Friday, July 1, 2011

Captives of the Night (Scoundrels #2), Loretta Chase

1 star2 star3 star4 star
When bourgeois artist Leila Beaumont's scoundrel of a husband, Marcus, is murdered, she is drawn into a murder inquiry, and she's suspect number 1. She's forced to work with the seductive Comte d'Esmond to solve the riddle of Marcus' death. An assignment neither of them is very pleased about.

Yep. You can guess where it goes from there... but it's a long, complicated road, with a LOT of tension, friction and heated words. I enjoyed that these two didn't fall straight into bed, despite both of them very much wanting to. Leila doubts her 'goodness', but she shows a great deal of integrity resisting a man she's deeply attracted to, while she's at her weakest, and when the practiced seducer is pulling out all stops. On the other hand, Esmond, a man used to being in control, finds himself quite out of control when it comes to Leila. There's a rather touching scene between the two, where he admits he's trying to seduce her, can't help himself, and even as he's speaking these words, he's doing it to weaken her defences, and play her. He doesn't want to manipulate her, but he wants her so badly he can barely stop himself.

The 'side story' to the romance here is actually not a side story at all. The murder investigation is what drives this story, and it plays as large a part in the plot as the romance. Equally as much time is spent on each. I really enjoyed this. It wasn't a contrived little background plot, but a huge part of the story. This being the case, if you want a light hearted romance, or an easy/quick read where the two leads fall fairly quickly into bed, it's possibly not the book for you.

I really enjoyed the relationship between the two. I guess that's the whole point, but the teasing between the two, the tension, the inexorable pull they both feel, but one is trying so very hard to resist. There's a short part in the book where the two converse about a man sleeping with a woman, or woman sleeping with a man out of wedlock. For a man, it's a conquest, if handled well; for a woman, it's ruination. Esmond has nothing to lose by acting on his attraction towards Leila, but Leila could lose everything: her reputation and her career, which are really all she now has left.

Once the two inevitably become lovers, the softening of Esmond towards Leila is lovely. He's sweet, funny, gently teasing, fiercely protective, and completely enslaved. And Leila comes into her own as well, truly embracing who she is, and what she wants, she's empowered, witty, in control.

The book starts out slow, in Venice, with the murder of Leila's Papa, to her marriage to Marcus, to his death, the inquest, and her dealing with the fallout. When Leila and Esmond are partnered to investigate, it really comes into its own, but I love that the book wasn't over eager to just have the two fall into bed. It's a slow build, and I enjoyed it.

I really liked this book, and more levels than just its romance.

Books in This Series:

While it's worth noting this book IS part of a series, it certainly doesn't need to be read as such--each book is entirely standalone.
  1. The Lion's Daughter
  2. Captives of the Night
  3. Lord of Soundrels
  4. The Last Hellion

Want It?

Captives of the Night at Amazon

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