Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
A marriage of convenience ignites into a passionate love affair in the hotly anticipated second novel in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s addictive Sinful Suitors series!
When Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, agrees to help his best friend’s impetuous ward, Lady Clarissa Lindsey, in her time of need, he knows he’s in for trouble. He’s been hunting for someone to wed, and she’ll just get in the way. Although captivated by the whip-smart, free-spirited beauty, he fears she’d be all wrong as a wife ... if she would even take such a gruff cynic for her husband. Too bad he wants nothing more than to have her for his own.
Clarissa has no intention of marrying anyone—not Edwin, whom she’s sure would be an overbearing husband, and certainly not the powerful French diplomat stalking her. But when matters escalate with the diplomat, she chooses Edwin’s gallant offer of a marriage between friends in hopes that it will deter her stalker. She expects nothing more than an amiable union, but their increasingly tempestuous kisses prove more than she bargained for. When her stalker’s vow to expose the lovers’ deepest secrets threatens to destroy their blossoming attraction, will their tenuous bond withstand public ruin, or will Edwin lose all that’s important to him to protect his bride?
Warning: in the next paragraph I will mention the biggest spoiler of the book, but I have to because some people have hard limits when it comes to books and this one might be one of them. Read at your own caution.
In her early years as a debutante Clarissa was raped by one if her suitors. The actual rape wasn't described, but how she felt afterwards was. We see how broken, she was. It wasn't pretty. The sad thing is that Clarissa hasn't talked to anyone about it. At least modern day heroines have the chance to speak about it and get some therapy.
Now, after the big spoil I want to discuss about the marriage between Clarissa and Edwin. I was expecting the wedding to take place sooner considering how much we were teased about in the blurb and the cover of the book. The lateness wasn't a bad thing though. The way it happened felt more natural and it didn't ruin the pace by going too slow or too fast. I just wanted to see these two married.
In the Art of sinning, I fell in love with the characters quickly and that happened again. I might have been in love with Edwin and Clarissa from the previous books, but I loved them even more in this book. Clarissa is a strong woman despite the things she has gone through. Edwin might seem as if he has a cold heart, but he has his reasons. When you realise what he has done you will see how warm he is and how big his heart is. Nial soon after he appeared became one of the characters that have a piece of my heart and I hope he will get his own book.
I found the whole stalker plot nicely connected to the story and the stalkers reasons justified. For once I felt something more than disappointment when someones motives were revealed. We are in England of the 19th century after all.
I loved the book. I devoured it. I love Sabrina Jeffries's characters. She has a way of making me like them almost instantly. The 384 pages of this book went by too fast and I mean that in the best way possible. I can not wait for October when Warren will get his own lady.