The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
Description: A marriage of convenience ignites into a passionate love affair in the hotly anticipated second novel in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s addictive Sinful Suitors series!
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 whip-smart, 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. Too bad 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?
For some reason, I had been putting off reading Sabrina Jeffries new series. However, last week, I found the first book in my closet (yes, I have a book closet) while looking for something to read. While I did stop and start the book, that was more because new books came out last week and not do to The Art of Sinning itself. That being said, I found myself enjoying the second book, The Study of Seduction, more than I enjoyed the first book. In The Art of Sinning, it was clear the next book would be about Edwin and Clarissa. There were sparks between them and their jabs at one another were similar to Beatrice and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing (and we all know how that ends). This book took the attraction a step further and included a marriage of convenience between the couple! Edwin is best friend’s with Clarissa’s cousin and protector. When her cousin is forced to go to the Continent, he asks Edwin to watch out for Clarissa. She has been receiving unwanted attention from an attachee of the French Embassy. Edwin, of course, agrees to help out. The situation between Clarissa and her pursuer quickly escalates, leaving Edwin no choice but to marry Clarissa.
What I enjoyed most was the depth of character the author develops for both Clarissa and Edwin. At first look, Edwin is a stodgy lord while Clarissa is a flirty and stubborn lady. However, underneath their exteriors, Edwin carries an attraction to Clarissa which explodes into sensuality. Their conflict stems from their attraction to one another. Clarissa’s gusto hides scars from her past. As they grow passed their initial banter, each begins to trust one another and reveal their secrets. In my opinion, watching Edwin and Clarissa peel away their layers of defense is what makes this such a diverting read.
Rating: 4 out of 5!
Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.