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Friday, May 23, 2014

Review - - The Scoundrel's Seduction


The  Scoundrel's Seduction
House of Trent:  Book 3
By Jennifer Haymore
Publisher:  Forever
Release Date:  May 27, 2014





I’m a reader.  Always have been.   I’m the sort who sneaks out to lunch without telling my friends so I can read instead of chat.   I’m the one who lets the phone ring till I finish a sentence.   I’m the one who ignores the “Mo-om!” from downstairs so I can finish the chapter.   But whenever any task, even one you adore, becomes obligatory, much of the joy is sucked right out.

Not so, if one “has to” read Jennifer Haymore’s THE SCOUNDREL’S SEDUCTION for a review site, for example.   ;)

Nobody in Sam Hawkins’ family knows what he does for a living, but they know it’s dangerous.  And vitally important to England.  So when the order comes from the higher-ups asking Sam to assassinate a traitor, he doesn’t hesitate.  Because he’s that devoted to his job and is that good at it.  Except this time, when he shoots the traitor right through the heart, he fails to realize he’s done so while the traitor’s stunning wife watches from under a table.   Unsure of what to do, because killing an innocent witness isn’t part of Sam’s job description, he takes her prisoner.  But with more time spent in her company, Sam isn’t quite sure who has trapped whom for he finds leaving her presence, even for a moment, becomes unbearable to him--to HIM: a man who’s set his life up in such a way as to not attach to anyone.

Now that Élise, Lady Dunthorpe, is finally free of her terrible husband, she can’t abide becoming imprisoned by yet another man so soon after--and by one who ruthlessly shot her husband, no less.  Surely, she should hate her powerful jailer.  Surely, she shouldn’t feel so alive under his intense scrutiny and, most surely, she shouldn’t enjoy his touch.  That would be the moral response, wouldn’t it?   But while Élise wars with what she shouldn't, yet does, feel, danger from her former husband’s associates forces Sam and her to run, perhaps closer into each other’s arms.   Shoulds be damned. 
Confession: THE SCOUNDREL’S SEDUCTION was my first Haymore read.  As a writer, I found her to weave quite a complex relationship between her main characters, far more weighty than the average historical.   But I think what put this book into the 5 star category for me is the chemistry Haymore is able to create.   Sometimes I feel chemistry between the hero/heroine is a fluke for writers, just as it is in life.  It’s there or it isn’t, even in the hands of the very best writers.

It was certainly there between Sam and Élise and the jailer/prisoner plot helped.  But Haymore does something different with it: while her heroine, Élise, craves her freedom, Haymore writes her without a hint of shrewishness, though she is still independent and worthy of a reader’s respect.   And while her hero, Sam, is powerful and is forced to imprison Élise, Haymore writes him without a hint of pushy chauvinism… though he is still incredibly male and virile AND sensitive.   They are all fine lines for a writer to traverse and Haymore does so expertly.

I heartily recommend THE SCOUNDREL’S SEDUCTION.  And while I feel the title is a misnomer of sorts—the title and premise set up different expectations than what a reader actually gets with this book (Élise doesn’t actively seduce Sam out of his wits as she is just as seduced by him)—the book FAR exceeded my enjoyment expectations… especially my “have to read it” enjoyment expectation.

Go forth and read THE SCOUNDREL’S SEDUCTION while I download all of Haymore's other House of Trent novels.  Because I have to.

~J Perry Stone

J Perry Stone is an aspiring Historical Romance writer who is a giant proponent of books and of love... romance being the place where the two live happily ever after.  She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. 

29 comments:

  1. I haven't read THE SCOUNDREL'S SEDUCTION yet. However. I do highly recommend her work. I'm currently reading THE ROGUE'S PROPOSAL. THE ROGUE'S PROPOSAL was up for a RITA award. It was also voted RT's Best Historical Romance Adventure in 2013! Besides the House of Trent series, she has Scotsmen (writing as Dawn Halliday) and a Donovan sisters series too.

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  2. I have to tell you, Laurie, I can certainly see why she was up for a Rita. There something complex about her characters.

    Will look into the best historical book.

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  3. Thanks, J! I've added this one to my summer reading list!

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  4. It's because of you, PJ, that I'm adding Hayford to my *my authors* list.

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  5. Thanks for this review - I'm looking forward to another one of her stories!!

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    1. You won't be disappointed, catslady.

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  6. I loved the review I be adding that to my list to buy

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    1. I really thought it was great. It was my Haymore and I was really impressed, Peggy.

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    2. FIRST Haymore.... I'm away and have to respond via txt

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  7. Sorry, but I didn't like the book at all. It was my least favorite of the series, with the first being my favorite, an A grade. It was boring. I don't think I've ever seen a writer publically review a book and give it less than four stars/B grade.

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    1. Terri, I appreciate the difference of opinion. Will be interesting to see how it is received.

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    2. Sorry the book didn't work for you, Terri. Since we all have unique tastes and bring different experiences to our reading it stands to reason that no single book will appeal to everyone. As for writers automatically giving books 4 or more stars I can assure you that our reviewers work very hard to be fair and honest and do indeed give books less than 4 stars when they feel it is deserved.

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  8. I can't wait to read this one!! Love, love Jennifer's books.

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    1. I was so surprised as to the depth of character development, Martha. It is a rarity, as I'm sure you know.

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    2. I haven't read this one yet but I've been impressed with her character development in prior books.

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  9. I love Jennifer's books and look forward to reading this one.

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    1. I just thought it was wonderful. .. from the execution to the original premise.

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  10. I have 2 or 3 of Jennifer Haymore's books in my TBR mountain. It sounds like I will have to get to them sooner than later. THE SCOUNDREL’S SEDUCTION sounds like one I will have to get to sooner than later. We are lucky to have so many talented authors putting out so many good books. Unfortunately, it is hard to find time to read them all. I will never catch up.

    Thank you for the informative review.

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    1. I could spend six months reading on a deserted island and I'd still not be caught up! :)

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    2. There really isn't enough time in a day to get proper reading done.

      And then, of course, what's a reader to do once she finds another talented writer with a healthy back-list?

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    3. I just discovered two more authors I like. Each has a series I need to get from the beginning since I read one in the middle and am hooked.

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  11. I'm with you, J Perry! When I hear of a new author in a preferred genre, I will read the newest release and, if I liked it, go back to Amazon and load up that author's backlist on my Kindle. I think I did that with Jennifer's books about a year and a half ago. And I can think of worse things than having a TBR pile get higher with unread books. Ha! jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. The worst part in this whole scenario is finding the time to indulge in a new author find when, say, dinner and laundry, and work need to be done.

      In a trader's heaven, 23 hours of the day is spent in a cozy chair, eh?

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    2. Not trader's heaven... I meant READER'S heaven.

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  12. I read the first book in this series, The Duchess Hunt, and it was really good. Looking forward to Sam's story. All the reviews I have read have been good! Thanks for the review!

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    1. I'm so glad, Sharlene, because I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of story telling in this.

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