Dance of Seduction (Swanlea Spinster Series #4)

( 37 )

Overview

She vowed to resist . . .

It's difficult enough for Lady Clara Stanbourne to run her London home for reformed young pickpockets without having to contend with a criminal rightnext door! The mysterious Morgan Pryce is obviouslydealing in stolen property, and she will never allowthe handsome scoundrel to lead the children astray.Pryce is very much mistaken if he believes her adelicate rose he can wilt with ...

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Dance of Seduction (Swanlea Spinster Series #4)

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Overview

She vowed to resist . . .

It's difficult enough for Lady Clara Stanbourne to run her London home for reformed young pickpockets without having to contend with a criminal rightnext door! The mysterious Morgan Pryce is obviouslydealing in stolen property, and she will never allowthe handsome scoundrel to lead the children astray.Pryce is very much mistaken if he believes her adelicate rose he can wilt with passionate, unspokenpromises. Now if only Clara could douse the fieryyearning the charming cad ignites inside her.

His heated caresses . . .

This bold, beautiful temptress is indeed a distraction—and Morgan wishes he could tell the exquisite Clarathe truth: that he is working undercover to break upa notorious crime ring. His mind should be on hisduty—not wondering how it would feel to hold Clarain his arms and taste her luscious lips. But nowthat she has entered into his most dangerous game,Morgan knows he must have her, despite the veryreal peril to his secret mission—andto his heart.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060092139
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Series: Swanlea Spinster Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 530,330
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.56 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

At the tender age of twelve, Sabrina Jeffries decided she wanted to be a romance writer. It took her eighteen more years and a boring stint in graduate school before she sold her first book, but now her sexy and humorous historical romances routinely land on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and have won several awards. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son, where she writes full-time and is working on her next novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Dance of Seduction

Chapter One

London
May 1819

In Books or Work, or healthful Play
Let my first Years be past,
That I may give for every Day
Some good Account at last.
"Against Idleness and Mischief" Isaac Watts,
Divine Songs attempted in Easy Language
for the Use of Children

Lady Clara Stanbourne was descended from a long line of reformers and rogues. Her late father's side had produced Quakers and Whigs whose passion to effect change was surpassed only by their respectable station. Her late mother's side, the Doggetts, boasted a broad assortment of feckless scoundrels who'd gloried in gambling, delighted in debauchery, and wallowed in wild living. The Doggetts possessed no respectability at all except through their tenuous connection to the Stanbournes through marriage. Fortunately for England, the Doggetts had virtually died out. Only Clara's uncle Cecil, the card cheat, carried on the family tradition of wreaking havoc upon the unsuspecting and the virtuous. But he did it in America now, having fled England eight years earlier, when his cheating had landed him on the wrong end of a very large pistol.

Thus Lady Clara was surprised when she came downstairs on a bright spring Monday to learn that her uncle's American solicitor, a Mr. Gaither, had just arrived at Stanbourne Hall from Virginia. She didn't even know her uncle possessed something so lofty as a solicitor. Yet Samuel, her new footman, insisted that such a creature awaited her in the front parlor.

With a sigh , she glanced at the clock. "They're expecting me at the Home any minute. After my being awayin the country for two weeks, they 'll worry if I'm late. I suppose you'll have to send a boy round with a note."

"Yes, m'lady," Samuel said nervously, looking very smart in his new footman's uniform. Samuel was her most recent success from the Stanbourne Home for the Reformation of Pickpockets. Though he was a bit short for a proper footman, he performed his duties well enough, which was all that mattered.

An eruption of barking from the front parlor warned that her aunt, Verity Stanbourne, had reached the parlor first. Clara hastened to the doorway, groaning to find her aunt's three beribboned miniature poodles dancing around the American. Poor Mr. Gaither teetered on rickety legs atop a footstool, crying, "Shoo! Go on, you beasts! Get away!"

Aunt Verity flapped her hands fruitlessly at the capering, yapping dogs. "Now, Fiddle, you mustn't&#8212Oh, come away, Faddle! And Foodle, if you don't stop this&#8212" She cast Mr. Gaither a helpless look. "See how you've upset my lassies?" They're all much annoyed, I tell you." A sharp woof preceded the entrance of an old spaniel bitch. "Lord have mercy, here comes Empress&#8212stay put, Mr. Gaither! If she doesn't approve of you, she's liable to bite you!"

Clara crossed the room and threw herself into the midst of the dogs. "Down, all of you, this minute! No one's biting anyone." She glared at the poodles until the barking turned to whimpers and three curly heads drooped in shameless obeisance.

