Review: SINFUL by Charlotte Featherstone

Review: SINFUL by Charlotte Featherstone

Releases May 1, 2010

In Victorian England vice of every kind can be purchased, and Matthew, the Earl of Wallingford, makes certain he avails himself of every possible pleasure. Bored and jaded, he is as well-known for his coldness as for his licentious affairs with beautiful women.

While these numerous dalliances fulfill Matthew's every physical need, they secretly leave him numb and emotionally void. Until one night when he finds himself beaten, eyes bandaged and in the care of a nurse with the voice of an angel - and a gentle touch that soothes the darkness in him and makes him yearn for more.

Yet Jane Rankin is a lowly nurse, considered shy and plain by most. There is no place for her amongst the lords and ladies of the aristocracy - despite Matthew's growing craving for the fire that burns behind her earnest facade. And then there is Matthew's secret. A secret so humiliating and scandalous it could destroy everyone he loves. A sin, he fears, not even the love of a good woman can take away.

Publisher: HQN Spice

Genre: Erotic Historical Romance

Single Title/Series: SINFUL is loosely tied to its predecessor, ADDICTED, but can easily be read as a stand alone novel.

Cover Thoughts: One of my favorite aspects about this cover is how wonderfully unique it is. It stands out making other historical covers look almost generic compared to the masculine simplicity that is SINFUL. My only gripe: I wish he could have been tanner. He's just a little too pasty for my taste. Otherwise love the tight ass, broad shoulders, and overall bodily tension.

Why I Read It: I was offered an Advanced Review Copy by the author

My Review:

Matthew, the Earl of Wallingford, is a man of complete and utter vice. Rather than play the hypocrite and act the gentleman by day and rogue by night, Wallingford shrugs off the bother and instead fuels his insatiable rakehell reputation all hours of every day. The fact of the matter is that he knows he's damaged goods and completely beyond repair, besides, his jaded soul isn't worth any one's saving. His is a black and broken heart that annoyingly continues to beat within his chest while he sulks about his life from shadow to shadow. But when he's attacked, picked clean of his identity and left for dead in the raunchy East End of London, an angel named Jane is about to shine a blinding light upon all the gnarled wounds of his aching soul.

Jane Rankin has been incredibly fortunate in what could have easily been a very unfortunate life and she doesn't take any of it for granted. Born a bastard, Jane's aristocratic father turned out his own young child along with her mistress mother onto the streets when he married, forcing Jane to endure what no child should ever have to experience. Thankfully she was taken in by Lady Blackwood, an elderly Victorian feminist who believes in independence and self-sufficiency. For fourteen years, Jane has been Lady Blackwood's lady's companion and just when she thought she knew herself in all her entirety, a beautiful dark angel lands practically into her lap while nursing at London College Hospital. Knowing that Lady Blackwood won't be there for her forever, Jane has pursued a career in nursing and it's not just a means to an end either, Jane loves her job and empowers a strict code of honor where her patients are concerned. But when a sinfully handsome patient becomes her charge, Jane feels a deeply repressed part of herself awakening as his deep timbered voice sensually draws out her name, turning it from plain to beautiful. Suddenly she's breaking all her rules, all her personal honor to touch a man who effortlessly ignites a fire that's determined to change the very essence of who she is.

Wallingford has never thought of a woman as being more than a vessel for his own release but Jane's clean scent and soothing voice has dark poetry spilling from his sinful lips and a rushing heat to sweep through his previously empty soul. But Wallingford's fantasies paint a sensually beautiful woman and when his bruised face heals, he discovers that his angel is nothing but a dowdy lady's maid and that's after he tears through her heart and pride with his slicing tongue. However, as his disappointment fades, Wallingford can't stop thinking about Jane and his need to claim her has him disregarding the inevitable - additional - pain that he's surely to cause her for there are three things that Wallingford excels above all others: Sex, pain and paint.

Jane can't reconcile the Matthew that made her heart and body sing with the disreputable rake that all of England knows as Lord Wallingford. He's a man renowned for using women right and left with no care of the pain that he leaves behind his awesome wake and Jane is beyond ashamed to find herself as being one of many. Mostly she's just hurt. For the first time in her life she opened her heart to a possibility that she thought could never happen. She trusted him in short order and was about to give him everything that she held dear only to have him squash her beneath his boot heel as he looked straight through her and quickly found her lacking.

