The Art of Sinning is the latest historical romance from Sabrina Jeffries as well as the start of new series. Those familiar with Jeffries’ Duke’s Men series will be familiar with some of the characters that appear in her latest charming romance. The hero in particular played a significant role in How the Scoundrel Seduces.
Jeremy Keane is a celebrated American artist, seemingly enjoying his sojourn in Europe without any intention of returning home to manage the factories that he inherited upon the death of his father. When Keane encounters Lady Yvette Barlow at a wedding he is struck by the urge to paint her in what he believes will be his masterpiece. However, Yvette’s protective older brother has other ideas and will only agree to allow Keane to paint Yvette in a traditional (and non-scandalous) portrait. When Yvette learns that Keane has another painting in mind, she uses that as leverage to get Keane to help her search for her other brother’s illegitimate child.
What starts as a basic agreement suddenly turns into an attraction that neither can resist, even if they both have good reasons for keeping their distance from one another. Yvette thinks she just might have met her match and Jeremy is suddenly thinking that just maybe it’s time to leave his tragic past behind. Yes, there is, of course, a tragic past, which the hero is naturally disguising in rumours of debauchery.
The Art of Sinning is a charming romance and considering the title, it was definitely more heart warming than I would have anticipated. While The Art of Sinning didn’t break new ground in the genre, the romance was comfortable and endearing and I quite enjoyed that Keane was made unique with his artistic occupation, which helped to combat the conventionality of his “tragic past”.
The romance between Jeremy and Yvette was nice and I really enjoyed their witty banter throughout the novel. I appreciated the fact that the angst and the resistance to a relationship was kept to a minimum. Both Yvette and Jeremy had legitimate reason to avoid a relationship and I never felt that they were acting stubbornly (a refreshing change from some romances). However, I have to admit that Yvette’s brother, Edwin, stole the show a bit. Edwin’s determination to start a club that would also the menfolk to determine appropriate suitors for their loved ones was ridiculous and endearing, add in the fact that he was adorably awkward – it’s pretty hard not to be smitten. Luckily Edwin’s story is next in The Study of Seduction.
If you a Jeffries fan I think you’ll enjoy her latest romance. It’s comfortable, the characters are engaging, and there are many flashes of humour make this an enjoyable read.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
For another romance with an artist hero try Maggie Robinson’s The Reluctant Governess. The character of Nicholas will appeal to fans of Keane; however, the heroine in The Reluctant Governess is much different from Yvette.
The fact that Yvette is dealing with the scars of a past failed relationship brought to mind Manda Collins’ A Good Rake is Hard to Find. Like Yvette, Lenora was destroyed by a past relationship which forced her to break her engagement to the man she loved. Luckily, romance is the land of second chances.