When Empress kept woofing at poor Mr. Gaither's feet, Clara added sharply, "That's enough, Empress," and the aging spaniel retreated to Aunt Verity's side.

Unfortunately, Clara could do nothing about the low growl the dog continued to emit. Empress had taken a distinct dislike to their guest, which boded ill for Mr. Gaither. The dog had an uncanny ability to judge people accurately. Whomever she growled or barked at was eventually shown to possess serious character flaws. Empress was so adept that Aunt Verity used her to sift out good applicants from bad when interviewing new servants. As a result, Stanbourne Hall's staff was the envy of all Aunt Verity's friends.

Judging from Mr. Gaither's scowl, his character flaw was a hatred of dogs.

Clara held out her hand to help him down from the stool. "I'm so sorry, sir. I'm Lady Clara Stanbourne, and I see you've already met my aunt. Please forgive us for our chaotic ways. I fear we aren't much used to visitors."

"I can see why," he grumbled as he climbed down. Bestowing glares all round, he brushed at his frock coat to eliminate any remaining essence of canine.

"It's your own fault, sir." Aunt Verity sat down on the settee and arranged her skirts as carefully as any coquette. "You wouldn't let them sniff you, and they don't like that." One of the poodles jumped into her lap, and she clutched him close.

"You tried to kick Faddle, and she's very sensitive about these things "

"Sensitive! She's a blasted dog! And furthermore, I don't think&#8212"

"Won't you sit down, Mr. Gaither?" Clara put in, "Perhaps you'd like some tea?"

That brought him up short. He glowered at her. "No, madam. I'd just as soon attend to business and be done with this." Fixing his gaze on the still growling Empress, who'd plopped down on Aunt Verity's feet, the solicitor took a seat as far away from the dogs as possible. "Letting beasts run wild ... setting them on strangers ... I swear, the whole country is mad."

Ignoring his complaints, Aunt Verity patted the settee, and Fiddle and Foodle leaped to cram their little bodies into the coveted space next to her. With a sigh, Clara sat on her aunt's other side. Good Lord, what a day. And it wasn't even noon yet.

Still keeping a wary eye on the dogs, Mr. Gaither opened his satchel to rummage through some papers. "I'm here to inform you, my lady, that Cecil Doggett is deceased."

He made his statement so baldly that Clara was sure she'd misheard . . .

Dance of Seduction. Copyright © by Sabrina Jeffries. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful Regency romance

    In 1819 Lady Clara Stanbourne is a rare aristocrat, as she does not just shout about helping the poor, she acts on her beliefs by running a home for reformed pickpockets. However, she becomes concerned for her young charges when Morgan Pryce moves next door. Clara believes the strange goings-on in the Pryce household is caused by the mysterious newcomer dealing in stolen goods....................... Clara decides to assault this unwanted fence in his home, but both becomes shocked by an immediate wanting. Morgan knows he cannot afford to be distracted by romance at this time because he has a dangerous undercover mission to complete. Nothing, not even the beautiful caring Clara, must get in his way at least until he captures the dangerous Specter, who will gladly use a female do-gooder as a pawn. Morgan wonders how to succeed when the woman he loves watches his every move like a hawk prowling after its prey................................ DANCE OF SEDUCTION is a wonderful Regency romance that starts off with a series of amusing squabbles between the lead characters before turning into a taut thriller. The story line is loaded with fun and action due to a delightful cast, not just the lead duo, but also an eccentric group of Londoners. Though the Specter and his henchmen pale in comparison to the good guys and gals, sub-genre fans will appreciate this fine historical romantic suspense...................... Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2004

    delightful read

    Following the characters in 'After the Seduction' and 'The Pirate Lord', Twin brothers separated for most of their life Sebastian and Morgan, this is Morgan tale. I really enjoyed Sebastian's story, but Morgan is a much more complex character, much more the Gamma rogue. Morgan's mother took him from his father and returned to Geneva and it was not until he was 13 that his father's people found him again. Even then, since Sebastian was the heir to a Barony, it was thought best Morgan stay away from his brother. So from being a thief just to stay alive in Geneva, to later educated and given a Midshipman entry into the Royal Navy, Morgan remains apart. This is further amplified when he falls into the hands of The Pirate Lord, though he later is absolved of the charges. Back in England, Lord Ravenswood has set him to trying to expose The Specter, a mastermind behind crime in London's slums. He is set up in a building, his pirate rep put about, and he claims he is a fence for stolen goods all as part of a trap. Only, problems immediately arrive in the lovely form of Lady Clara Stanbourne. Poor Lass is a Stanbourne, know reformers, so she runs a Reform school for children pickpockets, trying to teach them a profession so they can better themselves. However, her mother was a Doggett, and while they are great reformers as well, they were also a wee bit wicked. Thus far, Clara has managed to avoid the curse of her Doggett blood, but when faced with Morgan Pryce, she is in for a bumpy road. She at first provokes him, then tries to bribe him to move locations, but slowly but surely is drawn to him with all the riddles he presents. It's a charming tale, with Morgan and Clara vivid fun, sexy characters. This writer just gets better with every book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Lady Clara and Morgan Pryce were beautiful

