Some time ago, we had a blog tour for Elizabeth Hoyt's "To Beguile A Beast" where I read and reviewed it. Well "To Seduce A Sinner" is its predecessor. I guess you could say that I've decided to work my way backwards with this series (haha).
The marriage between Lord Jasper Vale and Melisande begins conventionally. He's in need of a wife and she happens to be available. At the onset of the novel, he is in the unfortunate position of being jilted by fiancee number two and this time on the very day of his wedding. While attempting to recover from a night of debauchery, in comes Melisande who offers herself to him as a replacment bride. She is the best friend of former fiancee # 1 and he cannot seem to retain the memory of her name. Intruiged by her sudden proposal and the prospect of an heir, he accepts and they marry shortly thereafter.
However, they soon discover that there are secrets and mysteries to unravel. He is one of the few survivors of the attack over at the Colonies and is still haunted by the guilt & nightmares of that event. He is determined to find out exactly who betrayed them and why. She is a prim and proper wife by day (as every aristocratic wife should be), but a lustful vixen & wanton by night. She has been in love with him from afar for over six years, but having been heartbroken before, she keeps her secret love for him closely guarded. For now, she'll settle for his body even if she cannot have his heart - - yet!
I liked these characters because they were multi-dimensional. Although Jasper marries Melisande out of convenience and necessity, I appreciated that he tried to be a good husband to her by being attentive and considerate. Melisande, not wanting to reveal too much about herself, was very coy with him which was fun to read. However, when the sun goes down, she craves to be with Jasper in the carnal sense. Suspecting that she is virgin because she's never been married, he takes his time with her in the bedroom thinking that the less "painful" the better. What he doesn't know is that she's not inexperienced and he leaves her unsatisfied. Once he realizes that she has a few tricks of her own up her sleeve, he is even more taken with her and resolved to "figure her out". In addition to solving the mystery that is his new wife, he is hell-bent on figuring out who betrayed the regiment back at Spinners Falls in the Colonies...and this leads him on a quest to contact fellow survivors and anyone who might have "insider information". His actions and inquiries not only get him closer to the truth, but closer to a threat that could jeaopardize his marriage and even their lives.
Elizabeth Hoyt does not dissapoint (wow, that rhymes, lol). I liked the interaction between this couple. They each have secrets of their own, but are so accepting of one another, even though they are virtually strangers. Their story is about learning to trust eachother with their deepest & darkest... Elizabeth doesn't hold back on the love scenes either. Having read more than one of her books, I like that she tailors the sex scenes to fit each set of characters. They are all equally steamy, but not necessarily the same.
I give this book ★ ★ ★ ★ and now I'm hunting for the first book in this series "To Taste Temptation".