American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas.
No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love?
Ms. Jeffries has a wonderful new series on her hands if this first story is any indication of what’s to come. Of course, this was an auto-read for me because I was fascinated with Jeremy Keane from How the Scoundrel Seduces. His character ended up being quite important in that book but in The Art of Sinning he shines as a strong leading man.
Unlike The Dukes Men series which all had villains and mysteries to overcome and solve, Ms. Jeffries’ new Sinful Suitors series seems to be focused on the trials and tribulations of men of title finding suitable matches for their female relations or wards amongst so many dissolute and unacceptable men of the ton. I was greatly amused as to how the whole plan came together and under what circumstances. Then later, to see how it accidentally took off in one scene meant that there will be a lot of interesting books coming my way. I’m very excited.
In this novel, Jeremy continues to have the reputation of a rogue, rakehell and flamboyant painter. Once a reader, through the constant ploys of the heroine, Yvette, finds out about what type of person Jeremy really is they’ll understand why I thought him a perfect leading man and worthy of the title of hero.
Jeremy has angst; an internal struggle from his past that he never fully faced. He puts on a good show and is, for the most part, a functioning human being. The only thing not working is his heart – his ability to love and trust. It takes Yvette’s persistent pursuit of the truth and her wanton, passionate ways to finally reach the wounds hidden inside the hero and her issuance of a poignant and heartfelt challenge before he allows himself to heal. This is truly a character driven romance that is effective because I cared about and was vested in both Jeremy’s and Yvette’s happiness.
The seduction scenes were hot, sensual, well written and well placed throughout the story. I enjoyed Yvette’s enthusiasm and the fact that she could drive Jeremy wild. It was very fun reading.
Many secondary characters are sprinkled throughout the story which is good because I met a lot of interesting people who will make excellent main characters in their own books. I can’t wait.
Even though there isn’t a big external conflict to move things along, Ms. Jeffries knows how to keep the pace of the story moving. Her characters are engaging, witty, funny, quirky and challenging, and the dialogue was key. I enjoyed how Yvette surprised the hero with her choices of vocabulary. I laughed many times throughout the novel.
The Art of Sinning continues to showcase the strength of Ms. Jeffries’ imagination and writing skill. I had an almost impossible time putting the book down because it was that much fun. If not for having to work for a paycheck, I would have been happiest cuddled up on the couch reading this story uninterrupted for the entire day until I reached the final, adorable and entertaining happy ever after. As it was, I read it while I ate breakfast, then supper and then stayed up late to finish it because I simply had to know Jeremy’s big secret, had to know if Yvette would get him to stop blowing in the wind, and had to know who Jeremy’s sister might end up with. It’s not who I thought so I’m all atwitter over it. The Art of Sinning is a must read for new and old fans alike. It’s a winner.
By the way, I don’t usually mention covers but this one was perfect. I blushed every time I looked at it. I think it was the look in his eyes. That was a perfect Jeremy. ::fans self::