    The chemistry between Lady Clara and Morgan Pryce (Blakley) has wonderful. They are both passionate and when both come together it is dramatic. I also loved the ending, I think it was just perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Hope

    Hey guys ;p

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Star

    Lol im back

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Kara

    Booorrreeedddd.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Recommend reading

    I read everything she writes

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    great book

    I loved this book but i love all of sabrina jeffries books. keep up the good work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    Mildly disappointing sequel to After the Abduction

    My first and only other book by this author was After the Abduction which I thoroughly enjoyed. So when I found out that this one was about Morgan, Sebastian's intriguing twin brother, I was really looking forward to reading this one. Unfortunately, I found this story to be pretty predictable and very slow until about mid-way through. Though Morgan and Clara are both likable characters and their romance very sweet, I didn't find the sustained, crackling sexual chemistry of the prior book (AtA). Oh, there are definitely glimpses of the witty, snappy dialog this author is capable of and some very entertaining seduction scenes, but overall this book is just OK - not a stand-out or a must-read. Lady Clara Stanbourne is a crusading reformer trying to move pickpockets off the streets and into better lives. But when mysterious Captain Morgan Pryce opens a shop nearby Clara worries that he is a threat to her young impressionable charges (not to mention her own peace of mind, for he is devilishly handsome!). She quickly suspects that he is a 'fence' - a dealer in stolen goods - and tries everything she can think of to get him out of the neighborhood and away from her kids. Morgan is both amused and attracted by this beautiful avenging angel trying to save the world. If only she could save him, but that seems unlikely given what he's done in his life. But when she learns who he really is and what he's actually doing in Spitalfields, well that changes everything. Especially the sensual undercurrent of their turbulent relationship, which up to now, both have tried to suppress. And as they give in to their attraction, what will the future hold? I felt too much time was spent on her home for pickpockets, the kids therein, and the villain, the Specter, who was really not very threatening or scary. Maybe my expectations were just too high, but I wouldn't recommend this book unless you're really a fan of this author or you really want to read Morgan's story. And what's with the cover art? The book describes Clara's hair as 'chestnut' not blonde and it is hardly in character to have a naked, sheet-draped Lady Clara stretched out provocatively on a chaise longue! I hate these overblown covers that seem to have little to do with the story inside!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2003

    A REALLY GOOD READ

    This was a really good book. The plot was good and the characters were great. I loved the love that was shared between them. Keep 'em coming Sabrina

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2003

    An energetic dance

    Lady Clara Stanbourne is having her work at the reformation house for pickpockets cut out for her. She certainly doesn't need the debonair Captain Morgan Pryce as a fence to employ her children stealing goods for him. Things aggravate when she suspects him to be in cahoots with the notorious smuggler ringleader in Spitalfield known as the Specter. Equally difficult is the spying at hand with Clara as a mulish distraction with her luscious beauty and fierce protectiveness towards her children. Sparks fly and he has to keep her out of danger while working undercover for the Home Office to smash the smuggling ring. Dance of Seduction retains the high-flying adventure and zesty fun in After the Abduction with Ms. Jeffries's smoldering chemistry in her couple. She compliments the spirited bohemian Clara with a darker and devilish protagonist Morgan who is haunted by his scarred childhood smacked in the chaotic rebellion of Geneva in 1770s. Clara's passion and generosity offers him hope to banish his past demons and his fear. It has summarily the humor and entertaining side characters to enrich this emotional romance like as in her previous books. Here lies also our main worry that Ms. Jeffries will stay complacent while readers know her talents know no bounds. The success of Dance of Seduction should, instead, open the door to more experimentation.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 13, 2010

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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    Posted February 13, 2012

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    Posted February 22, 2010

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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    Posted June 30, 2011

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    Posted July 31, 2011

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    Posted July 23, 2011

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    Posted September 1, 2011

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