Friday, July 2, 2010

Then Comes Seduction by Mary Balogh

Then Come Seduction by Mary Balogh. BantamDell Publication. April 2009. ISBN #: 9780440244233. pb. 419 pp.

Mary Balogh does have a gift for writing engaging love stories with believable heroines and redeemable bad boys. Then Comes Seduction is the second novel in Mary Balogh's newest series featuring the Huxtable family. While each of the four novels will stand on its own, those who prefer to read a series in order should start with the first book in the series, First Comes Marriage, as it sets the stage for the Huxtable family's change in circumstances and subsequent entry into the ton . The second book in this series is just as entertaining as the first and follows the youngest sister, Katherine as she is launched on her first London Season and finds that beneath the genteel appearance of society there are dangers that her past has not prepared her to handle.

Katherine Huxtable has never had a shortage of admirers or proposals, even when she had no dowry as the impoverished daughter of the village vicar. As the sister of the new Earl of Merton, Katherine is enjoying a successful first Season and it seems only a matter of time before she makes an advantageous match. Despite a number of worthy suitors, Katherine fears that true love may not be in the cards for her. None of the men she has met has caught her attention like the one she has been warned away from. She knows he is dangerous, she knows she should avoid him at all costs, but there is something about him that draws her in and leads her to the brink of ruin.

Jasper Finley, Baron Montford, is a rake and proud of his standing as the ton's most disreputable and dangerous one. Jasper's never made a wager he couldn't win, so when the seduction of Katherine Huxtable is the objective of a drunken challenge, Japer can't resist. The lovely and innocent Katherine has not escaped his notice and Jasper puts a plan in motion to pursue and seduce her. His plan is flawless and success is within sight, but there is just one thing he hadn't counted on; namely his heart.

Both Jasper and Katherine retreat from London and try to forget their encounter. Three years later, fate throws them together again. Much as she wants to hate the man who once carelessly wagered on her virtue and nearly ruined her reputation, Katherine still feels a strong attraction to him. For his part, Jasper has never been able to put her far from his mind, or his heart. As the London Season whirls around them, they find themselves thrown together frequently. It seems as though, older and wiser, they may have a second chance until they find themselves in the way of someone else's plans.

As the threat of scandal surrounds them, Jasper and Katherine find that all bets are off when love enters the picture.

Mary Balogh has done it again. Then Comes Seduction , is an entertaining read and she does a marvelous job painting Jasper Finley as just enough of an anti-hero to fulfill the bad boy fantasy of any reader. If one is looking for a good romance to snuggle up with, don't miss this one.

Reviewed by Mairead Walpole.

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