read this gem 1st then comeback here and insist that Andreas is the best hero anyway ;) !!"

LOL. We'll see if you're still singing that tune when you finish.

message 40: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri I will have to agree with Catherine, I love Andreas as well, but Max was just so very in need of a hug and lovin, he edged out Andreas for me.

message 41: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri ;-) We will see after you read it.

Shefa I am in dire need of nice books. As I find most of your choices agreeable, I'm going to hang on your words here!

message 43: by Catherine (last edited Dec 18, 2012 04:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Catherine Shefa wrote: "I am in dire need of nice books. As I find most of your choices agreeable, I'm going to hang on your words here!

I hope you love it as much as I did.

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