In Victorian England vice of every kind can be purchased, and Matthew, the Earl of Wallingford, makes certain he avails himself of every possible pleasure. Bored and jaded, he is as well-known for his coldness as for his licentious affairs with beautiful women.
While these numerous dalliances fulfill Matthew’s every physical need, they secretly leave him numb and emotionally void. Until one night when he finds himself beaten, eyes bandaged and in the care of a nurse with the voice of an angel—and a gentle touch that soothes the darkness in him and makes him yearn for more.
Yet Jane Rankin is a lowly nurse, considered shy and plain by most. There is no place for her amongst the lords and ladies of the aristocracy—despite Matthew’s growing craving for the fire that burns behind her earnest facade. And then there is Matthew’s secret. A secret so humiliating and scandalous it could destroy everyone he loves. A sin, he fears, not even the love of a good woman can take away…
My problem with the genre in the past was that whenever I read one of these books, the female lead would always be the type that just wouldn’t rest until she was betrothed. She would be a mess until her prince in shiny breeches would come and swoop her delicate feet off the ground. Ugh, I hate those type of stories, and I had assumed that all Historical Romance would be that way. Much as I hate to admit it, I was completely wrong.
Sinful is yet another example of how wrong I was. Not only is the male lead (Matthew) strong, but the female lead (Jane Rankin) has some strength to her character as well. Jane has had a horrible childhood, and despite everything, she has her own mind and is opinionated. She’s intelligent and even has a job that doesn’t involve being some rich lords mistress. Jane’s independent mind and life style are exactly the sort of thing that I always wanted from this type of story. Then there’s Matthew, he’s the sort of man that has always just used women for pleasure and then thrown them away. He’s basically just a good looking, rich, man-whore. There’s a reason behind everything though, and you find that Matthew’s treatment of women is due to a traumatic past.
When Jane and Matthew get together the chemistry is electric. At first neither know exactly who the other is, and a good portion of the book is dedicated to them finding out who it was that was able to set their blood on fire. When they do find out it’s a shocker. Jane is poor and doesn’t have any real social standing. Matthews family is well known, rich, and concerned with appearances. They both want to be together, but Matthews family stands in the way of that. It was slightly heart breaking watching them try and fail to find away around this problem, and their solution isn’t necessarily something that I expected.
Overall, Sinful was a really good book. I found that I loved the characters and the plot was something that I enjoyed. Historical Romance readers won’t have a problem falling in love with this, and I think that Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone is another reason for me to continue my exploration of this genre.