Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Novel Seduction by Gwyn Cready

Author:  Gwyn Cready
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Date Published: October 25th 2011 

When snobbish book critic Ellery Sharpe screws up at Vanity Place magazine, her boss assigns her the ultimate punishment: write an ode to romance novels, a genre she considers the literary equivalent of word search puzzles. To make matters worse, he hires her sexy former party boy ex, Axel Mackenzie, to shoot the photos. Axel really wants the project to succeed. For one, the magazine will double his fee if he convinces strong-willed Ellery to write a story no woman can resist. Besides, getting Ellery to fall for romance novels might be just the push she needs to believe people can change . . . even him. At his sister’s advice, Axel gives Ellery a copy of Kiltlander, a much-adored romance whose warrior hero is utterly irresistible. To her dismay, Ellery finds herself secretly falling in love with the story—and with Axel, who’s drawing his own lessons from the book’s compelling hero. With her carefully crafted image of herself crumbling and her dream job on the line, will Ellery risk it all to make the leap from tight-lipped literati to happily-ever-after heroine?

I really wanted to like this book.  I love romance novels, so what would be better than a story about a book critic who is forced to write an article on the merits of romance? From looking around, I can see that this got great reviews, but I did like it, I didn't love it. For some reason, I had a hard time getting through this book, although I did finish it.  I don't know if it was the pacing or not.  Despite the humor and the "in-jokes" that I did enjoy, I found the story to be lacking something.  I never really got the connection between Ellery and Axel. I was frustrated with the amount of secrets.  I never understood why Axel would keep a key bit of information about his health away from Ellery.  Also, why would he let her keep thinking that he was still keeping up his old way of life, especially when he still loved her?  I'm not sure I really bought their HEA.

I will say that there is some great laugh-out-loud humor in this book.  I think my favorite scene is the one where Ellery and Axel try to figure out if the "positions" in one of the steamy novels are really possible.  That did have me giggling as I have often wondered if some of them were possible myself.   So, I think if you read it for the humor and shout outs to the romance genre, I think you will like it.  That is what sticks with me more than the actual romance in this book. 

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