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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Sin With A Scoundrel, Book One, Circle of Sin Trilogy by Cara Elliott (ARC)

Publisher:  Forever, Imprint of Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group
Pages:  384
(Release Date: February 23, 2010

From the Cover: A reclusive widow known for her scientific scholarship, Lady Ciara Sheffield is shadowed by rumors that she poisoned her husband . . . A rakehell rogue notorious for his devil-may-care antics, Lucas Bingham--the Earl of Hadley--is not accused of murdering anything--save for the rules of Polite Society. The only thing they have in common is seeing their names featured in the lurid gossip columns of London's newspapers. Until an ancient manuscript draws them together.

Ciara needs a titled fiancé to quell the slanderous speculations which may send her to the gallows. Lucas needs brilliant scholar to help his elderly uncle decipher the secrets of the mysterious manuscript. So when her friends urge her to accept the earl's proposal of a temporary alliance, Ciara decides that she has no choice but to make a deal with the Devil. And so begins a seductive dance of sinful pleasures and hidden desires as the two of them waltz through the mansions of Mayfair. Lies, intrigue, treachery, sex. They find themselves facing slanderous whispers, unscrupulous relatives-not to speak of their own simmering passions, which quickly ignite into dangerous flames. It's a potent mix and the result may be explosive-and perhaps deadly-if they don't watch their step.

The wastrel of the ton, Lord Hadley is after one escapade or another, never failing to find his name splashed across the gossip pages for all of London to see. Not that he cares, it's all good fun, but he fears his latest escapade may not only embarrass himself, but Lord Henry, his long enduring guardian as well and his health isn't what it used to be and after he promised Henry a visit as well. It's time for him to cut short his carousing and see to the needs of Lord Henry, he asks so little of the man he raised from a boy.

Lady Sheffield is herself splashed across the gossip columns as well, but for a different reason altogether. Her husband who drank himself to death and his wicked family are to blame, spreading rumors of pure poison as to the truth of Lord Sheffield's death. She has been portrayed as the Wicked Widow, Witch of Pont Street. Her only desire is to be left alone to raise her son, but the Battershams are trying to prove her unfit for motherhood, seeking custody of the young Perry, not out of love, but in a mad dash to grab with his title, land, and money. Greed is the only love of her mother-in-law and Cousin Arthur.

When Lord Henry begs Hadley to seek out Lady Sheffield to inquire about her expertise in regard to a secret code and scientific matter that he discovered in an old manuscript, it brings a scowl to his face. The last thing Bad, Mad, Had-ley needed was to seek out the company of the Wicked Widow, but upon making her acquaintance, he can't image anyone further from his imaginings than the Lady herself. But, without help, Polite Society and the Battershams will surely bring the downfall of Lady Sheffield, and Lord Hadley is requested to provide assistance, but will his help ensure her safety and will he, the raffish rake, be able to escape his Lady's charms?

To Sin With A Scoundrel by Cara Elliott was a quick fun read for all lovers of historical romance. I was enthralled by Ciara and Lucas' story, richly told by Ms. Elliott. Ciara Sheffield has received the short end of the stick time and time again, first with her unfeeling family, then her abusive husband. She has learned to keep to herself and her small circle of friends. Society has shunned her as rumors of her husband death plague her. Lucas Hadley is the wolfish rake with only one desire, to satisfy his carnal needs, but is his mischievous deeds hiding a deeper secret? He has had struggling childhood bereaved of parents though with the love of his Uncle Henry, but the young man discovered it was easier to be a hellion than ridiculed. His destructive behavior harms no one but himself or so he thought. When Lucas and Ciara come together, it's as if a perfect match as been made, each having something that the other needs.

To Sin With A Scoundrel is a perfect read for a historical romance. It has a perfect blend of seduction, eroticism, adventure, and action. The characters are well developed and engaging, making the reader want to know more about them. I fell a little in love with each of them and hoped that the dastardly Battershams received their deserved due. The next book in the series, To Surrender To A Rogue, tells Lord James Jacquehart "Black Jack" Pierson and Marchesa Alessandra della Giamatti story, whom we've been introduced to through Lucas and Ciara's story. I'm already intrigue to Alessa's mysterious background and to her impish daughter, Isabella, she has already won my heart with her deeds with the young Perry. As reader of few historical romances, I have to say, I will be picking it up Book Two, I can't hardly wait to read about the fiery Italian beauty Marchesa Alessa's story and that of the devilish Black Jack who has already found a place in my heart as well.

(Release Date: June 2010)

From the Cover: An expert in antiquities, Lady Alessandra della Giamatti arrives in Bath to excavate newly discovered Roman ruins-only to find herself caught in a web of evil intrigue by a blackmailer threatening to expose her scandalous past. The one man who can help her is Lord James "Black Jack" Pierson, a fellow member of the expedition and a sinfully handsome rogue whose tempting presence ignites a different sort of danger.

Jack has clashed with Alessandra in the past, so when she suddenly surrenders her body he can't help being suspicious. Is she a scheming temptress? Or is she truly a lady in trouble? As desire and deceptions swirl around them, Alessandra and Jack must find a way to win each other's trust. For if they don't work together to uncover a shocking truth, their enemy-and their own simmering passions-may destroy them and everything they cherish.

I received this book from Donna at Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings, for review from Hachette Book Group. All opinions expressed are my own.


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Oh very good review Dottie!!! I think I will be looking for these! Thanks for the heads up Dottie!
Hope you had a great weekend!

Donna said...

Hey Dottie terrific review! I love that Lady Sheffield is a science minded lady during a time when women aren't usually seen that way. Just love it!

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Dottie,
It sure sounds good and oh that second one looks nice. love the cover

Lea said...

Lovely review Dottie:

I've got this one to read this week and will look forward to it.



Teddyree said...

Hey Dottie, I'm becoming quite fond of historical romances and this sounds like one I'd enjoy. Thanks for the great review!

Unknown said...

Hi Cecile!

How are you doing?? Great here, so I hope everything is great with you too! I enjoyed this book very much and I hope if you get to pick it up, you enjoy it too!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Donna!

So glad you sent these books out to me, lol, I usually don't read that many historical romances, and this is one I'm glad I didn't miss. It was fun to read. Her circle of friends are all very intellectual and this trilogy will be developed around them. I'm going back for a second helping, lol, I really liked this one!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi B!

I love the cover art for both of these books. So delicate and refined. And it's a steamy little love story, I enjoyed it!

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, I still have about 3 historicals left for review. But so far, I'm enjoying the break from paranormals though I can feel them calling to me.

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Teddyree!

You know what, I think you'd enjoy this one too. Just lightly erotic, but I fell for these characters and enjoyed their story.

Dottie :)

Christine said...

Hi Dottie!
I just got wind of this series the other day, so it's great to read your review and get an idea of what it's like. I think I'm adding it to my list! Thanks! : )

Unknown said...

Hi Christine!

I loved this one and I'll be buying the next in the series. I wanted to read more about this Circle of Sin, lol. It was hot in just the right places too as well as a nice story and romance, which was great!

Dottie :)

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