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Her Dark Seduction

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This is a dark medieval story that held my interest until the end. Lady Lisetta will go through so much she is forced to marry Lord Mortlock a sadistic old man with no hope of love. Vane Sawford is Mortlock's manservant who is ordered to get her pregnant. This book is written in the first person. I found it to be well worth reading. I received a copy of this book via Net Galley and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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Her Dark Seduction by Emily Royal

Blown away by this dark gritty look into the past, I felt it was all too real and at times wanted to scoop Lisetta up and whisk her away to a safer place. No woman should have to endure what she did and yet I fear many probably did, and still do. True, women were considered possessions and bargaining chips to be used by the males in their lives and seen only as something to be used to further the agenda of said male…and as a result…many had no say over their lives or means to evade horrible situations. This is the second book I have read by this author and though grim, it was excellent. 

What I liked: 
* Elyssa: strong, brave, stalwart, stoic, and unbroken in spirit despite what she suffered. She so deserved a better lot than she was dealt.
* Vane: A man who grew on me…never warm and fuzzy he was definitely a man to be reckoned with and more than he appeared to be on the surface. 
* The “realness” of the story
* That I felt I was there – and was glad I was not actually there.
* The glimpse into the past
* The way all the different aspects of the story finally came together.
* That some of the people did find a way to a happily ever after.
* Meeting and wondering about some of the characters introduced – will they get stories of their own? 
* The Epilogue

What I didn’t like: 
* The evil men that were so abundant in this story – wanted them to suffer as much as if not more than they tortured others.
* Being unable to alleviate the pain experienced by so many…even knowing it is just a story.
* Knowing that people suffered and died just as the characters in this book did. 

Did I enjoy this book? Yes 
Would I read more by this author? Yes

NOTE: This is not a book for the faint of heart. I did enjoy reading this book but will caution the reader who does not like torture, rape and violence that this story includes all of these and may not be for you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Wild Rose Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

5 Stars
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The story is set in medieval times and the main character is a woman whose father sees her as no more than a political pawn and outlet for his rage. The marriage her father arranges for her is equally horrifying in different ways. Lisetta has little comfort in her new home and marriage aside from her childhood maid. Her husband's manservant is directed to have Lisetta impregnated through whatever means necessary, including different partners among her husband's men. The manservant for whatever reason chooses to be the sole partner for Lisetta. Each night after he accompanies her to see to her husband's needs, the manservant beds her. This is only the tip of the iceberg and things continue to worsen for Lisetta.

I would liken this in similarity to Sansa Stark's experience in Game of Thrones. This book is not for the faint of heart. I found myself frequently unnerved as Lisetta moved throughout her life, the author did a wonderful job of conveying the uncertainty and danger she faced. I felt that some portions were rushed and too easily brushed off, like the manservant's actions in Balsdean. This is not a story for the light of heart and I would probably not recommend this to many people due to its triggering nature. Likely only people interested in dark romances.
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Lisette watches her mother die and starts having nightmares. Her father arranges a marriage with Lord Mortlock. He is older than the hills and twice as abusive. He is in desperate need of an heir. His manservant is told to find a fertile stud. I don't know how she keeps going. She is treated badly by everyone. At this time in history, women were chattels and men could literally do anything they want and no one will tell them to stop.
Vane Sawford was the manservant to Lord Mortlock. He took on the job of studding. The only time he was nice to her was while they were in her room at night. I must admit I have mixed feelings about the book. Despite all, it is a very well-written and hard to put down novel. For me, it was a tearjerker.
I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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Lady Lisetta is married to a sadistic old man Lord Mortlock who needs an heir and who marries to get an heir. Poor Lisetta goes from a father who routinely beats her to sadistic old man who wants one of the stable boys to impregnate his wife. He then orders Vane Sawford, his manservant, to sleep with his wife and get him an heir.  He’s is attracted to Lady Lisetta, but can he keep his secrets and his loyalty to the overlord he’s duty bound and still seduce Lisetta?  Lisetta is married to an old sadistic man who only wants and heir any way he can one, Lisetta is his possession and her one goal in life to produce an heir. A captivating story into the life of a wife who is no more than a servant, a broodmare to produce the expected heir. Who will save her from this nightmare that is now her life? I voluntarily read and reviewed this excellent book filled romance.
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Will she see in time who is truly on her side ...

This book narrated at the first person was unsettling. Much more than the previous book.
As while I admired the heroine in The Saxon’s Unwanted Bride, I had much difficulties to like Lisetta. She presents herself as weak but she is also haughty when she should not.
She whines at others’ treatment but she also insults them. 
She shows contempt to Vane, when in his own way he tries to protect her. Sure he has his own agenda, but he is rarely cruel, he tries to warn her but she is deaf to all his warning. As if she calls for harm to come her way.
Sure she is trapped and her condition of her woman with wealth makes her the perfect target for evil men, yet she also willingly runs into every trap sets for her.
So while I pitied her regularly, she also upsets me a lot for ignoring every clues and cautions she is offered. And the more I turned the pages, the more I grew to dislike her. 
As the story is told from her point of view, her thoughts were clear, so why was she so uglily awful with Vane when time after time he warned her to trust no one, to be weary of everyone, still by her actions, she early costed two people their life, as if she deliberately wanted to put herself in harm way.
Of course Vane is not an easy fellow to understand, he appears ruthless and harsh but the author offers glimpse after glimpse about this man, one with secrets and desires, but also with a mission to fulfill, yet he is Lisetta’s knight, often rescuing her from her foolishness.

So be prepared, this book is a dark read, filled with shadows, betrayals and violence.
3.25 stars

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen sex and lovemaking scenes.

