(Sons of Sin, #4)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Anything can happen in the moonlight . . .
Justice. That’s all Nell Trim wants-for her sister and for the countless other young women the Marquess of Leath has ruined with his wildly seductive ways. Now she has a bold plan to take him down . . . as long as she can resist the scoundrel’s temptations herself.
From the moment Nell meets James Fairbrother, the air positively sizzles. Yet for all his size and power, there’s something amazingly tender in his touch. Could he really be such a depraved rogue? The only way to find out is to beat the devil at his own game . . . one tempting kiss at a time.
Another captivating story from the incomparable Anna Campbell.
How I imagine James Fairbrother, Marquess of Leath
James has long been a powerful and ambitious figure in the political arena and the ultimate goal of Prime Minister seems within his reach. Now revelations of his late Uncle Neville’s crimes and his sister Sophie’s ill-timed elopement with a penniless younger son have left the Fairbrother name synonymous with scandal and his political hopes in jeopardy. He is advised to retreat to his country estate, Alloway Chase, until the gossip has eventually blown over. What he doesn’t expect is that his mother has employed a companion, a certain Miss Trim, whom he neither likes nor trusts but whose very presence elicits all sorts of inappropriate thoughts.
How I imagine Eleanor Trim
Eleanor made a solemn promise to her dying step-sister, Dorothy, that she would seek revenge on the Marquess of Leath, the blackguard who seduced Dorothy and then callously abandoned her when she was with child. Eleanor must find the diary he kept, detailing his seductions of other innocent young women, and publicly expose his villainy. Using forged references, she manages to obtain a position at Alloway Chase as companion to the marquess’s mother The position offers plenty of opportunity for her to search for the incriminating diary. What she doesn’t expect is the sudden appearance of the marquess himself or the unwanted attraction she feels towards him.
The real highlight of this book for me was watching the growing relationship between James and Eleanor. I loved the initial back-and-forth verbal sparring between them and the strong undeniable attraction. It’s an attraction that doesn’t sit well with either of them. James doesn’t like or trust her and Eleanor refuses to admit that she finds the man who ruined her half-sister attractive. However, James is not at all as she imagined and everything she learns about him belies his reputation as a despoiler of innocent young women. When James’s secretary is injured, he reluctantly agrees to his mother’s suggestion that Eleanor should assume the role temporarily making it impossible for them to avoid each other. Eleanor is forced to learn to ride to accompany James on visits to the estate and their repartee is delightful.
He stepped back. “How do you feel?”
She looked unsure. “Like I’m sitting on a volcano that’s about to erupt.”
He snickered. “Old Snowflake is pushing twenty, Miss Trim. It he erupts, it will be a mind-numbingly speedy stroll.”
The time spent together also reinforces Eleanor’s belief that James is not a villain. He shows he really cares for Eleanor when he obtains her father’s war records for her and respects her decision when she refuses to become his mistress. There is no coercion and, when Eleanor changes her mind, it is her own decision.
Eleanor Trim was about to become a marquess’s mistress. And she couldn’t summon a shred of regret. Instead, that fluttery, new sensation under her ribs felt like happiness.
I was surprised by the lengthy love scene but in a good way . It lacked the slightly erotic feel that I have come to expect from Anna Campbell but, in terms of the characters, I think it worked beautifully. I enjoyed the feeling of playfulness, the tenderness and the deep emotional connection between James and Eleanor.
By the time her hair flowed around her, Leath breathed in gusts. His hands touched her delicately, as if the slightest fumble might shatter her.
Slowly, reluctantly, she opened her eyes. Leath stared at her as though she was a star fallen from heaven to light his way.
“It’s glorious.” her heart expanded at the awe in his voice.
I wasn’t happy with Eleanor’s actions when she finds the letters from the young women. It seemed inconceivable to me that, after everything that had happened between them and everything she knew in her heart, she would readily believe the worst of James without even giving him the chance to explain. It felt like a terrible act of betrayal and I don’t think she did enough grovelling for all the anguish she caused the poor man!
However, I did understand her reasons for not accepting James’s marriage proposal. She knew that if she married James he would lose everything he had worked for and she wouldn’t let that happen. However, James realised that he had dedicated his life to fulfilling his father’s dreams, not his own…that managing his estate and sharing his life with the woman he loved were far more fulfilling than any political career.
Jonas and Sidonie (Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed) and Richard and Genevieve (A Rake’s Midnight Kiss) and Camden and Penelope (What a Duke Dares) all make welcome appearances. James has always been a loner and so I loved that Cam, Richard and Jonas offer him genuine friendship and also provide him with valuable allies in his dramatic confrontation with the villainous Greengrass.
I can always rely on Ms Campbell to satisfy my desire for a heart-warming Epilogue. Perhaps I’ll let Penelope Rothermere, Duchess of Sedgemoor, have the final word.
“Of course. We could all see that you were head over heels and that once you’d sorted out your differences, you’d be perfect for each other.”
MY VERDICT: Another wonderful addition to this delightful series. Definitely recommended.
REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: WARM
The Sons of Sin series so far (click the covers for more details):
My sincere thanks to Anna Campbell for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review