With Seduction in Mind
Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon, Sep 2009, $6.99
In 1896 London, Daisy Merrick is fired from her typist job for her unbecoming behavior when the boss tried to fondle her and she refused him. Soon afterward, Social Gazette critic George Lindsay writes a sarcastic mocking review of Sebastian Grant's new play calling it “rubbish”. The duke is irate and goes after Lindsay who called him “a second rate Oscar Wilde” only to learn Lindsay is Daisy Merrick and his publisher demands he work with her on completing a novel that is past deadline. She agrees under the condition her book be considered for release too.
Sebastian tries to hide from Daisy that since he stopped using opiates, he suffers from writer's block. He decides to seduce her, which he hopes will lead to his writing again. However, his plan is to use her as a one-time muse before ending their partnership. However, though they argue like cats and dogs they fall in love, but will he realize she is his permanent muse.
This is an amusing late Victorian romance starring two likeable enemy combatants in a gender war mindful of the 1930s screwball comedies. The story line is a series of back and forth bantering as Daisy becomes the new cocaine for Sebastian. Fans who enjoy a humorous historical romance will want to read the war of the authors.