Author: Jillian Burns
Genre: Romantic Suspense (Passion)
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
ISBN: 9780373797370 (#733)
Relentless Seduction is a fun romp through New Orleans during Mardi Gras with two people who are complete opposites.
Nerdy Claire Brooks is a microbiologist; handsome Rafe Moreau owns a "vampire" bar called Once Bitten. Don't get excited: the bar attracts individuals with plastic teeth, tattoos and piercings rather than bloodthirsty supernatural beings. The bar's smoky with incense; a naked woman with a snake wanders around.
Claire feels hopelessly out of place. However, she's determined to find her best friend, Julia, who's missing. Some 24 hours earlier, Julia sent Claire a picture of herself outside Once Bitten, and that's the last anyone has heard of her.
Rafe's tending the bar, and he doesn't like Claire questioning his customers. However, he steps in when she's almost attacked. He puts her in a cab, but she won't leave until he promises to call her if he discovers anything.
Although Rafe doesn't want to help Claire to find and save Julia, he does. He helps her investigation; she ends up staying with him, and falling in love with him.
What I liked
Rafe. He was gorgeous. I also liked the setting; Ms Burns made New Orleans both exotic and real. The suspense was good too; there was plenty happening, so it was easy to turn the pages.
What I didn't like
There's steamy passion between Claire and Rafe. However, although I liked both characters, Rafe felt real, whereas Claire strained belief. She acted totally out of character. For example, Claire dresses like a tramp to go into a seedy, dangerous bar alone -- one that even Rafe's nervous about entering. She's an academic, and initially is described as frumpy. While I can imagine a friend helping her with her costume, I couldn't believe that she'd organize the clothes and makeup herself, and then brave the bar alone.
Claire acts foolishly and out of character several more times. Each time she did it, it dragged me out of the story, and spoiled my enjoyment.
On balance however, Relentless Seduction was an enjoyable read.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5 stars)
(A review copy was provided.)