Publication date: August 27, 2013
Series: Sons of Sin #2
Anna Campbell broke hearts with Midnight's Wild Passion, induced tears with Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed, and now has charmed her way onto a grand pedestal with this mesmerizingly sweet, sensual romance of two kindred souls who are both diamonds in the rough.
Sir Richard Harmsworth is a rake, a baronet, and undeniably a bastard. It was enough that he grew up with a highly promiscuous, uncaring mother, but even more that the ton scorns his every action and lashes at him with contempt. Unlike his friend, Camden Rotherrnere, Richard's armor is not to thrive for perfection, but to don a mask of nonchalance and feign disinterest to the world; this armor is not as durable as it seems, as Richard seeks to find the legendary Harmsworth Jewel and declare himself the legitimate heir to the baronetcy. After six months of investigation, he has finally located the jewel...with the vicar's daughter Genevieve Barrett who absolutely refuses to sell it. Richard, for all his roguish charm, disguised himself as a student of medieval history, planning to set up a slight flirtation with Genevieve for his jewel...except he did not know how serious this flirtation would soon become.
Richard and Genevieve both share a sharp wit and biting humor. Upon their first "official" meeting -Richard's masked break-in to Genevieve's house for the jewel notwithstanding - verbal daggers were drawn, Richard's charm only serving to infuriate Genevieve. It was only until he revealed his natural character that affability was achieved:
"This time he laughed out loud. The sound was attractive. Open. Joyful. Genuine. `You defeat me, Miss Barrett. How am I to work my wiles when you undo me at every turn?'" (Loc 721/5647)
However, this is somewhat short-lived, as Richard could not reveal himself to Genevieve for the greater goal of securing the jewel. For someone of his intelligence, I had hoped he would perceive the gem that is Genevieve and through her affection and care become his own power, and he did that, though it took a good while of the story. Genevieve I admire more than Richard, for her understanding, resourcefulness, and act of self-sacrifice for Richard, while he behaved at times an inconsiderate rogue. That is not to say Richard did not experience a journey either, for he did, and it made him honorable in the truest sense, but at the point that can only be fully appreciated near the end of the story.
Despite this, this story has all the adventure, fun, and lightness (up to a certain point) that marked its originality among the rest of Anna Campbell's darker themed works. While I do not know whether her last Sons of Sin book starring Cam Rothermere will be as light and frothy as this one, it will certainly be a fantastic treat to behold romance readers.
*ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 4 tulips