Monday, August 01, 2011

THE SINNER WHO SEDUCED ME by Stefanie Sloane

THE SINNER WHO SEDUCED ME - Stefanie Sloane
A Regency Rogues Novel
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-51741-8
August 2011
Historical Romance

England and France during the Regency

Lady Clarissa Collins, residing in Paris with her mother, makes the best of her new life by doing what she loves…painting. Under apprenticeship to renowned portrait artist, Bernard St. Michelle, Clarissa has all but forgotten James Marlowe, the man who broke her heart five years ago when he took her father’s side in the breakup of her parent’s marriage. Now she spends her days honing her exceptional skills.

A member of the Young Corinthians, a secret spy agency working for the British government, James Marlowe has convinced all but one of them that he has turned traitor by joining the French organization, Les Moines (The Monks). Everything is going swimmingly until one of the French members gets a little too rough with the artist they are trying to convince to go to England for them. An artist with a broken arm, and the arm he uses to paint with, will wreck all of their plans. That is until that artist’s apprentice bursts into the studio and proceeds to verbally abuse some of the most dangerous villains in Paris. Unfortunately for James, that apprentice is none other than Clarissa Collins, and it takes all of his own verbal skills to make sure the Les Moines member does not know that she recognizes him.

One thing about Clarissa, she not only has the talent, but she has the ego that goes with a fine artist. And she is easily convinced by Les Moines to take St. Michelle’s place as the person to paint a portrait of a spoiled young Canadian heiress in England. The girl’s father is offering an astounding amount of money for this, and Les Moines would very much like that to further their cause. Against James’s wishes, Clarissa agrees to pretend to be Bernard. Unfortunately, in order for this to be approved by the leader of Les Moines, Clarissa’s mother is to be held hostage for the completion of the project.

Upon arriving at the Canadian’s estate, James and Clarissa are met by one of the Les Moines members, Pettibone, who has settled in as staff at the Bennett household. His threats and the unruly behavior of the subject of the portrait are going to make this project quite difficult. Not to mention the growing attraction James and Clarissa are dealing with, despite their verbal spats. She still thinks he’s a member of Les Moines, and is totally unaware of the Young Corinthians.

THE SINNER WHO SEDUCED ME is not only a rollicking good adventure, it is a story of two people who are reunited after a total misunderstanding in their past. Clarissa and James slowly realize that they have not fallen out of love with each other, so there is always a bit of tension in the background as they deal with the ongoing assignment. The villains are readily known and will do anything to further their cause.

With wonderful lead characters and an exciting, nail-biting conclusion, THE SINNER WHO SEDUCED ME is another excellent book in the Regency Rogues series. (See THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE and THE ANGEL IN MY ARMS.)

Jani Brooks

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