How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries
Overview by Amazon:
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.
I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.
I read all of the author’s books. She writes great stories with attention to intricate details and historical accuracies. This book is consistent with her previous efforts. This is the third novel in the Duke’s Men series. It’s the tale of Zoe and Tristan and how they work through a mystery while falling in love.
What I liked about this book was the interconnectedness of their lives. She is searching for a gypsy, he is
friends with gypsy folk, her parentage is in question, he is a bastard, she loves her estate and would do anything to keep it, and his secret wish is to be a land agent, and so on. The characters spar and insult each other repeatedly, but it’s really just foreplay to the action. They lust after each other and the sparks make it electrifying to read. The author creates combustion between the two and when they connect it’s burning hot. The love scenes are passionate and just a kiss is scorching. Leaving these two alone in a room is likely to burn it down!
Due to the fact they are on a quest to discover her parentage, you get to know a lot about Zoe. Her morals and desires and mostly what she stands for. She keenly feels the responsibility of the tenants at her family’s estate as her responsibility and is willing to marry her rather odd cousin to keep it in the family. Her cousin, American painter Jeremy Keane, is a welcome addition to the series. He provides comic relief and through his interactions with both Zoe and Tristan we get to know more about them and their motivations. He also provides parallels and laughs about the differences between Americans and the English, often mocking the formal ways of the ton. I really enjoyed the scenes with him and hope he will be making an appearance in the next book in the series.
Often gypsy’s are used in historical romance books, like Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaway series, and are romanticized into something other than reality. I enjoyed how the author took the time to get the facts straight and to give honour to the way of the gypsy life and dignify the treatment of them by the English. She boldly states the precarious situation gypsy people live every day in England at that time in history and through Tristan’s words fights to defend ignorance about their culture.
The love story is well written and believable. I truly understood how the couple went from antagonizing one another repeatedly to falling in love. Both struggle with the circumstances of their birth and the value they bring to the match. Tristan is a seductive lover. I enjoyed his background story and the motivations behind his actions. Zoe could be at times frustrating to like as she was a little different in her ideas and often said rather harsh things, but she is the reason Tristan confronts his past and is able to move on.
This book is a good addition to the series. I enjoyed how the author set up the romance between Dom and Jane and look forward to reading their story soon.
Reviewed for Kiltsandswords