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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review: The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries

If I were a character in this book I would have definitely had a journal with the name Edwin Barlow written all over it. I’m not even going to lie, I would have totally written things like “I Edwin Barlow” or something equally as silly. Basically, I have been in love with this character ever since his first scene in If the Viscount Falls. There was just something about the seemingly uptight, stoic man that had me curious and he certainly didn’t disappoint in The Study of Seduction!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: March 22, 2016

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 witty, 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. Yet 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?

Basically, Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough agrees to help his friend’s cousin, Lady Clarissa Lindsey discourage a persistent French diplomat who doesn’t understand the word “no.” Unfortunately that suitor isn’t scared off by his presence so Edwin does the only thing he can think of: He proposes marriage to Clarissa. Their marriage of convenience starts off bumpy but soon enough Edwin and Clarissa start learning things about each other that strengthen their acquaintance and give them a shot at falling in love.

*cue mood music*

Okay so let’s talk about Edwin because who am I kidding; I’ve been wanting to read his book since I first developed a crush on the man. Little by little Sabrina Jeffries revealed what really made this stuffy, stoic, grumpy man tick and why I found him so dang appealing. I felt that by the end of the book all my questions were answered but most importantly my crush was completely justified. He was reserved but by no means cold hearted and he did have a sense of humor it just didn’t come out with strangers. I loved that while he was an earl, Edwin didn’t have that pompous, Mr. Perfect attitude. He struggled to fit into the world he was born into, specifically the social aspects of it. I found his social bumbling endearing and that he was cast into the role of a protector which didn’t make sense on the surface but as the story went on showed that he was a natural at it. So he definitely lived up to the hype I had created in my head.

But did Lady Clarissa measure up?

In the first book of the series, the vivacious and sharp tongued Lady Clarissa was like a storm, bowling over lesser characters with her strong opinions and churning the water’s of society norms. Not to mention disturbing Edwin’s state of mind with her in-your-face attitude and teasing nature. I was a nervous that that wouldn’t continue in this book but it did! Clarissa was the only one who could get Edwin to react, to smile and to eventually tease back. Grudgingly I’ll admit that Clarissa was the right match for Edwin even though I saw his appeal first little missy!! *shakes fist*

But alas, I couldn’t hate a heroine like Clarissa. She had secrets that should have turned her into a nervous wreck but instead she held her head up and pushed forward the best she could. Plus she had a quick mind and a fierce loyalty to those she cared about. Together, Edwin and Clarissa were enough to help each other heal and I loved their progression from a marriage of convenience to one of respect and love.

Of course with a good book like this one, a reader must always be prepared to say farewell to the now married object of her affections (Edwin) and shift focus to a new bachelor, but in this case I’m not sure if it should be Clarissa’s cousin Warren Corry, the Marquess of Knightford or Clarissa’s brother Niall, the Earl of Margrave. Both men are a bit mysterious, especially Niall since he’s been absent for awhile. Decisions, decisions.

Final Verdict: The Study of Seduction didn’t let me down and having an entire book dedicated to my latest book boyfriend finding love didn’t hurt either. Edwin will always be a favorite of mine and he joins Sebastian, Lord Templemore from After the Abduction on my favorite characters list. I can’t wait for the next book in the series! Oh and I think the woman on the cover of The Study of Seduction looks just like the lovely Rosamund Pike!

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