A Dangerous Seduction by Jillian Eaton (Bow Street Brides #1)
Released: February 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
I had never read this author before and this book did not have much going on at Goodreads, a site I use to help decide whether I should review a book. I don’t remember what made me say yes to this review – probably the blurb and the excerpt she provided. From page one I was into it. And by 25% I was in love and I started getting that sweaty feeling of – this is going to be goooood. I fell in love with Scarlett and Owen Steel.
In the prologue we get a brief glimpse into the life of young Scarlett – titled, wealthy, with a huge dowry and distant parents who want her to make the perfect match. She is spoiled, and acts a bit spoiled, but she is also head-strong. She meets Owen Steel at the market one day as he is selling his family’s baked goods. She falls immediately for his looks but he sees a spoiled, wealthy girl and wants none of it. But they end up spending time together and they fall in love. But when it comes time for Scarlett to marry, she falls for the pressure from her parents and chooses a viscount, instead of going with her heart and choosing Owen.
So she had chosen Rodger. She had chosen Rodger in a vain hope that what she felt for Owen would fade in time and she would be happy with the grand houses and the fancy carriages and the exciting social life that being married to a peer would provide her. And for a time she was happy. Until the disillusionment set in and she realized that no money on earth could purchase the only that really mattered.
All of that is briefly mentioned in the prologue, and then we get a few brief flashbacks during the book which tells the story of Scarlett and Owen’s young love. But when the book officially starts in chapter one, Scarlett has been married to Rodger for seven years – seven years of hell. Oh he was charming and endearing when he courted her, but in marriage he is verbally and physically abusive. He has had several mistresses, including her best friend which completely devastated Scarlett. She knows she chose wrong and it is a struggle every single day for her not to think about Owen and what his life turned out to be – having not seen him since the day she chose Rodger.
Owen has been busy – he joined the military and fought in France, which made him grow up quick. When he comes home to England and his parents have died, he joins the Bow Street Runners and becomes Chief Magistrate. He has never forgotten Scarlett, although when he thinks of her all of his thoughts turn bitter, as he is still devastated that the love of his life didn’t choose him. When Scarlett’s husband falls off of his horse and dies in the theater district, Owen is assigned the case. With Rodger’s saddle manipulated, this was no accident – and this brings Owen back into Scarlett’s life.
I love how Scarlett goes from spoiled young woman to a woman who realizes life is not pretty dresses and fancy balls. She really grows up in the seven years married to Rodger and her eyes have been opened to the real world. She is strong and while her marriage is a disaster, and her best friend betrayed her, she still has spirit left. I liked that about her. When Owen comes back into her life, it’s almost too much emotion for her to take. She has always loved him and she didn’t believe she would ever see him again.
Owen has carried so much anger around with him these past seven years, he is so intense and growly and made me swoon. He is still in love with Scarlett – of course he is!! But his pride and his heart are so, so broken he lashes out in anger. It’s so sexy. *wink* He slams doors and steals brutal kisses from her. Oh Owen!
“Stop what? Showing emotion?” Her laugh was bitter, and just a bit sad. “Not all of us hide behind stone walls, Captain Steel. Some of us actually feel things.”
His jaw clenched. Is that what she truly thought? That he was cowering behind a wall made out of stone? If only she knew how much he felt.
Anger. Pain. Resentment.
Yearning. Desire. Lust.
From the second he’d seen her again he had been fighting a war inside of himself. A war he did not know if he wanted to win… or lose.
“I feel more things than you could possibly imagine.”
“Oh really?” Her eyes sparked with challenge even as tears continued to roll down her cheeks. Each one that fell cut Owen anew, slicing through his armor as though they were made of daggers instead of salt and water.
“What do you feel,” she asked, “besides loathing?”
“This.” Lowering his head, he pressed his mouth to hers.
Scarlett has to convince Owen her love for him is real and it all plays out so well. Scarlett’s best friend, while betraying her by having an affair with Rodger, plays a prominent role in this book and you will have to read it to discover her story. Owen’s fellow Bow Street Runner, Felix, who is a former thief, gets the next book and I neeeeed it now. I love how it ended with him.
As Rodger’s fall from his horse was not accidental, there is a suspense plot, but it’s not heavy in the book. You will probably figure it out pretty easily – it was enough to bring Owen and Scarlett together – but light enough to not overshadow the adorable romance or great characters this book has to offer.
A well done, sexy, emotional historical romance that I very much enjoyed. Highly recommend.