HIs Wicked Seduction Series: The League of Rogues, #2
Genres: Historical Romance
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Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn't frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.
Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.
That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.
But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.
Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.
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I just want everyone to know that this is only my second Historical Romance novel that I have ever read. I have always stayed away from this genre because pretty much the word “historical” put me off. I did read the prequels to The Mortal Instruments series and those were historical romances so I guess I wasn’t too put off, but for some reason even though it was written in that time I still didn’t associate it with historical romance and I think that is because I read TMI first then the prequels. So with that said to me His Wicked Seduction is the first book that I have associated with the genre that it lives within and I absolutely loved it and want to read more. I always felt I might not understand what characters might be referring to because of the way they structured their sentences and the sophisticated word choices because during movies that are historical in such a way I sometimes get lost. With Lauren Smith’s book I never got lost, well I did, but not in how they were saying things, just lost in the story because I loved it so much.
“My intention is to continue to see Horatia without anyone knowing. For her benefit, not mine. I am not ashamed to be with her, but her brother finding out would put everyone in a difficult position.”
The world Lauren created for her characters in this romantic historical suspense story was beautiful and descriptive and I could paint a clear picture in my head of the scenery. How the streets looks, the buildings, the clothing, the homes for each character, the transportation, whether it was a horse or a carriage. That just made me delve deeper in the world of The League of Rogues or the ladies in their lives.
“I want you, Lucien. Each second you aren’t kissing me is killing me inside.”
The story is mainly about Lucien and Horatia, but there is also a surrounding story that encompasses all the characters together. Lucien is one of Horatia’s brother Cedric’s best friends. The rule amongst Cedric and his friends is that no one can date the others sister no matter what. Well, for years Lucien has treated Horatia very cold, but it wasn’t always like that. It wasn’t until a particular day in Lucien’s life that he started treating Horatia in such a way that made her believe she never had a chance with Lucien. See Horatia at the age of 14 was very much in love with him. Since then Lucien over the years was very cold to her for what she had done in the past, but also because he harbored strong feelings for her, but wanted to respect the rules him and his friends set and also being the Cedric is his dearest friend. In doing so Lucien’s feelings only grew stronger and it became harder for him to stay away from Horatia or get her off of his mind.
“I don’t want to hurt you, not ever again…and this might.”
Along with Horatia and Lucien’s forbidden love affair The League of Rogues have their own enemy slowly plotting horrible things against them and their loved ones. The men try strategically to keep it under wraps from their loved ones in order to keep them safe, but then they soon realize that that mindset may be putting them directly in harms way.
“Then his body seemed to realize it had a woman under it. A woman with the finest curves God had ever made to tempt a man.”
So much going on in this story, which is what keeps you steady reading from beginning to end. I have yet to read Wicked Designs, which is book 1 to the series, but luckily both books can be read as a standalone and believe me it will be read very shortly. I can’t get enough of the characters in this book. Each has their own strengths and each their own weaknesses and return that makes them all lovable and relate-able.
“Charles, do think we’re being followed?”
Charles brushed off some snow from his gloved hands when it dropped onto him from a nearby shop’s eave. “What? What on earth for?”
“I don’t know. That carriage. It has been with us for quite a few streets.”
“Lucien, we’re in a popular part of London. No doubt someone is shopping and ordering their carriage to keep close.”
“Hmm,” was all he said before he turned his attention back to Horatia and her footman. One of her spare gloves fell out of her cloak and onto the ground, going unnoticed by both her and her servant. Lucien debated briefly whether or not he should interfere and alert her to the fact that he and Charles had been following her. When she continued to walk ahead, leaving her glove behind, he made his decision.
Lucien caught up with his friend still ahead of him on the street. “I’ll not keep you. Horatia’s dropped a glove and I wish to return it to her.”
“Plagued by a bit of chivalry, eh? Go on then, I want to stop here a moment.” He pointed to a bookshop.
“Very good. Catch me up when you’re ready.”
Lucien dodged through the traffic on the road and was halfway across the street when pandemonium struck.
Bond Street was turned on its head as screams tore through the air. The coach that had been shadowing him raced down the road in Lucien’s direction. Yet, rather than trying to halt the team, the driver whipped the horses, urging them directly at Lucien.
He was too far across the street to turn back; he had to get to safety and get others out of the way. Horatia! She could be trampled when it passed her. Lucien’s heart shot into his throat as he ran. The driver whipped the horses again, as if sensing Lucien’s determination to escape.
“Horatia!” Lucien bellowed at the top of his lungs. “Out of the way!”
He’d never forget the look on her face. The way her confused expression changed into unadulterated joy at seeing him, then to terror as she realized the curricle was headed straight for them.
Lucien crossed the street moments before the horses reached him. He tackled Horatia, knocking her to the ground in an alley between the shops. The curricle’s wheels sliced through the snow and slush inches from his boots, soaking them with icy water.
For a long moment, Lucien couldn’t move. She was alive. He’d made it. The curricle hadn’t run either of them over…
Then his body seemed to realize it had a woman under it. A woman with the finest curves God had ever made to tempt a man. Her bonnet was askew, revealing long lustrous curls of deep chestnut hair. Her dark eyes, so innocent, fixed on his face in wonder.
“My lord…” she murmured in a daze. Her gloved hands rested on his chest, holding him at bay. He felt the tremble of her hands all the way to his bones, and his body responded with interest.
“What in blazes?” Charles rushed into the alley, gray eyes alight with fury. “Did you see who was driving that curricle?” Charles paused and took in the scene before him with a smile. “Horatia, love, how are you? Not too bruised I hope?” Charles had never in his life bothered with titles or propriety. Neither did Lucien for that matter. So it didn’t surprise Lucien that his friend treated Horatia as he did.
“Oh Charles!” she exclaimed. She seemed to realize only now she was on her back in an alley just off Bond Street, with a street full of curious people peering in and Lucien on top of her.
Lucien gritted his teeth. “Oh Charles!” she’d said, but Lucien was always “My lord.” It grated his nerves that she didn’t offer such intimacy to him. It was his own damned fault. He pushed her away at every opportunity, just to keep himself from tugging her into the nearest alcove and kissing her. Something about her seemed to render him into the most barbaric state possible. He had little else on his mind other than how she’d taste, how she’d moan and sigh if he could just get his hands on her.
“Lucien…” Horatia stammered. His name on her lips was more erotic than a lover’s sated sigh. “What on earth just happened?”
“I fear someone just tried to run me over, and you were, unfortunately, in the way,” he explained, worried by the dazed expression swallowing her dark eyes.
Book 1: Wicked Designs
The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?
For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.
It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.
Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.
Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.
This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.
About the Author
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. Lauren loves hearing from readers and can be contacted through her site at www.laurensmithbooks.com.
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