Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Tour: The Seduction of Emily by Rachel Brimble (Review + Giveaway)


Today, we welcome Rachel Brimble to Love Saves the World. Rachel is currently on tour to promote her book, The Seduction of Emily.

Rachel will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To visit her other stops, click here.

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About the book:


Blurb:

Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel ...

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values -- except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible ...

Excerpt:
A movement barely inches to her side caught Emily’s attention. She turned and swallowed the gasp that rose sharply in her throat.

It was the man who winked at her in the auction room.

He strolled toward her, his shining sea-blue eyes locked on hers. Her courage inside the room promptly abandoned her. Emily’s heart turned over. He stood at least half a foot taller than she, his wide shoulders absurdly broad, his confidence disturbing. She bit back a nervous laugh as an entirely inappropriate imagining came unbidden into her mind. Oh, to have him fling her over those shoulders and escape with her into the night!

He flashed her a knowing smile—God spare her, she smiled back.

Never before had a man’s gaze enticed such inexplicable naughtiness in her. Danger screamed its warning. What was she thinking? There was no time for dalliance or distraction. Nicholas’s gruff cough snapped her attention.

The handsome stranger snatched his gaze from hers and touched his finger to the brim of his hat. “Good afternoon, sir.”

Nicholas nodded. “Can I help you?”

“I wanted to offer my congratulations.” The man held out his hand. “A very fine win.”

After a moment’s hesitation, Nicholas took his offered hand. “Thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse—”

“Yes, quite the battle you had in there.” Fine lines crinkled the corners of the stranger’s phenomenal eyes. “Nothing beats a fiery one on one.”

He turned and looked directly at Emily, his raised eyebrow referring the sentiment to her rather than Nicholas. She should have been outrageously affronted, yet a burst of delicious excitement rushed through her veins and warmed her body.

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My Review:

There is a problem when your hero starts out with a less-than-heroic past and this is the case of Rachel Brimble's Will Samson. He is a former pickpocket and confidence trickster who is trying to reform. But how does one trust a con artist? How does one know if he is telling the truth? Rachel Brimble delves into this dilemma in her novel, The Seduction of Emily.

After discovering about his mother's brutal assault at the hands of Milne years before, Will sets put to Bath to exact his revenge on the man responsible. But his simple plan of revenge gets complicated when he meets and falls in love with Nicholas Milne's beautiful fiancée, Emily Darson.

Emily, herself, is in a bind. A contract drawn up by her father and Nicholas' forces Emily into a marriage to Nicholas -- or else forfeit her father's half in the successful tobacco business their two fathers built. Even though the wedding is months away, Emily could already feel the walls closing in on her -- trapping her into a position and a life of Nicholas' pleasure.
The ruse was that a marriage contract was drawn up to ensure the money remained in both founders’ families. Further
investigation led Will to discover just how trapped Emily was. If either party refused to marry, the willing party received everything. Milne and Emily each had solid motivation to marry the other.
- p. 45
When Will discovers the terms of the agreement, he knows that he must not endanger Emily's inheritance and future -- but, despite his best intentions, he cannot help but be drawn in by Emily's beauty and boldness.

This story has an interesting premise and an air-tight contract that binds the heroine to another -- there is a point in the story when Will loses sight of his purpose and gets helplessly lost in his attraction to Emily that I felt the author also lost sight of her original project. There are details in the story that left me confused:

1. Why would Emily's father sign a contract that doesn't provide an escape plan for his own daughter? In the early part of the story, I thought that the contract was drawn up before Emily was born (p. 15), which would mean he didn't have clear expectations of the future -- but then I discovered that the contract was finalized when Emily was around 11 (p. 86), which means that he already knew he would be saddling Emily with a problem.

2. How is it possible for Emily and her father to trust Will so easily? Based on his attire, and his own admission of his lack of finances -- not to mention the very little time they have known each other (2 weeks) I didn't see it as a reasonable step to converse with and then invite such a man to live under one's roof -- and then trusting him with the safety of one's daughter.

