Welcome to the Chicks’ new book club, Lit Swagger! This month, our featured book is Seducing Charlotte by Diana Quincy. It also happens to have been my pick… not that my neighbours caught me happy dancing or anything Anyhoo, like many romance novelist hopefuls, I paid a lot of attention to the contest circuit, and I must say, Ms. Quincy’s impressive Contest Diva status had me chomping at the bit to read one of her novels.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Even if he is considered the catch of the season, Charlotte has a low opinion of the wildly handsome Marquess of Camryn.
He’s an industrialist who thinks nothing of replacing workers with machines, depriving them of honest work. Camryn is everything a social reformer like Charlotte detests.
Yet an undeniable attraction simmers between them, but Camryn is the last man Charlotte can have affection for.
Rebellion is brewing in England and soon both are swept into the turmoil of the burgeoning Luddite movement. The desperate workers are bent on demolishing the machines which have left them destitute.
Camryn vows to destroy the rebel movement, unaware that the only woman he has ever loved harbors a secret, shocking connection to one of its leaders that could shatter them both.
My absolute favourite aspect of this lovely read was the snappy dialogue between the hero, Cam, and the heroine, Charlotte. I’m a sucker for witty characters who can think on their feet and say the things most of us only think of afterwards. I’ve included a small snippet below from one of those awesome exchanges. It was tough picking just one!
“Why have you asked me to dance?” Charlotte’s curt tone sliced into his wayward thoughts.
“In order to apologize for my behavior the other evening.” He struggled to ignore her enticingly subtle floral scent. The last thing he needed was to come to an embarrassing point right here on the dance floor like some untried swell. “It was not my place to cut you in that way. Please accept my apology.”
“Why did you do it?”
He should have guessed she wouldn’t let him off so easily. Most other females would have. They were happy to flirt and fawn over him, but this tempting chit was decidedly unlike most females.
“I would rather not go into that,” he finally said, sounding high-handed, even to himself. “Suffice it to say that I very much regret causing you any pain or embarrassment.”
He raised his forehead. “No?”
Charlotte cut him a defiant look, pressing her lush lips into a tight line he had the mad urge to kiss away. “No.” She emphasized each word as if he were deaf, daft, or both. “I. Will. Not. Accept. Your. Apology.”
“I beg your pardon?” he said, startled to be confronted so directly. Most maidens hung on to his every word, laughed at witticisms even he knew weren’t particularly amusing.
“You, my lord, are a rag-mannered coxcomb and I will not accept an apology without a full explanation for your behavior.”
“A rag-mannered coxcomb?” He could hardly believe his ears. “Now see here, Miss Livingston—”
She sighed, her exasperation plain. “No, you see here, my lord. I tire of your strange temperament, your arrogant manner, and most of all, I tire of dancing with you. Please excuse me.”
She was halfway off the dance floor before Cam recovered himself and strode after her.
Whew! I love it when a heroine, especially a historical one, has that much Swagger and knows how to BRING IT!
What are your impressions of Seducing Charlotte? Did you enjoy the story. Why or why not?
I’ve included some questions below to help stimulate your assessment:
1. Did you feel the heroine’s Swagger? If yes, can you give an example? If no, where would you like to have seen her pick up the whip?
2. Is this couple meant to be together? What are their strengths? If you were their couples’ therapist, what issues would you have them work on?
3. How many flames would you give this book? Were the love scenes steamy and engaging? Did they make you want to jump right into bed with them?
4. Did the plot feel fresh and unique? Were you surprised by any of the twists?
5. What secondary character would you most like to see in their own story?
6. What main ideas—themes—does the author explore? (Consider the title, often a clue to a theme.) Does the author use any symbolism to reinforce the main ideas? (symbolism: people, actions or objects that stand for something greater than themselves)
7. Was the setting realistic and did it draw you in? Did you learn anything new?
8. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that’s funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character?
9. Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, why not…and how would you change it?
10. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?