Seduced at Midnight is the third book in the Ladies Literary Society of London quartet of novels by wonderful author Jacquie D’Alessandro. Membership to the Ladies Literary Society of London is very exclusive. In fact, there are only four members: Countess Surbrooke (Carolyn Sutton), Marchioness Langston (Sarah Devenport), Lady Emily Stapleford, and Lady Julianne Bradley. These four friends formed the society so they could read select novels – ones of the most scandalous sorts. Their selection this time is . .. The Ghost of Devonshire Manor. A book about a ghost who has the keen ability to pleasure a mortal woman.
Lady Julianne Bradley has watched two of her friends find love and happiness in marriage. But Julianne knows she will never be that lucky. Her parents have always treated her as a commodity instead of a beloved daughter. See her father wanted a son, not a daughter, and he has made that fact very clear over the years. Now he is ready to marry Julianne off to the highest bidder. However, Julianne fantasies over only one man. Gideon Mayne. A commoner. A Bow Street Runner. A man that is beyond her reach or as her parents would say below her reach.
Gideon Mayne is a man staying on the right side of the law even though his father taught him how to pick pockets. As a Bow Street Runner, he catches the bad guys and comes home to an empty house. A few months ago, Lady Julianne Bradley stole his attention and he has been unable to engage with any other women since. Gideon chides himself for even thinking about Julianne. An Earl’s daughter would never associate with a commoner like himself He knows his place in society. But when the upper crust of London are suddenly victimized by a ghost robber and murderer,Gideon finds himself employed by Lady Julianne’s parents to protect her at all costs. Being at her side constantly, Gideon wonders if he will be able to withstand the sweet temptation of Lady Julianne.
Jacquie has once again created a masterful piece of romance and love with a little intrigue thrown in too. From the first sensual kiss, the reader is drawn into a story of forbidden love where happily ever after is an impossibility, or so it seems. As the layers of Julianne’s personality are slowly revealed, Gideon finds himself falling in love with the beautiful woman behind the pretty face. A woman who makes him feel. A woman who makes him dream. I adore how Jacquie describes Gideon’s emotional and physical responses to Julianne.
“Yet somehow he’d let a mere slip of a woman, with bottomless blue eyes that reflected such a compelling combination of hope and heartbreak, knock his legs out from under him. In a way no one ever had before. In a way that both confused and alarmed him. In a way he would have wagered all he owned – modest though that was – was impossible.”
“He could tell himself that now that he’d touched her, knew the feel and taste of her, knew that she smelled like vanilla – everwhere – his curiosity and appetite for her was appeased. But he’d be lying to himself. Because the knowledge of her scent and feel and touch has appeased nothing. No instead it had served only to inflame him further, to make him want her more. This desire for her . . . it went beyond mere hunger. It was a ravenous craving. He didn’t want to merely hold her, touch her, kiss her. He wanted to devour her. Brand himself on her. Touch her so deeply, make her his so profoundly and thoroughly, he’d haunt her every thought. The way she haunted his.”
In addition, I absolutely loved the fact that Julianne and Gideon both own dogs that reflect their personalities. Caesar is a huge, protective dog that is loyal as the day is long. He stands by his master and serves him in every capacity possible. Princess Buttercup (yes, that’s her name) is a petite little dog that wears cute little outfits. But she is more than just pretty. She exhibits devotion and love to her master. These canine characters add a fun flavor to the novel.
I think you can tell that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jacquie has outdone herself yet again. This novel is classic D’Alessandro – witty, sexy, and full to the rim with love and romance. Treat yourself to this fantastic book!