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Authors: Susan Johnson

Seized by Love

SEIZED BY LOVE
By
Susan Johnson
 
Contents

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Epilogue

Unanimous praise for
bestselling author Susan Johnson

"Johnson uses her
fertile imagination to blend a strong heroine, unbridled sex, and… history into
unadulterated fun." —
Publishers Weekly

"Her romances have
strong, intelligent heroines, hard, iron-willed men, plenty of sexual tension
and sensuality and lots of accurate history. Anyone who can put all that in a
book is one of the best!" —
Romantic Times

"The author's style is
a pleasure to read and the love scenes many and lusty!" —Los
Angeles
Herald Examiner

"She writes an
extremely gripping story… with her knowledge of the period and her exquisite
sensual scenes, she is an exceptional writer!" —
Affaire de Coeur

Bantam Books by Susan
Johnson

TABOO

WICKED

SWEET LOVE, SURVIVE

BRAZEN LOVE STORM

PURE SIN SEIZED BY LOVE

OUTLAW

SILVER FRAME

SINFUL

BLAZE

FORBIDDEN

And coming soon A TOUCH OF
SIN

All of the characters in
this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or
dead, is purely coincidental.

SEIZED BY LOVE

A Bantam Boole /
published
in association with Doubleday

Publishing History

Playboy Press edition
published in 1978

Doubleday Loveswept edition
I
October 1993

Bantam
Fanfare
edition /
May 1
994

AH rights
reserved
.

Copyright © 1978 by
Susan
M. Johnson. Cover art
copyright © 1994 by Rernato Aime.

library of
Congress
Catalog Number: 92-45720.

No part
of this book
may be reproduced or
transmitted in any
form or
by any means,
electronic
or mechanical,
including photocopying, recording, or by any
information storage and retrieval
system, without permission in
writing
from the publisher. For information address:
Bantam Books.

If you purchased
this book
without
a cover you
should be aware that this
book is stolen property. It was
reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the
publisher and neither
the
author nor the
publisher has
received any

payment for this
"stripped book."

ISBN 0-553-56327-0
Published
simultaneously in
the
United States and
Canada

Bantam Books are published
by Bantam Books, a
division of
Bantam
Doubleday Dell
Publishing Group,
Inc. Its trademark,
consisting
of the words
"Bantam
Books" and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in
U.S.
Patent and
Trademark Office and in other
countries. Marca
Registrada. Bantam
Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA

OPM 0 9 8 7 6

Then talk not of
inconstancy, False hearts and broken vows; If I, by miracle, can be This live
long minute true to thee, 'Tis all that Heav'n allows.

John Wilmot,

Second Earl of Rochester
circa 1670

Dear Reader,

When I wrote my first book,
SEIZED BY LOVE, in 1978, I was thoroughly enamored with Georgette Heyer's
Regency romances. Having recently discovered her, I'd managed to find copies of
all her romances in a matter of a few months and read them in a pleasurable
rush. But I was utterly frustrated in one sense because these fascinating
characters never went beyond the genteel bounds of a kiss or two. What this
world needs, I said to myself, is a Regency with sex. And that's what I set out
to do when I wrote SEIZED BY LOVE. In my usual cavalier way, I ignored the fact
that SEIZED BY LOVE wasn't set in England, nor did the events take place in the
Regency period. It was stylistically a Regency, my paean to Georgette.

Now, I hadn't read SEIZED
BY LOVE since I'd written it all those years ago, and when I looked at it
recently with the thought of doing some minor revisions, I was astonished to
discover how typical it was of the bodice-ripper era of romances. There's an
actual bodice-ripper scene in the story. Wow, I thought, did I write that? I'd
forgotten. But in the end I altered it very little because SEIZED BY LOVE is a
book I couldn't write today. So much has changed. Women's and men's roles in
our culture have substantially altered in the years since SEIZED BY LOVE was
first published: steps toward equality in the workplace, in the family;
legislation to insure civil liberties; new options for career choices have all
contributed to both the perception and reality of today's woman and man. And
those transformations—radical, subtle or mood permutations—are reflected in
current romances.

But so many readers have
written to request reprints of the Kuzan family series, I was very pleased when
Bantam decided to reissue them. SEIZED BY LOVE is my only tribute to Georgette
Heyer; books two and three in the series (LOVESTORM and SWEET LOVE, SURVIVE)
are further evolutions in my story-telling techniques. As a painter originally,
I'm familiar with stylistic and creative changes. Think of these books as my
"early Russian style" in contrast to the new Susan Johnsons.

I hope you enjoy this
introduction to the Kuzans. Nineteenth-century Russia was a land of beauty and
harsh contradictions, its aristocracy capable of savagery and the most refined
sensibilities, the landscape vast, varied, dramatically majestic. Nikki and
Alisa's story is one small part of that enormous canvas. LOVESTORM and SWEET LOVE,
SURVIVE travel to more distant locales in the Empire of the Tsars and continue
the story through two more generations.

Best wishes,

Susan Johnson must know a
witch—one of those good, yet powerful witches who can create magic for her… I'm
not often asked to review books for
Affaire,
and I must say to review
a classic like SEIZED BY LOVE was indeed an honor.

Written in 1978, SEIZED BY
LOVE is the first of the Russian series written by Susan Johnson. It was our
first hint that Susan Johnson was special. Let's start with her annotated
footnotes, an exceptional tactic because for the first time, an author realized
and addressed the intellect and interest romance readers have in history, and
she educated us. Secondly, she threw convention to the wind and set her story
in Russia. And, just think, 15 years ago, it was almost unheard of for a
heroine in a romance not to be a virgin; the hero never admitted to having
children, except with a deceased wife. More than those things, though, Sue
Johnson took sex scenes to a new level, still unreachable by most.

Meet Alisa and Nikolai, the
two unconventional stars of the tale. Alisa is prim and proper and is in an
untenable marriage with an old, abusive husband. Nikolai, privileged, spoiled,
and bored to tears is idling his time away at his country estate when a friend
challenges him to seduce the unapproachable Alisa.

Alisa turns out to be much
more than a single-minded, virtuous country maid. In fact, she's almost too
much for Nikolai who not only doesn't want to marry now, he wants to marry a
stupid woman who is a good breeder.

Is SEIZED BY LOVE a
classic?

You bet! Because it
withstands the test of time. It's true the market has undergone some changes
since it was written, and authors have shied away from manipulating their
characters in the same manner Ms. Johnson does Nikolai and Alisa. Yet, SEIZED
BY LOVE rises above those changes and tells a wonderful tale.

Pass the Magic Wand over
here, please, Sue. Better yet, keep writing!

—Louise B. Snead, Publisher
Affaire de Coeur

 

Chapter
One
THE WAGER

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