Review: The Heiress’s Deception

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Heiress’s DeceptionThe Heiress's Deception (Sinful Brides, #4) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Sinful Brides #4
Published by Montlake on December 12th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 284
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: The story of two kids (a duke’s daughter and a pickpocket) who find one another as adults. The characters sometimes prickly relationship is a highlight here.

THE STORY: Eve Pruitt is on the run from her older brother who has squandered his fortune and wants to force her to marry in order to control her dowry. She manages to get a position as the bookkeeper for the Hell and Sin Club. There she encounters Calum Dabney who is running the club. Eve realizes that Calum is the boy that she met and cared for years ago. Eve believed that Calum has been hanged and Calum believes that Eve betrayed him. Calum does not recognize Eve (who was herself but a child when they last met) but there is something about the desperate but stubborn woman that attracts him.

OPINION: I liked the characters in this one (perhaps my favorite ones of the series) because they are both good people just trying their best. There is less anger and darkness in these characters.

Calum, although he has a tragic history as well on the streets, knows what being part of a family is like and has a tremendous amount of compassion for others. I liked knowing his background and seeing how he managed to make himself. I also loved what he is willing to risk for love. This book clearly shows the difference that knowing about love allows one to see in others. He also doesn’t ask completely as a jerk as some heroes who are in his shoes might.

Eve is a woman who was raised with every material advantage and yet experienced her own type of hellish childhood. She has managed to make a life for herself in small ways, and she has also managed to help people.

The story is intensely focused on a few weeks when these two encounter one another again. I liked the childhood friends who become adult loves and also the cross-class story. (Although why everyone in this series has to get associated with dukes is beyond me).

WORTH MENTIONING: Although this is the last book in the series, readers need not fear that the last “brother” of the Hell and Sin Club will not get his story. His book starts out the next series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE HEIRESS’S DECEPTION is the fourth book in the Sinful Brides series. While there are overlapping characters, this book is complete unto itself and can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: The Lady’s Guard

Review: The Lady’s GuardThe Lady's Guard (Sinful Brides, #3) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Sinful Brides #3
Published by Montlake on July 25th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 322
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This story of a duke’s daughter and a man of the streets of St. Giles was sweet and a good story and I liked it very much.

THE STORY:  Lady Diana Verney’s life has turned upside down with her duchess mother committed to Bedlam for trying to murder Diana’s half siblings and Diana’s own social ruin. When Diana feels that someone is stalking her, her father does not take her seriously so instead, Diana turns to her half-brother who owns the Hell and Sin Club in St. Giles.  In response, Niall Marksman is asked by Diana’s brother to help protect her.  Niall feels he belongs in the darkness of St. Giles and resents having to protect a pampered Duke’s daughter.

OPINION:  This was a very enjoyable cross-class story.  The woman who has been rejected by her own peers because of her mother matches up with the low born gutter born thief and murderer.

While the topic here is dark, the actual story is taken at a much lighter level.  (Myself I prefer the darker, seedier tales, but this story is pretty good as well.)

Diana is a strong young woman who is trying to make her own way after finding out her mother has committed horrible crimes.  Diana’s estrangement from society and her fears of following in her mother’s madness have propelled Diana into creating a new future for herself. I like Diana as a character because she is woman who does the right thing even when society frowns upon her actions. I also had a great deal of sadness for how isolated Diana is.  The connection that builds between her and Niall was especially sweet in that context.

Niall is a man who is haunted by his past, but the story doesn’t really dwell on those details.  He is man who feels the corruption from the streets and doesn’t want to open himself up to any possibility of happiness because he has not truly dealt with his guilt of his past.  Although Niall has more depth than some of the previous characters in this series, I still think the story could have gone deeper into the characters and the situation.

At times I found the story heartbreaking and lovely, but there was something about it that kept me from being transparently in love with the characters.  I always felt like there was a distance between myself and the characters.  Some quality about them that was too separate and unknowable.

Therefore, this was a book that I really enjoyed as a story, but it lacked the transcendence of the best romance novels.

WORTH MENTIONING:  There are significant appearances by characters from the other books in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE LADY’S GUARD is the third book in the Sinful Brides series.  While this couple is a standalone story, there is an overarching story that continues from book to book and this series is better read in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars