Then Comes Seduction. Mary Balogh. 2009. Random House. 448 pages.
Jasper Finley, Baron Montford, was twenty-five years old.
Then Comes Seduction is the second in the Huxtable Family series by Mary Balogh. The first being First Comes Marriage. I did not enjoy the second as much as the first. I'm not sure if Jasper and Katherine didn't quite work for me as a couple, or if I just couldn't get past all the wagers.
Jasper does not make a good first impression. Well, he might for some readers. The novel opens with Jasper--in a very drunken state--bragging and boasting about how he can get any woman into bed. No woman presents a true challenge to him. It doesn't matter who she is. He's simply irresistible. Jasper's friends--also drunk--then propose a wager. They select one of the young women of the ton. They want this woman to be new-to-town, new-to-society. They want her to be as innocent-and-naive-as-can-be. They pick Katherine Huxtable to be the woman of the wager. They write down her name (and the details of the wager) in a public book as an official bet so that other men in the community can place their money one way or the other.
Katherine is drawn to Jasper from the start. (So perhaps his boasting isn't all for show.) She's been warned--over and over again--to stay away from Jasper and his kind. Rakes are no good, end of story. But when she finds herself at the center of his attention, she's giddy even when she knows she should be shocked. She allows herself to be separated from her friends, from her chaperon. She enjoys a very private walk with him. A walk that could very well lead to her undoing.
This first wager is only the beginning...
The novel jumps ahead three years or so--without ANY warning or explanation. Katherine and Jasper meet each other again after considerable time apart...is the spark still there? How does she really feel about him? How does he really feel about her? Can her reputation withstand a second flirtation? Or will a scandal force the two to wed?
I didn't like this one. I'm not sure if I just disliked Jasper. Or if I disliked Jasper and Katherine.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews