Release date: January 10, 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Diamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her billionaire fiancée, Paul. That is, until she finds Paul has been unfaithful. Shocked, she flees to Europe where she is determined to build a life of her own without her family’s name, fortune or connections. When she meets gorgeous Englishman, Gabe Grenville, a famous reality TV producer, sparks fly. Charlotte passes herself off as a lowly catering assistant but soon finds herself a star on his TV cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity? And Paul has not given up – he has his own agenda for forcing Charlotte to return to Australia and marry him.
Will their love turn into a recipe for disaster? Or will it turn out to be a perfect concoction?
Official synopsis for Seducing the Secret Heiress by Jennifer St. George
Where to begin with this book review? I understand where St. George was trying to go with the concept, but the delivery isn’t well-developed enough to make any of it logical. In the end, the strangeness of the entire situation is too distracting for the reader to enjoy the story.
My main point of contention with Seducing the Secret Heiress is that I don’t see the connection between the characters. While on vacation in Italy, Charlie [the Australian heiress on the run from her family and former fiance, who was cheating on her] saves the life of Gabe’s neice Amelia. For reasons he cannot explain to himself, Gabe isn’t ready to say goodbye to this stranger, so he invites Charlie to join them on their vacation. I suppose that in itself is not so weird – even though he also invites her to stay with them [and sleep in Amelia’s bedroom – with Amelia – alone].
The five days pass, but we don’t actually get to see the interactions between them, so we have no idea what it is about the other that makes them attracted to each other – but something about her makes him invite her back to his home in England anyway? Then, they get to England, and she lives with him for a month barely seeing him at all – and it’s not considered completely strange for her to just be living at this stranger’s house, essentially just cooking all the time?
So, what, did she just stay holed up in the kitchen for four solid weeks while he wrote up this idea for a cooking show? No. In fact, she went out and got a part-time job – without having to reveal her actual identity. She also managed to secure a place on a reality TV show – again, without having to reveal her actual identity. I know the story didn’t get much into the details of the location, but I’m pretty sure they do still do background checks and require proper identification over in England in order to secure a job.
Anyway, during all of this, both characters constantly think about how much they find the other attractive, but there is no real conversation between them. He says that he is tired of women using him to become famous, but he still invites her to audition for the cooking show and doesn’t lose interest in her when she accepts – even though he has no idea whether or not she’s just using him for fame since they never discuss it.
Finally, if I’m reading a story that makes a point of having the characters from two different countries – and most of it takes place with one of the characters fully uprooted and living in a foreign country – I expect to see some note on the character’s feelings or opinion on being there. At the very least, there should be descriptions from the newcomer’s point of view about the location. For all the difference it made in the story, Charlie and Gabe could have been living in the same, nondescript city in any random country. In fact, everything might have made more sense had that been the case.
In all, it has potential, but just isn’t developed enough to be enjoyable. The characters’ actions do not make sense, and the entire living situation is not believable in the least. It should also be added that there is no “seducing” of any kind [that the reader can see] occurring in the story, so the title itself is also illogical.