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Too Scandalous to Wed (Avon Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2007
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Determined to win the heart of the man she has long loved from afar, Henrietta Ashby enlists the aid of England's most notorious courtesan to teach her how to seduce Sebastian, Viscount Ravenswood, a rogue who has vowed never to marry.
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Author: Alexandra Benedict
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Summery: Henrietta has been in love with Sebastian, Viscount Ravenswood since her sister married his brother eight years ago but he still refuses to see her as a woman or even consider her for his wife no matter what she does. Desperate to have him admit he loves her, she seeks the help of a notorious courtesan while Sebastian is out of England. He's in for a surprise when he returns for Christmas.
I found myself laughing at a lot for about the first half of the book but it got melodramatic and then seemed to stay in a rut until the end where the finally admit to loving each other. It was an okay read but I don't see myself reading it again, not one of my favorites.
This was my first Alexandra Benedict story and now she is definitely on my "Keeper Shelf". I can't wait to read her other stories!!
This charming novel is a delight. Henry gets all kinds of lessons on being a siren and plans to seduce Sebastian with her new wiles. It almost works too.
Sebastian is mesmerized by the new Henry. He is a resolute rake though with a dark history and there are glimpses of his self hatred when he is with the innocent Henry. He is so complex.
About half way through the story the plot shifts radically, suddenly Sebastian is the pursuer and Henry is the prey. I really liked this twist because it offered both leads the chance for transformation. Henry needed to get beyond her hero worship and Sebastian needed to recognize Henry's worth and his own ability to chart a new course.
There are plenty of sweet moments here. Henry is very endearing because she never does anything by half measures. Sebastian is both confident and vulnerable. His metamorphosis is totally due to his feelings toward the heroine and it left this reader charmed.
Sebastian, hid a terrible secret, and knowing he wasn't husband material vowed never to marry. So far, Henry the reckless imp had not been much of a temptation and Sebastian decided he should go abroad for a while to give Henry time to be courted and engaged by someone more deserving than himself.
This did not sit well with Henry, who boldy approached an infamous courtesan, Madame Jacqueline, requesting lessons on how to seduce the object of her desire so that she would be prepared when he finally returned for the Christmas holidays. Ready and waiting Henry was well on her way of bringing Sebastian to his knees, but with all the best laid plans, matters would get out of hand and as has been said before ..."let the games begin".
*** So far Ms. Benedict has impressed me with her wonderfully, warm, witty and charming tales of romance in this most recent book which followed the very delightful TOO GREAT A TEMPTATION. This newer author has impressed me with her vibrant and vivid character building. Not only does she give insight in the character's motivations as to the how and why of their daily interactions, but invites the reader to get emotionally involved. In this pleasing read she also introduces characters from the former book while creating delightfully new and vivid personalities to embrace.
Henrietta was the fifth daughter of the Baron Ashby who so wanted a son he named her Henry (her mother made it Henrietta). The delightful baron even treated her like a son to the point of outrageously spoiling her so much so, that many of her blunders in society situations were overlooked by her dearly beloved papa. When Henry, learned of Sebastian's leaving for the continent for such a long period, she thought nothing of taking such drastic steps in order to learn how to seduce a man; and if those lessons could only be learned at the knee of the most famous courtesan of all time - so be it! Now the story could have been pretty much wrapped up there, but the author threw in a twist, turning the tables completely, and that for me was the wonderful part of the plot which I will not reveal! Suffice it to say, I felt every bit of the pain Henry experienced when she discovered the true reason behind the saying, "...once a rogue, always a rogue...".
Adding to the romance and adventure as Sebastian tries to regain the affections of Henry, the author introduces a despicable and vile enemy who, having been exposed as a coward by Ravenswood, would make a desperate attempt to redeem himself to his cohorts and destroy Ravenswood. His nefarious plan called for causing as much pain and embarrassment to both Sebastian and Henry as he possibly could.
Once again, I must remark on the well written and well developed storyline that aided this reviewer in devouring Ms. Benedict's latest novel in one highly enjoyable sitting. Ms. Benedict is certainly hitting her stride with the latest entry to a most remarkable series!
Marilyn Rondeau, RIO - Reviewers International Organization for [...]