on March 22nd 2016
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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?
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Based on the first book in this series, I knew THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION would be good, but I was wrong; it is stupendous! The St. George Club was formed by four friends who met in Oxford; their aim is to protect women from rakes and fortune hunters. The Marquess of Knightsford is one of those men: he asks his friend Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, to escort his cousin Lady Clarissa Lindsey throughout the London Season. The unsavoury Count Durand, attached to the French Embassy, has been relentlessly harassing Clarissa, even after she bluntly refused his marriage proposal. Edwin has been a friend of Clarissa’s family for a long time; she’s as effervescent as he’s rigid, and she loves to taunt him to see if she can thaw his cool demeanour. However, secrets from both their pasts push them into a marriage of convenience, and I will say no more about this supremely intricate and wonderfully plotted story. THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION is storytelling at its very best, and Ms. Jeffries demonstrates how brilliant a wordsmith she is: the dialogues are brilliant, and the banter between Edwin and Clarissa is beyond compare. The author’s attention to detail is exemplary when it comes to her vivid descriptions of automatons and the theatre, among many other things.
THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION is book 2 in the Sinful Suitors series, and one part of the story that started in the first book comes to an explosive conclusion with revelations that left me gasping, while others had me tearing up; and still, this book can be read as a standalone. Edwin and Clarissa are profoundly endearing, exceptionally drawn, their story so compelling that I never stopped reading. In some places, I laughed myself silly, while in others, I wanted to embrace the characters and ease their pain. Edwin is a gentleman, a gentle man, and Clarissa is strong and extremely appealing. I cannot wait for the next instalment of The Sinful Suitors!
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.