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The Seduction of Sarah Marks
     

The Seduction of Sarah Marks

4.5 10
by Kathleen Bittner Roth
 

England 1857

After a blow to her head, Sarah Marks awakens in a strange bed with a strange man and no memory of how she got there. Her handsome bedmate, Lord Eastleigh, tells her she's suffering from amnesia and the best course of action is to travel home with him until she recovers her memory.

Lord Eastleigh has his own reasons for helping Sarah

Overview

England 1857

After a blow to her head, Sarah Marks awakens in a strange bed with a strange man and no memory of how she got there. Her handsome bedmate, Lord Eastleigh, tells her she's suffering from amnesia and the best course of action is to travel home with him until she recovers her memory.

Lord Eastleigh has his own reasons for helping Sarah and keeping her close. Reasons he cannot tell her. As they struggle to restore her memory, their undeniable, inadvisable attraction grows - until Sarah finally remembers the one thing that could keep them apart forever.

Each book in the Those Magnificent Malverns series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 The Seduction of Sarah Marks
Book #2 Portrait of a Forbidden Lady
Book #3 His Lordship's Wild Highland Bride

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622666997
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
06/09/2014
Series:
Those Magnificent Malverns
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
274
Sales rank:
135,820
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

The Seduction of Sarah Marks

A Those Magnificent Malverns Novel


By Kathleen Bittner Roth, Erin Molta

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Kathleen Bittner Roth
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-699-7


CHAPTER 1

Hampshire, England, 1857


Sarah was in bed with a stranger.

In a room bordering on the objectionable.

She lay on her side, her trembling fingers tucked beneath her cheek. If the galloping of her heart grew any louder, she was certain to awaken whoever he was before she could make her escape.

Who was this man?

Where was she?

Her befuddled mind tried to sort things out. Nothing came. Nothing at all.

Why can I not remember?

She had to get out of here, get out the door at least. Door? Where was it? There had to be one, but since she couldn't locate it by simply moving her eyes, it must be behind her. If only she could manage to slip out of bed without waking him. She moved a bare inch.

He flopped onto his back with a small groan.

Oh, Heaven help me! She lay rigid for what seemed an eternity. Whoever he was, he appeared to be fully dressed, in clothing befitting a gentleman — at least based on what she could see from the shoulders up, for his shirt was white and he wore a gray pin-striped waistcoat. She was fairly certain she was clothed as well since the blue sleeve on her bent arm looked like a day gown, not a nightrail, but at the moment, she dared not move anything but her eyes.

He shifted again, facing her, and she held her breath until his returned to soft, rhythmic whiffles. She studied his face, so close as to be nearly blurred. Rich brown hair curled over his forehead and around his ears while a fringe of dark lashes lay against chiseled cheeks. An aristocratic, aquiline nose rested above a set of full lips, slightly parted. Still no recognition.

She eased backward again, shifting her weight ever so carefully. Pressing one foot against the cold floor, she slid from the bed and backed away.

A board squeaked, sounding like cannon shot in the quiet room.

His eyes opened.

"Oh!" A quick glance at the door, and she scrambled backward, one hand flailing behind her.

He rose on an elbow. "What are you up to?" Despite the sleep in his voice, authority rumbled through it.

Afraid to take her eyes off him, she felt around for the door's latch. "Who are you?"

He cocked a brow, and his expression grew quizzical. "Are you quite serious?"

She nodded.

"Last I knew, I was Augustus Malvern, Lord Eastleigh." Remarkably clear brown eyes studied her. "Door's locked. Key's in my pocket."

"Where am I?" she croaked. "How did I get here?"

He scowled. "At the Golden Hen, near Hampshire. You don't recall?" When she shook her head, he threw back the covers and stood. His height and the breadth of his shoulders nearly swallowed the small room.

The room swayed — or was it her doing the wavering? She braced her shoulders against the door.

His booted feet pounded the floor, closing the distance between them. He wore his boots to bed? He paused before her and canted his head, puzzlement reigning in his regard of her. Reaching to her temple, he gently fingered a bump.

She gasped at both the pain and his touch, and craned her head away from him. Whatever had occurred, she feared him.

