Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Taste of Seduction by Bronwen Evans

The flames of desire fuel a torrid reunion as bestselling author Bronwen Evans returns with another captivating novel of the Disgraced Lords. See why Jen McLaughlin raves, “Bronwen’s historical romances always make the top of my reading list!”

Lady Evangeline Stuart chose to wed a tyrant with a title, or so society believes. That was five years ago—five long years she could have spent with her first and only love: Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore. Now Evangeline is a widow, and her soul cries out for Hadley. But when they see each other at last, everything has changed. The passion in his eyes has been corrupted by betrayal. Somehow Evangeline must regain Hadley’s trust—without revealing the secret that would spoil the seduction.

Hadley is determined not to be distracted by Evangeline. He and the other Libertine Scholars are in pursuit of an enemy who has been striking at them from the shadows, and Evangeline’s mere presence could be dangerous. But with one smile, one touch, one taste of Evangeline’s lips, Hadley’s resolve is overpowered by much more pleasant memories. As the two enter into a discreet affair, Hadley vows to give her his body, never his heart. That she will have to earn.

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Book 5
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3 Angsty Stars.

Bronwen Evans is a new-to-me author, making book five in the Disgraced Lords the first book in the series I've read. Perhaps if I'd read the series from the beginning, I would have been hooked on the characters and their lives and not seen the things that I'd find fault with.

Like many historical romances in standalone series, I don't recommend picking up a book in this series and reading it out of order. One) it takes away the connection the reader develops with the characters and the universe created by the author. Two) there was some confusion that I just had to roll with. I don't fault the author for this, as it was my bad to make assumptions based on how easily it is to fall into other standalone series in the historical romance genre. But, I'll say, one of the things I don't enjoy in a novel, I wished I'd had in this one – the dreaded rehash of events. I didn't need a huge amount of info-dump, just a clue to how these characters were connected, versus their names being dropped into the story as if I should just know. While I didn't read the previous books, those who did a while ago may not remember every detail either. The complexity, it was frustrating to read, like trying to do a puzzle while missing pieces.

Above is all on me, and did not affect my rating.

Writing style – highly descriptive about things that don't necessarily matter but do set the scene nicely. Also, more 'tell' than 'show' writing – storytelling narrative that takes the emotional impact from the reader, as we're 'hearing' about it instead of experiencing it.

A second-chance romance, the couple comes together after fabricated events tore them apart. The LETTER. All issues between Evangeline and Hadley are miscommunication in nature, where if someone at some point would have been mature and communicated, the entire conflict would dissolve. If you are old enough to love, to marry, you ought to be old enough to confront someone whom you think has hurt you, ask for answers. Instead, Hadley believes the worst about Evangeline, doesn't trust her, if he truly believed the letter.

If I had been Evangeline, I wouldn't have been able to forgive that breach of trust and lack of trust in their relationship, added with the immature behavior. 'If you can't come to me and ask, to know I would or wouldn't act this way/do this, then I can't trust you in the future.'


Nor can I respect the romance on the pages when its foundation is miscommunication, which is forced conflict for the reader, not organic in nature.

Both characters were one-dimensional, rather shallow. This was a case where the narration contradicted the dialogue and action/reaction of the characters. The narrator sees themselves differently than their behavior. Example: "I'm strong and fierce – an independent, intelligent woman." but then acts like a “too stupid to live” damsel in distress (victim). This goes for both the main characters, hero and heroine.

Overall, I recommend A Taste of Seduction for fans of the series. If I hadn't dropped in at book five, without a connection to the author, story, and its characters, I may have not been confused and frustrated, I would have fallen into the story, and not noticed the things that made me go into nitpick-mode.

3 Stars, right down the middle, as that's on me – I can't predict if I would have enjoyed this author or the series, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She has always indulged her love of storytelling and is constantly gobbling up movies, books, and theater. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer? Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Taste of Seduction (The Disgraced Lords #5) by Bronwen Evans to read and review.

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