Seduction & Scandal (Hqn)

Seduction & Scandal - Charlotte Featherstone This is my first Charlotte Featherstone book and I'm struggling with my opinion on this one. I know I was suppose to read Sinful and Addicted first to get a real grip on her writing but (as shallow as it sounds) the book cover amazed me and I succumbed.

I give it 3.5 because it had brilliant moments and those where I just wanted to skip the pages (but I didn't naturally).

Pros
1. The writing is amazing. Every word put to the right place. It creates this world where you live as the heroine and if you don't continue to read you cannot function in the real world.
2. Isabella and Black are a good couple. Two opposites that come together. She had a difficult childhood and now she makes every decision based on avoiding that ever happening again. He was born in wealth and a good family but everything collapsed when death took them one by one. He shuts himself from the world at that point and only comes out for her, Isabella. Very compelling indeed.
3. The mystery. Three friends being descendants from the Templar knights and each having an artifact to protect as a family heirloom. Duty to keep this objects hidden from the world. When two of three went missing everything starts to fall apart.
4. Women are displayed as capable, smart, funny and strong. They are also a great support. And it is true that in that time it was very difficult being a woman, a smart one even more. So when I see how they managed to stand up for themselves, it makes me like this book that much more.

Cons
1. Inconsistency. The first reason I didn't give it a higher rating. This story is captivating. I admit that. But there are times when something is repeated for the hundred time and described in detail all over again. It feels like it sucks the life right out of you. It is difficult not to skip this repeated monologues. And on the other side, there are times where you hate the fact you are reading so slow for you want to devour it all at once. It holds you glued to your chair / bed and you can hardly breathe. Your eyes get all watery from not blinking nearly enough. These ups and downs are the biggest setback.
2. Background stories. Isabella and Black have secrets and a dark past (or so we assume). Isabella's incident is mentioned as the gravest of sins and the darkest part of her past and it isn't explained till the end. The fact that she tried to kill herself is not so taboo that she can't even say it out loud. Exaggerating made me really annoyed. At that time there were number of attempted suicides among the nobility, especially the ladies for reasons this or that. Everyone knew they just didn't speak a lot about it. And Black. It feels like he's holding the world on his back and succumbing to the weight of his sins. Until we find out that he has no real sins of his own. I understand that he had to be the good guy after all for Isabella but I believe that all that gloom and darkness surrounding him through the whole story should have stronger grounds or should have been explained in more detail earlier in the story.
3. Isabella. Sometimes I felt like I will strangle her with my own hands. She is described as a sturdy Yorkshire lady but she swoons too often. Her headaches and nervousness are also kind of a drawback on the original image of her I created in my mind from the start.


In conclusion, I would recommend this book to all historical erotic romance lovers. I would also like to have it on my bookshelf. I think Charlotte Featherstone will have us enchanted with her tales for years to come. I look forward to reading the rest of her books.