"Dear God," he muttered, and turning on his heel, strode to the window. Flinging the faded curtains aside, he backed off as a cloud of dust motes swirled about. He brushed at his shoulders, stepped again to the window, and clasped his hands behind him.

Despite the grime on the bubble-filled glass, the morning sun, still pink and fresh from its rising, shone through bright and clear. Off to the right, a rooster crowed. Lord Eastleigh turned an ear in that direction. "Let me get this straight. You do not recall where you are, or how you got here?"

"No ... no, I do not." Despite her faltering voice, she stiffened her spine and gathered courage.

"Have no fear, madam. I won't harm you." His voice had gentled, and for whatever reason, she wanted to trust his word. "And except for that nasty lump, which I did not inflict, none has come to you."

When she said nothing in response, he asked, "By any chance, do you know your name?"

She took in a breath and managed a strong voice. "Yes. Sarah Marks."

He whipped around, a deep frown furrowing his brow.

She touched the nasty bump on her head and hissed. "How ... how did I get here?"

"We rode in a hired carriage, which was overtaken by thieves. We walked here — or rather, I carried you a good deal of the way." His voice softened measurably. "Do you recall any of those events?"

Her mouth formed a silent, "No."

Fighting the panic trying to take root again, she perused the room. A dingy space, this. One window, an iron bed with a small, raw-wood table alongside, a few hooks on the wall — one holding a man's dark jacket and what looked to be a white cravat draped over its shoulder. A robin's egg blue cape hung over the back of the single chair in the room. A matching hat rested on its seat, while black kid gloves were stacked beside the bonnet. Tucked neatly beneath was a pair of black walking boots. Everything appeared well-made. The dress she wore matched the blue-sprigged muslin lining the cloak.

His scowl faded. "You suffered a blow when you stepped between me and the thieves —"

"Good heavens, why would I have done such a foolish thing?" She fingered her wound again.

"Folly, I would suspect." He lifted a brow. "Or perhaps you are so adamant regarding right and wrong, you could not stand to see someone's life threatened?"

She stared boldly at him while she fought to keep her chin from trembling. "I do not have the slightest idea how I would react, sir. In fact, I do not know if I am adamant about much of anything at all." Oh, her heart wouldn't hold out much longer — neither would her knees. "Please, sir. What can you tell me about me?"

Closing the distance between them, he reached out and swept back a tendril of hair that had caught at one corner of her mouth, grazing her cheek with his thumb as he went.

Lord, his touch was gentle, soothing in fact. And his scent. So clean. But an odd tremble moved through her. Any desire to lean into his hand dissipated. Instead, she stiffened and stepped away, her heartbeat kicking up. Something told her that it was not just this man, but all men she feared. Could that be why she'd left her home? "Please, do not touch me."

"Beg your pardon. I'm not much good at this sort of thing. Not that I've ever been in such an odd predicament before." The crease between his eyes deepened. "As I said, I mean you no harm. You are obviously suffering amnesia from the knock on your head."

"Me? Amnesia?" Dear blessed Mary!

He nodded. "You seemed in possession of all your faculties when you nodded off for the night, but now —" He shrugged a shoulder and made his way back to the window. "You're likely feeling as though pieces of your mind have been scattered to the four winds, but I caution you not to panic or things could very well worsen."

"How could you possibly know how I might feel?" Her words sounded like ice cracking.

He glanced over his shoulder, perused the length of her with those fathomless brown eyes, and turned back to the window. "I suffered from amnesia following an injury in the Crimean War, so I recognize the same in you. My own experience taught me to tread lightly while recovering, so as not to suffer setbacks. Or worse, lose the past entirely. There are chunks of my memory still missing."

Her mind a blank, Sarah nonetheless managed to maintain her dignity. "Tell me whatever you know. How we came to be traveling together. Where I am from."

She studied him for a moment and then said, "How did a man such as you, a lord, come to be traveling on a public coach?"

He turned and leaned a shoulder against the window's sash, making it impossible for her to see him clearly with the halo of sunlight surrounding him. "I rode in a hired coach because I was on my way to a ship for ... ah ... an extended holiday on the Continent."

"How did I come to be in the same conveyance? Was I on my way to the sea as well?"

