Friday, May 16, 2014

Secrets of Seduction by Nicole Jordan

The Basics:
Secrets of Seduction by Nicole Jordan
Ballantine Books
Book Three in the Legendary Lovers series
Historical Romance
Published April 29, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I love a good historical romance.


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?

My thoughts:

Loved this one from top to bottom.

Skye's an endearingly focused young woman. She's kind-hearted and determined and wants to help Hawk heal as much as she wants to determine if he's her true love.

Hawk's closed himself off from everything except his grief and guilt over losing his young son and wife a decade ago. He blames himself for not saving them from a fire, and doesn't believe he can ever love again (nor does he want to!).

I loved these two together. I loved Skye's attachment to the idea of having a fairy tale-esque romance. I loved that she didn't remain selfishly focused on winning Hawk over, but instead engaged him to help with her uncle's lost love. I think if she's been single-minded, the book would have been significantly less enjoyable.

The setting - primarily Hawk's castle as it is being renovated and repaired - is appropriate to Skye's chosen fairy tale. Other than a ruined wing, a general sense that the castle hadn't been used recently, and the existence of impressive stables, there wasn't a lot that stood out for me. Which makes me want to make a list of generic, typical historical romance settings....

There's a few steamy moments in this book and I found it satisfying on that front. There was enough tenderness and romance to balance the darker moments that come up (usually in relation to Hawk's past).

It reminded me a little bit of one of my favourite Johanna Lindsey novels, in which a young woman pursues the man of her dreams. That may really be the only similarities because I don't remember the specifics of the Johanna Lindsey book, but I have a general fond memory of it, and I will definitely remember this one fondly as well.

I'm inclined to keep an eye out for future titles in the series - hopefully Jordan's work is consistent and I can add her to my auto-buy list for when I'm in the mood for a historical romance with  heroes and heroines I can love.

Bottom line:

Enjoyable adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, with a dark backstory and some genuinely sweet moments. I recommend this one for anyone who likes historical romance.

4.5 stars
For fans of adapted fairy tales, historical romance

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