Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Greatest of Sins - Christine Merrill (HH #1136 - May 2013)

Series: The Sinner and the Saint (Book 1)


Having spent years believing a lie about his birth, Dr. Samuel Hastings has been condemned to a personal hell of his desire's making-his sinful thoughts of the one woman he can never touch would damn his soul for eternity.

Lady Evelyn Thorne is engaged to the very suitable Duke of St. Aldric when a shocking truth is revealed-and now Sam will play every bit of the devil to seduce the woman he thought would always be denied him! 

Very good book.  I liked both Evie and Sam and even the Duke was a good character.  Sam has been tortured by his feelings for Evie for six years.  When he returns she confesses her love for him also, but because of what he has been told he is forced to reject her advances.  This sends her into the arms of the Duke, who is a good man but not who Evie loves.  Sam's discovery of his true parentage frees him to pursue Evie and try to win her back.  He was an honorable man and did his best to avoid her when he thought she was forbidden.  His attempts to backtrack from his rejection showed that he still cared but was trying to protect her from learning about her father's lies.  He also had to deal with his feelings of inferiority when compared with the Duke.  I liked the way that he supported Evie in her interest in women's medicine and didn't try to talk down to her.  It also seemed that just as one hurdle was overcome another would come up to keep him away from her. 

Evie was smart and spunky.  She knew what she wanted and tried to go after it.  She was heartbroken by Sam's rejection and furious when he wouldn't tell her why.  She hates the way that all the men in her life seem to make decisions on her behalf.  She is also rather stubborn which shows when Sam is finally free to pursue her and she rejects him because he won't come clean with her.  In her dealings with the Duke she accepts that she doesn't love him but wants to do the right thing once she has made her commitment.  I like the way that she is confident in her own abilities.  She has a marvelous discussion with Sam about childbirth and women's medicine where he admits her superior knowledge.  Then she shocks everyone at a dinner party where she talks about the same thing openly.  I loved the way that Sam just sat back and enjoyed the show while Evie made her points.  I really wanted to shake her at the end and make her realize just who she was supposed to be with.  I have to say that I really did not like her father at all.  He was terribly manipulative and didn't seem to care if she was actually happy.  He showed no remorse at all over the lies that he told.

There were times I really wanted to poke the Duke and see if that perfect surface would crack.  I liked his attitude toward Sam after the truth came out.  But he also could see how Sam felt about Evie and still proposed to her.  He seemed to blow hot and cold in his attitude toward Sam while Sam was treating him.  I was shocked by his proposition to Evie after his illness as it seemed out of character, but I think it was done deliberately to have the result it did.  I am looking forward to his story.

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