Monday, December 15, 2014

REVIEW: "How the Scoundrel Seduces" by Sabrina Jeffries

How the Scoundrel Seduces (The Duke's Men, #3)
How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Pocket Books -- Published in August 2014
Ebook, 416 pages
Read in December 2014
Received from Edelweiss

THEMES
Alpha Hero

SUMMARY
Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life— to make sure that his half-brother George can't ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke's Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn't expect to uncover Lady Zoe's family secrets, as well... or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.

FIRST LINE
"With daylight fading in the Viscount Rathmoor's bedchamber, seventeen-year-old Tristan fought to free his hand from his father's grip."

MY THOUGHTS
Readers of Jeffries's Duke's Men series first met Tristan Bonnaud in What the Duke Desires and I, for one, have been intrigued by him ever since.  He is the illegitimate son of a viscount who was cast out of his childhood home (along with his mother and sister) after his father's death.  After years of working any job he could get a hold of, Tristan is now a professional investigator working alongside his half-brother, Dominick Manton.  He has always been wary of getting involved with the aristocracy so his world turns upside down when Lady Zoe Keane asks for his help.

I really liked both Tristan and Zoe.  Tristan has had some hard times in his life and isn't very trusting with anyone besides his immediate family.  But, he can't resist his protective nature as well as his hidden attraction to Lady Zoe.  I was a bit afraid that the author would overdo it on the "I'm illegitimate and therefore not worthy of you" theme that is used so often in these types of stories, but, thankfully, it was a minimal issue.   

For her part, I liked how devoted Zoe was to her family's estate and the people who relied on its success.  She did have some reckless moments that made me shake my head, but she usually admitted her errors and learned from them.  I also enjoyed the fact that she didn't let Tristan's past define his character.  While she was constantly given reasons why he was such a scoundrel, she always gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Besides the romance, Sabrina Jeffries also provides readers with a mystery: Lady Zoe's birth parents.  She hires Manton Investigations to figure out if she is truly the daughter of the Earl of Olivier and this causes a whole subplot which, of course, ends up connecting to Tristan's family.  I did think the mystery was a little obvious, but that didn't ruin the enjoyment of seeing Tristan and Zoe work together.  I also liked the respectful way that the author depicted the Romany culture.

It was also great to see more of Tristan's brother, Dominick, whose future was destroyed upon the old viscount's death as well.  There is definitely still some tension between him and his former fiancee and I am excited to read their story next.  And, finally, we got to see some resolution on the horrible deeds that Dominick and Tristan's brother, the current Viscount Rathmoor, has been doing the entire series.

All in all, I did enjoy How the Scoundrel Seduces and the way that it sets up for the conclusion of the entire series.  Zoe and Tristan were very easy to root for and I thought their romance was entertaining.  Another success for Sabrina Jeffries!

I received a free e-galley of this book from Pocket Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.


FAVORITE QUOTE
"Husband-hunting. Always a rousing sport. I suppose you go there dressed to kill."
"No, indeed. What good is a dead husband?" She smiled airily. "I go dressed to maim only."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
0.5. Twas the Night After Christmas
1. What the Duke Desires
2. When the Rogue Returns
2.5. Dorinda and the Doctor
3. How the Scoundrel Seduces
4. If the Viscount Falls (Coming 2015)

4 comments:

  1. I'm really glad that you liked this one, Jennifer. I've never read any Sabrina Jeffries, but I am curious. I love, love, love historical romance, but I can be pretty picky about it, and so am always nervous to try new authors.

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    Replies
    1. She is a bit hit or miss for me, but I am always willing to give her a try. My favorite of hers was the School for Heiresses series especially Let Sleeping Rogues Lie.

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  2. I enjoyed this one too. She's one of my favorites. I'm looking forward to seeing how things will end with the series :)

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  3. great review!! I just loved this book, and I really adore this author.

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