*I received a free copy of The Study of Seduction from Pocket Books via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #2
Published by Pocket Books on 22 March 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical, Historical Romance, Romance
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?
The Study of Seduction is filled with romance – albeit quite reluctant on both the male and the female part – danger, delight, despair, and heartfelt love.
Jeffries really has a knack for creating relatable characters, a bit unconventional, and able to reel the readers in. The Study of Seduction definitely reeled me in! I love friends to lovers stories, and that is what I got here. Edwin and Clarissa have known each other for as long as they can remember. And so, when Warren needs to leave England – but thinks it’s too dangerous to leave Clarissa open to the advances of a French suitor – he asks Edwin to look out for her.
The Study of Seduction has a little bit of all I love in historical romance novels. There are balls, with beautiful gowns, dances, and blushing debutantes. Of course, there are also some rogues, some rakes, and some incredibly gentlemen. This story has more than that, though, with the sinister French diplomat who just won’t leave Clarissa alone. With that suspense element, the story becomes mysterious and filled with danger as well.
There are quite a few humorous elements in The Study of Seduction as well – both Clarissa and Edwin have their moments where their dry wit made me laugh. That, plus the red hot chemistry between them made their story very enjoyable.
If you haven’t read about these Sinful Suitors yet, but are a fan of historical romance, you should get to it. The romance and the suspense elements are outstandingly well done.
Edwin is seen by society as a rather strict man, with no funny-bones in his body. He wants to find a suitable wife, someone meek and quiet, to help him produce an heir, and take care of his estates.
Clarissa is a bit outrageous, she flirts a bit, but as soon as a more serious suitor comes along, she rebuffs him. Her back story is tough to read, and some readers might be triggered.
Warren is Clarissa’s cousin and Edwin’s best friend. He has taken care of his aunt and Clarissa ever since Clarissa’s brother had to leave England.
Writing style :
The Study of Seduction is written in close third person point of view, where the readers get to know Edwin’s and Clarissa’s thoughts. The dialogues are well executed, and bring knowledge about other characters as well as the main characters.
Oh, I had plenty of feels with The Study of Seduction. I felt the heart beats of the protagonists when they finally let themselves feel them. I felt the danger and the fear. And I felt the humor that certain situations brought to the story.
Warren was Edwin’s closest friend. Really, his only friend, aside from his sister’s new husband, Jeremy Keane. Edwin didn’t make friends easily, probably because he didn’t suffer fools easily. And society was full of fools.
Ignore Clarissa? Impossible. He’d spent the past few years trying unsuccessfully to unwrap the mystery that was Lady Clarissa Lindsey. Her barbed wit fired his temper, her provocative smile inflamed him, and her shadowed eyes haunted his sleep. He could no more ignore her than he could ignore a rainbowed sunset… or a savage storm.
And broad shoulders and a regal bearing and slate-gray eyes as coldly beautiful as a Russian night spangled with stars. Clarissa scowled at herself. She must be addled to be thinking of Edwin so poetically.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: