Title: The Pleasures of Passion
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #4
Genre: Historical Romance (1830s)
Available: 20th June
When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.
Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with….But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?
Source: ARC from Pocket Books via NetGalley
The Sinful Suitors return with a stirring second chance romance between a roguish earl freshly returned from exile and a quiet widow who is only interested in learning to run her infant son’s estate. But there’s a whole lot more to both characters than the faces they show the world – and each other. Luckily there’s a treasonous counterfeiting plot that requires them to work together in a quest to unravel the truth, about themselves and their broken hearts as much as the crime.
I enjoyed this one, especially as I could feel sympathy for both Niall and Brilliana (Bree) about what happened all those years ago. He was young and impetuous and desperately honourable, while she was cautious, caring for her sick mother and understandably wary when he couldn’t share the reasons for the duel. It was refreshing to see that more than just the usual manipulating relatives and stung pride separated them.
Which of course makes it a little easier when their chemistry kept drawing them back together, even when they didn’t want it to. Niall is still impetuous, Bree is still cautious, but they have changed a little in the years apart. I wasn’t sure about Niall at first – he loses his temper a few times and says some pretty hurtful things – but he grew on me as the story went on. I loved how he saw Bree as more than just a pretty face and how he became so fond of young Silas. It also helps that he gets over their separation fairly quickly and is determined to build a future together.
Bree was the opposite for me in that I liked her more at first and definitely sympathised with her caution. However, as the book progressed some of her reasons for holding Niall at bay were pretty flimsy and I wasn’t impressed with the way she reacted to Niall’s big reveal. However, I loved how she handled things towards the end. She and Niall make a brilliant team and I really enjoyed seeing that play out.
The criminal counterfeiting plot provided a handy excuse for them to spend so much time together and definitely proved how well they could work together when necessary. I didn’t find it particularly hard to work it all out, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of how things progressed.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It’s a second chance reunion with a hint of a mystery, lots of heat and some fun family moments in a good historical setting. I look forward to seeing where this series heads next.
The Pleasures of Passion is out June 20th.
Visit Sabrina Jeffries for more details.