I have been granted an advance copy by the author, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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This is a very dark book. I mean dark. Triggers include physical and verbal abuse, rape and torture. There is also some hard and heavy explicit sex. Caught in the middle of political turmoil between King Henry II and his enemies, Lisetta is married to an old sadistic Lord. Each shameful night she stands before him, but he doesn't take her as his wife, another man possesses her. Only one thing keeps her sane, the love letters from Tarvin de Fowensal. This is a fast paced book. Each page makes you wonder if this young woman is going to survive to the next page. Even the man she loves is abusive. What a fine line between love and hate.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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This was a first read for me by Emily.  The beginning I was having a hard time figuring out what was going on.  I think we need more info to understand the transitions, especially with the prologue through the first chapter.  I liked this did have some "dark" themes, so this one wasn't a fluffy historical romance.  I just think I couldn't completely connect with Vane and Lisetta as a couple.

I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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When I finished this story, I was so grateful to live in the 21st century.  As the title indicates, this story is dark, though I question the seduction part.  This tale is also told in the first person, which is quite different.  So Lisette is handed over to an old sadistic Lord.  She arrives with bruises on her belly because her father is also sadistic (he burned her mother at the stake for adultery).  Things go downhill from there.  I won't write a spoiler, but you should know there are beatings, torture, beheadings, forced sex in this story.  There is a hero, we hope named Vane.  

I struggle as to whether or not I think this is a 1 star or 5 star tale, but as I write this I am reminded that I stayed up till 1:30 a.m. to finish it, so while I don't believe it should be marketed as a historical ROMANCE, for there was little romance in this tale, it was compelling.   I received an ARC for my honest review.
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I have tried 3 times to get into this book, but 1st person point of view makes it impossible for me. I read the blurb and it sounded fun, unfortunately I didn't read any reviews(I never do) or a sample to see what POV it was written as. I'm really sorry that I couldn't give it a go.
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Her Dark Seduction is a first pov of Lisette married to a sadistic old man, who reminded me of another character from a very popular book series. Lisette is good heroine. We see all that she has to do to protect herself and everyone around her. Things may not go smoothly but at least she does do something than whine. Vane, I'm still on the fence about this love interest. He has a good story and I would love to see his side of the story, but I wanted to hit him. We do hear his excuses of what and why he did what he did, but it was a poor excuse for his character. Emily Royal is a very good writer and I look forward to any other one of her books.
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Dark, harrowing and probably very true to the life of a young Lady in a difficult arranged marriage, at that time.
This book is written in the first person, and makes you feel for the woman telling you her story.
It’s also very descriptive and the scenes may be hard to read in parts, our Heroine does not have an easy time in this book, but in some ways that’s what makes it so good.

Lisette has a very punishing relationship with her father and a disturbing one with her husband.
Her second marriage she loves the man but it’s not returned she feels.
And so her life continues.

Vane is a Clerk to Lissette’s husband and they develop a love/ hate relationship, maybe out of desperation on her part, on his you’ll find out when you read the book. 
He’s also a hard character to read and like, is he good or bad, kind or mean, traitor or Royalist. 
Like I say so hard to read. Again it’s all sorted in the end.
Thank goodness.

I waited for the romantic vein to enter, although it’s there in the distance, the book is more real than that.
It’s one that although I was disturbed and left upset by her life I also loved the book.
In fact I had difficulty writing this review because I was so at odds with myself.
In the end I can’t deny it was very very good.
I settled for Five stars. 

I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this book
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This is my fair and honest review, voluntarily given and in my own words, for this ARC.  Yep, a title with the word Dark in it certainly fits this book.  How any person could go through this much and still survive is beyond my comprehension.
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Her Dark Seduction is a historical fiction novel that follows the story of Lady Lisetta, forced into a loveless marriage with Lord Mortlock and bound into service for him. She is drawn to his manservant, Vane Sawford, and soon becomes tangled in his world, both in love and as a means of survival. 

This book is one wild ride to say the least. Engaging from beginning to end, I had trouble putting the book down and ended up finishing it in one day. Lady Lisetta is an incredibly strong female lead, and it is easy to get invested in her story. The trials she faces are significant, and the reader is left likely rooting out loud for her during many parts of the book (and also yelling "no, why????" during in other sections). As a novice reader of historical fiction, I would like to point out that the setting of this book is written in a time when women were seen as property and as such the book includes some possibly difficult to read moments, but note that the book should be viewed by the reader within the context of it's time. An adventure from start to finish, this book makes me look forward to reading more books by this author. 

Thanks to Netgalley and The Wild Rose Press, Inc. for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.
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A literary masterpiece! 6 stars

Her Dark Seduction, by Emily Royal, tells the tale of a brave but naive heroine during a period during which women were only properties and means to give men their children. Her story really touched me, in fact so much, that it sent me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It’s a little gem to discover! I could not put it down! 
This book is a little unusual because it's written in first person from Lisetta's viewpoint and it holds a darker side than Ms. Royal previous stories. 

Lisetta is forced to marry a sadistic old man named Mortlock, who only marries her to give him an heir. Being too old, he orders his servant Sawford, to do whatever is necessary for her to become pregnant. But, there is a problem, Lisetta becomes attracted by the savagery of Sawford. To survive, she must submit to the many whims of the men present in her life, her husband, the manservant even her father who shows her no respect. Will she survive her ordeal? Who will come to save and rescue her from these men? It is necessary to remember, that the women of that period, were considered as sexual objects and of no value. This novel is sometimes difficult to read but it's well written. A few times, I shouted don’ the heroine! However, Lisetta will find love, but who will be the man to catch her heart? After many twists and turns, she will finally find peace in the arms of her protector! 

I strongly recommend this romantic historical fiction with a rich and smart heroine!

I received an eARC of this book, from the publisher The Wild Rose Press, Inc. and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review!
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