Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Review: The Scoundrel's Seduction by Jennifer Haymore
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: May 27th, 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.
The Scoundrel's Seduction is the first Jennifer Haymore novel I've read and the second since discovering that, yes, I actually quite like Regency romance! While I didn't enjoy it as much as Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, it's still a good read and a nice introduction to a different side of Regency England.
Sam Hawkins is an undercover agent with orders to assassinate Viscount Dunthorpe, a very powerful, traitorous man. Little does Sam know that Lady Elise Dunthorpe witnesses his supposedly secret order, and he's left with no choice but to take her prisoner. So begins a game of seduction that will leave Sam and Elise getting closer to each other, but could secrets lurking beneath the surface tear them apart?
The Scoundrel's Seduction focuses on undercover agents and men with dangerous jobs rather than just rakes who do nothing but fence all day. It's a different take on this period in history and not one I was familiar with before - I never really thought that these well-to-do men would run around killing people instead of simply looking for a suitable wife. I liked this aspect of the story and the idea that all this could have been happening behind closed doors while always being shrouded in secrecy and out of the public eye.
Sam and Elise are good characters to get to know, and I warmed to them straight away. Sam has lot of family troubles that are explained as the novel progresses, while Elise has a lot more to her than meets the eye. Their romance is one that naturally progresses and never feels forced, and their devotion to each other is apparent with every exchange of words. There's not quite as much romance as I was expecting actually, due to there being a lot more going on in the story. Not that it's a bad thing, of course!
I haven't read the previous two books in this series, titled The Duchess Hunt and The Rogue's Proposal, and I don't think it affected my reading experience at all. No doubt more of Sam's family history is mentioned/explained in earlier books, but I don't think they're required reading in order to enjoy and understand The Scoundrel's Seduction. It stands on its own two feet quite nicely, introducing Sam and Elise and the very different lives they lead.
All in all, The Scoundrel's Seduction is a good read and one that I'm sure historical romance aficionados will enjoy. I personally would have liked more romance and more humour, though I'm no expert when it comes to this genre and all the tropes it employs. I'm definitely going to be reading more Regency romance in the near future and I might even check out the first two books in this series. I'd like to know more about the Trent family and what they got up to in the past, so I think The Duchess Hunt will be next on my to-buy list!
* Please note: this is an adult book with sexual content and is aimed at older readers.