"You were traveling by way of one of those over-crowded public coaches. You, and what I assumed was your companion, were bemoaning the dire conditions, and since we were headed in the same direction, I offered both of you my carriage. While you were an innocent, I'm afraid the other woman was not. She used being amidst your proper company to soundly dupe me."

"Was she the thief who injured me?"

He shook his head. "Her thieving friends lay in wait down the road a measure. Suffice it to say, you and I lost everything, including the hired carriage since the coachman teamed up with the filthy lot. He exchanged transportation for a cut of the bounty, the blackguard."

Her teeth slid over her bottom lip. "Did we turn back to the coaching stop from whence we came, or did we travel forward? Was where we came from my home?"

"Insightful questions." Eastleigh sketched a slight bow in deference, his curly locks tumbling over his forehead. "I overheard you tell the other woman that the stop where we encountered one another was your third, but you did not disclose to her your starting point." He scoured the small room with disapproving eyes. "And as for this rather questionable inn, we were nearer here than turning back."

"Then what?" She brushed her hands down her hips in an attempt to cease their quaking.

He eyed her movement. "Then we stumbled in here after dark. With a crowded inn, we were fortunate to capture the only room available." He looked around the sparsely furnished space with a look of distaste. "You are known below as Lady Eastleigh, by the by."

She glanced at the bed and her lips pursed. "You should have slept on the floor."

"Bloody hell on the hard floor!" He winced. "Beg pardon, a slip of the tongue."

Her hand crept to her throat. "But we are perfect strangers."

He paused as if in thought while regarding her through narrowed eyes. "You were not opposed to sharing a bed in order to get the rest we needed. We were both fully clothed, and it's not as if such an undertaking is an uncommon practice." He raked his hair back from his brow and heaved a sigh. "God knows if I'll be able to hire something out of here today that will give either of us a modicum of comfort. We have a long road ahead, so I thank you for not insisting I take to the floor."

"To where do you intend this carriage take us?" Renewed panic hammered her heart in her chest.

He rubbed the back of his neck. "To my home in Kent."

She gasped and fought to regain her composure. Perhaps parts of her memory had been misplaced, but her instincts told her that traveling alone with a man to his residence was highly inappropriate. "I could not go there with you, sir. It isn't done."

His regard of her intensified until her skin felt seared. "Then tell me, madam," he said in little more than a murmur, "where else am I to take you?"

CHAPTER 2

From inside the carriage, Eastleigh scanned plowed fields bursting with the promise of spring. A dull beat at the base of his skull told him another megrim was about to roll through his head like a thundering herd of horses. He took in a long, slow breath and counted down from ten on the exhale, as he'd been taught.

What the devil had he been thinking leaving Easton Park? He had no business traveling even five miles from home, let alone trying to tour the Continent for three months with the idea of bringing home a bride. And painful as it was to admit, he was not ready to take on a wife, after all. Blast it all, Doctor Hemphill had been right. He rubbed at the back of his neck. Now he had to return home as quickly as possible and deliver the doctor yet another patient. "I am fully aware this might well be the worst day of your life —"

"That, sir, I would hardly know," she interrupted softly.

"Your pardon." He ran a sweaty palm down the side of his leg. Damn the headache. Another breath, another count of ten. No, he should never have left home. But he had to hold himself together at all costs. The responsibility sitting before him wouldn't know the first thing about getting them to Kent if he sickened. "Madam, I know what it is to awaken not knowing anything with regard to one's self. If you wish for no conversation, we shall have none, and I shall leave you to yourself for the duration, or we can muddle through this together. Lord knows, I'm giving it my best."

Fringed lids closed over those great blue eyes, and her head fell back against the squabs. A tear trickled from one eye and trailed into her hair. He checked an urge to reach over and wipe it away — along with her pain. Instead, he fished inside his coat pocket, retrieved a handkerchief, and gently tucked it in her hand.

She pressed the square of cloth to her temple and looked again out the window. "Do you know the road from here?"

"Not as yet, but I'm told we'll turn onto a main highway near noon. I know that particular route well."

"Will we reach your home today?"

"Hardly," he responded. "We've a two-day ride, but there are far better inns ahead."

"I refuse to be Lady Eastleigh tonight."

He couldn't help the chuckle. "You'll become my youngest sister, Rose."

