Type: Historical Romance
Publisher: Grand Central
My Copy: NetGalley
After an eventful Season, Anna Sloane longs for some peace and quiet to pursue her writing. Though her plots might be full of harrowing adventure and heated passion, she’d much prefer to leave such exploits on the page rather than experience them in real life. Or so she thinks until she encounters the darkly dissolute-and gorgeously charming-Marquess of Davenport.
Davenport has a reputation as a notorious rake whose only forte is wanton seduction. However the real reason he’s a guest at the same remote Scottish castle has nothing to do with Anna . . . until a series of mysterious threats leave him no choice but to turn to her for help in stopping a dangerous conspiracy. As desire erupts between them, Davenport soon learns he’s not the only one using a carefully crafted image to hide his true talents. And he’s more than ready to show Anna that sometimes reality can be even better than her wildest imaginings . . .
Anna Sloane is the type of heroine that I find hard to identify with but I also think is utterly endearing. She is spunky and clever and a tad unconventional, but her demure exterior guards a passionate heart of gold. She hides her writing talent behind a proper English lady façade while letting her imagination run amok with her stories of romance and adventure. Of course, she would be mired in scandal if anyone discovered her secret because ladies are not supposed to be clever, think for themselves or share their opinions, let alone have an occupation.
Devlin, the Marquess of Davenport has a secret of his own. A consummate rake, all is not as it appears because Devlin is not the happy-go-lucky ladies man he portrays. In society he acts the scrupulous bachelor whose honor is always in question, when in reality he is quietly and cleverly trying to rebuild his family fortune through his own ingenuity. Devlin also does work for the government, and it is on one of those assignments that he again crosses paths with Anna Sloane.
I’m not usually a fan of love/hate stories – I much prefer when the hero and heroine know exactly who they want the minute they find them. In this book, Anna and Devlin have a certain animosity toward each other that normally would turn me off. However, both characters were so cleverly written that I was able to look past that and enjoy their banter. They were both smart, witty and irresistible to the other, despite knowing that acting on their attraction isn’t in either one’s best interest. When Anna becomes ensnared in the mystery surrounding Devlin’s assignment, he has no choice but to come clean and include her in getting to the bottom of a nefarious plot.
Between not-so-innocent banter on the dance floor and clandestine meetings in the darkest recesses of the castle, Anna and Devlin develop a chemistry that becomes impossible to ignore. I liked the fact that neither one of them was what they seemed to be and it didn’t take much for each of them to “give up the ghost” and come clean. They were good sports about revealing their secrets, showing a level of trust that helped guide them from adversaries to comrades of sorts to lovers.
The book tended to drag at certain points and there was no new and exciting formula for the story. Most of the characters were pretty bland and I had a hard time remembering who everyone was. The mystery aspect wasn’t all that exciting, and the love scenes were romantic and sensual but could have used a little more heat for my liking. All of that aside, the book was enjoyable and I was glad to see Anna and Devlin make peace with each other and let their love shine through.
I give Sinfully Yours by Cara Elliott 3.75 stars!