by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #1
Genres: Historical Romance
American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas. No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love?
I adored Sabrina Jeffries’ Duke’s Men series and was eager to being The Art of Sinning the first novel in the Sinful Suitors series. Arrangements, bargains and heat made for a delicious tale. Jeffries delivers strong heroines who make me laugh and I quickly devoured the Art of Sinning.
Jeffries has a habit of weaving past characters into her new books and we see some familiar faces. Our hero American painter, Jeremy Keene was first introduced in The Duke’s Men series and I was glad to read his story. It is unusual to have an American as our hero and Jeremy’s backstory and reasons for being abroad were interesting. Paint, passion, and a strong-headed Juno soon have him very busy. He has a reputation as a rogue who spends a lot of his time in the nunneries but we soon learn there is much more to Jeremy. While attending a wedding and looking for reasons to flee he spots Lady Yvette Barlow. He realizes she will be the perfect model for his latest masterpiece. He soon finds himself making deals not only with Yvette but also with her older brother just to paint Yvette. I love these types of “arrangement” tropes because things inevitably go wrong and usually in the most delicious ways.
Yvette is headstrong and well aware of two things. She is drawn to rakes and rakes are trouble. However, she needs Jeremy’s help gaining entry into the cities brothels and agrees to pose for him in exchange for his help. Edwin the Earl of Blakeborough wants to see his sister happily wed, but fears her outspokenness will hinder her prospects. I really liked Edwin. (as in I swooned and need to know more) The man comes off as a stodgy stuffed shirt, but as Jeffries peeled back his layers, I liked what we discovered. We meet other secondary character and see some beloved ones.
Unlike the Duke’ Men which weaved in suspense and danger The Art of Sinning focuses more on the characters themselves and their issues with love, trust, guilt etc. There is a small mystery thread concerning Yvette’ family and it added interest and excitement. The overall arc thread concerning men of the ton and their sisters/charges was an interesting one and I liked the concept. It should prove to be interesting and I am already excited for the stories to come.
The romance was slow-building and began with heated chemistry and wicked thoughts. Both characters tried to avoid acting on these feelings due to past experiences. We get a little banter as Yvette manages to unhinge Jeremy. Frustration, fear, trust and lack of communication hamper their progress but Jeffries did not overdo the angst allowing me to become engaged. We do finally get some heat and as always it was heated and beautifully done. I totally loved the play on the title. It is always fun to discover its meaning for the characters.
My only pet peeve was Jeremy’s overuse of the terms “thunderation.” I did not count the number of times he said this but it had to be well over a dozen times. After a while, the word had me rolling my eyes, which pulled me out of the story a little.
The Art of Sinning was an excellent start to the Sinful Suitors series and I am excited to continue. It looks like the heroines will all be strong, opinionated women who are driving their brothers/charges a tad crazy.
Interview with Sabrina Jeffries
I had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Jeffries for Simon & Schuster online @ XOXO After Dark. Stop by and check it out!
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