This is my very first Elizabeth Hoyt book and I absolutely LOVED it. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing. In fact, there were moments where I thought to myself, I want to quote this for my review. And so I shall.
To Seduce is actually Book 2 of the The Legend of the Four Soldiers Series, revolvoing around the survivors of the 28th Regiment. During the war in America, there was a traitor who betrayed the 28th Regiment into massacre by the Indians at Spinner's Fall. For those who survived the capture and subsequent torture by the Indians, they are still haunted by those events.
The second book revolves around Jasper Renshaw, Lord Vale. We meet Vale on his wedding day when he has been dumped by his fiancee, who threw him over for a country curate. Seizing her chance, Melisande Fleming did something bold – she asked him to marry her. Vale agrees. Vale comes to find that while Melisande is the epitome of proper ladyship during the day, there are hidden passions that she allows him to see only at night. Melisande comes to find that while Vale seems the lighthearted aristocrat, he hides a deep pain from his traumatic war experience. Vale seeks to pierce Melisande's veil during the day; while Melisande braves the night to find the true Vale.
"Somehow she found it easier to be relaxed at night. The shadows made her brave. Perhaps she really was the mistress of the night, as he called her. And if so, did that make him master of the day?
She watched him, struck by the thought. He sought her out mainly during the daylight hours. Stalked her in the sunlight. He might like to go to balls and gaming hells at night, but it is during the day that he sought to discover her secrets."
The entire book was perfect from beginning to end. I was discovering Jasper and Melisande as they got to know each other. It slowly became clear that Jasper and Melisande's past experiences made them who they are today and a perfect fit for each other. Melisande possesses the strength and maturity to handle Jasper. Jasper is the one man who sees the person Melisande truly is. I loved that at the beginning of the book, Jasper vaguely recalls Melisande but does not remember her name. By the end, he sees her when no one else does. Melisande has always been a bit of a wallflower, but she comes alive with Jasper.
The supporting cast is also well developed. There is a secondary story with Sally, Melisande's maid and Mr. Pynch, Jasper's valet. There is Sir Mouse, Melisande's faithful dog. Then there is the hunt for the traitor. While I knew that the traitor would not be revealed in Book 2, the hunt had my attention and I can't wait to read the rest of the books. Finally, there is a nice setup for Book 3 that felt natural and not forced.
This has been an excellent introduction to Elizabeth Hoyt. I can't wait to read the rest of the Legend of the Four Soldiers stories, starting with To Beguile a Beast, which I won from @mbookworm.
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