Review: Seducing the Heiress by Olivia Drake

I picked up a newer release, Seducing the Heiress by Olivia Drake, simply because I was in the mood for an historical romance. I was delighted to discover while peeking at the copyright page that Olivia Drake was actually a pseudonym for a well known and respected author: Barbara Dawson Smith. I certainly learned my lesson there, though.

I'm having trouble articulating just why I was so disappointed with this novel. Part of it is definitely the writing. Take, for instance, this scene:

"He bent his dark head to her privates."

Maybe it's just me, but that particular phrase doesn't strike me as very romantic. Or sensuous. Or erotic. I can't think of any woman I know ever using the word "privates". In fact, it comes across as un-romantic as the "c" word.

Then there are these cliche ridden phrases: "Something that gave Portia a cold shiver." "He was hungry all right, but not for food." The stunning lack of originality in just about every turn of phrase had me putting the book down frequently in disgust.  And the dialogue is even worse.

It's not just word choice, though, that causes this book to fail with me. The plot is horribly predictable and completely without any sort of suspense. The whole Indian prince plot thread was incredibly tedious and superficial. It didn't lend any sort of suspense, especially as the heroine figures out well before the end of the book that she never really loved him with any sort of depth. So having him reappear a few chapters later makes for page filling boredom rather than any real conflict.

Maybe it's because I've read fantastic books by Barbara Dawson Smith that I felt so disappointed by this one. The writing is something you'd expect from a rookie--not a RITA winning romance veteran.

My grade: D

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