Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: (ARC) Sweet Enemy (A Veiled Seduction Novel, Book 1) by Heather Snow

Title: Sweet Enemy
          (A Veiled Seduction Novel, Book 1)
Author: Heather Snow
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Category: Historical Romance
Type: Kindle/Paperback


Book Blurb:

Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates.  His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs.  When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford.  But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.

Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a Countess.  If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge.  However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.

Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula.  But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...

Book Excerpt:

            His breath caught at her loveliness. She was a queen, he thought, with high cheekbones and a narrow chin. Her full mouth entranced him and her skin fairly shimmered, though her complexion was darker than your average English rose. A knight of old could have done far worse in a maiden.
            Then she seemed to remember herself. She dropped the bouquet onto the seat behind her and the fake smile returned. “Congratulations, my lord,” she said, her sensual tone turning imperious. “’Twas quite a spectacle, though I must own to being surprised by your victory.”
            Any heat he’d felt moved swiftly to his head. “Surprised?” he choked.
            She nodded. “Shocked, actually. Your form is quite deplorable,” she remarked. She glanced down, pointedly. “Were I you, I would focus on my footwork. You can’t just stand there all day and expect to overpower your opponent with brute force. You must be fleet of foot.”
            “Fleet of foot …,” Geoffrey repeated. His lower back howled.
            “Precisely,” she returned, looking earnest. “Lord Holbrook is a much more graceful swordsman. Had it not been for that bit of trickery at the end, you surely would have been defeated.”
            Trickery? Trickery? Did he say “queen”? More like “fishwife”. Why, if they weren’t surrounded by a crowd of people, he’d – “How would you know?” Geoffrey sputtered, remembering her scribblings. “You hardly observed the match.” Her hands were empty, so he looked behind her. On the chair, peeking out from beneath the discarded bouquet, he saw a corner of paper. He reached around her and snatched it up. What had she been writing?
            She gasped, grasping for the paper but missing. “That’s private!”
            He ignored her, opened the page and looked. Then looked again. It resembled the mathematical equations he’d suffered over as a boy at Harrow, with long and short line and addition, subtraction and equals symbols. Yet there were also little arrows and letters instead of numbers.
            “What is this?” he asked, intrigued.
            “It’s none of your business,” she said and held her hand out.
            He didn’t give it back. She firmed her lips and narrowed her eyes. In answer, he raised a brow.
            She sighed. “I was working out a reaction,” she said.
            “A reaction?” He looked again at the paper, then back at her.
            She glared, and the most darling little V appeared between her chestnut brows. “I was trying to combine a biological reaction with a chemical one to prove a theory of mine,” she said. She snapped her fingers and opened her hand again in a demand that he return her paper. “You wouldn’t understand.”
            This time, Geoffrey firmed his lips. No, he wouldn’t understand, but the most decidedly didn’t care for being told that by a slip of a woman. Any more than he liked he criticizing his footwork when she had no idea of the pain he was in. Besides, he’d wager she’d never even lifted a sword in her life.
            He handed the paper back to her. “Probably trying to concoct some sort of love potion to snare unwilling suitors,” he grumbled, turning his back on her.
            Geoffrey heard her gasp as he stalked away and smiled.
            Point, him.

Dialogue Highlight (le swoon people):

            Geoffrey yanked himself back, gasping for breath. “I’m sorry”, he said. “I should not have taken advantage.” He dropped his hands to her shoulders, gently putting her away from him, lest he drag her into his arms and take real advantage … the kind that could not be undone.
            Liliana, it seemed, was having just as much difficulty regaining her composure. Her chest rose and fell, and he could see the throbbing of her pulse against her neck, very near where his hands still rested. He released her, taking a step backward.
            Her extraordinary eyes were wide but had darkened sensually into a deep amethyst. The incredible curiosity of hers gleamed in their depths as she watched him … that quality that he knew would make her an exceptional lover. He groaned. Thoughts like that would not help him in his bid to be a gentleman. “Forgive me,” he said, taking another step back.
            Liliana remained, her chest rising in deeper, slower breaths. Her tongue darted out to moisten her lower lip, or perhaps to soothe it. His kiss hadn’t been gentle. Yet Geoffrey couldn’t regret it, even though he knew he should.
            “I’ll not forgive you.”
            Geoffrey grimaced. He straightened his shoulders and lowered his head, prepared to allow her to heap whatever well-deserved condemnation she wished upon him.
            “There is nothing to forgive,” she said softly.
            He raised his head, focusing on her face. Her lips were swollen, had deepened a shade from his kisses. Yet they were smiling.
            “I have something to say.” Her voice didn’t waver, yet her cheeks pinkened, alerting him that whatever was on her mind wasn’t an easy thing to get out. “I’m going to be blunt, though it may cause you think I am not a lady.”
            Geoffrey held very still, his attention rapt.
            Liliana took a deep breath. “I’ve told you I have no intent to marry, but that does not mean I have no wish to …”
            He found he could no longer breathe.
            “That is, I’ve been thinking since the night you kissed me in the library …” She shook her head and started again. Her lip trembled, barely enough for him to notice, but notice he did. “I am four and twenty. I have studied science since I was a girl. I am well aware of how … reproduction works.”
            She took a small step toward him, and prickles of sensation rolled in waves over his skin.
            “But I am only now becoming aware of a … She licked her lips again, seemingly unconsciously, but it was as if she’d licked his own instead, so real was the jolt of lust that took hold of him. “A desire to experience it for myself.”


