Review: Seduced: the Unexpected Virgin by Emily McKay

Posted: May 28, 2014 in Reviews
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This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

Some friends told me a few years ago that rock stars were going to be the next big thing. So the time frame is about right for there to be not one but two books in the Silhouette Desire line featuring musicians.

I immediately ran to Paperback Swap and ordered both.

Seduced: The Unexpected Virgin, written by Emily McKay, was the first to arrive in my mailbox, so that’s the one I read first.

I’ve heard good things about the Desire line, but I have to tell you, this title is a turn-off. It seems beneath the book, especially since it’s about so very much more than a woman who’s a virgin. In fact, when the loving happens and Ana is a virgin no more, it’s a bigger deal to her new partner, Ward Miller, than it is to her.

Ana Rodriguez walked away from a career in Hollywood as a costume designer. She’s back home in Vista del Mar now, involved in the launch of a new non-profit designed to help lift the community to new heights.

I like Ana, but I’m not entirely certain I buy her as a costume designer. She’s not tough enough, not jaded and cynical enough. Her exchange with her right-hand helper, Emma, at the beginning of the book is great; that it becomes a running motif speaks to the skill of author McKay.

Our hero, too, is hard to buy as a rock star. Even a country music star. He’s … bland. Even his name: Ward Miller. Yawn. He ought to be oozing the charisma that endears his fans to him. If not, at least let’s see the grief that ought to be oozing out of him. After all, he’s a man who won’t live in the home he’d shared with his first wife, who hasn’t removed her things from that house.

Either Ward is severely repressed, or there just isn’t that much to him. Oh, we get to see his worry that he’s just a man, not a rock star. That he lets people down because he’s a man underneath the persona. What we don’t get to see is the persona.

This is the big let-down of this book. I love the plot. Love that we’ve got a woman who left behind the glamour to do something good in the world. Love that Ward set up this foundation/organization that incubates and launches and supports non-profits. What I am missing is that special spark in these two, not in a romantic sense. That’s there. But in who they are and how their lives outside of this story have shaped them.

Of course, we all know I wouldn’t have this complaint if Ward had been … oh, I don’t know. An accountant. A computer dude. Something that he’d have to have gone to college for. He’s got that vibe: college grad, straight-laced.

But a rocker, he’s not.

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