Saturday, April 26, 2014

Secrets of Seduction (Legnedary Lovers #3) by Nicole Jordan

"A fairy tale come to life and a delightful read for those who enjoy retellings of the classics." ~herding cats & burning soup 
The most charming Wilde cousin, Lady Skye has secretly loved the enigmatic Earl of Hawkhurst since girlhood, long before the tragedy that left him scarred both physically and emotionally. When Skye learns that the celebrated hero has returned to England from his self-imposed exile to make a cold marriage of convenience, she brazenly plants herself on his castle doorstep, determined to convince Hawk that she alone is his true mate and destiny.

An elite member of the Guardians of the Sword, Hawk has vowed never again to risk the pain of loving—but that’s before he deals with the most enchanting, annoyingly persistent seductress he’s ever encountered. One night of blazing passion leaves him impossibly torn. Will Hawk choose duty over love, or will he open his heart and let Skye’s healing light penetrate his darkness?

Type: Historical Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Secrets of Seduction was a fairy tale come to life and a delightful read for those who enjoy retellings of the classics. In this case...Beauty and the Beast...with an oh so cheerful and vibrant heroine in need of help from the grumbly and scared man she's been smitten with for most of her life. Ahh how I loved it!

The quick of it is that Skye is on a mission. Two really. She's found a packet of old love letters of her uncles and is determined to find his long lost love that he thought passed away years earlier but has been in hiding. And at the same time...she's gonna snag her a man. *nods* He may be a damaged man but he's had her eye since she was a teenager and according to her cousin the two are fated.
"Do you always get your way?" he grumbled when the carriage was moving.

She flashed him a brilliant smile and laughed softly. "Almost always," she replied without even a pretense of humility.

His lips twitched. "You are an aggravating, conniving little wretch, do you know?"

"Yes, I know, but I will grow on you over time."

Hawk gave a snort.
I loved these two. Skye and Hawk are so opposite in ways but so fun together. She's an optimist and romantic at heart, determined and persistent. And, okay, a little manipulative. But not in a bad way. I loved how she was and how she was almost pure of heart in wanting to help others despite a horrible loss as a child that still gives her nightmares. She was just sweet and endearing and made me smile.

And Hawk. Lord help me but I love a broody hero that grumbles and is damaged. And Hawk is a man with some serious demons after losing his wife and child in a horrible fire years earlier and suffering physical injuries as well from trying to save them. I loved this guy. He lost everything and has spend a decade of his life as a member of a secret group that spends it's time saving others from dangerous situations. And he just wants to be left alone to wallow in his losses. He's not fit for company and is fine staying that way.

And the man had absolutely no chance against a determined Skye. I loved that while they were so different in their outlooks they both struggled with some of the same things and as time went on were able to help each other heal. Parts absolutely made my heart clutch and had me in tears as they worked past them and others...had me chuckling or fanning myself because damn, yeah, these two despite their differences fit real nice.
*she's trying to get Hawk alone for a bit of seduction when this scene kicks off...*

His chuckle of disbelief was followed by a penetrating scrutiny. "Do you know your trouble? You are too damn manipulating."

"Usually that is true, but not in this case, I swear. I truly need your opinion on restoring this room. And my notebook and apron were not a ruse to fool you but the servants. I needed a legitimate reason for us to be here, and I could think of no other way we could have privacy, and I was afraid you wouldn't come with me if I simply invited you... You are stubbornly unyielding, Hawk, and it is infuriating, really--"

"Be quiet, sweeting. You are babbling."

Skye obeyed, in part because she was running out of breath. When he hesitated, she peered up at him through her lashes. "Kissing me would be an excellent way to silence me."
Heh. I just love her manipulations and how cheeky she can be. She'd be a force to be reckoned with once she set her mind on something for sure. Definitely was for Hawk.

The "mystery" was fun as well. I loved seeing how they pieced things together and found the woman Skye was looking for even though I didn't love the woman they sought. The traveling and interviewing and such was exciting and entertaining and had me turning the pages wanting to see what would happen next.

Secrets of Seduction was quickly eeking up to a 4.5 for me but there were two things that derailed me just a bit. And it's totally gonna come off ranty but really these were kinda minor things just dropped it half a star. But still... First. Follow through. In this case with sex. See. In one scene the heroine used sponges to prevent pregnancy. Very neat scene. Different, right? But...the follow through. ::shudder:: There was no dealing with the sponge post sex. And, okay. I know. Fiction. But *flails* ALL I could think for the next hundred pages was the heroine was walking around London with a sponge up her hooha. And that is just...seriously distracting! lol.

Second issue was dealing with the secondary storyline of finding her uncles long lost love who had faked her death to escape an abusive husband. I love the idea behind it but found Rachel very unlikable which took away some enjoyment since she was a focus of the storyline. My big issue was that when she faked her death she...
I just couldn't get past that or feel any sympathy for what she'd "lost" and damn that apparently made me feel ranty. *nods*

Other than those two things I thoroughly enjoyed Secrets of Seduction. Jordan has a way of pulling you into a storyline and just making it magical. I loved watching Skye and Hawk heal each other and find the other half of their soul. From heartbreaking moments to those that just lifted your spirits Secrets of Seduction was a delightful read and a wonderful romance I think most historical fans will thoroughly enjoy.

More Jordan on herding cats!

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