Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan

Lydia Kellaway knows her family finances are in dire straights but she is still shocked that her grandmother pawned her beloved mothers locket.  With her quick wit, she finds out who bought it and arrives at his house to offer some sort of trade in hopes of getting it back.  When she meets the dashing Alexander Hall, Viscount Northwood, though she is quickly drawn to him but is also perplexed at his refusal to trade back for the locket.  Her pride doesn't allow her to just accept it back, so a playful wager is finally struck instead.  Surely Lydia, a brilliant mathematician, can stump Alexander and have the locket back.  But Alexander proves smarter than she first thought and the two strike up a friendship all while placing wagers with each other.  But the more time they spend together, the greater the sparks grow and also Alexander's concern as to why Lydia is shying away from public spotlight due to her brilliance with numbers.  Passion clouds their minds and hearts and Lydia slowly allows herself to think that finally, finally, she can have some true happiness in her life again but then her past comes back in a big way and it threatens everyone she loves.  Knowing Alexander's desire to be as far away from scandal as possible, Lydia tries to distance herself from him and his family but their love is too strong.  Can this couple face the scandal that is exploding around them and find a way to be together after all the pieces have fallen?

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

Daring Hearts series
A Passion for Pleasure   ???


  1. I really like a strong and intelligent heroine. Unfortunately and too often, pride gets in the way and hinders the chance of attraction between characters. I'm certainly looking forward to reading "A Study in Seduction" and hope to find that Lydia and Alexander are able to relax and let their natural feelings for one another come through. And isn't that the most gorgeous cover? Lovely!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Connie! Def one of my favorite debuts so far this year! I will be interested in what you think of it and if the pride aspect bothers you much in this one. I read this one a few weeks ago so details are a bit foggy for me but I didn't feel like it overshadowed the relationship too much, it was more her secret I think. Oh and the cover is soo lovely!