Reviewed by Kate Garrabrant
Raoul Charlebois, the beloved actor with the cobalt-blue eyes and silver-blond curls is retiring from the London stage. He's known as an enigma who doesn't answer to anybody. His past haunts him as the illegitimate son of Lord Merriot. Raoul was exiled from Cheshire to London, England by his father to a school that taught other boys like him. Raoul has bought the building he stayed in as a boy because Dunnington, who ran the school, left Raoul and his boyhood chums twenty thousand pounds. It looks as if Dunnington extorted this shocking fee from his father, among others, and wants to know why. Raoul will travel back to Cheshire where his father and his wife reside and find out this deep dark secret he hides that he would pay to keep quiet.
It has been twelve years since Raoul has been in Cheshire and he is in for some surprises. Not only does he find a young boy passed out on the side of the road, but the young charge and his brother are orphans, left behind by a carless mother and now being taken cared of by Miss Sarah Jefferson who resides in the gamekeeper's cottage on Merriot's estate. Sarah's father was Merriot's gamekeeper up to seven years ago when he died. Sarah barely remembers Raoul because she was so young, but now that Sarah has grown into a beautiful woman, he is intrigued.
As Raoul gets closer to the truth, he begins to romance the fair Sarah. She knows that Raoul is destined for better things and if she allows him to seduce her, she will be like all the other women he left behind. When Raoul is with Sarah he feels he belongs and dreams of a future with her that entails marriage and children. He must decide to let his unfortunate past go and look towards a new and exciting future with Sarah by his side.
SEDUCE ME BY CHRISTMAS is a warm holiday historical romance with a touch of mystery within the pages. Raoul Charlebois may seem to be a disillusion rake who only cares for his own pleasure, but underneath this façade is a man looking for love and acceptance. And Raoul is not your typical rake because of his career as an actor. He also embodies the spirit and charity of the holiday, especially in regards to Sarah's two charges.
Sarah is more a stereotypical heroine where the reader won't expect any big surprises in regards to her actions and feelings towards Raoul. These two have some chemistry and nice interactions, as well as their love scenes together that lead to some more surprise. The mystery of Raoul's past keeps the tension going and the outcome brings to light many things Raoul has ignored about himself and the man he thought of as his father and why he was treated so poorly.
For some light and enjoyable reading, definitely give SEDUCE ME BY CHRISTMAS a read. Deborah Raleigh has a delightful way of taking the reader back in time, as well as writing a romance that will leave you with a smile.
Seduce Me By Christmas by Deborah Raleigh
Even a rogue can believe in miracles. . .
Raoul Charlebois is nothing if not notorious. He's abandoned his wild life to search out answers to his dark past, but that doesn't stop his reputation as a rake from following him wherever he goes. In this case, it follows him to the door of a gamekeeper's cottage, where beautiful, optimistic, innocent Sarah Jefferson resides. In all his exploits, he's never met a woman like her. . .and that makes her all the more tempting. . .
At first, Sarah will have no part in whatever the devastatingly handsome visitor wants at the estate. . .until she realizes what he wants is her. For as the snow falls down around them, she finds that the intoxicating scent of evergreen boughs can prove incredibly seductive. And maybe there is some glimmer of good in Raoul hiding deep within. After all, Christmas has a way of bringing lost souls together. . .