"We shan't share the same room."

He lifted a brow. "And if there is only one available?"

She said nothing but overtly perused the interior of the carriage.

He patted the hard seat. "Indeed. This will serve, if necessary."

"Rose lives with you?"

"No."

Her chin lifted. "Is there a Lady Eastleigh at home?"

"God, no!" He nearly laughed. "Mum will act as chaperone."

She went back to staring out the window.

Lord, but even under duress, she was a lovely sight. "I should warn you of my family before we arrive."

"Warn me?"

Good, he'd managed to distract her from her predicament. He grinned. "Everyone should have fair warning of the Malverns."

She tilted her pretty head. "Tell me of your parents."

Oh, wouldn't he like to pull her onto his lap and murmur his response in her ear? "Father's illness confines him and my mother to their estate, which lies an hour north of mine. Mum, who lives with me, is actually my grandmother. Mum is ... that is —" Devil take it, he sounded like a schoolboy.

"She raised you?"

He laughed outright. "Isn't that a rich thought, but no. Mum is a bit ... shall we say ..." He scratched his head. "We aren't quite sure whether it's her age or the gin she tipples, but suffice it to say, her memory isn't much better than yours."

When her cheeks flushed, he could have kicked himself. "Sorry, ghastly turn of words." Bloody hell, where was her sense of humor? She'd likely not had much to begin with, since an amnesiac's personality rarely changed. "She's called Mum, by the by, because she fancies herself the Queen Mother and thinks my mother to be the Queen. Whenever Mother visits, we refer to her as Your Majesty. Pacifies Mum, it does."

He swallowed another chuckle. "When I sent a messenger to alert Doctor Hemphill, I also sent word to Mum. Hard to tell how you'll be greeted."

Slowly, she turned her head his way. "What an odd way of putting things."

A corner of his mouth curled. "Isn't it though, madam?"

She turned back to looking out the window.

They grew quiet for a long while, with only the rattle of chains and the grind of the wheels on the hard-packed road to keep them company.

Despite the dire circumstances under which they traveled, Eastleigh found himself once again occupied with the exquisite profile of the woman who called herself Sarah Marks.

Uncommonly refined for a country girl, she was. And prettier than anyone had a right to be, given the circumstances. Loose tendrils of flaxen hair framed a heart-shaped face one would expect to appear drawn. But she looked refreshed — and fragile as spun glass, yet pugnaciously strong.

Amazing.

"You stare at me, sir," she said, without turning his way.

"My apologies." Fighting an impulse to squirm, he rested his elbow against the window's ledge and thumbed the edge of his broken tooth — an old habit he'd long ago given up trying to break. How could he not help but look at her? Bloody hell, despite her prim and perfunctory manner, she captivated him.

A thought struck him that there hadn't been a mirror back at the inn. "Your eyes match your cape. Are you aware of their color, madam?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Seduction of Sarah Marks by Kathleen Bittner Roth, Erin Molta. Copyright © 2014 Kathleen Bittner Roth. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Kathleen Bittner Roth is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America® and belongs to the Hearts Through History Romance Writers chapter. Kathleen was a finalist in RWA's prestigious Golden Heart contest with A Duke's Wicked Kiss. She has also won numerous awards for her writing. She is the founder of Inner World Perceptions, an international well-being center. She has worked in the media for many years (television and radio, including The History Channel, and all four major networks). Kathleen has also been a contributing editor of an online romance magazine and a guest on many blogs.

