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seduced and betrayed

Category Romance Review: Seduced and Betrayed by Candace Schuler

category romance
Seduced and Betrayed by Candace Schuler
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: 1995
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Temptation #553
Book Series: Bachelor Arms #8; Hollywood Nights #2
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon


Category Romance Review: Seduced and Betrayed by Candace Schuler

SPOILER FREE REVIEW 🙂

The Book

This review is of Seduced and Betrayed, #8 in the Bachelor Arms” series, and book #2 of 3 in the series written by Candace Schuler. (Harlequin Temptation, September 1995).

The Plot

The book begins in 1970. A woman finds her boyfriend, naked, in bed with another woman, who is also naked. Their relationship isn’t the only thing that ends that night. 

Fast forward 25 years. Ezekiel “Zeke” Blackstone, 47, the book’s hero, is heading to a planning meeting for his daughter Cameron’s upcoming wedding. He is a famous actor turned producer/director and a major player in Hollywood.

Zeke is nervous, however, because this meeting will bring him face-to-face with Ariel Cameron, 43, the heroine of the book, Cameron’s mother, and Zeke’s ex-wife. (They were the couple who broke up in the first paragraph!). Ariel, a successful actress turned model, has been estranged from Zeke for 25 years.

As Zeke takes an apartment–ironically the same one he lived in before at the “Bachelor Arms”–we learn how he and Ariel met, became lovers, married, and the circumstances that led to their divorce. We also learn that despite all that has happened between them, Ariel and Zeke are still very attracted to each other. They later act on their attraction and become lovers again. For a while, Ariel and Zeke are happy again.

However, Ariel soon finds a reason to doubt Zeke again. In the end, however, Ariel and Zeke commit to each other and their love and find their Happily Ever After. 

Upside

Ariel and Zeke are both strong characters, both as younger people and as the mature adults they are in the primary setting for Seduced and Betrayed. They are fairly well-developed and interesting people.

Ms. Schuler is very good at getting me, as a reader, into her characters’ minds and their emotions. So much so that even during the lovemaking scenes between Ariel and Zeke, I felt like I was there with them, not as a voyeur but as part of them. 

Downside

One of the drawbacks to the category romance format is that certain things can get short shrift because of the relatively short nature of the books (around 200 to 300 pages). In Seduced and Betrayed, this crops up in Ariel’s relationship with her mother, Constance, who controls Ariel’s career. Constance’s reasons for doing so and why Ariel allows it are hinted at but never truly explained.

Given that this relationship had major implications for the early days of Ariel and Zeke’s marriage, this was a rather large miss. 

Sex

Several love scenes between Ariel and Zeke. They’re not quite as good as in Lovers and Strangers, but they’re good nonetheless.  

Violence

Ariel throws several objects at Zeke, who also kicks in a door. 

Bottom Line for Seduced and Betrayed

Seduced and Betrayed is a very good book, with one issue keeping it just below the great category.

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Hero: Zeke Blackstone. Actor/producer/director. Black hair, brown eyes.

Heroine: Ariel Cameron. Actress/model. Golden blonde hair, blue eyes. 

Tropes: Actor. Actress. Contemporary romance. Harlequin Temptation. Hollywood. Reunited. Second chance.

4.49 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
4.5
Characters
5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
4
Fun Factor
4.5
Cover
4.5
Overall: 4.5

Synopsis

In 1970, Zeke Blackstone was a smokin’ hot 22-year old bad boy actor staring in his first Hollywood movie. His co-star was 18-year-old Ariel Cameron, America’s TV sweetheart. Their instant chemistry—both on and off the screen—culminated in a whirlwind affair that came crashing down one night in the tragic aftermath of a wild party at the Wilshire Arms.

Now, twenty-five years later, Zeke is still smokin’ hot with a well-earned reputation as both a ladies’ man and a leading man. Ariel is one of the most respected actresses in America. Neither has willingly been in the same room together since their divorce was final.

But their beloved daughter is getting married and all she asks of her estranged parents is that they make nice for the wedding. Thrown together for the wedding festivities, the attraction between Zeke and Ariel reignites and all the old feelings come rushing back, stronger than ever.

Can they work through the hurt and betrayals of the past to make it to their happy ending?

Seduced and Betrayed by Candace Schuler

Category Romance Review: Fantasy by Emma Darcy

historical romance review
Fantasy by Emma Darcy
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1985
Illustrator: Len Goldberg
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #840
Published by: Harlequin, Mills & Boon
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback, eBook
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Fantasy by Emma Darcy

The Book

Harlequin Presents #840, Fantasy, is a great oldie by Emma Darcy.

The Plot

Fantasy opens with the heroine, Eve, a fashion model, anxious to arrive home and see her fiancé.

Our heroine gets the shock of her life when she catches her boyfriend cheating. She finds him in bed with another man and her heart is crushed!

Despondent, Eve tries to drown herself in the ocean. Luckily the hero is there to save her life.

He also gives her a nice boost to the old self-esteem to show her that–no matter what her fiancé thinks–she’s a desirable woman.

After their one-night stand, Eve figures she’ll never see the stranger again. How wrong she is.

When they meet again, we discover that the hero is a big-shot businessman whose company is releasing a perfume called Fantasy. He’s running a major ad campaign and naturally demands Eve to be the face of Fantasy.

The hero is in charge of the beach photo shoot. Eve is supposed to pose on the sandy shores with a creepy male model in erotic embraces. She keeps freezing up, so the hero comes in and takes his place.

The heat is off the charts, and Eve can’t deny her attraction anymore or dismiss it as just a momentary lapse into madness.

Final Analysis of Fantasy

I’ve read Fantasy one a couple of times, and it’s such a sweet, cheesy read. I don’t care if the plot is a little unbelievable.

This is just the kind of story a Harlequin Presents should be all about. It’s some sexy little fantasy that makes you smile and not want to throttle the douchey hero for being a dominant ass.

Lucky for us readers, the hero is a dream! Eve’s fantasy becomes reality in the end.

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
4.5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4
Overall: 4.7

Synopsis

HAD SHE DREAMED HIM UP — THIS MAN, THIS FANTASY?

Her fiance’s betrayal and her frenzied flight to a secluded beach near Sydney had been for Eve a nightmare — until the moment a stranger held her in his arms and revealed a lotus land where love was possible …

For a while Eve gave herself up to the joy of loving and being loved for herself and not as the money-making image her fiance had devised with his camera.

She wanted the fantasy to go on forever. Surely to stay would be like trying to prolong a dream …

Fantasy by Emma Darcy
CATEGORIES: , , , , , , , , ,

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