As you all may have noticed, I have been on a historical romance kick lately. I love HR! Started with HR, will always go back to HR. It is my favorite of all genres. But what I have noticed most about the recent HR reads I have been rabidly reading through is that I have very much enjoyed them all. I mean, seriously. When reading multiple books, you would expect to find something that you don’t exactly swoon over. Most especially because many of the authors I have read lately are new-to-me. But I have absolutely loved them. And what is more? Many of these authors are showcasing their debut novels. Yup. You read that right. DEBUT! Well, I am here to say, the fabulous debut author Heather Snow has got what it takes!

Geoffrey is in a pickle. A returned war hero, he has witnessed the harsh realities of life after war. The soldiers frequently return to nothing and consequently end up begging on the street just to survive after putting their lives on the line for the country that has failed to acknowledge their bravery. Sure, people call them heroes, but hero status does not put food on the table of the underprivileged. Geoffrey aims to change that and with his position in Parliament, he is fast approaching the clout to push his dreams into reality. Except his mother has other plans and has every intention of seeing him settle down and get down to fulfilling his responsibility of providing an heir. Now he is trapped at his own house party he did NOT plan with a bunch of scheming potential wives and their meddling mothers. What is worse, he is completely exasperated by the fair Liliana, which quickly blossoms into a healthy dose of lust. And Geoffrey is trying desperately not to succumb to his baser instincts.

Liliana has ulterior motives - quite a few of them actually – for finagling her aunt into securing her acceptance to the Earl’s house party. The primary reason, to discover the possible individual guilty of murdering her father. She knows someone within the Earl’s home is responsible and she has to start with the Earl himself. But Liliana is playing a dangerous game. First, she has lied to her Aunt, acting as if she would like to try and snag the Earl for her own when all she really wants to do is continue her life’s work as a scientist. Then there is the matter of Geoffrey. Liliana is in no way seeking a husband. After all, they tend to dictate to their wives, and don’t generally support those who opt to participate in professions that refuse to accept women. She is not going to give up her passion for the sake of something undesirable like marriage and family. Except the Earl is fast becoming more and more desirable. And Liliana is finding it near impossible to ignore the longing he evokes within her. As their relationship grows, Liliana becomes the one in the pickle. Does she give up the search for her father’s killer and attempt a future with Geoffrey, or does she confess all and pray he does not cast her aside?

I. Loved. This. Book. Ms. Snow shoots outside of the box in creating her characters and achieves magical results. Geoffrey is not what one expects of the higher class. He is determined to help those less fortunate, especially his fellow soldiers, and will use whatever influence he can to see his dream fulfilled. Liliana is no less unconventional. In her bid to become a recognized member within the scientific realm – a dominion that staunchly refuses to allow women a place within, despite her brilliance, she becomes more of an outcast than anything. She is obviously all wrong for an Earl with political ties, but that, oftentimes, makes her absolutely perfect as his match. And of course, both are opposed to being forced into conforming like the rest of their peers, so both have to overcome the protective walls resurrected before a chance at happiness is given the slightest flicker of a possibility. I love that Liliana is strong and capable, while obviously unaware of an obvious need for love an acceptance she tried hard to oppress.

Adding to the splendor of this story is intelligence and wit mixed with just the right amount of sarcasm. And the intellect demonstrated by both Liliana and Geoffrey is not overdone. The scientific facts, for example are kept to a level that allows enhancement of the story while maintaining the readers attention. The wit and sarcasm is utterly charming. One of my favorite paragraphs is Geoffrey speaking to his horse while thinking other thoughts to himself about Liliana, who is devastating his senses in every way possible by this time.
He found a spot to rest the horses away from the crab apple trees. Grin nudged him in protest. “Much too much temptation over there,” Geoffrey mumbled, as much to himself as to the horse. “You, my friend, have an appalling lack of self-control.” As does your master. “And I have no desire” – to find myself married to a woman completely wrong for me – “to nurse a sick horse all the way home,” he said, patting Grin on the rump.

Throw in the bits of mystery and danger and you have the formula for this fresh, delightful novel. And … did I mention that the cover of this book has a quote from Julie Garwood? Julie. Garwood. People. I mean seriously. What more of an endorsement do you need? I can say for sure that I will be keeping an eye on Ms. Snow as I am confident she is an author to watch. Sweet Enemy is also part of a series: Veiled Seduction. Happily, I have discovered that an intriguing secondary character from the book, Aveline, will get his story in book 2, Sweet Deception, due out in August of this year. The reader is offered a glimpse into Aveline, but not near enough. My curiosity strings have been well and truly plucked. You can bet I will be reading that book for sure. Historical romance lovers are sure to enjoy Ms. Snow and her charming debut.

(ARC Paperback received from author for review.)


  1. You have a real gift for reviewing, and I'm not just saying that because You. Loved. Sweet. Enemy. :)

    You do a beautiful job of pulling character traits and story threads from the book and tying them back nicely together to give a potential reader the essence of the story. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing my book.

    1. Thank you so much for that Heather. It means a lot to me. And thank you for allowing me a chance to read and review this fabulous story. :)


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