Fortunately, fate isn't about to let these two wounded creatures slink off to their respective caves. As situations force them together, Wallingford recognizes a distinct similarity that he and Jane share - the necessity to guard their true selves from others. Offering to give Jane anything she asks in exchange for her body as well as the woman she hides behind her severe demeanor, Wallingford stutters beneath the price she names. He must be Matthew in her presence. He must shed the cutting Wallingford and reveal the sweet soul that lays cowering within the shadows. Knowing that what Jane will ultimately find can only hurt her and probably have her turning away in disgust, Wallingford - Matthew - needs her like he's never needed anyone. While that in and of itself terrifies him, the suffering he will surely experience if he doesn't give Jane what she demands would be so much worse. Now, standing completely stripped of their shields, Matthew and Jane come together with a blistering passion that has love unfurling swiftly and soundly, cocooning them each in what ultimately proves to be a temporary bliss. But forever may be attainable if Matthew and Jane persevere over a tragic obstacle that could very easily leave their souls torn to shreds.

My Thoughts:

SINFUL is as unconventional as it is controversial. Its a gut-wrenching, emotional journey of two very wounded people that while bred from extremely opposing sides of the tracks, find a soul-binding similarity within each other. Dark and melancholy, Matthew and Jane don't experience too much joy in the time that we travel with them, but rather their love springs forth like the rising of a phoenix from the crumbled ashes of their former selves.

There are many aspects of Ms. Featherstone's writing that I love but there is one that I truly admire above all others and that is her daring to fearlessly take her characters to lows of such personal and even relevant magnitudes that they seamlessly tackle current issues of even modern day society. Both SINFUL and its predecessor, ADDICTED, address areas of human nature that many of us have experienced either personally or by association. It takes bravery to bring these issues to life with her characters and I love the emotion she evokes in doing so.

However strong and dark the issues are that Matthew and Jane experience, it will be the end that shocks most readers, an end that may have negative effects because it doesn't necessarily coincide with a traditional Happily Ever After. Rather its realistic and in truth, it was the final essential barrier for Jane to conquer within herself. My thought is that if things hadn't ended the way they did, something would have been lacking and it would have brought a general disappointment along with it. Again, I'm in awe of Ms. Featherstone's bravery and the awesome love and dedication that she has for her characters. She did them justice and in doing so, did my reader heart justice.

For readers that relish in emotionally intense, highly erotic historicals, look no further than SINFUL.

A-

Other Reviews:

Book Addict: 4/5
Sapphire Romance Realm: 4/5
One Book Away From Heaven
Tink's Place

28 comments:

Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) said...

Great reivew. I didnt care for the first book addicted and I dont know if I will still like this one. I just cant really get into crying my way through a book. I know I a wimp lol.. I will say Charlotte is an awsome writer.

Patti said...

Great review - I really, really liked this book. (thanks for the link!). I'm curious about the epilogue Ms. Featherstone has teased us with :)

Sabrina (about happy books) said...

Great review.
I think the book might be a bit too intense for me but still it sounds very interesting.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

OMG, you made me cry! What a beautifully written, honest review! I love that you got both Jane and Wallingford!

Being true to characters, the period, and their journey is something I take very seriously as a writer.

Wow, I sent this review off to my editor!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review it!
I'm very excited the interview!

Lizzielvr said...

Awesome review! If I had any doubts about this book, you just put them all to rest! I'm looking forward to buying it (being the HR newbie and all!)

Blodeuedd said...

You all got me so curious about that ending. What is up with it, they leave each other, is that it..yuip I know you can't tell me ;)

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Blodeuedd, I will allay that fear. At the of Sinful they do not leave each other.

Tricia said...

Wonderful Review VFG! Okay I'm curious about this non-traditional ending as well?

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi VFG!

I loved, loved, loved Sinful. It was an emotional journey that pulled at my heart, bringing tears to my eyes. Addicted was one of my top reads for 2009, Sinful will be one for 2010, and we're only four months into the year!

I agree with your thoughts on the ending, to have ended the story in any other way would have left it flat, missing something. It was not the traditional HEA, but then, Sinful wasn't your typical historical read either. Ms. Featherstone truly brings her characters to life, allowing them to breath through the reader.

I was looking forward to a fantastic read and I was not disappointed. I am amazed once again with the prose given to us in the story.

Thanks for sharing a superb review and to Ms. Featherstone for providing the excellent read.

((hugs))

Dottie :)

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks for reading the review for SINFUL, Laurie!

I'm sorry that ADDICTED didn't hit it out of the park for you. :( I must say though that SINFUL is not the same reading experience as ADDICTED. Its a book that stands on its own and if you ever find yourself in need of an intense read, I highly recommend it.

Hugs, VFG

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Thanks Patti and you're most welcome, girl! You're review was amazing and I'm so happy that you loved SINFUL.

