by Mary Balogh

April 2009
ISBN: 978-0-440-24423-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Dell Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

Newly introduced to high society, the Huxtables have definitely been the subject of ton scrutiny. None more so than the stunning Katherine Huxtable. With her willowy beauty and grace, she is fast becoming a popular young debutante. Her air of innocence, coupled with her pleasing manner, has attracted the attention of London's young noblemen.

Jasper Finley, Baron Montford, is not immune to her appeal. But he is much more interested in sowing his wild oats and she signifies marriage with a capital M. His reputation as a rakehell puts her out of bounds, fiercely protected by her cousin, and Jasper's best friend, Constantine.

Too much liquor and not enough sense are a bad combination, and a wager is made. The repercussions of that bet carry dire consequences for both Jasper and Katherine. The effects linger even after three years have passed when they see each other again. Can they overcome the past and build a future together?

The second book in the Huxtable series, Then Comes Seduction, not only embraces the romance of Jasper and Katherine, it moves the series from its origin into a better time period. Now the family is firmly established in society. Vanessa and Elliott have started their family. Katherine and Margaret are no longer green girls from the vicarage, but respected young women of good family. Stephen has finished his studies and is now ready to take over his duties as Earl of Merton. This was a deft plot device that worked perfectly.

The novel starts off with humor, and wit is strong throughout. There are some heavy emotional issues being resolved, and the book needs these moments to break the tension. Jasper and Katherine are strong-willed people who don't know how to handle the exposure that love brings. It is another fine novel in what readers now expect to be the standard for Mary Balogh.

Reviewed in March 2009 by Paula.

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