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The Duelist's Seduction (The Seduction Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Posing as her twin brother, Helen Banks nicks Gareth Fairfax in a duel. Her downfall is when she runs to him to see if he's ok, and Gareth realizes she's a woman. Because Helen deceives Gareth, he tells her she either becomes his mistress, or dies.
What happens next is passion, healing, seduction and ultimately love.
I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a twisted plot turned happily ever after. The best part is getting to the end, it's hard to put down!
I could not put this book down and finished it in such a short amount of time, that I went back and reread it immediately which has never happened to me before. Lauren has such a way with her writing that you honestly feel as if you are a voyeur watching everything transpire.
How do you make a hardened rakeshell like Gareth learn to open his heart and love again? How do you let a young woman like Helen who wants to protect everyone learn that sometimes your loved ones need to fall only to be saved?
Well its not easy, but it sure is fun :D
The story begins, as noted in the book description, with Helen taking the place of her brother Martin in a duel with Gareth. She wears a mask, so Gareth does not know she is a woman until after she successfully shoots him and then rushes to his aid. Angered that her brother did not show up to the duel himself, he demands that Helen repay her brother’s gambling debts by accompanying him to his home. Once there, he forcefully gives her a sneak peek at his plans for her, leaving her in a mixed state of anger, sadness, and confused passion. He then locks her in the room he has set up for her while she is left to wonder how long she will be his prisoner, and what it is like to be with a man.
This is certainly a dark opening for a romance story, but things improve as the story continues. Gareth is a complicated man. The first time he speaks of his deceased wife, Clarissa, he appears to be at ease. Yet the emotion behind his words—“She was my friend…I’ll likely never know that sense of joy again”—is abundantly clear. And while there is a bit of mild erotica here and there, Helen and Gareth are more than ward and warden by the time they finally share a bed. The two get to know each other fairly well over the course of the story’s five short chapters, and the sense of true romance they discover is something that neither one of them expects to find.
Lauren Smith, in the course of less than 100 pages, has managed to write a story in which the characters not only develop, but practically become new people (or, as implied by Gareth’s past, the people they once were). Those who enjoy the story, and who have not read Smith’s work before, will also be treated to the first chapter of another one of her historical romances (“Wicked Designs”) at the very end. The book also ends with an assurance that the series will continue, although whether it will continue to star Gareth and Helen or take on new characters remains to be seen.
Helen Banks takes her brother's place in what will be the duel that would have ended his life. A duel in which she's prepared to die. After all Martin has options for a life without her but what options would a woman alone without family have? Dressed like her brother she shows up & by a fluke, shoots Gareth Fairfax. When she realizes what she's done she runs to Gareth thus giving herself away as a female.
Gareth is livid when he realizes that Helen has replaced Martin. He puts a proposition to Helen - she return with him to his home or he finds her brother & kills him. Ever the self sacrificing sister (after all she has gone with little food so her brother has more)she agrees to go home with Gareth (who she has secretly admired for years). As the days pass will Gareth effectively seduce Helen into his bed? Or will Helen help Gareth realize that he can be happy & love again?
A story of an innocent & an embittered gentleman I finished without realizing I was that far along in the book. A sign that you can get completely lost in the characters. One of my favorite authors I cannot wait to see what she has in store for the next book in the series.
A few facts about the Romantic period and style (1700-1800's):
---- the definition of social distinction, growth, idealism of childhood, family, love, nature and the past.
---- styles and values like kindness, honour are still valued today.
---- nature and beauty is idealised. The inner soul is touched by the country, gentility and peace.
---- the quest of something greater with passion and great desire while it is sometimes unattainable.
---- utopian thoughts.
---- feelings and emotions of enchantment.
The author elevates the reader to the height of seductive passion and beauty. The words are seamlessly chosen and interact to lift you to the sublime, the sensual. Temptation between the hero Gareth and heroine Helen, lights a "queer sort of fire" driven by "a sensual hunger". For him she is a creature of sunlight, spirit and innocence. He sees a "invisible flame flickering over her skin". Gareth took Helen's "life" as payment for a debt her brother owed to Gareth. She foolishly and stepped into a duel with Gareth to protect her brother's honour. He resorts to gaming and dueling as it is part of his past, jading his present life.
A few quotations to illustrate the author's ability to use words :
"a whisper of fear", "his clothing whispered against hers.." ..."branches whispered around her".
The outcome of the duel: "His dreams were haunted by the caged thrush and its fight for freedom, trilling a sad song into the murky depths of his unconsciousness." He had been alone for seven years. Love is hard to find. She "cleansed his heart".
Helen is spellbound by the sensations. She feels a wholeness she has never felt before. She fears losing a love which would be devastating to her heart. Helen chose foolishly a way to settle the debt and with that trapped herself with her own foolishness. But as we wish, we want a good outcome, peace.
What will happen? Read this beautifully written book.
18 May 2015