The Dangerous Seduction
Title : The Dangerous Seduction
Author : A.N. Bond
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Mystery, Suspense
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : February 28, 2014
Rating : ★★★★1/2
With a beautiful, doting fiancée and a dream job at one of New York City’s top law firms, life is going well for ambitious but inexperienced attorney, Ryan Paullson. Handpicked by his new boss, Joseph Van Aardt, to work on the firm’s biggest case, Ryan soon finds himself out of his depth and struggling with a dangerous and irresistible attraction to the charismatic and ruthless Van Aardt—an attraction that seems mutual.
Ryan and Joseph begin a secret affair as they work to build their case against controversial billionaire Jack McNeil. As their affair heats up, Ryan starts to fear how far Joseph is willing to go to win the case, and when two critical witnesses die under suspicious circumstances, Ryan doesn’t know whether to suspect McNeil or his lover. He wants to be with Joseph; he just doesn’t know how far he’ll have to go–or how far he’ll have to fall–to hold onto him.
Ryan Paullson has aspirations. He wants to be a high powered attorney, and he wants to work for Joseph Van Aardt. Ryan also wants to ignore his more troublesome urges that have led to illicit encounters with men. He’s engaged to a wonderful woman and has his career all planned out. Ryan does get the job working for Van Aardt and is immediately plunged into huge amounts of work. What he really wants is to to work directly with Joseph himself on the McNeil case. Ryan eventually gets his wish. He is working with Joseph and it’s thrilling. Not only the work but the man. Ryan’s interest in Joseph as more than a lawyer seems to be reciprocated by Joseph. While on a business trip the two begin to have an affair. Many of the other attorneys at work suspect Ryan and Joseph are having an affair and don’t necessarily remain completely professional at all times. Ryan does get on well with one co-worker, Fiona. Eventually, the stress of the job and the affair turn out to be too much for Ryan and he confesses everything to his fiancée. He moves in with Joseph. Initially, it’s a place to stay until he can find something else and Joseph is rarely there.
After an explosive incident at work where he was accused of cheating in front of the whole office, there is little secret left that Joseph is the “other woman” of the dynamic. Despite that, things seem to be going smoothly. Ryan is relieved he isn’t in a marriage he didn’t really want and the McNeil case seems to be doing well. Ryan does learn his father may have information that could help them with the McNeil case. He also learns his parents are very upset he isn’t getting married to the woman they thought was perfect for him. When Joseph begins speaking to his father about testifying for them Ryan knows he won’t be able to tell them the full truth until the case is over. Then, Fiona dies in a subway accident. She fell onto the tracks. But time marches on. Joseph and Ryan are getting closer and their relationship outside of work is so good. They even enjoy knowing they have the other to go home to every evening. Then, at a coffee shop, Jack McNeil sits down and has a long conversation with Ryan. Nothing is as it seems.
Can I just say I really hate present tense? I really and truly hate present tense. I don’t know why, maybe it’s too good at creating immediacy and the perception you don’t know what’s going on. I like to feel I know what’s going on. I don’t want to read a whole book that has me wondering where or when the next shoe is going to drop. Being worried and tense completely fit Ryan’s character at this point in his life. He was coming to terms with his own sexuality, learning a new job, falling in love, and dealing with betrayal from his own family. Ryan was a disaster and as such being in his head was confusing and a little unpleasant. I find myself in the position of not having enjoyed something that wasn’t really meant to be enjoyable. It was well done.
It wasn’t really until the end of the book when the title really clicked for me. I had been thinking it was dangerous for Ryan to be in his situation. He was sleeping with his boss, cheating on his fiancée, and lying to his family. Those things were dumb, but ultimately they weren’t truly dangerous to Ryan. Ryan needed to be honest with himself about his sexuality and his lack of desire to be married. Ryan has the grounds to sue Joseph for sleeping with him, and Ryan deserves to have his parents know the truth about who he truly is. The seduction was dangerous for Joseph. Ryan knows almost everything and Joseph has fallen in love.
Some things are very unresolved. Both Joseph and Ryan have the best of intentions as of the end of the book, but nothing is set in stone. McNeil is very angry and will want some kind of revenge. Everyone seems to be hiding something except Ryan. Something has got to give and no one wants to be the one to do so.
Rated 4.5 stars by Faye