After the Abduction, by Sabrina Jeffries

>> Tuesday, August 17, 2004

After the Abduction, by Sabrina Jeffries, is the third book in the Swanlea Spinsters series. It's not my favourite of that series, but it was still a good addition.

After two London Seasons—and a score of resoundingly dull society suitors—lovely Juliet Laverick still longs for only one man: Morgan Pryce, the dashing scoundrel who kidnapped her two years ago. But her determination to bring him to justice hasn't waned—not even when the man she mistakes for Morgan, his twin brother Sebastian, tells her some shocking news: her mysterious paramour has disappeared.

Sebastian Blakely, the Baron Templemore, dares not admit that he's the one Juliet seeks, that it is his kiss she still yearns for. Confessing to her abduction would bring disaster and scandal upon them both. But how can he convince Juliet to forsake her pursuit of her dream lover when all he dreams of is holding her in his arms again?
Jeffries is an author whose style works very well for me. She even reminds me of Amanda Quick in certain things. Even when I recognize many flaws and things which could have been much better in her books, I still find myself liking them quite well. In the case of After the Abduction, I'd give it a B.

The best thing about it was the hero, Sebastian, a serious, responsible man, abandoned by everyone who was ever important to him. Incidentally, I thought this was an aspect of his character Jeffries could have done a lot more with. Sure, there's a danger of overkill, but she definitely could have made better use of it without going over the top. Still, Sebastian was lovely. I found it especially endearing when at first, he feels like he's competing with his more dashing incarnation as Juliet's kidnapper

Juliet I liked less. She started out pretty good, but then turned into a bit of an idiot. My favourite part of After the Abduction was the first 2/3 or so of the book. The setup was interesting, especially because this was a masquerade with a twist. Throughout a big section of the book, Sebastian was trying to keep Juliet tricked into thinking he wasn't the one who had kidnapped her before, but Juliet knew perfectly well who he was and wasn't fool. Her tricks and strategies to make him reveal himself were lots of fun to read, and very provocative, too, and she was a really likeable, intelligent character in that part of the book.

But then came the final part of the story, and that wasn't good, mostly because of Juliet's actions. She started demanding things of Sebastian that didn't make any sense. In fact, it seemed to me that the whole disagreement between them responded basically to the need of some conflict and didn't really flow naturally from who these people were. Jeffries also added a villain whose motivations were unconvincing at best, and some strange events like a rumour, complete with Juliet's full name, being printed in the paper.

Well, that's the bad. The positive side includes love scenes which were truly excellent. I wouldn't say they were particularly long or detailed or exotic, but Jeffries managed to write them extremely sensually and with lots of emotion.

This book is 3rd in a trilogy that is supposed to be read as a trilogy. That is, I don't know if it would really stand alone very much, and I found having read the first 2 books really enriched my reading experience. This one also reads almost like a continuation of book 2, A Notorious Love, and the characters from book 1, especially, have a very big role here, which was interesting. The only negative part is that Griff, the hero from A Dangerous Love becomes a shrill, perpetually grouchy twit in this book. Still, it was interesting to see this couple facing and solving their problems after the HEA in their book.

In spite of those problems I mentioned, the good outweighed the bad, and I enjoyed this.


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