Released: May 4, 2010
Title: Sweetest Little Sin
Author: Christine Wells
Pages: Mass Market Paperback; 277 + excerpt from “Damsel in Disguise” by Susan Gee Heino (294 pgs)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
“A Marquis’ Betrayal
Lady Louisa Brooke has many suitors, but the only man for her is the wild and ruthless Marquis of Jardine. When Jardine suddenly abandons her after a long-standing liaison, he leaves her with nothing except the secret they share. Her future in ruins, Louisa recklessly accepts a mission from the head of the secret service and becomes embroiled in a perilous operation in which nothing is as it seemsÉ
A Lady’s Revenge
The Marquis of Jardine is determined to destroy the criminal mastermind whoÕs sworn vengeance against all he holds dear. But when he hears that Louisa is to wed a dangerous enemy, Jardine is tortured by jealousy and fear for her safety. He tracks her down, only to discover that her mission collides with his.
A Love that Won’t Be Denied
Together, Louisa and Jardine must now foil a plan to betray the secret service and escape a diabolical revenge. But can they put the past behind them, and take the greatest risk of all – on love?”
Author Bio (from her website):
I wrote my first book at the age of ten. It was a picture book about aliens, which were the only creatures I could draw.
Many years later, after completing school, a Bachelor of Laws and a few years in a legal firm, the writing bug bit again. Not a picture book this time, but a crime thriller set in a legal firm not unlike the one where I worked. With characters not unlike the people I encountered every day. Wisdom being the better part of valor, and multiple defamation suits a very real concern, I didn’t pursue that work further than the first few chapters. Regrettably, the fictional murder of … (well, I’d better not say) remains unsolved to this day.
I then turned my thoughts to stories that were less likely to result in a garnishee over my wages for many years to come. My first love, Regency historicals.
More time passed in fevered scribbling before my long-suffering husband suggested I might consider giving up work and writing full-time. Angels broke out in a chorus, manna dropped from Heaven and I remembered why I had married this absolute gem of a man in the first place. Still, it took many months before I gathered the courage to take the plunge. I free-fell into the vast void of structureless days, where tailored suits and stockings were no longer required dress and the only rule of thumb was to be out of my pyjamas by 10am.
Seven years and two children later, I still live by that rule.
So, the thing about reading spy novels? They’re all so damn shifty you know it’s one of them, you just don’t know who not to trust!
Sweetest Little Sin was a quick, easy, fun read.
Now, there are a bunch of names rolling around; Jardine, Louisa, Radleigh, Faulkner, Mrs. Burton, Max, Kate, Smith (and there’s more!). But, of course, being a espionage plot it can’t be simple. The plot itself was rather intriguing. It kept me hooked and I wanted to keep reading to find out who did it (but, alas, class started today *needed sleep*), what was going to happen to Louisa, was Jardine going to swoop in in the nick of time?
I’ll tell you now, she did NOT need him to. We’ve all been inundated with the independent- I don’t need a man- not a damsel in distress-too stubborn for her own good heroines. But, Lady Louisa’s different. While she was a strong woman, she also thought through her actions. She didn’t run into a room full of armed scoundrels weaponless then faint. No, she’s a crack shot with a good head on her shoulders. (Although, after a while her stubbornness DID show). On top of all that there’s a vulnerability woven into her character that appears, not because she’s hysterical, but when she willingly accepts and KNOWS she needs help.
Jardine…Jardine, Jardine, Jardine. Apparently, he’s beautiful. *shrug* He loves Louisa like crazy, but doesn’t want her involved in his life because his life is dangerous (being a spy and what not). So, naturally, he pushes her away. Ok. Fine. BUT, he doesn’t want anyone else to have her either. He gets rather….murderous…if someone so much as gives her a second glance. For all his arrogance, bullying, and pigheadedness everything his does is to ensure her safety. Only, the safety of England sometimes got in the way.
Jardine’s an interesting character and I would’ve loved to know more about him. There isn’t much to question about him because he proves it time and time again. However, majority of the story is in Louisa’s POV and everything we know about him is through her. Which isn’t a lot since halfway through she realizes she doesn’t know that much about him either.
At one point, (in his POV) he says his Christian name and it totally threw me off. His Christian name is mentioned ONE TIME in the entire novel. (Just thought you should know.)
This book IS unique, however.
– The word “groin” was mentioned once in the first 100 pages. I found that worth mentioning since a lot of novels have the word or its (MANY) euphemisms in every other chapter.
– They didn’t have…relations…until almost the end. To be honest, I was so caught up in the plot it threw me a little when they DID.
I would have liked to have seen more Louisa/Jardine interaction. It was a good plot and the romance was there…but the plot often overshadowed the romance. Both protagonists claim an overwhelming love – Jardine even says they can’t deny they belong together. But, we don’t get to see the lead up to their union. We kind of get tossed in the middle.
(By the way, if your imagination is sorely lacking and you didn’t know what to imagine whenever an author mentioned “transparent shifts” and heroines “standing before candle light”, look at the cover. It leaves very little to the imagination. o.O )
The novel wasn’t even 300pgs and I felt because of this a lot was left out. The “little sin”, for example, it’s not so…little. I guess in the grand scheme of things it IS, but it effected a lot of people and it definitely should’ve caused talk. But, we don’t get to see anyone’s reactions; not the ton’s, not her brother, not her mother, not the other “agents”.
A few scenes I would have liked fleshed out. They felt choppy, and ended abruptly. Jardine is one of those characters I would love to read short stories about after the novel has ended.
And my final thing. I found two typos. Maybe there were others, but these two jumped out at me because it faltered my reading.
1) there was a “than” that should have been a “then”
2) there was a “seem” that should have been a “she was so excited to see him”
They’re small, but yeah…
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I found out this is actually a sequel, if you will. Of course, you know I’m going to hunt down the prequel. (Maybe if I read the prequel I’ll learn more about Jardine.) But, I think you should know I actually started out the week reading Aprilynne Pike’s YA “Wings”.
GO READ! 🙂