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The Seduction of Sarah Marks 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Amnesia is a tricky device in fiction. At its best, it’s a clever way for a character to learn about herself and her life as the reader does. At its worst, it’s completely unbelievable and unrealistic. I was doubtful about it at first when I read Sherry Thomas’ wonderful Tempting the Bride a few years ago (which uses this trope) but, in a good writer’s hands, it can be done well. And Kathleen Bittner Roth does it well, too. Sarah Marks—not her real name—wakes up at an inn, in bed with a handsome stranger, and has no recollection whatsoever of how she got there. This auspicious opening reminded me of Jennifer McQuiston’s What Happens in Scotland but, in that book, alcohol was the cause. In this novel, Sarah has been hit in the head and, when she comes to, the stranger introduces himself as Lord Eastleigh, a fellow companion in the carriage they shared when they were set upon by thieves. Or so he claims. Of course, she’s afraid, disoriented, and very wary of him, but she reluctantly agrees to his plan of accompanying him to his family’s country estate where she can rest and recuperate while they try to learn more about her origins. As their journey progresses, they discover a mutual attraction as Sarah’s memory slowly resurfaces in bits and pieces. I find Eastleigh a little difficult to get to know, though the story is told from both protagonists’ points of view. The author does a very good job of witholding information in Eastleigh’s point of view by being vague but I have to say I was a little confused in the beginning. At time, I think I felt almost as disoriented as Sarah! Needless to say, his motives are as murky as Sarah’s sketchy memory, but he is likeable in his infinite patience and kindness; to me, this is the best kind of hero. He is a former soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, with excruciating megrims (headaches) that debilitate him for days and even cause him to doubt what is important in his life. Sarah is a victim. As it is with most women in history, they are legally bound to men in some way or another. As she regains her memory, her life is revealed as one of manipulation. I cannot disclose more without giving too much of the plot away. When she learns the ultimate and shocking truth, she takes her destiny into her own hands. I like her and find her to be a strong and admirable heroine. There are lots of humorous moments in this story, most of it provided by Eastleigh’s unorthodox and quirky family. Mum, his beloved grandmother, is a forward thinking woman, many years ahead of her time in terms of love and sexuality, and she happily imparts her experiences to a novice Sarah. In fact, the author based her character on Lady Hester Stanhope, an educated and adventurous British socialite. And Eastleigh’s colorful group of siblings are a fun and loving bunch, with the exception of the suspicious and vindictive Will, Eastleigh’s tomboyish sister. There is also the good Mr. Hemphill, the unconventional doctor overseeing both Eastleigh and Sarah’s care. The romance between Sarah and Eastleigh is sweet and passionate. As they get to know each other, he falls in love with her kindness and beauty and she must learn to trust that it is possible that a man can be caring and protective. However, somehow, to me, he seems a lot older than Sarah. But then again, given her amnesiac condition, she is almost child-like in her lack of memory and innocence. Overall, however, the story flows well at a nice pace, from their travel adventures to the loving family life that awaits them at Eastleigh’s home and that Sarah comes to love.  There is also a hint of another story to come, with Eastleigh’s cousin, Rob, a rather complex but magnetic character whose shady past has cast a pall over his friendship with Eastleigh. A modified version of this review first appeared on Romantic Historical Reviews.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
Sarah Marks wakes up to find herself in a strange bed with a man she does not know. That man is Lord Eastleigh. He tells her that she was hit over the head when someone attacked their carriage. Other than her name, Sarah can't remember anything of her past, including what she was doing in the carriage with man that is in her bed. Eastleigh says the best course of action is to go back to his home where a doctor can help her with the amnesia. As Sarah and Eastleigh spend more time together, they have to fight their attraction to each other. They don't know anything about Sarah's past and the doctor doesn't want anything to interfere with her recovery.  Soon Sarah remembers her own name and that she has a husband. What will happen when Sarah remembers it all and learns that Eastleigh was hiding something about her past all along? This was the first novel that I have read by the author and I throughly enjoyed it! All the little twists and turns had me not wanting to put the book down. There was even one twist that had me gasping out loud after reading it. I did find it a little unrealistic that Eastleigh and Sarah would both suffer from amnesia, but I guess that made the story what it was.  I hope that Roth continues this series with stories about all the Malvern siblings! Thanks go to Entangled Publishing via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paaj13 More than 1 year ago
