Lord of Sin, by Madeline Hunter

>> Thursday, March 16, 2006

AngieW's March TBR challenge was easy: I just needed to read a historical. So here's my choice. Not the only historical I've read so far this month, but it was the first! It's just taken me a while to actually write this down and post.

Title: Lord of Sin (excerpt)

Author: Madeline Hunter

Year published: 2005

Why did you get this book?: Madeline Hunter is an autobuy author for me. I first became a fan with her debut, By Arrangement, and I've bought all her books ever since. So even though Lord of Sin didn't get very good reviews online, I automatically got it anyway.

Do you like the cover?: I wasn't crazy about it initially, but it grew on me. I mean, at first sight it's very attractive, but it bothered me that I didn't get a "historical" vibe from it (probably because it has a black and white photo on it and because the female model's clothes just didn't feel 19th century enough for me). And also, you don't immediately understand just what male body parts you're seeing *g*.

As I read it and got used to it, I began to like it, though.


Blurb:

When carefree rake Ewan McLean inherits an earldom, his plans for his new fortune are entirely in keeping with his lifestyle: to expand his collection of erotic art and expensive mistresses. That is, until he becomes acquainted with his most intriguing new responsibility.

Bride Cameron is beautiful, unmarried, and sole caretaker of her three younger sisters. Now it’s Ewan’s duty to see that she is provided for. But to his amazement, the last thing the fiery lass wants is Ewan’s help. The simplest thing would be to walk away. But Bride, with her sparkling gaze and fierce wit, is the most bewitching woman Ewan has ever met. And he intends to have her—and to learn how she has managed to survive on her own. Even if he has to employ all the arts of seduction for which he is notorious. . .
Did you enjoy the book?:

A bit like the cover, not very much at first, but I liked it more and more as the story developed. I guess it took me a while to warm up to the characters. Bride was a bit too prickly and rude for no apparent reason and Ewan came across as just another spoilt rake (and I'm sick of rakes) who felt justified in preaching to others about how they should live their lives. Add to that some secondary characters I just itched to slap (*cough*Mary*cough*), and I worried the book might, in fact, be as lackluster as it had been reported.

But then, once Bride and her sisters arrive in London, things improved. Bride's behaviour started making a lot more sense once I found out exactly what that big secret of hers was, and her pricklyness and paranoia ended up feeling pretty justified. And even Ewan's rakishness began taking a different colour. I'd rolled my eyes at the mentions of his "special parties", which were basically orgies, but then I actually liked his motivations for throwing these parties. It did act a bit of depth.

And I also quite liked the way Bride and Ewan's relationship develops, with Ewan becoming increasingly fascinated and wanting more and more from Bride. The ending, the way the suspense subplot and the romance interact and come to a head together, with Ewan having to make an agonizing decision, was excellent.

I'd grade Lord of Sin a B.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again?: Not new at all, and I've already read the sequel as I write this. There was a very tantalizing excerpt from Lady of Sin at the back of the book, and I after I read it, I couldn't resist reading it immediately.

Are you keeping it or passing it on?: Keeper!

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