After the Abduction
After the Abduction is a history-lite, humor-heavy historical romance that is not Sabrina Jeffries’ best. And those readers who haven’t read the preceding two books in this trilogy will discover that there’s more than just a little backstory missing.
Juliet Laverick eloped with smuggler Morgan Pryce several years ago. Her family rescued her and all was well until gossip began to spread. So Juliet, her sister, and brother-in-law track him down to the Pryce estate, Charnwood. When they get there, they are met by the master of Charnwood who looks like Morgan but who says he is Morgan’s identical twin brother Sebastian, Lord Templemore.
Juliet is suspicious. This man looks like, acts, and smells like Morgan, and when she tricks him into one, Juliet realizes he kisses like Morgan. And yet he swears he is Sebastian and that Morgan was lost at sea with his band of smugglers. When a snowstorm strands Juliet and her family at Charnwood, she decides to find out the truth.
It took me a while to warm up to Juliet. She walked the border between outspoken and “feisty,” and too often strayed over to the dark side. Sebastian loves her practically on sight, but it took me a while to warm up to her. Perhaps most exasperating was her picking a fight with Sebastain after they made love and he proposed. While her behavior may have made sense to her, it eluded me entirely.
On the other hand, I liked Sebastian very much. His craft (gunsmithing) was fascinating and allowed for some humorous banter during the love scenes especially when Juliet gets a bit enthusiastic in her handling of his “pistol” and it discharges prematurely. Not to worry – he reloads very quickly. Sebastian is a serious and responsible man whose rake of a father ruined the estate and drove his mother away. He thinks of himself as a dull fellow, but when Juliet criticizes his kissing technique, he vows to show her he’s not as dull as she thinks he is. Jeffries’ heroes have a habit of talking to their “pistols” and naming them as well. Sometimes she overdoes this, but not in this book. Sebastian refers to and talks to his “John Thomas” every so often, but not enough to be silly.
While Sabrina Jeffries attempts to provide readers with the backstory involving Juliet and her past adventures, relationships were so intertwined with those incidents that a sort of nebulous haze settled in as I read the book that never entirely went away. We at AAR have a policy that most stand-alone books should stand on their own, which is why the slightly above average grade is appropriate. And yet I know that had I read the books preceding this one, I’d likely have enjoyed After the Abduction more because it did have its moments, and because those books received higher grades from my colleagues here at the site.
Readers who like historical romance on the lite side will probably find this a better read than I did. If I can find the time, I will look up the other titles in the series and then read it again. While that might clear up the nebulous haze, it won’t do a thing about my problems with Juliet.