A Study in Seduction is one of my favorite debuts so far this year! I really enjoyed everything about this book. Lydia is one of my favorite types of heroines--sharp, opinionated and unique with her brilliance but encouraged to explore that love of numbers by her family. (I loved that when she is nervous she recites math facts in her mind!) She was never shut out because she is female and had all the best tutors. Everything was looking up for Lydia until one summer at boarding school and her life changed forever and she chose to continue her work, but in a much smaller, quieter fashion to avoid drawing attention to herself. And she had been doing a fine job until she meets Alexander. Alexander with his Russian heritage and gruff father and flirtatious brother and lovely sister. His polite, compelling manor that tempts her like she has never been tempted before. Matching wits with him becomes a joy and watching the love blossom between them was wonderful. During their first encounter, Lydia explains that she is trying to find the mathematical basis for relationships and this just intrigues Alexander so much and adds a small dose of humor and instantly sets the stage for the sparks that are to come later. I liked seeing Alexander struggle with his feelings for Lydia, after all, she is not a member of a prominent family and not quite the match society would pick for him, but he listens to his heart first and I really liked that. I guessed the mystery aspect a bit early but I still liked watching it all unfold and I also appreciated how it didn't all get tied up with a bow right away. There is a bit of drama at the end that involves possibly a murder, an abduction or a riot or some combination. Nina Rowan has delivered a wonderful debut and I am so anxious for more books in this series! This book had everything--romance, sparks, passion, strong family connections, mystery, drama, intrigue, and a lovely happily ever after and I would recommend to historical romance fans easily. Overall, a strong debut filled a wonderfully written story and a love so hot and strong you will believe that one plus one can equal one. 4 1/2 stars
Oh, and the math problems? I will bow to Nina Rowan's research and believe they are correct :) They do not overwhelm the story at all but I did find myself wanting to stop and try to figure out the riddles...but I just kept reading instead and thankfully the answers are revealed in the story!
Review copy provided by Grand Central Publishing via netgalley.com
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