Saturday, October 15, 2005

Review: Duke of Sin by Adele Ashworth

Originally published in November of 2004, Duke of Sin is set in the summer of 1856. Featuring widow Vivian Rael-Lamont, florist, attempting to blackmail William Raliegh, Duke of Trent, into giving her a handwritten Shakespearean sonnet. Vivian herself is being blackmailed by an actor who threatens to reveal her long held secret thereby ruining Vivian's standing in her small Cornish community . William too has scandals & secrets in his past leading him to become a recluse on his estate. William realizes that Vivian is merely a pawn in someone else's larger scheme and strings her along while investigating her background in an effort to determine who the master puppeteer is. Slowly, Vivian & William become emotionally & physically entwined despite the fact that each realizes the other has held back important information.

This is one of the best romances I've read in a long time, despite the use of several well worn Romancelandia plot devices. All of which I heartily dislike except that in this story most of them make sense. I would really like to discuss some of theses cliches, but the plot revolves around them, you see, & I can't very well ruin the surprise now can I?!

The backstory involves a woman with what I took for manic depression- the only time I have read of this particular malady being used in a storyline. There are several scorching sex scenes, a couple of them involving mutual masturbation- very well done & not terribly purple prose laden.

There is, naturally, your required HEA ending, although I wanted to know if Vivian would give up her floral business upon becoming a Duchess. An issue Ms. Ashworth does not touch upon. Tara of Romancereadingmom mentioned that there was a controversy about this title, but I don't remember what it was & now, after reading Duke of Sin I don't see what the problem was.


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Nicole said...

I think some of the controversy was the assumed adultery. I can't remember the other problems. I enjoyed DoS though.

Tara Marie said...

I thought this was a good book too. It was after I read it that I heard whining about the heroines sexuality and I didn't get it. I don't really remember all the complaints. I read this when it was new so I don't remember details, but I do remember everything seemed to fit the storyline which is all I look for.

Anne E. said...

This looks like one I need to check out!