All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Seduction – Kate Forster

on January 8, 2013

SeductionSeduction
Kate Forster
Penguin AU
2013, 334p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Willow Carruthers is a golden girl of the tabloid world. The Australian born actress has had the glittering career, including an Oscar and married the requisite successful rock star and popped out three children. She seemed to have it all – fame, money, love, family. But now the husband has strayed, the photos are in the public eye and Willow faces divorce and financial ruin, thanks to her husband’s exuberant spending and the fact that there’s decidedly less income coming in now. Willow needs to return to work and soon, so she can support herself and her three children. Her husband is no where to be found and Willow isn’t sure she wants him located anyway.

Kitty Middlemist has worked for Willow as nanny to her three children for the past three years. She’s used to being the one in the background, keeping things afloat. When Willow admits that she has no money and needs a place to stay and to go back to work, Kitty thinks that she just might have the answer. When her father died, Kitty and her much-older brother Merritt inherited the family pile, which desperately needs some TLC. It was a source of bad memories for both of them so they locked it up and left due to the caveat placed upon them that prevents a sale for 10 years. It will be a perfect place for Kitty, Willow and the children to hole up while Willow attempts to secure a part in a period film being directed by an eccentric genius. And the period film just happens to be on the lookout for an ancestral pile that hasn’t been modernised within an inch of its life.

Middlemist becomes the dream location for the movie and production and actors descend upon it, much to the chagrin of Merritt, who has also returned to his family home. Three years have given him some perspective and now he thinks that he’d like to restore it to its former glory – something he can’t do without the massive injection of cash that allowing filming will give him. It also throws him into close contact with Willow and there’s something about the beautiful, fragile actress that draws Merritt and the attraction between them simmers even as every sort of complication arises to get in their way.

Seduction is Australian author Kate Forster’s second novel and takes us to the glittering world of the rich and famous – or the not so rich, as Willow Carruthers discovers. Her husband Kerr has pretty much squandered all of their money and now there’s nothing left and what they do have will need to be sold. Willow is forced to abandon her easy lifestyle and rely on the help of the nanny Kitty, who capably organises a home for them to stay in and takes care of the children while Willow does her best to get back into the acting world. Willow is quite brittle, distant emotionally from her children and husband and quite ill-equipped to cope alone. She’s lucky to have Kitty to organise things and look after her children and give her the freedom she needs to reboot her career. As you get further into the book, her character evolves and she becomes more human, more warm, more real with her children and she finally begins to see what they need from her, one of them in particular. She became more likable, as she wasn’t too sympathetic a character at the beginning, despite what she was going through.

I was very surprised just how invested I became in the story of Kitty, who really blossoms as a character in this novel. She starts off peripheral, the ‘hired help’ so to speak with no real relationship to Willow other than employer and employee. She has a natural knack with children, she’s eager to please and goes above and beyond the call of duty in her job. She meets the gorgeous Ivo, whom she has had a brief interaction with in the past and doesn’t want to be just another notch on his bedpost. In fact I think the development of the friendship between Ivo and Kitty was my favourite part of this novel. Ivo is the son of wealthy parents who has an art history degree but is basically wasting it and his intelligence, bumming around sleeping on friend’s couches and relying on wealthy lovers to keep him. The part in the period movie gives him some focus and his friendship with Kitty leads to him cleaning up his lifestyle almost without him noticing and it is through his time at Middlemist that he discovers his true calling. And the chemistry between them was fabulous – their interactions at the end of the novel when both of them are hurting are so fabulous. Ivo could’ve been a character that just didn’t work because like Willow, he’s not particularly likable at the beginning of the book. But the details that Forster adds to his character ended up making him very interesting.

Seduction surprised me – I was expecting a light, almost trashy beach read in the movie world judging by the glitzy cover but it turned out to be more than that. I really became quite invested in the characters of Willow, Merritt, Ivo, Kitty and Willow’s children. I think they were charmingly and accurately portrayed for their ages – I have a child the same age as Willow’s middle child who never stops talking and found there were some real similarities! There were things in the novel that seemed a little easy – how quickly Willow gets a part, how quickly the conflict with her husband Kerr is resolved – but all in all it was an extremely enjoyable read that had me engaged from start to finish.

8/10

Book #1 of 2013

AWW2013Seduction is the first book read & reviewed for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.


6 responses to “Seduction – Kate Forster

  1. Marcia says:

    Great review – I’m actually 50 % of my way through this ine.

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I struggled initially but ended up enjoying this

  3. Emma says:

    Big fan of your blog, but had to comment on this post as this book looks amazing!! I may have to venture out and get it. 🙂

  4. Kat says:

    Bree, would you consider this a book with romantic elements, by which I mean it has a strong romance subplot that ends happily? (If you don’t want to post spoilers here, a DM on Twitter would be great.) I’m just trying to figure out how to classify it for the AWW index. Thanks. 🙂

  5. […] “Glitzy, romantic and sexy” is how Marcia of Book Muster Down Under describes it but Bree of All the Books I Can Read who “was expecting a light, almost trashy beach read in the movie world …” feels […]

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