Release: March 24, 2009
Source: I purchased this book to read and review
At the age of 25, Jasper Finley, Baron Montford, London’s most notorious hellion, had tried to seduce the very innocent and virtuous Katherine Huxtable in order to win a wager. He had lost the bet. Now three years later they meet again and are soon embroiled in a new high stakes wager and an eruption of scandal and seemingly certain disaster. There is only one way out…
Then Comes Seduction is the second installment in the lives and loves of the Huxtable family. This book is about Katherine Huxtable – the younger of the 3 sisters in the family – and Jasper Finley, Baron Montford.
This story starts on the night of Jasper’s 25th birthday. He has been drinking all night and now finds himself with a collection of drunk friends still drinking in his house. The next few pages are the funniest that I have ever read in a Mary Balogh novel!! Jasper and his friends try in their drunkeness to have an intelligent conversation about a challenge for Jasper. Interspersed in this conversation are comments about why the floor is wavy-does the house need to be inspected by an architect, and their lips not working to form words! It is decided that Jasper will have a fortnight to seduce and have intercourse with, the virtuous Katherine Huxtable. There are several comments made about what Con Huxtable (their friend and Katherine’s cousin) will think about this wager, but any concerns are dismissed in their drunkeness.
Although Jasper has second thoughts when he wakes up with a hangover the next morning, he decides to go ahead with the challenge as he has never backed away from a challenge yet. He then arranges to join an outing to Convent Gardens with a group that Katherine is part of. He charms the chaperone and proceeds to center out Katherine, get her alone and seduce her. Although she is completely under his spell, he stops before he fulfills the terms of his challenge and takes her back to her group of friends. The next day he admits failure to his friends. Meanwhile, Katherine is so upset by the outcome of the evening, she heads off to the country to join her other family members. She doesn’t tell anyone what has happened.
The next time we see our hero and heroine, it is 3 years later, and Katherine is back in London. The first night of her return to town, she unexpectedly runs into Jasper. They are both struck by this encounter. The next night they meet at a ball, dance and in keeping with their history, finds themselves arranging another challenge -this time to make the other fall in love! You can well imagine what happens from there!
This book has a whole host of wonderful characters – some good, some bad, some redeemable, and two in particular are nasty and stupid! I am again, struck by Mary Balogh’s ability to make her characters come alive on the page! Jasper starts the story as a disreputable rake with no apparent redeeming qualities. As his layers are peeled back, he shows himself to be a true match for Katherine. I love the way Katherine not only adds to the Huxtable cohesion, but is a spicy, independent and strong minded character. She is described as beautiful, as looking like an angel, but has a backbone to her beauty. She has a paragraph about midway through the book where she describes who she wants to marry to Jasper. ‘ “I want him to be very special, she said, Heart of my heart, soul of my soul. It is foolish to wait for him, I know. Very few people actually do find that one unique mate we probably all dream of finding. But I have never yet been able to persuade myself to settle for less.” ‘ I was stuck by this short passage as it succinctly sums up many women’s feelings on finding their true love.
The secondary characters of Sir Clarence, his mother are deliciously mean as well as uptight and stupid! The character of Jasper’s uncle Seth Wrayburn is a wonderfully crusty old man. I just had to smile when he arrived in the story! So endearing under his prickly exterior! The immediate members of the Huxtable family are also wonderful. We learn more about the fight between Con and Elliott and we are left anxious to learn about Meg’s story. Although I have read some reviews that panned this book as boring, I found it the opposite! I was swept away by Jasper and Katherine’s story and completely enchanted by the progression of their attachment.
“Wickedly sensual, Then Comes Seduction, the second book in the HUXTABLES series is a magnificent historical romance. Readers will get caught up in the lighthearted romance between Kate and Jasper, which covers deeper and, at times, darker feelings, as Jasper struggles to overcome his past. The secondary characters add appeal to the story. Brimming with humor, sensual love scenes, a delightful plot, life-like characters and romance, this story is a winner.” RomanceJunkies.com
“Then Comes Seduction is Mary Balogh at the top of her game, bringing fantastic characters to life with passion and emotion. For Catherine, family is everything and love is automatic. For Jasper, family is a bad experience, with the exception of his half-sister, Charlotte, and love is just a word. Life to him is a game where most things are a wager. Catherine is betting on love, an emotion Jasper has never felt, and the stakes are high, with winner taking all. Then Comes Seduction is emotional, humorous, sensuous, and just plain wonderful. This is a fantastic series!” ReaderToReader.com
I like the way Mandi at Smexy Books described Katherine and Jasper. “Katherine has quite a good sense of humor which is refreshing. There are many times where she chooses laughing over whining or being angry with Jasper and his rakish ways. She gets angry and sets him in his place when necessary, but she acts in a very mature manner. Jasper himself is a very fun character – quite the charmer and hellion, but underneath he has a good heart and you find yourself rooting for him. It is hard to resist a character that is always looking at the heroine with half drooping eyelids and and a smirk on his lips.”
Next Sunday I’ll post my review for the 3rd book in the Huxtable series – Meg’s book – At Last Comes Love. The 4th book in the Huxtable series – Seducing an Angel – Stephen’s book and the 5th book – A Secret Affair – Con’s book will be posted the following Sundays. If you have enjoyed the first two of this series, you are sure to enjoy the last three!
For more information on Mary Balogh’s work, check out her website HERE.