The Seduction of Elliot McBride
Berkley / December 31, 2012 / $7.99 print & digital
Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.
Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…
After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love.
Jennifer Ashley continues her emotionally daunting and utterly romantic Highland Pleasures series with her fifth installment, The Seduction of Elliot McBride. She continues her tradition of heartbreak, despair, and redemption with Ainsley's brother, Elliot, and the one woman who will defy convention to stand by his side and offer the healing only true love can bring.
This installment actually goes about it backwards; as opposed to the first four books, Elliot marries his love in the beginning of the book, and then the story unfolds as we watch as he and his new bride struggle to make their marriage work.
Elliot McBride and Juliana St. John grew up together. While Elliot and Juliana had always loved one another, Elliot left her to join the army and went to India to make his fortune. Juliana waited as long as she could, but when she didn't hear from Elliot, she accepts another man’s proposal and prepares to marry. While at the church, Juliana’s betrothed sends word that he has eloped with his piano teacher and Juliana is left alone, embarrassed with a church full of guests. She flees the stares and whispers only to fling herself on what she thought was a bench.
“Blast!” she said and slammed herself onto the seat. On top of something that moved. A man with long legs under a woolen kilt, a broad body that heaved up onto strong elbows. A man coming awake to find a hundred and twenty pounds of young woman in wedding garb sitting on his thighs.
Elliot McBride went off to India to make his fortune and found himself a prisoner of war for ten months. Tortured to the point of insanity, he suffers from PTSD and loses himself to the darkness of his mind quite frequently. He doesn't know who he is during his blackouts and often erupts in terrible rages so he tend to stay to himself.
The darkness did that to him sometimes. Elliot could slide past large portions of conversation without noticing he had done so. He’d come back to himself realizing people were waiting for his response and wondering what was the matter was him.
Juliana doesn't know that Elliot came to the church specifically to stop her marriage and thinks his offer of marriage is a way to help her save face. She agrees and soon they are married and headed to his estate in Aberdeen.
Elliot’s heart thundered, elation rising to choke him. He needed to finish this, take her home, be with her.
Elliot needs Juliana in ways she could never begin to imagine. It was honly his memories of her that kept him from going mad during the long pain filled ten months he was in captivity. Her face and her voice were the only thing his captors couldn't take from him. When he sees her again, he realizes that she alone has the power to soothe the darkness that he struggles with daily. Her abandonment on her wedding day is, for him, the perfect way for him to bind her to him for eternity.
Elliot would take everything, because Lord only knew when he’d have the chance again. A broken man learned to savor what he could when he had the opportunity.
The Seduction of Elliot McBride is a delicious, sensual addition to the fabulous McKenzie family saga. Jennifer Ashley’s Highland Pleasures series is sure to appeal to those readers who love an emotional historical romance filled with love, humor, redemption, and an unforgettable family.