Book Review-Seduction & Scandal

Seduction & Scandal
The Brethren Guardians (1)
Charlotte Featherstone
Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback
Published June 2011
382 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-373-77587-3
Author’s Website

Synopsis
With the scandalous nature of her birth to live down, Isabella Fairmont dreams of a proper marriage, even if a passionless one. She saves her deepest desires for the novel she dares to pen, wherein a handsome lord with dark powers seduces her. But then her courtship with an appropriate suitor is threatened by the sudden attentions of the reclusive Earl of Black, whose pale blue eyes and brooding sensuality are exactly as she described in her book.
Isabella tries to resist the mysterious Earl of Black.
Yet as he pursues her, with inexplicable knowledge of her past and kisses that consume her, Isabella fears she will succumb.
If only the earl could tell Isabella the truth. With very real, and treacherous, thieves endangering her life, Black will need to protect Isabella from the very people she trusts the most.

My Review
Summary 
Isabella grew up in Yorkshire, and after losing her family, her uncle takes her in. Her uncle was a marquis, and very wealthy and powerful. Isabella and his daughter Lucy have become as close as thieves for the past few years. Even after a few years Isabella still has a hard time going to all the constant parties and balls, when all she wants is to stay at home and write her story. Currently she is working on a story of Lord Death, who is sinful and handsome and irresistible, and ever since she had come close to dying, that image of him has stayed with her all of these years. Then at a ball, she sees the Earl of Black whose attention is focused solely on her. He is the exact image of her Lord Death that she has created in her novel and in her dreams. There is instant sparks of passion and desire from the first moment they lay eyes on each other. Jude, The Earl of Black, has come to London for a purpose. He has a heritage, has one of the descendants of the Three Templar’s, he is obligated to protect that which could bring evil to the world if its not kept hidden. He also can’t deny that Isabella is the one woman that holds his heart and soul in her hands, and he plans on making sure that whatever danger she is in doesn’t touch her, and that she will come to love him deeply as he does her.

My Thoughts 
This is the first time I have had a chance to read from this author. When I was browsing the shelves of the library, I was surprised to see this one on the shelves, since I had no idea that they had any of her books, so I knew I had to pick this one up. And Holy Moly, even after reading this book, I still feel the aftereffects….such a vibrant and stimulating romance that will give you shivers to the deepest part of you. There was so much intensity, I had no problem reading it from beginning to end without putting it down once. I had no idea that it would be so good, or I would have read it earlier. (I think I am going to have to buy the second one, that’s for sure–that’s how much I loved it)

Now from the first page, it begins with Isabella’s story of Lord Death, and when I started reading this, it made my toes curl with anticipation. I knew from the start, this story would be one hell of a ride. And it surely was. We see the friendship between Isabella and Lucy, then it jumps to the party where she meets the Earl of Black, and the connection they have from the beginning is very sensual and its just a look. Even though Isabella is already being courted by a normal and safe man, she can’t deny her feelings for Jude. She is very resistant because her mother had a passionate affair, and only ended up getting hurt in the end, so Isabella doesn’t want the same to happen to her. The Earl of Black has come to London for two reasons…one being his duty and loyalty to the Templar’s that has been in his family for generations. Also he needs Isabella, and his passion for her is so striking and I couldn’t help but be drawn in the story like bees to honey. There is also quite a bit of mystery and intrigue elements that play a part in the story, that only gets the blood pumping with excitement and a sense of danger. There were many aspects that make this for a intense and dynamic story.

Now lets talk a bit about the characters, whom I fell in love with both, even the side characters. Jude, the Earl of Black, has been born in a family that comes from the Templar’s, and therein lies certain responsibilities. I found Jude to be one the most breathtaking and sensual heroes I have read in a very long time. There is something so sinful about him, and tempting and makes me wish I could have traded places with Isabella at any time during the story. He is very Alpha, protective and domineering at times, but not overly too much, there is a certain balance to him, where he has another side to him, that is very tender and sweet with Isabella. I found him beyond charming. Isabella has always felt like death has always been close to her, and she isn’t carefree like she sometimes wishes she was. She has suffered a bit, and has a hard time even dealing with the wealth heaped on her and being in society is the last thing she wants to do. She is a writer and even though she doesn’t want to admit it, wants everything that Jude offers. I really liked Isabella, her characters was very endearing and very human at times. Its pretty easy to relate to her, I did think she could have had a bit more spine when it came to going after what you really want, but I understood her fears and her mistakes only made her seem more real. I had such a fun times getting to know the other four sub characters that are featured in the rest of the series. They gave a certain element to the story, that added a sense of conflict.

Overall I think I have found a new favorite author, that totally had me from page one. Its been a while since I have read such a intense romance that is very dramatic and sensual and is so enthralling your reading those pages as fast as you can, just to know what will happen next. I love the way Featherstone weaves such a compelling tale of sizzling chemistry, deeply rooted characters, vivid details,  and a compelling love story that is heart wrenching!!! BREATHTAKING!!! A MUST READ FOR ALL!!

First Line 
The first time I met death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz.

Favorite Quotes
“Would you let me, Isabella?” His voice dropped as he pressed closer, the moment intimate and wildly exciting. “Would you let me learn everything about you? Discover you as I want?” His gaze, blistering with intensity, burned through her skin, warming her to the very core of her being.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lucy caught her gaze, and then her eyes widened as she looked beyond Isabella’s shoulder. Following her cousin’s stare Isabella turned in her chair, and gasped, then looked down at the planchette and the hands that were over top her.
Black 
“Wherever you are,” he whispered for her ears only, “I will find you, and you will be safe with me,”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I don’t know what you want from me.”
“You don’t?” The button came free and the bodice gaped open in the black, the sleeves sliding off her shoulders. He pressed in, and she felt his lips against the bones in her neck, then lower, as he pressed soft, silken kisses along her spine above her corset.
“I want you, Isabella. Heart, body and soul,”

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy 

Other Books In Series 
Pride & Passion
Temptation & Twilight

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