Series: Sinful Brides #3
Published by Montlake on July 25th 2017
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.