Come inside my world where all I do is read and read lots and lots of romance..............................

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Lady Of Sin

I picked up ’Lady of Sin’ on a whim in my bookstore, and after reading the back cover blurb I bought it. I am a sucker for anything that has to do with the ‘scandal and intrigue of nineteenth-century England’, and that is where ‘Lady of Sin’ is set. And that is the last time I pick up a book purely because of the setting.

‘Lady of Sin’ is a tale which centres on Charlotte, a leading crusader of women’s rights and the widow of Lord Mardenford. She is seeking to win the notorious courtroom advocate Nathaniel Knightridge to her campaign and secretly hoping that the man will not recognise her as the reckless masked woman who succumbed to his sexual magnetism at a party a month ago.

‘Lady of Sin’ could have been a good book. I tend to enjoy historicals with a roguish hero and a determined, outspoken heroine. I also love the extravagant language used in historicals, and lord knows there’s plenty of that in ‘Lady of Sin’.

As I began to read this book I thought it would be right up my alley, the first chapter held some promise but unfortunately it did not hold out.

The biggest failing for me was the character of Charlotte Mardenford. I found her completely unlikeable and cold. It surprised me that she had the time to think about Nathaniel or anything else as she was so obsessed with championing her campaign. And that got old very very fast. There was also unevenness in her character. It’s very hard to believe that this type of Lady would even know what an orgy is, let alone attend one.

In the first chapter of this book there is undoubtedly some very strong chemistry between Nathaniel and Charlotte. Their banter is filled with underlying sexual tension, and the first love scene which takes place on Nathaniel’s sofa is admittedly quite hot. But then it all disappears. Maybe because by the time they meet again, Charlotte is already making me crack my knuckles.

I suppose the streets of London are correctly depicted as dirty and dark, the class system is very much at the fore as Nathaniel and Charlotte deal with the upper classes’ snobbery towards the poor, and the poverty-stricken children who have to resort to crime to keep them alive. And people not acquainted with women’s struggles for reform in the nineteenth century might find this book interesting from this point of view. But there are other non-fiction books out there that deal with this topic much more efficiently. And it is not the purpose of romance novels to teach history, in my opinion.

The extravagant language I love in historicals was definitely present in ‘Lady of Sin’. But after the first couple of chapters it got on my nerves as I just wanted to get the book finished and the flamboyant language just took longer.

The one and only emotional connection I felt was with poor Nathaniel. I pitied him that he was stuck with Charlotte as his heroine. I found Nathaniel very charming, very sexy. His ‘devil may care’ attitude and his concern for those worse off than him really got me. Although he’s not the most developed character I’ve ever read about, he is the highlight of this book.

I don’t like giving bad reviews, especially bad book reviews as I know authors put an awful lot of effort into their books. But this really was a laboured read for me. I diligently read every word, desperately praying ‘Lady of Sin’ would develop into something great, but by page two-hundred-and-thirty-two I gave up, and skim-read the rest of it, blowing a sigh of relief when it came to an end.

This was my first read from Madeline Hunter, so I don’t want to completely write her off my reading list. I do have another book by her in my TBR stack so hopefully that will be the redeeming factor for Ms.Hunter.

Rating: 16/50

You can buy 'Lady of Sin' here
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