A Novel Seduction

A Novel Seduction - Gwyn Cready 3-3.5 starsThis is a HOOT of a book, especially if you're an "Outlander" and/or "Twilight" fan. (I must admit, I'm not a Twilight fan, so my knowledge of that story and its characters is limited to my friends' discussions.)Ellery is a literary critic/editor/writer working for a top NY magazine. She's just trashed "Vamp", the latest offering by Bettina Moore, in her last editorial. Trouble is, her big boss is boffing Bettina on the side, and he's none too happy with Ellery messing up his love life. For penance, he assigns her to write a cover story for the next month featuring why women love romance stories... AND he assigns her Axel Mackenzie as her photographer. Axel and Ellery have a history together; five years ago, they broke up after a serious relationship, and there are still remnants of those flames held in check on both sides.Problem is, Ellery is also up for to head a brand new mag by a competitor. This new cover story could undo all her hard work and ambition to be the Editor-in-Chief of her own magazine! Not to mention what traveling with Axel might be like. Because travel they must - to Pittsburgh (her home town), England, and Scotland.Ellery is forced to confront her prejudices about the women who read romance novels and about the novels, themselves. As she and Axel actually read "Vamp" and "Kiltlander" and talk to fans of the stories, they realize that there's a lot more to both readers and stories than most would think. But Ellery still isn't willing to give up her possible Editor-in-Chief job, despite being totally sucked into the 2 novels.Can Axel and Ellery work it out? If they don't, Axel won't have the bucks to buy his friend's brewery - his dream. But if Ellery writes the story, she'll lose her dream. And can they travel together without falling into bed... or falling in love again? Can they banish the ghosts of the past?------------Funny story - I don't typically read romances from "modern" times, because they're usually filled with profanity and more description of intimate acts than I care to read. But Ellery and Axel fit the typical "romance" heroine and hero roles - she's spunky and independent, he's all male and clueless. It's funny when Axel starts looking to these romances to catch his clues about how to win the girl. And it's delightful when Ellery gets sucked into the novels and finally overcomes her literary prejudice against romances. As a character in the book points out, you'd have to throw away Dickens, Chaucer, and many other literary "greats" if you're a snob about romance. And in each genre, including the literary novels the snobs embrace, there are duds among the greats, just as in romances and historical romances.Those who ARE fans of Twilight and Outlander will be delighted with the references to the romantic couples in each book. I was especially tickled at the discussions of Jemmie and Cara, who are obviously Jamie and Claire from Outlander.