This is my first book from Kathleen but I enjoy it immensely. The mystery as to who Sarah Marks is intrigue me throughout the book. Throughout the book, I kept wondering why Sarah Marks and Lord Eastleigh would even ride together. Even though there was someone else with them, it was still not right but it cleared up in the end. I did not expect anything when she regain her memories though. I didn't even think of that while reading the book. Both Sarah and Lord Eastleigh were something. Lord Eastleigh has more of a protective and caring atmosphere around him that I love because he wants to help Sarah remembers. Sarah, even though she lost her memories, stays stable and doesn't have a mental break down. That I love! I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE SEDUCTION OF SARAH MARKS by Kathleen Bittner Roth is an interesting Victorian Historical Romance set in 1857 England. " A Those Magnificent Malverns " series. First in the series, I believe and what a beginning! This is Augustus, Viscount Eastleigh, and Miss Sarah Marks who has amnesia. A mysterious, sensual tale of love and romance! Well written with engaging characters, secrets, PTSD, an intriguing storyline, and trauma that brings two people together with an over-bearing family in the mix. With a few twists and turns along the way. I enjoyed this story from beginning to end and look forward to Ms. Roth's next installment. Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
WhatsOntheBookshelf More than 1 year ago
Angela's Review I received a copy of Seduction of Sarah Marks for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. After reading the blurb I was curious to see what twists and turns were in store... and twists and turns is exactly what you get. It's hard to review books like this without giving away too much plot so I'll keep it short & sweet. The chemistry between these two characters builds along with the plot throughout the book. You won't be able to put it down as the story unfolds & the truth comes out. For any reader who enjoys historical romance with a hint of mystery this is a great read. Enjoy :)
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
Such a fun romantic read. Viscount Eastleigh, came back from the war broken. He has been living on his estate with his very quirky mum and receiving treatment for the injuries as well as the amnesia. However, he feels that something is missing from his live and he goes in search of a wife and then travel. However, life has other plans. Sarah jumps in front of him during a robbery and wakes up unconscious lying next to a man she doesn’t even know and is informed the door is locked. Lord Eastleigh takes her home to receive treatment from his Doctors. What secrets do these two have buried in their minds that could cause problems for them as well as others? Highly entertaining read, funny characters and excitement. I couldn’t put it down, looking forward to reading more from Kathleen Bittner Roth.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
England, 1857 After a blow to her head, Sarah Marks awakens in a strange bed with a strange man and no memory of how she got there. Her handsome bedmate, Lord Eastleigh, tells her she's suffering from amnesia, and the best course of action is to travel home with him until she recovers her memory. Lord Eastleigh has his own reasons for helping Sarah and keeping her close. Reasons he cannot tell her. As they struggle to restore her memory, their undeniable, inadvisable attraction grows—until Sarah finally remembers the one thing that could keep them apart forever. Review: Holy amnesia!   Wonderful debut story from Kathleen Bittner Roth.  The story well written and had me hooked from the beginning.  I especially loved the plot twists later in the story and I will try not to give them away in the review, because I was truly surprised by them. I really enjoyed "Sarah" and Eastleigh, I thought they were both flawed enough to  balance each other in the story so they were both enjoyable and relatable.  Again, I am trying to make this spoiler free.  Let me say, these two really are made for each other, look at all they go through and they manage to work it out and get their HEA. I really enjoyed Eastleigh's family, I thought they both a hindrance and help to the relationship forming between the main characters.  I hope to read more about the family.  Cousin Rob is in need of some loving and Will needs to have the rug pulled out from under her...lol Great Historical Romance, with trauma, mystery, an over-bearing family and two stubbornly great main characters! 4Stars
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
A lovely and enjoyable historical romance, The Seduction of Sarah Marks was a fantastic read. I absolutely loved this delightful book. With sweet romance and shocking secrets that managed to take me by surprise, this book was wonderful. Sarah was a lovely heroine. Despite being stuck in a chaotic situation, she kept herself together. She was quietly strong and resilient, considering how she handled everything she went through (before and after her memory loss). I thought she was great and I really liked her. Eastleigh was wonderful. I loved how devoted and gentle he was with Sarah, determined to help her regain her memory. He had a dark and troubled past of his own but, even after going through all of it, he remained a kind and very sweet man. I thought he was adorable. The romance was lovely. Sarah and Eastleigh were great together. I appreciate that they weren't the type to stubbornly stick to pride and, instead, knew when to apologize or forgive. There was some heat there as well, and it spiced things up. They were a perfect couple. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were a few twists along the way as secrets were revealed and they actually took me by surprise. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. The Seduction of Sarah Marks was a brilliant historical romance. I absolutely loved this book. From the romance, to the secrets, this story was a delight. Romance lovers, this is a book you won't want to miss. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
