I have been a fan of the Sons of Sin stories since book 1, when Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed rocked my world. I know, though, that even from an author I enjoy, not every book can make my favorites shelf. This isn’t a bad book, but I had some issues with it and it’s probably my least favorite in the series to date.
The premise seemed interesting. Nell Trim is a woman set on vengeance for her half-sister who was seduced, impregnated, and discarded, only to die after losing her baby. On her deathbed, her sister named the Marquess of Leath as her debaucher and told Nell she was just one of a legion of women he took advantage of. After that, Nell became determined to expose him for his misdeeds.
The book plays out in a very predictable fashion. First off, raise your hand if you think our hero is really the ogre who defiled Nell’s sister. Anyone? Anyone? (Of course he isn’t.) But Nell doesn’t know that so she goes undercover as a maid in his household, hoping to find proof of his many seductions. Shockingly, he senses something amiss about her right away. They are terribly attracted to one another but they both fight it. Him, because it would be wrong to tup a servant… And she, duh, because he supposedly is a terrible person.
OK. They don’t fight it that hard. They end up crazy-attracted to one another and I’m sure you can imagine how it goes. It’s not that it’s bad so much as trite. They’re tropes I’ve seen over and over again with only one notable difference: the fact that the heroine agrees to become a mistress instead of a wife. In fact, she comes to insist on it. I understand the logic but it was a big turnoff to my romantic sensibilities. My biggest issue is that it comes to a point where either Nell believes she is boffing a horrible human being or not. I can’t buy into her falling in love with a man that she believes destroyed her sister; nor can I believe that she would try to ruin him if she believed him innocent. She waffles. It annoyed me.
I did enjoy catching up with couples from the previous books. I think this will be a treat for fans of the series, but won’t cause any confusion for new readers. I also liked the hero. James comes around in a big way over the course of the book. I liked that he was willing to reassess his life when presented with another path. I also appreciated that he held out for the brass ring in the end, even when Nell fought against a HEA.
Overall, it was ok. Nothing that really treads new ground or engaged my emotions a lot. But not bad for an afternoon read.
*ARC provided by Forever
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Scoundrel by Moonlight
by Anna Campbell
Release Date: April 28, 2015