Title: How the Scoundrel Seduces
Series: The Duke's Men #3
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published: August 19th 2014 by Pocket Books
Links: Goodreads | ARe | B&N | Kindle | Amazon
The third deliciously sexy novel in the New York Times bestselling Duke's Men historical romance series, featuring an investigator who sets out to find gypsies— and unexpectedly finds love.
Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life— to make sure that his half-brother George can't ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke's Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn't expect to uncover Lady Zoe's family secrets, as well... or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.
“You are a woman born of secrets and sadness. It will either destroy your future or lead you to greatness. A handsome gentleman with eyes like the sky and hair like a raven's wing will come into your life. If you let him, he will become the hand of your vengeance. If you let him, he will shatter your heart.” -- A Gypsy Prophecy
HOW THE SCOUNDREL SEDUCES by Sabrina Jeffries is the third book in her The Duke's Men series set in the Regency era. The Duke’s Men is an investigative agency on Bow Street. Each of the books can be fully enjoyed as a standalone even though there are interconnected characters. If you'd like to read the series in order, following is the recommended reading order of the books along with the names of the featured hero and heroine in each:
- Linked book 'Twas the Night after Christmas - Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont and Camilla Stuart
- Book 1 What the Duke Desires - Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons and Lisette Bonnaud
- Book 2 When the Rogue Returns - Victor Cale and Isabella
- Book 2.5 Dorinda and the Doctor - Dr. Percy Worth and Dorinda Nunley
- Book 3 How the Scoundrel Seduces - Tristan Bonnaud and Lady Zoe Keane
- Book 4 If the Viscount Falls
Each have been fabulous reads. As you can see, HOW THE SCOUNDREL SEDUCES is the story of Tristan Bonnaud and Lady Zoe Keane. Their tale was my favorite of the series thus far. It kept my attention riveted from the beginning to the end.
Lady Zoe was a breath of fresh air. She was feisty and fun. When she learns of a possible scandal involving her parentage that could threaten her right to inherit, she calls in a favor owed to her by the Duke's Men to investigate the issue. She and Tristan immediately lock horns.
“It seems you really don't like me much, either."
He blinked. then his lips twitched as if he fought a smile of his own. "Actually, I haven't decided that yet." He raked her with a slow, sensual glance that sent a thrill skittering through her. "I daresay I could like you a great deal...under the right circumstances.”
Tristan is a returning character, having been on the sidelines in previous books. He was born a bastard and terribly maligned by his brother. Now he has one focus: to revenge the wrong dealt against him and his family by that brother. As a hero, he must work through this troubled, convoluted past. AND he does it with snarky aplomb with a charming smile and a mischievous air!
The characters' bantering and their tap dancing around each other as their romance developed was highly entertaining and quite humorous at times. Their romance was sweet and hot, a perfect combo to keep the reader glued to the pages. My favorite scene was a brief romantic interlude that took place in a gypsy tent... it was scintillating!
I love effortlessly learning while reading my romance novels. In this book, the author seamlessly interweaves historical facets of gypsy life and tradition in Romany in Regency England into the tale. While the gypsy element is integral to the story, it also serves to add a dash of panache to the tale.
Following please find a collection of my favorite quotes:
“Dallying? Dallying, mind you?" She marched up the last few steps. "As if I would ever min a million years dally with you." She wouldn't. Really, she wouldn't!
His low chuckle behind her put the lie to her words. "Never say never, my lady. A vow like that is sure to come back to bit you in the arse. Which would be a shame, given that you have such a fine one.”
“Does that sort of blatantly lascivious glance generally sway women to jump into your bed?" she asked tartly.
"Often enough to make it worth the attempt.' He grinned. "Besides, it need only work occasionally. "a man must sleep sometime.”
“Husband-hunting. Always a rousing sport. I suppose you go there dressed to kill."
"No, indeed. What good is a dead husband?" She smiled airily. "I go dressed to maim only.”
“When I saw the women ranged in the windows, when I saw their calculating looks, assessing my purse...and other things, I realized I didn't want any of them in my bed." ..."That's why I left, princess," he rasped. "Because I realized it was you I wanted in my bed. Only you.”
“He laid her hand on his jutting cock. "This beast is what I want to put inside you, princess. It will hurt you, I fear, and you'll never be the same."
She ran a finger along the length of him, then smiled softly. "I should hope not. How good can a seduction be if one ends up the same afterward?”
The author's writing is first rate, as always, with crisp storytelling, a solid plot and well-defined, genuine characters. The romance was lively and adventurous. I'm a huge fan of Sabrina's books and she has never once disappointed me. I highly recommend HOW THE SCOUNDREL SEDUCES, indeed her whole The Duke's Men series, to anyone who enjoys Regency romance.