Author: Nicole Jordan
Genre: Historical Romance
My Copy: ARC via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Program
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: The most charming Wilde cousin, Lady Skye has secretly loved the enigmatic Earl of Hawkhurst since girlhood, long before the tragedy that left him scarred both physically and emotionally. When Skye learns that the celebrated hero has returned to England from his self-imposed exile to make a cold marriage of convenience, she brazenly plants herself on his castle doorstep, determined to convince Hawk that she alone is his true mate and destiny.
An elite member of the Guardians of the Sword, Hawk has vowed never again to risk the pain of loving—but that’s before he deals with the most enchanting, annoyingly persistent seductress he’s ever encountered. One night of blazing passion leaves him impossibly torn. Will Hawk choose duty over love, or will he open his heart and let Skye’s healing light penetrate his darkness?
Nicole Jordan combines two series in Secrets of Seduction; the final book in her Paradise series and the third in the Legendary Lovers series. If you haven’t any books in these two series, don’t worry since it is not necessary to do so. While Jordan does mention a few events from books in both series, I don’t consider them to be huge spoilers.
I’ve been patiently waiting for the final book in Jordan’s Paradise series for a little over seven years. Imagine my delight when I heard Hawk’s story was finally being published and hoped it was worth the wait. Unfortunately, Secrets of Seduction was a disappointment. When I started Secrets, I came in with an open mind and if you’ve been a fan of Jordan’s work, then you know her writing style has changed. Secrets for some odd reason didn’t feel as if it was written by Jordan. Overall, Secrets of Seduction falls flat and I found myself skimming pages upon pages just to get to the ending.
As for character development, there’s not much there. Skye Wilde has been in love with Hawk since she first laid eyes on him as a thirteen year old. She’s described as the most charming of the Wilde family and the one to take the least chances. Skye decides to prove her family wrong by seducing Hawk. While, I admire her courage and her desire to help out a family member, I found her annoying. All her actions had a motive behind them and if Hawk felt she was scheming, in his shoes I would have thought the same thing. As for Hawk…the Hawk we get in Secrets is a much different Hawk from those in the Paradise books and I longed to see that Hawk. I, myself, fell for the Hawk featured in those books and had a hard time warming up to this one. We have a few secondary characters that are featured and there’s a secondary romance.
Ultimately, my dissatisfaction with Jordan’s Secrets of Seduction is that we never get to truly know Hawk nor is his past thoroughly explained. We are given bits and pieces, but nothing substantial. Also, Secrets features a well known Jordan character, Isabella Wilde. She’s always been a bit brazen, but in Secrets she comes off as a caricature and while I believe she might have given the Wilde women advice regarding sex, I don’t believe what Skye says Isabella told her. I know Hawk raises some questions about it and I agree with him. The Isabella I’ve come to know from the Paradise series would have guarded the secret about The Guardians with great care. And I admit, finding out that Skye already knew about them, took the fun out of unraveling the mystery about them. That’s what I loved about Jordan’s Paradise series and in the end, even as I write this, have to remind myself that although Jordan gave us closure, it wasn’t the type I was looking for. It was primarily, another book for her Legendary Lovers series and not a Paradise series book.
What I did like about Secrets of Seduction was the secondary romance featuring Skye’s uncle. While there were a few things regarding this secondary romance that bugged me, I’m glad Jordan eventually explained them and this is why I’ve always enjoyed her writing because she does explain certain customs / situations to the modern reader and why in the Regency period it would be have been scandalous, etc.
If you’re fan of fairytale retelling romances, you might want to check out Nicole Jordan’s Legendary Lovers series. Secrets of Seduction was her spin on Beauty and the Beast. And if you really enjoyed her Paradise series, go in with an open mind and try to separate what you know from what you read.