Oh me too! May 1st can't get here soon enough for that epilogue.

HUGS, VFG

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Thanks Sabrina!

If you're feelin' the interest for SINFUL, I'd leap off that and buy it. This book is so good and I wouldn't want you to miss out especially since you're tempted by it.

Hugs, VFG

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Charlotte! Girl, HUGS!!!

Thanks for lovin' my review of your beautiful novel. If I had a hero shelf, Matthew would be up from and center. Man girl, you know how to write 'em tortured!!

I'm so happy for the success your finding with your writing. It couldn't have happened to a more wonderful person.

Oooo and your lusty Sins and Virtues series is coming out next year. SQUEE!!!!!

GIANT HUGS!! VFG

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Thanks Lizzielvr!

Your words are exactly what a reviewer loves to hear and I'm so happy that I got you interested in SINFUL. Be sure to tell me what you think of it!

HUGS, VFG

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Hey Blodeuedd!

SINFUL is most certainly romance and Matthew and Jane do get their HEA. Its just not entirely conventional. But you know what, the unconventional ones are generally the best ones. *wink*

HUGS, VFG

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Thanks for clearing that up, Charlotte!

HUGS, VFG

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Thanks Tricia!

You're gonna fall in love with Matthew, girl. And the ending, totally different but so worth it. I'm so happy that Charlotte stuck to her guns on this one and stayed totally true to her characters. Can't wait for you to read it!!

HUGS, VFG

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Dottie! Thanks for the awesome comment and I'm so glad you described your thoughts on the HEA because I think I'm scaring people. LOL!

Yay, I'm glad you agree that the book would have fallen flat if the ending had been any different. I'm not necessarily sure if I would have understood why if it had, but seeing it end the way it did is completely as it should be.

2011 is going to be Charlotte's year, Dottie! We get four releases!!! AAAHHHHH!!! I can't wait!

HUGS, VFG

JennJ said...

Great review VFG Charlotte sure does know how to pull at those heart strings that's for sure. :)

Barbara said...

You know, it's times like this I really miss blogging.

Great review, and honest as always. You already know my thoughts on this story and that Charlotte is with out a doubt one of my top ten favorite authors. Her historical voice can't be compared, and like you said, I admire her bravery in stepping outside the box and not settling for the "typical" or "safe" historical romance tale.

Matthew...I loved his character. So tortured. I love, love, love the tortured ones. And, although the ending isn't traditional, I felt it was very realistic, and fit the characters.

As soon as I finish moving, I have to try and write a review for this book. It's been screaming in the back of my head--along with a few other wonderful tales I've read--I just haven't had a minute to spare :(

((Hugs))

Leontine said...

OMG, girl your review floored me and I love it when an author stays true to her characters, even if it means going the unconventional route!! I've got ADDICTED on the shelves and I know I need to get acquainted with the characters and this author's writingstyle because it screams my kind of romance :)

Mandi said...

Wonderful review...This is my first Charlotte Featherstone book. There were many things I liked about it - I liked the ending - I liked how Matthew stays broken in a sense.

My issues of why I didn't love the book overall stem from over dramatic sex scenes (in my opinion) and sometimes I truly wondered why Jane would go back to him...I know she knows he is a broken soul, but she puts up a lot to be with him.

I haven't posted my review yet, but I say in it this is one book I will not forget for a very long time. I'm just not sure if I really loved it.

Charlotte Featherstone said...
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VampFanGirl said...
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Charlotte Featherstone said...
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Sue A. said...

Great review! Mathew sounds very intense and now really curious about the ending!

VampFanGirl said...
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Charlotte Featherstone said...
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VampFanGirl said...
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Sophie Renwick said...
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VampFanGirl said...
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Charlotte Featherstone said...
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VampFanGirl said...
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VampFanGirl said...

Thanks JennJ, and no kidding.

:) VFG

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I'll keep an eye out for your review on Amazong, Barbara!

HUGS, VFG

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Leontine! Girl, what are you waiting for with these books!!! Get busy already! LOL!

HUGS, VFG

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Thanks Mandi!

Hmmmm...I look forward to reading your review and the reasons for disliking certain areas of the book.

Hugs, VFG

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Thanks Sue A.!

;) VFG

Heidi said...

I am so excited, I got SINFUL in t the mail today! I loved ADDICTED so much, I can't wait to read this! Charlotte is an amazing author and Walling for is gonna be TDF I'm sure! HOT! HOT! HOT!

VampFanGirl said...

Hope you're enjoying Wallingford, Heidi!!

:) VFG

 
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