Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Never Seduce a Scoundrel by Sabrina Jeffries ****

This is the first in The School for Heiresses Series, about young women who graduated from finishing school and their teacher, Mrs. Harris. Our first heroine is the spirited Lady Amelia, who has always longed for adventure. Being a proper young lady, she has had to live vicariously through other's tales, and keeps journals containing news stories and other's tales of travel and pirates and battles and such.

She meets the American Major Lucas Winter at a ball held by his distant cousin Kirkwood, while she is roaming the family's private quarters, going to put a note from a friend on Kirkwood's pillow. While looking for Kirkwood's room, she goes into Winter's instead and learns from correspondence on his desk that he is in search of a woman named Dorothy, and considers Amelia's stepmother Dolly his possible suspect.

When she is found in the hall, she determines to become a spy in her own right to find out why he suspects Dolly. Using her not-well-honed acting skills, she acts ever the flighty, flirty chit to see if he'll reveal any answers. He decides she's as brainless as she acts, but doesn't reveal anything. He also decides that courting her might provide him with more information about her stepmother - the woman he knows as the wife of the man who defrauded his father.

During the mock courtship - which Amelia agrees to, for her own purpose of finding out why he wants Dolly - the 2 inevitably fall for one another. It's slow - but Amelia has done quite a lot of adventurous reading, including some tales of harems that heat up her seduction. Lucas begins to take issue with another suitor, and begins to torment the fellow by sitting outside her home cleaning weapons. Since this other suitor, "Lord Pompous", is quite mad, it pushes him to abduct Amelia to Gretna Green - where Lucas follows and grabs Amelia for himself. She only has 3 choices - marry Lord Pompous, marry Lucas or be ruined.

Their adventure has just begun, though, because then they have to fight off a Scottish thief and escape his clutches, all before returning home and facing Dolly - is she the wife of Theodore Frier, the man who embezzled from Lucas' father?

It was a fun read - some slightly unorthodox situations - a little bit of suspense - a very happily-ever-after - nothing extraordinarily moving but still I liked it, so I'm rating it 4 stars.

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