The Seduction of His Wife
St. Martin's, Feb 1 2011, $7.99
Lord Richard Mansfield married Lady Emma Hallaway when she was fifteen years old in a marriage of convenience. They shared one night together before he left England to travel the world.
A dozen years later, Richard is back in London on business. He runs into his wife at the last place he expected to meet her, a brothel. She is there as an artist painting nudes secretly. The Earl is stunned with his desire for his now adult countess. However, though he makes it clear he wants her and she detests her body for reciprocating, she hates her husband for deserting her when as a teen she needed him most. Richard begins a courtship to win the mind of his wife; he already owns her heart and her body.
This is an entertaining early Victorian second chance at love romance in spite of the marriage of convenience desertion theme having been used frequently before (see The Phantom Husband by Alana Clayton). Richard’s courting of his spouse and a strong secondary cast especially her kick butt sisters makes for a fun historical; but like Elena’s profession in The Surrender of a Lady, Emma’s vocation provides freshness to this brisk tale.