Title: The Problem with Seduction
Author: Emma Locke
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Naughty Girls, # 2
Best Read in Order: yes
Purchase Now: Amazon § Barnes & Noble
About the Book:
AN OUTRAGEOUS PROPOSITION
Elizabeth Spencer needs a man. Preferably one who won’t be too picky about the morality of her proposition, or his reputation. Lord Constantine Alexander can’t afford another trip to debtors’ prison, which makes him the perfect candidate. She doesn’t expect him to have a heart of gold, or to hold up his end of the bargain—particularly when his high-in-the-instep family gets involved. Nor does she expect to find him irresistible, because while she needs a man, she doesn’t particularly want one.
A WICKED BARGAIN
When a beautiful courtesan offers to satisfy his creditors, Con leaps at the opportunity. Never mind his mother and brothers are suspicious of his newfound fortune—being with Elizabeth is intoxicating enough to wipe any thought of scruples away. He soon realizes it’s not just his future he’s been gambling, but his future family. How can he convince London’s premier courtesan he’s more than a callow rake?
This is the second in the Naughty Girls series by Emma Locke, and was just as enjoyable as the first. I was concerned that a story focused on Elizabeth, former courtesan yet to the manor born, would be less enjoyable than the first: her character was grasping and jaded, not particularly empathetic. When she lost custody of her child to her former protector, and the child’s father, she needed to make some life changing decisions and alterations and this book details those.
Elizabeth was in crisis: separated from her child and desperate to regain custody and her motherhood role she needed to find a man to cast doubt on the parentage of her son. Enter Lord Constantine Alexander: fourth son of an impoverished family, needing the money to avoid another sentence to debtor’s prison. What started as a business arrangement slowly becomes a sweetly constructed romance despite constantly battling adversaries and pitfalls.
Elizabeth has some wholesale changes in character that show her defenses are hiding a lonely and tender heart. Her true strength of character is shown in the no-holds-barred reflection on her life, and the realization that she can’t continue to live as a courtesan and be a good mother to the son she loves so deeply.
Con is cleverly portrayed as a very happy go lucky man, fond of wine, women and song and prone to some bad gambling habits. His heart is full of good intentions, if his life is fraught with bad luck: but his humor and the knowledge that his family loves him provide him a good start. Slowly his kinder nature, not without some clever and spot-on impressions of people he encounters deepens the connection he shares with Elizabeth.
With several characters from the first story again appearing in this, and the introduction of new villains and supporters, the story builds to create a climax that was satisfying and set the groundwork for the next in the series. If you are a fan of redemption stories and like the regency setting, this is the series for you.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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