Hmmm, what to say, what to say? This book is full of all those cliches you love to hate. First, the book opens with our hero, Alexius Braverton, Marquess of Sinclair, aka Sin, having a pleasurable moment in the garden with another mans wife. But when he sees a small white plume float down on the ladys head, he glances up into the tree and meets the terrified glance of Lady Juliana Ives. Juliana has scaled the tree to get away from a persistent sutior...she does not expect to witness a rendezvous between her hostess and the decidedly handsome man. As Alexius helps Juliana down from the tree she refuses to give her name and hurries inside, leaving Alexius a tad befuddled.
Then, Alexius is summoned to his sisters and she begs of him to seduce this women whom she believes is stealing the attention of her suitor. Alexius reluctantly agrees to look into the matter so imagine his surprise when he is secluded at yet another ball in a room with yet another woman when in bursts Juliana being tailed by Alexius friend. He is more than happy to see her but when he learns her name finally, he is stunned when he realizes that this is who is sister wants him to seduce and ruin.
Oh, and ruin her he does! First there are pearls and a carriage ride. Then there is the music room scene. Then all of a sudden they are lovers all the time but this is never shown, just skipped over which bothered me. We were just supposed to believe they became lovers and developed feelings for each other, but that relationship was really never shown after their first time. But wait..we have a few more cliches that happen! Her mother gets into too much trouble gambling and is forced to make Juliana marry a vile man to settle the debt. But there is more of a twist there with a cousin and there is a big scene at the opera that shatters Juliana when she realizes that Alexius can not see the truth of the matter. She finally learns the truth of what Alexius was asked to do and refuses to speak to him. But naturally, she forgives him in the end and they get to live happily ever after.
Even though this book had many things I don't normally like in a book, I still stayed up late to finish it (and with a 3 and 4 year old, that doesn't happen often!). I just wanted to keep turning the pages to see what unbelievable thing could happen next. I have already started the next book, Till Dawn with the Devil and it has me turning the pages just as quickly (though not as many train wrecks this time). Overall though, if you can suspend reality a bit this is a great quick, steamy read. 3 1/2 stars