When Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, agrees to help his best friend’s impetuous ward, Lady Clarissa Lindsey, in her time of need, he knows he’s in for trouble. He’s been hunting for someone to wed, and she’ll just get in the way. Although captivated by the whip-smart, free-spirited beauty, he fears she’d be all wrong as a wife … if she would even take such a gruff cynic for her husband. Too bad he wants nothing more than to have her for his own.
Clarissa has no intention of marrying anyone—not Edwin, whom she’s sure would be an overbearing husband, and certainly not the powerful French diplomat stalking her. But when matters escalate with the diplomat, she chooses Edwin’s gallant offer of a marriage between friends in hopes that it will deter her stalker. She expects nothing more than an amiable union, but their increasingly tempestuous kisses prove more than she bargained for. When her stalker’s vow to expose the lovers’ deepest secrets threatens to destroy their blossoming attraction, will their tenuous bond withstand public ruin, or will Edwin lose all that’s important to him to protect his bride?
Rating: 4 stars
I was very happy to fall into this regency romance, where heroes can always be counted on to act heroically and…my, my…the things they and their ladies get up to in the bedroom. Well, any room really, or a convenient carriage. Forerunners who like to know in advance, this book has several open door love scenes.
I enjoy the pure escapism of historical romances, although I often allow myself a small giggle at a peerage that must surely have been so large as to overflow the House of Lords into the Thames if all of their books in this genre with their very many lords are to be taken at face value.
This book was a lovely distraction from the chores of real life (I let my imaginary maid do them, although the cook didn’t prepare such good meals) but there were modern phrases and words, and also Americanisms, that jarred me from the regency England moment.
The Study of Seduction is the second in the Sinful Suitors series, but readers don’t need to have read the first book to understand the story or to be interrupted from the flow with too many unanswered questions. Occasionally I read references that I assumed were set up in book one, but neither too much nor too little time was given to them, and the pace continued very nicely.
I enjoyed the world and the characters, and the story line was both familiar and with enough difference to others in the genre to be read at speed yet still be satisfying.
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher in return for an honest review.