Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: April 29, 2014
The most charming Wilde cousin, Lady Skye has secretly loved the enigmatic Earl of Hawkhurst since girlhood, long before the tragedy that left him scarred both physically and emotionally. When Skye learns that the celebrated hero has returned to England from his self-imposed exile to make a cold marriage of convenience, she brazenly plants herself on his castle doorstep, determined to convince Hawk that she alone is his true mate and destiny.
An elite member of the Guardians of the Sword, Hawk has vowed never again to risk the pain of loving—but that’s before he deals with the most enchanting, annoyingly persistent seductress he’s ever encountered. One night of blazing passion leaves him impossibly torn. Will Hawk choose duty over love, or will he open his heart and let Skye’s healing light penetrate his darkness?
The third book in Jordan's Legendary Lovers series is my favorite so far, with Lady Skye Wilde being a tough cookie to beat!
The five Wilde cousins have had to rely on only each other since the deaths of their parents when they were children, now as adults, Lady Skye's cousin Kate has surprised them with a matchmaking theory, that each of them can find true love by emulating famous historical and literary lovers. With two successful marriages to back up her theory, Kate explains that Skye's romance is that of Beauty and the Beast. Every hopeful, Skye knows just who her beast is: The reclusive and mysterious Lord Hawkhurst.
As a fan of Nicole Jordan and someone who has read all her books, I knew of Hawk way before this book and like many fans, I really wanted him to get his second chance at love. He’s such a tragic character that I was powerless against falling for him, much like Skye was. He had such a magnetic presence that pulled me in until I was completely caught up in his life and wanted him to find peace and happiness with Skye.
Skye is smarter than your average historical heroine. She knows what she wants and is sneaky enough to work around society's rules to get it. Yes, I do like a sneaky character and Skye definitely qualifies. Even though she finds her cousin's legendary lovers theory valid, she knows that every one else would think she was insane and childish if she went around telling every one about it. I mean it does sound silly when said out loud. So she does the one thing she knows will produce results: She puts herself in Hawk's path every chance she gets.
It takes awhile for Hawk and Skye's relationship to really go any where, the attraction is there but Hawk has plans of his own that don't involve Skye. Of course, Skye is one of those characters who seems to always have a back up plan, in this case, the mystery of her uncle's long lost love who may not be as dead as society thinks she is. This was a nice side story, it gives the reader a breather from Hawk and Skye's relationship as Skye can be a bit overwhelming with her persistence and energy. It's not just a matter of Hawk falling in love again, he also has some healing to do from his tragic past. There's just the right amount of time devoted to reliving his past, to beginning to heal and of course, to falling in love with Skye. I liked that the emotions in Secrets of Seduction didn't only come from the romance but from the darkness in Hawk's past. It gave Skye a real obstacle to face rather than just the ones she imagined.
To me, author Nicole Jordan always has a certain level of heat and passion between the main characters that pushes her books closer to the erotic category than other historical romances and you know what? That has always worked for me and is part of why she remains one of my favorites. Hawk and Skye may take awhile to get there but once they do, wow, they can't keep their hands off each other!
Part of what made Secrets of Seduction more enjoyable to me than previous books was the absence of Katherine Wilde, the perpetrator of the Legendary Lovers theory. In the past two books she just rubbed me the wrong way, her childish insistence that her theory was correct and the heavy handed way she forced her opinions on her cousins didn't work for me. I'm hoping this is because she's still young and hasn't had a chance to grow up. Kate means well but they way she handles situations desperately needs improving. However, in the few scenes that she did appear, she seemed a bit more mature and settled so I hope that by the time she gets her own book, she'll be a more likable character to me.
Final Verdict: So far, Secrets of Seduction is my favorite in the Legendary Lovers series. Part of it is because the hero is from a previous series that I loved. Hawk and Skye are loving characters who not only become lovers, but friends which is what makes a couple solid in my eyes. There's plenty of passion and mystery as well and I recommend it to historical romance fans and of course, fellow Nicole Jordan fans.