Title: The Study of Seduction
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #2
Genre: Historical Romance (19th Century)
Available: March 22nd
A marriage of convenience ignites into a passionate love affair in the hotly anticipated second novel in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s addictive Sinful Suitors series!
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?
Source: ARC from Pocket Books via NetGalley
This was another enjoyable and surprisingly sweet tale from the Sinful Suitors series. With a hint of antagonism between these seemingly opposite people and a marriage of convenience in the offing, there were plenty of chances for misunderstandings, secrets and sorrows, but overall I found it a satisfying read.
Mostly because of Edwin. What a gorgeous hero he is. Not because he’s handsome – though apparently he is – or because he’s serious, a touch staid at times and very responsible. No, the thing I love most about Edwin is how understanding he can be. The way he treats Clarissa’s secret and the troubles of her stalker are wonderful. He’s absolutely lovely, even when his insecurities make him think everything is because of him. I loved reading about him.
On the whole I liked Clarissa too. She is lively and vivacious, but she’s not empty-headed or overly foolish. She loves her family, even if her mother does drive her mad occasionally, and I loved seeing her feelings towards Edwin deepen and change throughout the book. Yes, she has a secret that is not particularly hard to guess, but I appreciated how it had affected and reshaped her life, and how there’s no quick fix regarding her recovery.
When it came to the stalker plot, I have to say I wasn’t entirely convinced by the villain. He makes very few appearances and I’m sure if there had been a moustache to twirl, he would have excelled. But as a plot device to get the hero and heroine together, it worked wonders. And since I enjoyed this slow-burning romance so much, I shall overlook my irritations with the villain.
So, if you’re looking for a historical romance that takes a little time bringing the main characters together – but still provides some heat towards the end – then this definitely delivers. It’s an easy, enjoyable read, though there are some darker emotional themes explored. Overall, though, this is pleasant and enjoyable and left me really curious about whose book is up next.
The Study of Seduction is out March 22nd!
Visit Sabrina Jeffries for more details.