Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries

The Basics:
How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries
Pocket Books
Book Three in the Duke's Men series
Historical Romance
Published August 19, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I enjoyed the previous book in the series, When the Rogue Returns, and was happy to return to Jeffries' universe.


The third deliciously sexy novel in the New York Times bestselling Duke’s Men historical romance series, featuring an investigator who sets out to find gypsies—and unexpectedly finds love.

Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life—to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well…or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.

My thoughts:

I was completely engaged by How the Scoundrel Seduces. Zoe and Tristan had great chemistry, needling each other and arguing and such. The give and take was so equal, with no clear advantage for one or the other. I loved it!

I loved Zoe's attitude towards Tristan - I was cheering her for her frustration with him as he made his desire clear but maintained walls between them. There's a fantastic line she gives about how difficult he's making it for her to have a content life with the choices she has, I wanted to high five her for it! (Do people still high five? I have a one year old whose in that stage so it's possible I'm out of touch with, you know, adult behaviour).

I found Zoe's father an entertaining mix of ultra-conservative military man and very liberal in terms of having Zoe as his heir and teaching her not only to value the land and respect the title, but also to really take care of the property and tenants. It's unusual to read historical romance that goes that far - sure, there's plenty of smart women doing lots of things that were typically restricted to men during the period, but I don't know that I've read too many books that placed a woman in this particular position. Kudos to Galen for that!

As for the plot - Zoe's hunting for a gypsy to find out the truth about the past, while Tristan uses what he thinks is a frivolous investigation to further his own hunt for a gypsy friend who might help him finally shut down his nefarious half-brother George. It's possible that everything is a little too convenient, but regardless, I really enjoyed reading it. I thought it was great fun to watch Zoe and Tristan gallivanting about town. I loved watching Tristan's reactions as Zoe moved forward with her life.

The sex scenes were passionate and sensual, as befitted the characters. Zoe and Tristan were so drawn to each other every time they were left alone, I really believed that they could barely keep their hands to themselves.

I really want to read Dom and, I presume, Jane's story now.

Bottom line:

This is a great installment in the Duke's Men series. Sabrina Jeffries is one of my go-to historical romance authors and this book is a great example of why. The story was so entertaining that I lost track of time doing the 'just one more chapter' thing. Strongly recommend.

5 stars
For fans of historical romance, Sabrina Jeffries, investigation romances.

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