Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sinful in Satin (The Rarest Blooms #3)Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC - 4 kisses, 1 pepper (m/f)

Celia Pennifold’s mother was a courtesan, and she never told Celia who her father was. Now the question burns in Celia’s head and she feels like she must know. Jonathan Albrighton’s uncle tasks him with finding out if Celia’s mother left any important or potentially damaging information about past lovers. Celia inherited a house from her mother after all the outstanding debts were paid.  She’s surprised and dismayed to learn that Jonathan is renting a room in the house, but after a half-hearted attempt to get him to leave, she accepts his presence and even starts to acknowledge their mutual attraction. Later she discovers he’s the bastard son of an aristocrat and assumes he would ultimately want her for a mistress only, not for a wife.

Celia starts a business, a practical extension of her friend’s flower business. Her home is closer to town, so it would be a distribution center of sorts. It’s obvious that Celia suffers the stigma of being her mother’s daughter. She doesn’t want that life, even though she was prepped for it and sort of keeps it as a backup plan if all else fails. Her now-married ex-boyfriend stops by and says he misses her. He tells her he paid her mother for two years with her then she left town and now he means to collect. Jonathan doesn’t want her to go to him and seduces her, taking her virginity. They enjoy each other then she learns of his mission and it hurts her. Saddened, he leaves the house.

The dramatic espionage part of Sinful In Satin was a little draggy and confusing and detracted from the story at times, but in the end it managed to make the whole story come together.I loved the passion and tenderness between Celia and Jonathan. I liked how realistic and practical Celia was. She accepted the practical side of her mother’s legacy, and while she had resisted following that path herself, she still kept her mothers lessons in mind, knowing that her station might make it necessary to give in to it eventually. I felt the same way about the realistic ending. It was just the right amount of comfortable happiness without being overly perfect and sappy. I also enjoyed the friendships between the men and between the women, which makes me want to check out the other books in the quartet.

Historical romance fans will want to check out this series for an enjoyable, quick and somewhat light read. The next book in the series from Madeline Hunter is Castleford’s and I already like his character so that should be fun.

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