The Seduction of Lady X by Julia London

April 13, 2012
Someone pass the Valium...Pul-e-e-s-e!
The Seduction of Lady X is a difficult book to review.  There were so many things in this story that I really liked, however, coupled with that were such moments of doom and gloom that I found myself saying, "Oh not again" and wanting nothing more than a happy pill.
In case you didn't catch on, this is not a frolicsome book.  It is filled with unrequited love, big misunderstandings, depressing unattainable desires, martyrdom...and things just keep getting worse and worse.  If there was ever a book that defined bleak, this is the one.  Oh, and there is abuse thrown in.  The abuse is there because we have to loath the husband, you see our hero luves the wife.  We don't want lusting after a married woman to distract from the sainthood of the hero.
The plot is this: there is a horrible drunk man who needs an heir. He is married to the lovely, singing-to-the-birds, bright smiling sunny woman Olivia, aka Lady X.  She, of course, is barren or so her brute of a husband thinks.  Living with them is her spoiled eighteen year old sister who happens to be pregnant and isn't telling who the father is.  Well, of course the brutish husband's reaction to this comes as no surprise - he wants to kick the sister out.  Or is it just kick?  Enter our knight on the white horse - the too good to be true - luved the heroine forever - Mr. Martyr Harrison Tolly, aka Harry, aka Tolly.  Oh yeah, he's illegitimate.  Anyway, because he's loved our sunny-smiling heroine forever, he sacrifices himself and proposes marriage to the spoiled selfish sister.  That's the beginning...and things go downhill from there.  This was all kind of a Mary Balogh angst-ridden book.  There were just so many roadblocks thrown in the way of Tolly and Olivia, after awhile I could only giggle and beg, ple-a-s-e not again.
Even though I knew from the back blurb who the hero and heroine were, I thought it would have been interesting if the hero had married the sister while all the time loving the other sister.  Now, that would have been real angst!  But, Ms. London didn't go in that direction.
You may think I didn't like this book - you'd be wrong, although "like" would not be the word I'd apply to The Seduction of Lady X.  I'm not sure you could "like" this dark story; however, you could be fascinated with it, similar to watching a car wreck.  Or reading The Grapes of Wrath; good writing, depressing book.  And, that's what this one was, good writing, but the book is so full of despair I wondered how we were ever going to get our HEA.
So, would I recommend this book?  Yes, but be warned that you need a Margarita by your side along with Tiny Tim singing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" in your iPod.  I have great respect for Julia London, and believe that with this book, she has ventured into some very intense writing.  She succeeded in bringing lots of pathos to this story, but be prepared to be emotionally drained when you put the book down.
Now, someone go out and get me some chocolate.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Almost Hot

1 comment:

Melissa said...

You said it! I thought this was a great story, but too much angst. And once the path was open for the couple, I wanted to toss the book when once again the heroine put someone else first.