July 26, 2022 12:42 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During June, I read four full-length books, one novelette, and two children’s books. While none of them rated below four stars and several were excellent reads, only one romance received five stars from me to be featured here. It’s by a long-time favorite author and the second in one of her older series that I’m just now getting around to reading. Jasper is a member of an army regiment that fought in the French and Indian War. They were allegedly betrayed by one of their own members, leading to an Indian ambush. Jasper and several of his fellow soldier were captured and tortured by the Indians with some of them dying while in captivity. He’s now continuing the investigative work started by the hero of the first book, trying to ferret out the turncoat. However, the story opens with him being jilted at the alter by his fiancee, the second time he’s been thrown over in less than a year. As he’s trying to process this turn of events while nursing a hangover, he’s approached by a woman he vaguely knows who proposes that he marry her instead. Knowing that he genuinely wants to wed and produce heirs and having no desire to go through the courting process all over again, he figures, sure why not? Little does he know, though, that Melisande made her bold proposal because she’s been in love with him from afar for six years and sees this as her last chance to possibly snag the man of her dreams since he barely seems to know that she exists. She’s thrilled when he accepts, but she has no intention of letting her feelings for him be known. Melisande herself was cruelly jilted many years ago, and after surviving the pain of that lost love, she has no desire to make herself that vulnerable again. However, she’s determined to seduce her new husband so that the notorious ladies’ man doesn’t stray from her bed. Jasper harbors some secrets of his own from his time in the military that he doesn’t want his genteel wife to know, so it takes time and patience for each of them to open up. In the meantime, they burn up the sheets together and soon Jasper is as crazy about Melisande as she is about him. But when Jasper’s investigation hits an unexpected nerve with someone close to them, it may put them both in mortal danger.
Jasper is the classic tortured hero who bears a lot of guilt for things that happened during his captivity, which stirs him to want to avenge the men in his regiment who were lost or harmed. He may have initially married Melisande thinking that one woman was as good as another, but he quickly realizes that isn’t the case. I like that she stirs him intellectually. In spite of him not initially being in love with her, he treats her with kindness and gentleness and all his little endearments are really sweet. I loved that when he found out the truth of her past love, he’s fully accepting, sensitive, and protective. Jasper was just an all-around wonderful hero that I totally fell for. Melisande is a very sweet, reserved heroine, the introvert to Jasper’s charming extrovert, but at the same time, she has a secret bold, seductive side. She’s been watching him from afar for so long that she already knows a lot about him, but she gently pushes her way a little deeper into his life until he fully trusts her. She’s loyal and kind, wanting nothing more than to be Jasper’s one and only for the rest of his life, but she harbors a few of her own demons that only Jasper’s unconditional love can help her put to rest.
I loved Jasper and Melisande both individually and as a couple. They compliment each other perfectly and I adored the little game, if you will, that they play, where she can only be bold in the dark of night and he worms his way into her life in the light of day. I think it was a clever metaphor for their opposite personality traits that still fit together superbly like the pieces of a puzzle. They both challenge each other, which keeps their relationship fresh and interesting. They’re also both very loving and kind to one another and accepting of the other’s flaws. We get a little secondary romance, as well, between Jasper’s valet, Mr. Pynch, and Melisande’s maid, Suchlike, that was sweet and kind of reminded me of Bates and Anna from Downton Abbey. I also enjoyed the progression of the mystery surrounding who betrayed the regiment, which I have a feeling is going to continue throughout the series. Overall, this was a wonderful story that enchanted me. That’s why I’m naming Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Seduce a Sinner as my June Book of the Month. If you enjoy historical romance with a charming but tortured hero and a reserved but seductive heroine in an emotional, steamy romance, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, has a problem: he needs to marry and produce an heir to the title. All Jasper wants is to find a lady who will put up with him long enough to wed so he can retreat to his life of debauchery—a life that keeps the haunting memories of his past at bay. Knowing that Jasper is under pressure to marry, Melisande Fleming grasps her fate with both hands and volunteers to wed him. Although Jasper is initially only interested in producing an heir, he soon becomes entranced by his wife—prim and proper by day, wanton by night—and vows to learn her secrets.
But to her chagrin, her husband pursues her, wooing her as if she were a paramour, not his lady wife. As Melisande and Jasper embark on a passionate game of cat and mouse, secrets from the past begin to resurface ... threatening to tear them asunder.
Read my complete review of To Seduce a Sinner.
If you would like to win a copy of To Seduce a Sinner to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon offers an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Elizabeth Hoyt