Seductive as Flame by Susan Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC. 4 1/2 kisses, 2 peppers (M/F, bondage, rope play)
Alec Munro, Earl of Dalgliesh (I tried to pronounce this in my head and it kept sounding like “dog leash”, which amused me but threw me off a bit), is a notorious seducer and Zelda MacKenzie is an exotic Scottish beauty. They meet at a house party. He's married and has a stepson, but his friends wonder why he hasn’t divorced already. Something about Zelda draws him, and he pursues her despite the fact that he knows he shouldn’t. His normally uncaring wife, who has numerous lovers of her own, is being extra difficult, confrontational and combative with Zelda. What a vindictive bitch she is! But Alec and Zelda manage to share a night of unbridled passion, and he’s shocked and dismayed to find he doesn’t want to escape as he usually does from casual lovers. He wants more of her, despite himself.
Zelda knows the score and understands she can’t ask too much of him, but he’s so incredible in bed that she’s hooked. Alec’s old nanny approves of Zelda for many reasons: she's kind, intelligent, Scottish, a good match for Alec, and she makes him happy. She’s also good with his young stepson, Chris, and Alec is showing an unprecedented interest in her. Zelda is unusual, but I like her even though I’m not sure I would like her in real life. She tends to be bitchy, but somehow it works with her relationship with Alec. They both struggle with jealousy because of how much sexual experience they both have, even when the expertise increases their mutual pleasure. They both tell themselves they need to remember it’s just a casual fling just like any other, but deep down they know it’s more. They definitely hope it’s more. Everyone around them sees it’s more. The reactions of his servants to his uncharacteristic behavior help tell the story of how significant this affair is and different it is from his norm.
Overall, Seductive as Flame is a well-written, fast-paced read that will appeal to fans of steamy historical romances. It’s easy to see why Susan Johnson is such a well-loved author. I liked the whole book, most especially how Alec moved heaven and earth to be with Zelda.
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