Friday, 21 August 2015

Aussie Book Review: Seduced by the Baron by Amy Andrews


“Once upon a time, Faith Sullivan dreamed of being a famous painter who lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park. Unfortunately, life had other ideas and at 26, she’s still running, working and living at Sully’s, her family’s traditional Irish pub in Brooklyn with her stubborn, ailing father. And she was perfectly fine with her lot until suddenly her three best friends each found their prince, and her own happily ever after seemed like another dream lost. Until one day a long, tall Australian walks into her bar and her loved-up besties decided to play Fairy Godmothers.

Ex pro-surfer turned beer baron, Rafael Quartermaine is in New York for a month on business. He’s looking for a pub to launch Baron lager on the American market and Sully’s is perfect. All he has to do is convince Faith, the traditionalist, to say yes. And once he’s done that, maybe he can convince her that all work and no play makes Faith a dull girl.

Faith’s connection to her family and Sully’s is absolute, and Raf’s business drive and itchy feet aren’t conducive to long term, so it should be an easy break when duty calls Faith back into the fold on the evening of the ball. But running out on the baron is harder than she ever imagined… Will their fling sizzle out, or become something more?”

I initially picked my Tablet up to read this book, not only because it was already on my TBR but because I knew that I needed something to distract me from thoughts of my next read which I thought was going to prove to be a difficult one in terms of subject matter. Well, Amy Andrews definitely managed to divert my attention and has once again blown me away with her witty, comedic, romantic and steamy writing.

These days I don’t usually get to finish a book in less than at least five or six sittings but this weekend just gone I said to hell with the washing and housework and simply enjoyed this one for a couple of hours.

I have only read one other book by Amy and that was Limbo (my review here), the first book in her new series, The Joy Valentine Mysteries but she has already become a contemporary romance author that I have added to my list of instant requests.

In Seduced by the Baron, Amy brings us a Cinderella-style story featuring Faith Sullivan. Faith is of Irish descent and has run the family pub, Sullys, since her mother died. When her father, JP, had his first heart attack, she undertook to be his carer, leaving her brothers to lead their lives but giving up all the dreams she once had so that she could help the business prosper.

One day, Australian Beer Baron Rafael (Raf) Quartermaine walks into the pub to meet (unbeknownst to Faith) one of her best friends from school. Raf has come to New York to try and market his newest Australian Lager which, of course, he should have known wouldn’t be that big a hit in an Irish Pub which serves Guinness. Thankfully, the luck of the Irish is on his side and he manages to win both Faith and JP over. It’s also not long before he begins to get under Faith’s skin and as their friendship progresses, developing into a passionate love affair, he, himself starts to wonder what it is about Faith that he is falling for, at the same time, making her think about everything she has given up for the love of her family.

Considering that Amy is an Australian writer and has an Australian character in her story, she has done a brilliant job at bringing a quintessentially Americanised novel to her audience and I never once felt out of place in her New York cum Brooklyn neighborhood setting.

The scene setting and exposition for the typically Irish Sully’s was, for me, almost like going to a pub “where everybody knows your name”, mixed with a little bit of Friends and certainly some Coyote Ugly (without the girls dancing on the bar) and I found myself constantly wanting Amy to take me back there just so that I could soak myself in its warmth. Not to mention the lusty and intense scenes that took place in the pub’s basement!

Amy has a wonderful talent and insight for creating well rendered characters who are grappling with meaningful situations in their lives and I enjoyed both Faith and Raf as well as her secondary characters who are all down-to-earth and real.

Faith is warm, smart, self-reliant, just a little feisty and filled with hopes and dreams that she thinks she has lost forever. Raf is just as memorable and I loved the fact that Faith, just by being herself, made him question what it was he was really looking for. Their interactions with one another and the secondary characters in no way came across as forced and the dialogue throughout is just spectacular, giving the reader a real feel for all of them.

This novel has a great sense of family, highlighting strong values and unity in situations that aren’t always easy to navigate.

It’s also Book Four in a series entitled Fairytales of New York published by Tule Publishing of which there is no need to read the first three in terms of plot, although you will be introduced to the secondary characters that add to the warmth and love that surrounds Faith. 

If you’re looking for a quick, light, sexy read with great characterisation and a good dose of humour with the stuff that modern day fairytales are made of, then you need look no further.

I wish to thank Tule Publishing for providing me with an eGalley proof of this novel.

About the Author

Multi-award winning and USA Today bestselling author Amy Andrews is an Aussie who has written fifty romances from novellas to category to single-title in both the traditional and digital markets for a variety of publishers. Her first love is steamy contemporary romance that makes her readers tingle, laugh and sigh. At the age of 16, she met a guy she instantly knew she was going to marry so she just smiles when people tell her insta-love books are unrealistic because she did marry that man and, twenty odd years later, they’re still living out their happily ever after.

Amy works part-time as a PICU nurse and spent six years on the national executive of Romance Writers of Australia where she organized two national conferences and undertook a two year term as president. She loves good books, fab food, great wine and frequent travel – preferably all four together. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

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