She has captivated fans with unforgettable romance novels filled with suspense, seduction, mystery, and passionate love. Now nationally bestselling author Madeline Hunter introduces "the Seducer" in a dazzling tale of a powerfully sensual man, a headstrong young innocent, and a scandalously perilous affair as forbidden as it is irresistible.... THE SEDUCER From the moment he arrived to rescue her, Diane Albret saw more in the darkly handsome, charismatic gentleman than just a guardian.
The roar of the discontented London mob and the edgy atmosphere of Paris following Napoleon's defeat can be felt throughout this darkly seductive, Regency-era romance between orphaned beauty Diane Albret and her mysterious guardian, notorious seducer Daniel St. John. Though an innocent, Diane knows enough upon leaving school in the company of her handsome benefactor to realize that only two paths are open to her: becoming a governess or becoming a mistress. When Daniel begins showering gowns and trips to the opera on her, she believes she's being groomed for the latter, perhaps even for Daniel himself. But Daniel is playing a more subtle game, using the fresh purity of Diane to lure an old enemy within striking distance. Like waltzers locked into the steps of a dance begun 15 years earlier, Diane and Daniel must discover if new love can triumph over old hate. Hunter (Lord of a Thousand Nights, etc.) sweeps both her readers and her characters up in the embrace of history. Lush in detail and thrumming with sensuality, this offering will thrill those looking for a tale as rich and satisfying as a multi-course gourmet meal. (Oct.) Forecast: Though she is best known for her medieval romances, Hunter should have no trouble expanding her readership with this Regency-era romance, which will be followed by The Saint in November and The Charmer in December. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 29, 2003
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Excerpt from The Seducer by Madeline Hunter
The Devil Man had come.
Madame Leblanc had threatened to send for him, and it appeared she had done so.
Diane watched the carriage slow to a stop in front of the school's entrance. Green and gold, with abundant carving, it was drawn by four white steeds. A prince might use such a carriage.
He had not always come in such grand style. There were times he rode a horse, and once he had walked. One year he had not visited at all. Madame Leblanc had come close to sending her to the Dominican orphanage for the poor before a woman had arrived instead and paid for her keep for a while longer.
A bilious sensation churned in Diane's stomach. A guardian who only visited annually out of duty would not appreciate being summoned because of a disaster.
The brave plan she had hatched suddenly struck her as hopeless. Facing the inevitable, she had concluded that fate decreed a future that she had been too cowardly to embrace on her own.
Watching the carriage, her fragile courage abandoned her. The sanctuary of this school might be lonely and small, but it was safe. The quest that beckoned her could wait.
Maybe with time it could even be ignored.
The Devil Man stepped out of the carriage, resplendent in a midnight-blue cloak and high boots. The wind blew through his dark hair. He was not wearing a hat. He never did.
He had not always looked so rich. She vaguely remembered years when he had appeared almost rustic. There had been the time, ages ago, when she had thought him ill. Rich or poor, their meetings always followed the same pattern. He would glance at her, barely, and ask his questions.
Are you being treated well? Do you have any complaints? Are you learning your school lessons? How old are you now?
He did not care about the answers. She told him what he wanted to hear. Except once. She had been whipped for a transgression she had not committed and the humiliation was very raw when he visited. She impulsively complained to him. Amazingly, she had never been whipped again. Before he left he forbade it, much to Madame Leblanc's frustration. From then on she could not be physically punished without his permission.