2_PMVH More than 1 year ago
This review is going to be different from my usual review because this most excellent adventure just screams for it. To understand this tale, you most learn of the extraordinary Malvern clan, which is ruled by the Matriarch of the clan, Mum. Why Mum do you ask, it's simple, she thinks her daughter, Lady Millicent, is the Queen of England, so she naturally is the Queen Mother. Mum has lived an usual life, for a lady of 1800s, she traveled for many years with her BF Lady Stanhope to Africa, took up male clothing, learned about sexuality, how to unlocking hidden desires, had numerous and wonderful lovers and to always have endless boundaries. Mum rules this avant-garde and hilarious Malvern clan with her iron fist, warm and caring heart and loves to throw in as many stories of her scandalous, eventful, unconventional and adventurous life. That clan consists of Millicent, her loving bed ridden hubby, Lord Ardmore, and her 8 grandbabies, 5 males, 3 females and Willamette, who was born female, but considers herself a man. This story is about the oldest, Augustus, Viscount Eastleigh, who came home from the war with severe wounds and no memories at all. With the help of Doctor Hemphill and his locusts of a loving family, he regained some of his memory, but not all. He lives at his estate, Easton Park, with his unorthodox Mum, but he feels something or maybe someone is missing and decides he needs a change. Eastleigh is going to find a wife and travel the continent for a 3 or 4 month as their honeymoon. What do they say about plans? She wakes up in a strange room, full clothed and in a unknown man's bed. She freaks and tries to sneak out of the bed and room, but he opens his gorgeous eyes and says, "The key is in my pocket and do you know your name?" She thinks and realizes she has no memory of anything, but she does know one thing her name, Miss Sarah Marks. He explains who he is, that they were robbed, how she jump in front him, received a blow to her head, passed out and he carried her to this nasty Inn. Eastleigh tells her of his own memory loss from the war and how he has a doctor that treats him at his home, Sarah feels, deeply inside herself, that she will be safe and going with him is the only option for her predicament. Now when Sarah arrives at Easton Park, steps out the carriage and steps into a her own personal version of the Looking Glass! She meets Doctor Hemphill, grand Mum and is introduced to all as Mum's Ward! They all go to Mum's Grand Tea, no one is ALLOWED to miss grand tea time, Mum reaches for her exquisite tea pot and calmly asks Sarah, "Milk or gin, dear!" and throws in, "I will be happy to pull that iron bar from your ar$e!" Need I say anymore, Sarah tries to regain her memories and her life get very complicated, twisted and even sunnier with all of the Malvern's help. Sarah's desires for Eastleigh race off the charts, but she doesn't know if she is married. Eastleigh just wants to cuddle, caress, kiss and pleasure Sarah, but he has a secret that could destroy not only Sarah, but his peaceful world. All they need is a little help from their unique Fairy Godmother, Mum. Can Sarah regain her memory? Is there a family or hubby out there, waiting for her? How will Eastleigh's secret detonate their lives? Will Eastleigh accept Sarah as she is? Can two people with uncontrollable desires reign them in until the truth is reveled? How will Mum make their lives even crazier? This book is my first read from Kathleen Bittner Roth and I am impressed. I read a lot and when an author shocks and surprises me with her plot, she is AWESOME! Ms. Roth got me good and no, I will not tell you anymore because you have to read this web that she creates for yourself. Ms. Roth loves, nurtures, delivers and gives birth to each original character of this one of a kind and marvelous clan. Sarah is a heroine who suffered from an unknown dark and angry force, but she has an unhidden strength that she discovers and must uses in full force. Eastleigh is a deeply scarred, inside and out, from his time at war and his mysterious loss memories, but his locusts of a caring, loving and quacky family help him to heal. Strong and hot sexual tension flowed between Sarah and Eastleigh and it lite more than a few sparks and smoke from my Kindle. Mum is one of those great characters, like Julia Quinn's Lady Bridgeton or Sabrina Jeffries' Grandma Hetty, who gives all of her awe inspiring heart to make this tale a overwhelming, impressive and unforgettable read. I must give Ms. Roth my THANKS for bring this extraordinary Clan to life and I am (insert pompoms here) her newest FAN and on automatic PREORDER for all her future Malvern reads. Ms. Roth gets my top score of 5 fingers up and 10 toes! NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.