In the Sinful Suitors series, a number of men vow to keep specific women safe, but things become complicated when they end up desiring those whom they should be guarding. When the main couple in THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION was met in previous releases by Sabrina Jeffries, I thought of Edwin Barlow as reserved and stuffy, while Clarissa Lindsey was outgoing and even impulsive. Yet as I came to know them in their own story, I found outward appearances can be deceiving, as there is so much more to these two than the impression they convey to anyone around them. Sabrina Jeffries always gives her main characters personalities that come across as believable, and the real life problems tackled in THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION cause many sympathetic reactions.
The St. George’s Club was formed by three men who wanted to make certain the females under their care were only courted by someone appropriate. With the sister of Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, happily married, he feels his goal has been accomplished. Now his best friend, another founding club member, needs help in watching over a cousin, Lady Clarissa Lindsey. A Frenchman is pursuing her with persistent determination, and she reluctantly agrees to Edwin’s assistance while her cousin is out of town. He would secretly be very pleased if any attention to him was romantic, yet he knows she would never consider being in a relationship with him although they have known each other since childhood.
When Clarissa and Edwin attend their first social function together, her unwanted suitor forces them to pretend marriage is in their future. Now they must give the impression that there is more between them than just friendship, as the Frenchman is watching their every move. While Edwin could easily imagine Clarissa as his wife, she had no plans to ever wed. But circumstances turn what was only supposed to be a fake engagement into a reality.
Rarely does the hero in a story deeply affect me like Edwin did so many times, and he is definitely someone I would actually like to know. He may seem stern most of the time, but he is in fact compassionate and puts the needs of those for whom he cares before his own. There is also playful side to him that only the right person can coax out, and Clarissa tempts him to be a different person when around her. Both keep certain information hidden from the other, and I felt their distress as they debated what to do in their minds. Sabrina Jeffries has her characters facing true-to-life situations, where reactions are emotionally compelling and often moving. How Edwin responds to Clarissa on numerous occasions made me love this man even more, as he listened to what she had to say and only thought about her feelings and not his mental state. This couple had to overcome many difficult truths, and I fretted over what they would eventually decide when a choice had to be made.
Several scenes are very entertaining when a favorite pastime of Edwin’s is depicted, as he is a perfectionist in everything he attempts. A few past characters are featured from time to time, and it was especially good to revisit with the main couple in the first Sinful Suitors book. Sabrina Jeffries once again makes details in her story seem authentic, so that I was transported to London in the 1830’s. There are more stories in the series to come, and I am truly delighted. THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION has challenging emotional entanglements, particularly likable characters and ever-increasing sexual tension.
Received copy from publisher
Series: Sinful Suitors
Releases: March 22, 2016
Author website: http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/
Rating: 5 Stars