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Friday, May 16, 2014

ARC Review: The Scoundrel's Seduction by Jennifer Haymore

Format: .mobi (Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: May 27, 2014

Undercover agent Sam Hawkins has devoted his life to protecting king and country. So when he receives orders to assassinate a ruthless traitor, he doesn’t question his mission. But Sam didn’t know his deed had a witness—the beautiful and mysterious betrayer’s wife. Now he has no choice but to take her as his prisoner—one he can neither trust…nor resist.

Élise, Lady Dunthorpe, will do anything to escape her powerful captor—including seducing him senseless. She didn’t know of her miserable husband’s crimes, but she has secrets of her own, secrets that threaten everything she holds dear. With his piercing dark eyes and gentle touch, Sam inflames Élise’s deepest desires, but how could she ever trust a man who won’t let her go? Caught between the crown he’s sworn to serve and the woman he’s come to love, Sam will risk his heart—and his very life—to keep her safe.

Spies, Secret Service, Agents of the Crown, whatever you want to call them it doesn’t matter, I LOVE a historical romance with spies. I never get tired of reading them from my favorite authors or trying them from new to me authors. There’s just something exciting and more dangerous about spies in a time where there wasn’t any such thing as night vision goggles or Kevlar vests. Spies had to rely on their instincts and intelligence and trust that luck was on their side. As much as I love spies in my historical romances, I’m aware that not every author can capture my attention with their stories.

Jennifer Haymore not only caught my attention but kept it throughout the entire story!

The Scoundrel’s Seduction picks up where book 2 left off, this time with Samson taking the lead in the search for his mother, the now Dowager Duchess of Trent. Complicating matters though is a witness during his last “mission.” He’s such a stoic character, it was great to see him caught off guard by his strong feelings for his witness.

Elise, Lady Dunthorpe has been simultaneously freed from her cruel husband and imprisoned by his murderer. Terrified that she’ll be killed out of revenge or duty, she holds on to the few secrets she has in order to buy herself time. She doesn’t count on having feelings for the man who killed her husband, nor does she count on having to trust him with her life.

Sam and Elise were such a great couple. The circumstances surrounding their first meeting were far from ideal and cast Elise under a suspicious light yet neither one can deny their attraction to the other. Haymore created situations that served to both push the overall story forward and to force Sam and Elise to look past their situation and get to know one another. My one little glitch with their relationship was how quickly Sam started to believe Elise. He’s supposed to be a hardened spy with years of experience yet he didn’t require or look for evidence to back up Elise’s claims, he just slowly got to know her and that was enough to have him believe everything he said. Granted, his instincts told him she was innocent but instincts can be wrong and he didn’t survive various missions by not having evidence to back up his suspicions.

Aside from the relationship between Sam and Elise, there’s also the relationship between Sam and his siblings. The Trent children have been dealt a harsh blow and yet that has not changed how much they love and protect each other. I loved being able to briefly revisit with Simon and Sarah and Luke and Emma as well.

Yes, the mystery of the Trent siblings’ mother is solved. As farfetched as the solution is, it definitely fits the Dowager Duchess’ personality which I was able to piece together from what her children have revealed in past books. However, if you think that you know all the secrets there is to know about the Trent family, there’s still one or two secrets that may surprise you.

With that particular mystery now solved, I do have to wonder, where will the series go from here? The Scoundrel’s Seduction, like its two predecessors was somewhat motivated by the missing Dowager Duchess and now that the mystery is solved, what will motivate the rest of the series? I have a few guesses but I’d rather wait for the next book to see if I’m right.

Final Verdict: The Scoundrel's Seduction is a fast paced, welcome addition to The House of Trent series that I would recommend to any fan of historical romance. Actually, I recommend the entire series to historical romance fans.

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