Seduction. Finished 10-13-13, rating 3.75/5, pub. 2012, 374 pages
Dominic Paget, the earl of Bedford, will do anything to resume spying upon Britain’s enemies. Badly wounded, he is put will do anything in the care of a beautiful gentlewoman, Julianne Greystone, only to discover that her sympathies lie with his enemies. Yet he can’t help but seduce the woman who saved his life—hoping she never learns of his betrayal.
Julianne is captivated by the wounded stranger she believes is a revolutionary hero. Until she discovers the truth her “hero” is the privileged earl of Bedford. Devastated and determined to forget him, Julianne travels to London. But when she finds herself in danger, it is Bedford who comes to the rescue. Now Julianne must navigate the intrigues of a perilous city, the wild yearnings of her own heart and the explosion of their passion . (from Goodreads)
I am a Brenda Joyce fan. I’ve probably read just as many of her books as any other author. She writes great romances and lots of them, 54 to be exact. Although I’ve only read about half of those I consider her one of my go to authors when I’m looking for a romance, especially historicals. This Regency romance is the first in The Spymaster’s Men series and is a solid first book. It takes place during the French Revolution and I learned about a lot about the history of the time. Joyce is obviously fascinated by the period and has done her homework.
Julianne lives in Cornwall with her sister and mother who has mentally checked out. They live in poverty even though the two older brothers do their best. When they bring Dominic home to be cared for he is near death and Julianne nurses him back to life as she nurses a strong crush on him. A crush that Dom is willing to manipulate so that he might escape back France to continue spying for the Brits. Julianne for her part is highly sympathetic to the the plight of the revolutionaries, even going as far as forming a secret society to support them. She believes Dom to be one of the heroic freedom fighters and lets herself fall in love.
I actually found most of the story to this point bland. Both characters were lacking, especially Julianne. For a radical she seemed very naive. It was after she found out about Dom that the story became fun. She continued be be naive, but at least she wasn’t afraid to take action. I thought the time the two spent together in London was classic Joyce and I loved it. The end, while a bit hard to accept because of one of the pair’s abrupt turnaround, was satisfying. I liked this one enough to try the next one in the series about Julianne’s sister, if only so I can see visit Cornwall again.
This is from my personal library.