REVIEW: The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries
A new historical series begins with fun banter and a few men who get the idea to form a club to keep their wards out of trouble long enough to attract the right man to marry them. If only these strong women with minds of their own will acquiesce before the other sinful club members entice them.
American artist Jeremy Kean has a reputation as a rakehell and he intends to keep it. His sister and mother want him to come home to assist in running his family’s textile mills near Philadelphia, but Jeremy wants nothing to do with the place that brought him such emotional pain.
Lady Yvette Barlow believes she’s too tall and ungainly for any man to want her as his bride. In truth, it’s her spirit that scares the more worthy men. After realizing her last suitor only wanted her money, she suspects every man that approaches her with the same ambition. Her brother Edwin, the Earl of Blakeborough, believes that a portrait which showcases her best features, to be painted by a famous artist, will bring a bounty of appropriate suitors to their door.
Yvette decides that Jeremy, who frequents the city’s most sinful places, can help her resolve an issue for her incarcerated brother Samuel, whom she owes for saving her from an unwanted marriage. That’s her bargain to sit for the portrait and the secret painting they’ve agreed to work on without her brother Edwin’s consent. Jeremy is more than willing to agree to her terms because the beautiful Yvette is the model he has dreamed about to complete his envisioned masterpiece. Jeremy agrees, but that is before he becomes friends with Yvette’s brother and forms an alliance with him to protect their sisters together. Will Jeremy fulfill his promise to Yvette, going against her brother’s wishes, without getting himself into a marriage of convenience to save her reputation?
Jeremy portrays himself as a sinner which is why Edwin insists on being with them each time he works on Yvette’s portrait. But Yvette is keen on getting the support she needs to finish her promised favor to her brother Samuel, so she arranges to meet Jeremy in secret each night after the household has gone to bed. It doesn’t take long for their attraction to become steamy while they’re alone, especially since Yvette is so curious about everything and not afraid to ask questions better left unsaid.
Lady Yvette is a fun and unusual heroine. Her habit of collecting naughty slang words and their definitions for her dictionary is hilarious at times. It certainly sets her up for less than appropriate behavior and even if she’s embarrassed, she’s hardly the sort to back down from a challenge. Her curiosity is definitely Jeremy’s nemesis for behaving as a gentleman and it’s a miracle he lasts as long as he does under the duress.
I really enjoyed the banter in this novel. Jeremy is quite the charmer even when he says nothing other than expressing a dark look. Yvette gives as good as she gets so their verbal sparring kept me entertained while they try to decide how they feel about one another. Jeremy’s assistant is also a hoot and just what he needs to keep Jeremy hopping in order to hide his secret project. Edwin is adorable and I can’t wait for his story in the next book. I have a feeling that Edwin is not going to know what hit him, nor what to do with it when it does. Lady Clarissa is also introduced in this novel so we get a good look at the trouble coming at Edwin. Lady Clarissa is already a handful so I can’t wait to see what she does to Edwin.
I loved the wordplay in this novel and learning some of the street cant of this time period. It was such a clever hobby to give the heroine so that she always veers on the edge of trouble. Jeremy isn’t as naughty as he seems and he’ll win your heart once you find out his secrets. These two make a great couple. I also enjoyed getting to know Jeremy’s sister and mother which was a very telling scene about his true character.
Novels that begin a series are often filled with so much information about the other characters and series plot that we don’t get enough time with the main couple to make their relationship convincing. That’s not the case with this one. THE ART OF SINNING is written with excellent timing, introducing more characters slowly, enticing the reader as the cast grows. I loved the banter, the clothes, the setting and most of all the satisfying ending. This is how a romance should end, leaving the reader with a satisfied sigh. The last sentence is perfection and made me smile. A promising start to a new series which makes me look forward to book two of THE SINFUL SUITORS, THE STUDY OF SEDUCTION, due to release in March 2016.
Reviewed by Dorine, courtesy of Romance Junkies and The Zest Quest. Print ARC provided by the publisher.
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More reviews of Sabrina Jeffries’ books are located here.
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