Seven Years To Sin

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Seven Years To Sin

Jessica is a diamond of the first water, betrothed before her coming out. Barely eighteen and her life is laid out before her. The journey to this point appears blessed but is really paved with broken dreams and pain. While her life appeared idyllic with the titled father and money, it hid abuse and despair. Marriage means freedom and the cool and collected Jessica is about to grasp it without reserve. Until she sees Alistair doing what he does best. A guilty pleasure she's enjoyed watching but she knows he's not for her. He's younger on top of everything else. But when she sees him servicing a matron she's shocked and also intrigued. That image will stick with her throughout her benign and happy marriage. That brief moment shaped her in ways she will have to wait seven years to unearth and truly appreciate.

Alistair has desired Jessica from afar but is careful not to show it. The fourth son he has no illusions. His circumstances are such that his life is little more than a daily battle because of the secret he must hide in silence. Determined to make his own way he sells a part of himself to the matrons to earn coin for his future. That part is known as Lucius. But he is always Alistair with Jessica. After Jessica watches him with Lady Trent in the gazebo he's forever damaged for any other woman. But Jess can never be his as she is betrothed. He leaves the country to spare himself the misery of seeing her happy life unfold. But seven years later he returns because the reason he left no longer exists. Jess is a widow, and it's time to end the craving that has plagued him for so long. Only Jess will do and he'll stop at nothing to make her his.

I'm rather stingy with my 5 rating but this deserved it and more. What an emotional story! Alistair laid himself bare from the very start, not willing to chance Jess turning away after he has her. And he will have her. She proves herself more than worthy with her acceptance and understanding without him having to go into detail; a trait that endears her to him consistently throughout the tale. The barriers to their relationship are of their own making, or rather Jess', to start. But later, when society decides to try to split them up they are so a part of one another nothing can separate them. That was awesome and so romantic.

While I expected a miracle at the end, I was pleased the author didn't supply it as that would have been too trite and minimized all the pain and suffering these two went through to be together. The resolution of lineage was managed in a way that was satisfying to all and revealed the true feelings of all, including Alistair's mother. An awesome read that just whets your appetite for more by this author. And I sincerely hope we have a story about Hester and Michael (hint hint).

Book Blurb for Seven Years To Sin

The longer the resistance…

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams…

…the sweeter the reward

Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes–all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk–and the certainty that surrender will consume them both…

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2011 5.00