Kensington Brava
ISBN-13:  978-0-7582-4205-1
January 2011
Erotic Historical Romance

Lincolnshire, England - 1546

Bridget Newbury is a well-behaved daughter and her mother Jane now has quite a quandary on her hands.  Jane has received a letter from her husband in the court of Henry VIII.  Apparently Bridget's arranged marriage to Sir Curan is to be ignored and she is to marry Lord Oswald, whose daughter is older than Bridget's mother, in two weeks.  Bridget doesn't know what to make of this situation.  She was promised to Sir Curan, a brave knight who rode with the King in France .  They signed an agreement and pledged their vows in front of an Archbishop, but doing what your father tells you is more important.  If she marries without his agreement he could refuse her dowry; if she has no dowry her husband could divorce her, and if she was pregnant, her family would refuse to take care of her and she would be alone in the world.  They are to leave in three days, and to help Bridget in the changes she must go through, Jane hires Marie, a courtesan, to give Bridget some information on keeping a man's interest and getting pregnant quickly.  What Bridget watches Marie do soon opens her eyes to how women can enthrall men with their bodies.  But, before they can leave for London , who comes riding to their door but Sir Curan, now with the new title Lord Ryppon.  Despite what Jane and Bridget say, he has come to claim his wife, and the many soldiers he brought with him will make sure she returns with him.

Curan has spent the past three years fighting and wants nothing more than to collect his bride and return to his home, but when he comes upon Bridget and her mother almost on their way to London , he is more than irate.  He has a marriage agreement signed by the Archbishop and the approval of King Henry who encouraged him to collect his bride.  Curan doesn't take no for an answer, and soon Bridget is in a cart on her way to Amber Hill, his home.  They both spent the past three years dreaming of each other, and passion rises up between them, though Bridget tries to deny it.  She is hoping to keep her virginity and sneak away from Amber Hill and go to her Cousin Alice to seek safety.  Bridget keeps insisting they visit her father to clear up the mix-up in their marriage, and Curan grows even more impatient with needing to take his wife to bed.

When Bridget escapes from Amber Hill, Curan is beside himself and ready to make their marriage a true one.  The longer she stays away from him, the more his desire increases.  And despite telling herself that a daughter's duty is to do what her father wants, Bridget finds herself aroused just by being around Curan, and despairs of getting to London and finding out why her father gave her to another.  There are many twists and turns and other intriguing characters that make Bridget and Curan's story interesting and deliciously romantic.

Mary Wine has penned a totally suspenseful and hard to put down novel that held my interest all the way through.  Set in the 1500's, the people seem true to life, and each character has his or her own strengths and weaknesses that are universal.  Bridget is in the awkward position of either doing what her father tells her or following her heart.  She quickly comes to love Curan but doesn't want to destroy his life if the King decides she should be married to someone else and takes over his lands for daring to ignore his edict.  Curan hasn't been a knight and fought for years without getting both physical and mental strength, if he can just get Bridget to consummate their marriage, nothing will ever come between them again.

Secondary characters are mainly in the background. Jane, Bridget's mother, tries to change Curan's mind over Bridget, to no avail.  Marie makes a short but memorable appearance as the courtesan who gives Bridget some much needed information and firsthand knowledge of lovemaking.  Gordon Dwyre, Lord Barras, is a neighbor of Curan's and would gladly kidnap Bridget to make a deal with him.  We also meet Bridget's father and Henry VIII and learn some of the ways of gossip and face-saving at court.

IMPROPER SEDUCTION is a tasty read that will have you anxiously awaiting each meeting between Bridget and Curan and wondering if they will ever accept their marriage or let her father rule their lives.  If you love lusty men and strong-willed women, this is the perfect story for a night in front of the fireplace this month.  Make sure your own special knight is around to enjoy the results of this arousing tale.

CeCe Johns