The novel has some good points as well: I appreciated the dilemma that our hero and heroine if be themselves in: Will is seeking justice -- but, in order to accomplish it, he must use the old tricks of his former trade: lie and manipulate his way into the Darsons' good graces. It chips away at Will's soul and we see him feel conflicted about his own methods. Does the end justify the means? In Will's case, the answer is yes. He is willing to blacken his own soul in order the save the women involved in Nicholas's life.

Emily's dilemma is harder for her to solve: her father's agreement with his former partner has left her with no options. If she doesn't marry Nicholas, she and her father lose it all. (Again, I question the signing of the contract in the first place). If she chooses freedom, she will burden herself and her father with an uncertain future and of certain poverty. If she proceeds with the marriage to Nicholas, she knows it will also be the end of her life.

Of all the characters, I thought Emily's personality shown through the most: I envisioned her as a woman with the world crumbling above her head and she is trying her best to keep it overhead. She juggles caring and assuring her father, and then maintaining good relations with Nicholas and then managing Will.

As Will and Emily spiral into confusion and through a path neither one foresaw, I wish the author was able to maintain her control of the story and its trajectory. The story starts and ends well, but the middle part needed a lot of clarification.

Disclosure: I received a copy from the tour organizer as part of the book tour. Yes, this is an honest review.

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About the author:


Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England…although she hopes a dream visit to Canada might just change her mind!

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:
Website: http://www.rachelbrimble.com/
Blog: http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-Brimble/181873201887441?fref=ts

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Rachel will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To visit her other stops, click here.

Good luck!

15 comments:

  1. Goddess Fish and Rachel Brimble, thank you for the opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You have an excellent style for your reviews. So in depth and very helpful! Thanks for that!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

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  3. A most comprehensive review thank you.

    I must that I do love a man with blue eyes, so bring on Will.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Seduction of Emily sounds really good! Thanks for your review :)

    Janhvi
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

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  5. There is hope for Will. What type of man makes the best hero? Is it the rake or man with a tarnished background? IMHO, both can make a total about face and come up a winner. Derek Craven, the hero in Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas is a good case on point. As Lisa says: "He was a cockney-born gambling club owner . . . the son of a prostitute . . . minimally educated . . . and although he was handsome in an offbeat sort of way, he had slightly snaggly teeth, and a scar on his forehead."

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  6. I enjoyed the excellent review, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  7. The story sounds awesome. I love romance tales that have a lot of twists and turns.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I could see a father locking a daughter into a contract like that back in those times, if he felt it advantagous to himself he wouldn't worry about his daughter's happiness, she would just do his bidding

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice review about the characters

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  10. Hi, everyone!

    Thank you for dropping by and for leaving such wonderful comments!

    @Karen H -- I think Derek set the bar for all scoundrels-turned-heroes. I think Will fits the same profile -- and, as mentioned in my review, the was one of the main draws for me.

    @Shannon -- Yes, upon further reflection, from Emily's father's POV, he might be ensuring that Emily will be married ... or will have all the money from the company. But, what a gamble he took!

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  11. Thank you for an honest review. I like to read about real likes and dislikes when it comes to picking up a novel. I appreciate it!
    The excerpts have me excited to try this one!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  12. "Inexplicable naughtiness"...Love it. That's a great phrase...and gotta love a man who can prompt those thoughts! LOL.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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  13. Helloooo!!!

    I am so sorry for not being here yesterday, I had a TERRIBLE writing day where my current work in progress ground to a horrible halt as well as a million and one things going on with the kids. Not an excuse for missing all your wonderful comments and Tin's amazing review.

    Thank you all so much for your support and excitement for The Seduction of Emily - be sure to let me know when you've read the book and what you thought of it. I LOVE this story!

    Rachel x

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  14. HI, Rachel!

    Thank you for dropping by! Congratulations on The Seduction of Emily!

    ReplyDelete

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