Source: Publisher via Netgalley. Thank you Pocket Books for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Historical romance.
American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas.
No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love? (Goodreads)
This was a fun historical romance. Jeremy is an artist – he doesn’t paint portraits but accepts the offer to paint Yvette so he can paint her into another painting he’s doing, a painting that’s much more scandalous than the portrait Yvette’s brother is paying him for. Yvette has made mistakes in the past but still makes a rash plan to get into one of London’s brothels in order to fulfill her estranged brothers’ secret request. And she needs Jeremy’s help for it.
This may be the first part of a new series, Sinful Suitors, but The Art of Sinning relies quite heavily on understanding the events of the previous series, The Duke’s Men – I only read If the Viscount Falls but it was enough to be acquainted with the main players of the story. I don’t think you’d be completely lost without previous knowledge of them, though – Jeffries does a credible job of explaining everything to satisfaction.
I liked Jeremy and Yvette and their chemistry. They both have skeletons in their closets and have emerged from their troubles as more careful, less naive people. I appreciated the fact that even though Jeremy’s an artist, he’s not stereotypically “artistic” if you know what I mean. He’s not fanciful or anything, but rather a well-rounded character.
I liked that Yvette made her own decisions and refused to bow to the dictates of the society until she was sure of what she wanted. I don’t always like plots where one of the couple is hung-up on a previous relationship, which is what happened here, but in the end, it turned out well.
I was the most fond of Yvette’s elder brother, however – I dearly hope his story is the one we’ll be able to read next! He was protective, kind, a bit too uptight and generally clueless as to how he should treat both Yvette and her best friend.
If you’re a fan of Sabrina Jeffries’ earlier work, I think this one will work for you, too. She easily made it onto the list of my top ten historical romance writers (and that’s saying something because I’ve read my fair share of books in the genre).
Have you read any of Sabrina Jeffries’ books?
Which one was your favourite?
I’d love to hear from you!