Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: Seduced in September by Genevieve Turner


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Adele Vere and Edward Coyne are employed in the late Duke of Beckworth's household, and both are waiting for the new duke to be found, so that they could determine how to proceed with their future. Unlike the characters of the previous three books that I reviewed, Adele and Edward don't have titles or wealth to back them. They are the other side of the coin: part of the large group of people who depend on the duke for their livelihood. Their lives are currently in limbo, but it hasn't stopped Edward Coyne, the stablemaster, from continuing Adele Vere's lessons in riding, which the late duke had ordered.

It is such a small detail, but, we come to realize just how much power and authority a duke wields, and how those employed by him have very little say to the contrary.

The riding lessons should not be such a big deal to either one: for Edward, it is part of his job as stablemaster, and, for Adele, governesses are expected to have skills in various areas, and, at this moment, she needs to learn how to sit and ride a horse properly.

And, on the surface, neither one shows just how earth-shattering and soul-shaking each encounter is.

Seduced in September highlights the internal struggle within all of us -- Adele desperately wants to shake off her questionable birthright by behaving correctly. She's never been tempted before, and has never felt desire, but there's something about Edward Coyne, that calls to her most primal self. Edward doesn't actively corrupt her -- he's actually quite a gentleman and handles Adele very professionaly, but, I guess Edward could guess that Adele hasn't fully accepted her whole self -- and he sees glimpses of a different side of the very proper, very stiff governess.

Edward is gruff and practical -- and has devoted his entire life to horses. He doesn't strike me as the kind of person who dallies and sleeps around, and seems to be a bit of a loner. It isn't clear when his attraction to Adele started, but, when it does happen, it's impossible to miss his intensity. What I liked about Edward's characterization is that he isn't brutish, and he never tries to overpower or overcome Adele. I get the sense that he is also holding back a bit of himself.

This is a story about melting the ice princess, but it isn't only for gaining physical pleasure. There's a chapter where Adele is gifted a loaf of bread -- a luxury, considering that harvests have been bad and food is scarce -- but it is a pivotal moment for Adele, who has always practiced incredible self-restraint. And it made me think about how we don't allow ourselves to experience delight, because we immediately associate it with wickedness or wantonness.

There's also another way of looking at this: while the duke may govern all that is external, even the lowliest of his servants still retain the power over their dreams, wants, and desires.

The thought that came to mind after I finished reading this instalment in the A Year Without a Duke series is that I would love for Genevieve Turner to write more historical romances. After reading three books, I really believed that it would be impossible for me to pick a favorite, but, I think, this one is it.

Seduced in September is the third book in the A Year Without a Duke series. To find out more about Genevieve Turner and her books, click below:
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