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History has long been my keenest interest and was a childhood fascination. I followed this interest to University where I obtained my BA and MA in History. My thesis was concentrated on British colonialism in Africa, but my first historical love was England, especially those Tudors. My life's greatest passion are my two boys. My most avid hobbies are reading and travel. My favorite reads are historical fiction and my favorite travel destination Western Europe. Because of the high volume of books I read and my passion for discussion I was encouraged by friends to begin a book review blog earlier this year and so The Most Happy Reader was born.

Seduction: A Novel of Suspense

Seduction: A Novel of Suspense - M. J. Rose After hearing of his daughter’s death, Victor Hugo starts communicating with the dead. Hoping to bring him closer to his daughter. However the dead are not just satisfied with talking. They want more. Particularly one known as the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

Jac is contacted by a friend. Her friend has found some Celtic ruins. Jac travels to the Isle of Jersey. There Jac uncovers the secret behind who the Shadow of the Sepulcher was and what he wanted with Victor.

It was great to see Jac again who appeared from book four in this series, The Book of the Lost Fragrances. I enjoyed reading The Book of the Lost Fragrances. Seduction is a nice tie in from the prior novel. However if you have not read the prior novel, don’t despair as you can still read Seduction as a standalone novel.

One thing that I can always count on with M.J. Rose is her storytelling. She makes all of her characters and their stories come alive. She is like one of the only authors that I can think of that can find that great balance between the past and the present. Usually I am drawn more to the past tense then the present.

The way that Victor became obsessed with communicating with the spirits was creepy. It was almost like I could feel the air change in the room and hear the howl of the phantom dog. I was seduced by Seduction.

I first came across M.J. Rose last year when I read The Book of Lost Fragrances, which is the fourth book in the Reincarnationist series. I loved that even though I hadn't read the previous books, I could jump into this series without being completely lost in the story line. Although reading the previous books does have an advantage. After enjoying The Book of Lost Fragrances, I was excited to continue with this series by reading Seduction.

Seduction takes place in several time periods with characters that intersect into each other’s lives. Rose also includes the Jungian's theory and reincarnation to add to this mix of historical fiction and mystery. I also love that she involves the French novelist--Victor Hugo. Based on actual events that surrounded Hugo in his life, Rose pumps up the supernatural volume. Hugo lost his daughter in a tragic boating accident. He exiles himself to the Island of Jersey in 1855. Desperate and grief stricken, Hugo turns to séances to try to re-connect with his darling daughter. Instead he connects with something dark and sinister.

Jac L’Etoile has probably one of the coolest jobs ever! She's a mythologist who travels looking to discover ancient secrets. She's also the heir to a a perfume dynasty. Jac has an extraordinary talent for mixing perfumes but denies that side of her because of her tragic childhood. Jac travels to the Island of Jersey as a favor to a childhood friend. Once there, Jac begins to unravel an unsolved mystery as well as unearth secrets that were thought lost forever.

Seduction has plot lines that mingle together over the course of this story. You have Jac in present day, Jac's childhood, Victor Hugo, and Owain and Gwenore. Rose writes in such a way that this isn't confusing at all. It's easy to keep the story straight. I also love the way Rose intertwines facts with fiction. So much so at times it was hard to know the difference between fact and fiction. This is an intriguing story that will grab you. I love the characters in this series. They are flawed and damaged, but completely relatable. Jac is surrounded daily by 'supernatural' events, but she's still a skeptic. I love this aspect of her personality. It holds true for so many people. Out of the two books I've read by M.J. Rose, this is my favorite. This book encompasses mystery, romance, paranormal, intrigue, and more. The only thing holding me back is on the cover of the book, Seduction is called 'A Novel of Suspense' and while I do think this is a really good novel, I didn't think it was very suspenseful. When I think of suspense, I think along the lines of a Hitchcock film. The type that has you on the edge of your seat screaming at the character in the book or biting your fingernails off. Other than that this is a great book to read. I hope the author has more books in store for this series. I'd love to read more about these characters.

Let's talk about the obvious first... the absolutely STUNNING cover! That is what initially drew me to this book... yes, I judge books by their cover! It is just so perfect for this book. It encompasses exactly how I felt reading this novel.

I will just say, to the dismay of English teachers everywhere, which I have not read much Victor Hugo. I did, however, read The Hunchback of Notre Dame in French in high school. But, beyond that... I have never really been a fan. That said, I don't feel that it was a detriment in reading and enjoying Seduction.

At its essence, it is about the relationship between a parent and a child and that's what "got" me. Yes, I enjoyed learning about Hugo but this novel, in my opinion, eclipses that.

M.J. Rose is a lyrical author... not only does she write a story that twists around to an amazing conclusion but the prose is beautiful. She is, truly, a storyteller. And, in this age where there is a glut of "authors", a true storyteller makes reading such a joy!

As I read this novel, I was struck by the intricate plotting. There are so many branches to the story and Ms. Rose connects them into a novel that I think is my favorite M.J. Rose creation!