Title: The Seduction of Sarah Marks
Author: Kathleen Bittner Roth
Series: Those Magnificent Malverns #1
Genre: Victorian Romance
Length: Short novel
After a blow to her head, Sarah Marks awakens in a strange bed with a strange man and no memory of how she got there. Her handsome bedmate, Lord Eastleigh, tells her she’s suffering from amnesia, and the best course of action is to travel home with him until she recovers her memory.
Lord Eastleigh has his own reasons for helping Sarah and keeping her close. Reasons he cannot tell her. As they struggle to restore her memory, their undeniable, inadvisable attraction grows—until Sarah finally remembers the one thing that could keep them apart forever.
Source: Review copy from Entangled: Scandalous via NetGalley
Having recently enjoyed the second book in this series (Portrait of a Forbidden Lady) I was keen to see where this family of intriguing characters first made themselves known. Amnesia plots aren’t my favourite, but I didn’t let that deter me. Perhaps I should have, because I found this book a struggle to get through.
Largely because of the heroine. Sarah is so insipid at the beginning. I know she’s lost her memory and all, but she’s a priggish bore, prone to fits of propriety, and I found her exceedingly dull. There was nothing about her that made me feel sorry for her plight and her lack of gratitude towards Eastleigh got on my nerves. Even if his behaviour bordered on crude at times, he does actually do a lot for her without even a smile.
However, this phase only lasted for the first third of the novel. Then she became downright mean and hostile and I liked her even less. There was plenty about her that would normally have made me warm towards her, but she’s just unpleasant. No, the family don’t always treat her well, but they never treat her cruelly.
Well, until Eastleigh turns into a complete bastard. By then I’d almost finished the book, so stubbornness dragged me to the end. The problem was that I never grew to like Eastleigh even before he turns awful, and as already mentioned, I struggled with Sarah too. The rest of the family makes very little impression – apart from Will and her unexplained hostility – the amnesia plot is pretty convoluted at times, I never felt any real excuse for their attraction, and overall I just didn’t like it very much.
Thank goodness I read (and enjoyed) the second book first, because this one completely did not work for me.
The Seduction of Sarah Marks is Out Now.
Visit Kathleen Bittner Roth for more details.