ARC: 396 pages
Release Date: July 1, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: companion to How to Marry a Duke
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
When Lady Julianne Gatewick realizes the rake of her dreams thinks of her as practically his sister, she decides it's time to get even. The charming Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawkfield, is every lady's fantasy, but he's determined to evade virgins and their matrimonial traps - especially his best friend's sister.
Hawk reluctantly agrees to be Julianne's guardian for the season, but he's having trouble resisting his gorgeous ward. Worse still, she's taunting him by flirting with every scoundrel in London - and he's sworn to protect her! Certain she's learned her tricks from the authoress of that scandalous publication "The Secrets of Seduction", Hawk sets out to uncover the writer's identity. But he never expects to find the formerly angelic Julianne behind the mask - and between his sheets.
In How to Seduce a Scoundrel we follow Lady Julianne Gatewick on her fourth season with rakish Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawkfield (aka Hawk) as her guardian (as a favor to her brother who is Hawk's best friend) and sponsored by Hawk's eccentric aunt Hester. Julianne has been in love with Hawk since she was a young girl and at a ball as they were dancing a waltz Julianne thought that finally her dreams of having Hawk fall for her are coming true--until he announced to the whole assembly that he sees her as his sister. Heartbroken, Julianne decided to write a pamphlet with advice on how to help other single ladies direct rakes reluctant to get married into matrimony.
Hawk thought it was going to be a boring season having to attend dull affairs but soon he found he couldn't leave Julianne alone or else she'll find trouble. He really took his role as guardian seriously and placing crazy restrictions on Julianne to keep her from doing any "mischief." As much as Hawk tried to deny it, he wants Julianne for his own. But she's his best friends sister and that means she is off-limits. He had sworn off marriage due to a scandal in his past. But he cannot stop thinking of and fantasizing about Julianne and Julianne herself cannot forget about Hawk despite his authoritarian attitude. Can these two work out their feelings and their past to find their happily ever after?
The plot of How to Seduce a Scoundrel being about a lady in love with her brother's best friend (one of my favorite plot lines), I was quite excited to read this book. I haven't the first book in the series How to Marry a Duke but this book is very much a standalone. The author's writing is readable and right way the pacing of the novel stood out for me. The events were like bam, bam, bam and the author definitely knew where she wanted to take the story. I did like Julianne's character but I thought she acted a little young (her being 21 years old and in her fourth season) in some scenes and I never really got her whole I'm-going-to-write-pamphlet-to-help-other-ladies-because-Hawk-broke-my-heart (huh?) but it was a fun idea and I liked the advice Julianne came up with, with the help of Hester. As for Hawk, I wanted to throttle for most of the book. He was overbearing and annoying as he followed her around to "save" her from mischief and from rogues (aka any man who
I read an ARC copy though and it was 396 pages long--the final copy is 352 pages according to Goodreads so the Hawk and Julianne I read might be different (just fyi). Yes, I had some problems with some of the characters and I wanted more sexual tension between Hawk and Julianne. But, on the whole, it wasn't a bad read; there were some fun moments, great banter and humor. The author's writing style kept me engaged and How to Seduce a Scoundrel was a light and easy read. 3.5 out of 5 stars