11 June 2015

Seduction and Surrender by Cali MacKay

Hey everyone,

Today I’m going to review Seduction and Surrender by Cali MacKay, a contemporary romance novel that I would argue relies on two distinct tropes. These are the billionaire trope and the deal or arrangement trope (the contemporary romance version of the marriage-of-convenience trope, well at least in my opinion). Now these tropes can be controversial in the Romance genre, particularly when used together as it’ll often result in an Hero who doesn’t really understand the concept of no.

For some people this will be an instant red flag, but others really enjoy this type of Romance. If you are in the first camp then I’d take a guess that Seduction and Surrender is probably not the book for you... But feel free to continue reading the review just to make sure!

The book:

Chef Emma Sparrow has poured her heart and soul—not to mention all her money—into the restaurant of her dreams. But when Quinn Ryker, her landlord and billionaire playboy, refuses to renew her lease, her entire world and all those who depend on her, are at risk.

Quinn’s spent months trying to stifle his curiosity for the gorgeous chef who runs the kitchen of his favorite bistro like she’s a five-star general. He can’t help but want her, especially when she comes marching into his office full of fire and passion, furious with him and demanding he renew her lease. Yet he now has something she wants, and he knows just what he’ll do with that heat and anger of hers, especially once she’s in his bed.

A bargain is stuck that will save Emma’s restaurant and give Quinn what he most desires—Emma. But it turns out there’s a lot more on the line when negotiating matters involving one’s body, heart, and soul.

My thoughts:

Have you ever read a book that you enjoyed but still had major issues with? If you have you’ll know its confusing and can really make you question the type of books you enjoy. Seduction and Surrender was that book for me. Some aspects of it I thought were engaging, witty and hot-as-hell, but other parts made me stop, pause and think.

As mentioned earlier in the post this is a book that relies on two tropes, the billionaire and the deal. I personally love the deal trope, whereas the billionaire trope isn’t one that I’ve really explored. The way Cali MacKay combines these two tropes I felt heightened the Alpha-hero behaviour of Quinn. It made me question Quinn’s behaviour on a deeper level and that in turn affected my enjoyment of the book.

“Today was the first time he’d ever spoken to her, touched her. And damn, but he was already in deep where Emma was concerned. He had to have her. Even if it was just for one night, to get her out of his system”.

The above quote and the context it surrounds made Quinn, in my mind sound a bit like a stalker. He’d been tracking Emma, watching her movements, deliberately going to her restaurant to see her. I mean that is creepy, right? Not helped by the fact that at this point he just wants to sleep with Emma. In the beginning he doesn’t want a relationship, but instead a quick night of meaningless fun.

Quinn’s dubious behaviour and his inability to understand the word no pretty much continues throughout the book. Emma becomes his addiction, his obsession, his reason for being, whether she wants him in her life or not. Now that isn’t acceptable, however, I felt that Seduction and Surrender was rescued by the strong personality of the heroine Emma.

“She’d busted her ass getting people in her field to take her seriously, to gain their respect and be treated as an equal. To be looked at as a chef - period - her gender of no consequence. She’d worked hard to get to that point, toiling in restaurants all over the country as she perfected her skills. And now she was debating whether or not she should be arm candy for a billionaire”. 

That, right there is a heroine I can root for. A heroine I want to have a HEA because she’s tough, independent and ambitious but also doesn’t deny her feelings, (well most of the time). Emma acknowledges the conflict in her decision, the fact that by agreeing to Quinn’s proposal she could potentially be throwing away all the respect and equality she has worked so hard to achieve. I loved how she called Quinn up on his behaviour, and how she struggled to reconcile that behaviour with her attraction and growing feelings for him.

“You already know that I’ve failed for you - hard. But I swear, if you break my heart, Quinn, I’ll fricasse your balls and serve them to you for dinner”.

I would recommend that people read this book purely for Emma. Yet Quinn’s behaviour, the predictable plot, the drama and the slight cliffhanger (it is a HEA but the secondary ‘suspense’ plot is left open) could be too much for some readers. So although I enjoyed Seduction and Surrender I acknowledge that it has weaknesses and won’t be too everyone’s taste.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!