Desert Isle Keeper Review

(This DIK review was written by a reader)

Amanda Quick
1990, European Historical Romance (Regency England)
Bantam, $7.50, 352 pages, Amazon ASIN 0553283545

Grade: A-
Sensuality: Warm

Seduction was Jayne Krentz's first historical written under her Amanda Quick non de plume and it was a wonderful start. I literally fell in love with Julian and Sophy as they fell in love with each other. It is definitely one of the most enjoyable romances I have ever read. Being a devoted fan, there are other Quick's that are just as terrific, but this one is special. As well as a wonderful love story, there is a mystery to solve, which is standard for Amanda Quick, and now quite common for other historical romances. But really, Quick was among the first to do it, and this is not your typical, run-of-the-mill historical romance.

Julian Sinclair, the Earl of Ravenwood, seeks a second wife. With no children to populate his nursery, he looks to Sophy Dorring, a 23-year-old country-bred spinster. Sophie has loved him since she was eighteen even though Julian is unaware of her feelings. Julian selects Sophy thinking she will be malleable, compliant and easy to live with. The last thing Julian wants is trouble since he had plenty of that from his first wife Elizabeth, who was wild and unfaithful and who died under mysterious circumstances. Julian believes Sophy will be the antithesis of Elizabeth.

Julian quickly learns that Sophy is spunky, and assertive since she turns him down. So he approaches her to find out why. Sophy explains her expectations and shares her demands: she doesn't want to be left alone in the country after marriage (she wants instead to go to London and investigate her sister's death); she wants to be allowed to choose her own reading material; and she would like for her husband to wait an appropriate time to consummate the marriage. To her surprise, Julian agrees to her demands.

While honeymooning, Julian and Sophy spend an idyllic time enjoying each other's company until Julian decides it's pointless to wait three months to consummate the marriage. Following an attempted seduction that turns out to be a dismal failure, Julian leaves Sophy in the country and takes off for London.

Sophy realizes she has made a major blunder, adjusts her attitude and promptly follows Julian. Deciding she is now willing to be a proper wife, Sophy tells Julian she welcomes his amorous attentions. Julian allows Sophy to remain in London, where their relationship flourishes despite a few bumps along the way. Sophy proves to be a loyal and honorable wife, even willing to fight a duel for Julian's honor. Julian relishes that Sophy is not at all like his first wife. However, Sophy is definitely her own person, charming everyone she meets and accidentally setting the standard for a new fashion style for the ladies of the ton as she is always slightly disarrayed, with ribbons coming undone and curls falling out. Call it the "Sophy Look" - it was fun reading about an historical heroine with bad hair days!

The mystery involving the death of Julian's first wife is solved when Julian sends Sophy home to Ravenwood Abbey without him. We find out what happened to Elizabeth and questions regarding the death of Sophy's sister are answered. I can't give away the ending but the author gives us a most suitable resolution.

Seduction is a charming story. Julian and Sophy are wonderful; you can't help but like them. I know I've loved a book when I feel compelled to pick it up and re-read it again and again. I have read Seduction too many times to count and it has yet to lose its spark. To me, that's a wonderful and well-written story and certainly one that comes with the highest recommendation.

-- Karen Hodgen

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