Savor the Seduction
When Spencer Ashton was murdered, he left his family affairs in a fierce tangle. He had three families by three different wives (one of whom he never bothered to divorce) and an illegitimate son by one of his lovers. The Dynasties: The Ashtons miniseries has been all about marrying off the various Aston offspring. Savor the Seduction is the story of Grant Ashton – a son from Spencer’s first marriage. Most of the books in the series have been slight and forgettable and this entry exhibits those qualities in the extreme.
Alyssa Sheridan was Spencer Ashton’s mistress. When she came to him pregnant, he told her not to expect anything from him at all. So she had the baby and killed herself. Alyssa’s sensible sister Anna came to take charge of baby Jack, and while she is at the Ashton estate she met and fell for Grant Aston, Spencer’s oldest son. They’ve been having a red-hot love affair, but they can never be together. Why? No good reason, the book just has to have some angst.
For almost half the book, nothing happens. Anna gets a 24-hour flu and Grant takes care of her. Anna bakes an apple pie. The Astons sponser a picnic basket raffle for charity and Grant buys Anna’s basket. They take the basket to a home that’s for sale and have a bout of hot, steamy sex. Just as I was skipping the sex scenes and wondering if anything interesting was going to happen, the police come by to ask Grant some more questions about Spencer’s murder.
I don’t ask for nor do I want Faulknerian complexity in my leisure reading, but this book wasn’t simple – it was simplistic. The sentences were short, choppy and stilted and ever so often I would come across one that puzzled me. Take this: “He was a good four inches shorter than Grant, but the thick muscles of his character made up for it.” Whatever does that mean?
At about page 115 in a 184 page book, things finally get off the ground and we find out who killed Spencer. But then Grant settles back to brooding and angst and my eyes glazed over. Then in the turn of a page Grant does a total turn around in attitude, and they live happily ever after.
I’d like to nominate Grant and Anna as the most forgettable couple of the year, and this as the most disappointing series I have ever read. There’s one more book left for the Ashtons and I’m hoping for something over the top, improbable, juicy and fun. But given the overall dullness of this series, I’m not getting my hopes up too much.