Never Seduce A Scoundrel
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Nowhere in medieval England are three women so powerfulâ€”or adoredâ€”as theÂ heiresses of Fallstowe Castle: Sybilla, the ruthless beauty, Cecily, the pure-hearted innocent…And Alys, the youngest sister, whose wild spirit has yet to be matched…
Lord Oliver Bellecote has a way of bringing out the vixen in any woman. Any woman, that is, but Cecily Foxe, an innocent flower destined for the abbey seems utterly immune to his charms. Or so he believes until the night they accidentally meet in the pagan ruins of Foxe Ring, and Oliver discovers that “Saint Cecily” is actually as tempting as sin.
Cecily would like nothing more than to forget her night of heated passion with the dangerously handsome Lord Bellecote. But denial proves quite impossible when she is charged with tending his every need during his stay at Fallstowe Castle. For only in his arms does she feel truly alive, despite the deadly secrets that surround his past – and threaten their tenuous future…
Available: March 2012
Publisher: Zebra Books
Read an excerpt from Chapter One.
Never Seduce A Scoundrel
Grothaus follows Never Kiss a Stranger with another tale of love and longing in 13th-century England. Cecily Foxe ducks out of a lavish feast to go to the Foxe Ring, a stone circle where legend says one can find oneâ€™s future mate. Drunken womanizer Oliver Bellecote is thrown from his horse onto one of the stones, and Cecily recklessly lets him seduce her. As Oliver recovers from his injuries at Fallstowe, Cecily tends to him and is embarrassed to realize he has no memory of their lustful encounter. Their witty repartee contrasts with the machinations of Cecilyâ€™s oldest sister, Sybilla, who is ruthless in her efforts to keep her sisters safe from harm. A subplot involving the death of Oliverâ€™s older brother adds an element of mystery to this enticing and vibrant historical. (Mar.) ~ Publisherâ€™s Weekly
â€¦[Never Seduce A Scoundrel] is a fast-paced tale of love between a skeptical rake and a romantic believer. The storyline is fast-paced from the moment the lead couple meet at the stone circle and never slows down though the plot lacks the whimsical creativeness of the first Foxe â€œneverâ€ thirteenth century thriller. Still with some suspense due to the death of Bellecoteâ€™s older brother, fans will enjoy Heather Grothausâ€™ fun foxy fable. ~ Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews
Heather Grothaus’s Never Seduce a Scoundrel opens in 1277, with the soon-to-be-nun Cecily Fox surrounded by a dancing crowd of drunken revelers. The scoundrel of the title is Lord Oliver Bellecote, a handsome ruffian who saunters up and laughingly asks Cecily’s sister Sybilla to marry himâ€¦and when she says no, suggests they sleep together instead. Sybilla mockingly offers up Cecily as a substitute, adding that Saint Cecily “would not have the likes of you wrapped up in the holy shroud itself.” Humiliated and shaken by a secret feeling that had Olivier been offered to her, she would have taken him, holy shroud or no, Cecily sneaks out to an ancient ring of standing stones shrouded in superstition and magic. What happens at Foxe Ring, once Oliver is thrown from his horse and lands at her feet, is either the best dream she ever had or a nightmare. The plot of Never Seduce a Scoundrel is set up to look like a case of opposites attracting — but Oliver and Cecily are not so different. For all that Cecily is supposed to be saintlike, in reality, she is wry, and funny, and deeply sensual. Similarly, the roguish Oliver is an honorable man, torn between grief for his dead brother and inconvenient lust for Saint Cecily. This is a very sweet story; when Cecily finally decides she’d rather be a “harping wife” than a “saint,” Oliver tells her that in reality she’s the scoundrel, and he’s not so far off. ~ Eloisa James, Barnes and Noble Reviews
“Reinforcing her reputation for unique storytelling that is full of humor, suspense and pure romance, Grothaus wins readersâ€™ hearts with depth of characterization and deeply felt emotions. The fast-moving plot makes this hard to put down.”~ Kathe Robin, RT Book Reviews 4 1/2 stars
“NEVER SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL is a deeply beautiful love story in a
scintillating setting of humor and suspense. Heather Grothaus has a gift for
breathing life into her characters, engaging readers with real people whose
reactions mirror our own, not shallow caricatures stiffly mired in our own view of the past. She skillfully uses research-based details of life in medieval times without bogging down her compelling tales in the slightest…the Foxe sisters hold a special place on my bookshelf.” – Fresh Fiction
“NEVER SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL explores the gamut of emotions with
well-developed characters. It’s a thoroughly satisfying, sweet, sexy, and poignant romance with breathtaking description, mystery, humor, suspense, and some paranormal elements.” – Affaire de Coeur
“NEVER SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL has everything I want in a romance: intriguing multi-dimensional characters, a romantic plot, and an arching plot that ties all the books in the series together. Not a fan of historical romances? This book is one to introduce you to the best this genre has to offer!” – BookingIt