Seducing Mr. Sykes by Maggie Robinson

July 10, 2017

Seriesosis warning

I'm starting to develop that dreaded disorder called Seriesosis. That's when all the series' start running together. They become interchangeable. You think you're reading one and then it dawns on you that are actually reading a different one - you know, the one about the three orphaned sisters who are trying to find each other or maybe the four friends who attended Oxford and took some kind of blood oath. Well, that's what happened with Maggie Robinson's Seducing Mr. Sykes. Here's what one needs to remember - try not to read two books at one time. I keep trying to put Pudding-On-the-Wold into Ms. MacKenzie's Spinster series, it was all very confusing. I persevered. This is the Cotswold Confidential series, not the Spinster House series!

If you are keeping track of series, (unlike me), this is the one where people with problems are sent. In the previous one, the quaint little Cotswold village seemed like a prison to me. The people are regulated as to their exercise, what they eat, and who they are with. These people with problems are usually sent by a disgruntled relative and that is the case with our heroine Lady Sarah Marchmain. The big difference here is that Sarah does not want to escape her little village prison. In fact she's going to great lengths to make sure she stays. When we are first introduced to her she is on the floor howling. I have to admit, I didn't think that was funny - I thought it was cringe-worthy and I hoped the rest of the book didn't have things in it which were supposed to be funny but weren't. Thankfully, the howling didn't become a big part of the book. Anyway, I liked Sarah a lot. She was an outspoken, honest heroine and there are some funny scenes between the hero and heroine which are just delightful. I enjoyed the relaxed feel of the humor, smiled almost all the way through the book. There was even a handcuff scene which didn't upset me. I know, I know, not a big fan of handcuffs, but this one was cute. 

Ponder moment. Isn't funny how certain triggers, like women wearing men’s clothing works in some books but in others it's just an irritation. Our heroine wore men's clothing in this book, but she wasn't trying to disguise herself as a man. She was quite comfortable in the clothing and at no time during the book did my eyebrows shoot up to my hairline because of those clothes.

Then we have Tristan. He is just trying to do the right thing. He is trying to run the "spa" in place of his father. He is trying to help the villagers keep their income. But then "she" gets in the way. She turns his smoothly run world into chaos and she never looks back. From the very first moment Tristan meets Sarah he loses all control over the situation. He puts up a brave fight, but in the end he is no match for our heroine. 

There are numerous funny stumbling blocks along the way, lots of twists and turns and people showing up. The story comes pretty close to being a screwball comedy. But just when you think Ms. Robinson has overindulged, she slows it down, so the comedy is not over done. 

This story comes a long way in redeeming the rather bumpy start to the series. I do recommend this story. It is a standalone, but you may want to read the first in the series just to follow along - or not. Tristan and Sarah were a cute couple. Sarah was one of my favorite heroines this year - she is the bright spot in the story.

Time/Place: England 1882

Sensuality: Warm/Hot

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