Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone

Let me start by saying I want to lick this cover. A lot. Methinks this book should come with a protective veneer 'cause it's that lickable. I had to put my Kindle in a ziplock bag. Just kidding. Maybe.

Okay, enough about that delicious cover...I loved Addicted, Ms. Featherstone's first book in this series (my review here). In Sinful, the hero is Lindsay's best friend, Matthew, Lord Wallingford. I did not realize from reading Addicted how tortured Lord Wallingford is. Talk about your Tarnished Hero; he's as bad boy as they come: Condescending view of women? Check. Dysfunctional family? Check. Sexually promiscuous? Check. Skeletons in the closet? Check. He's been a terrible disappointment to his father, who's tightened the purse strings, and in order to fund his dream - an art gallery - he's painted a scandalous painting and auctioned it off. On his way out of the auction, he is attacked and left for dead. He ends up in a hospital on the other side of town, an obviously wealthy, anonymous patient.

This is where we meet Jane Rankin. She also has had a horrible childhood - she was an illegitimate child whose mother was deserted by Jane's father and left penniless, so she turned to prostitution. Although Jane was not a prostitute, she suffered the effects of having a parent working this profession. Luckily she was saved by Lady Blackwood who cleaned her up and took her in as a Lady's maid. Jane has been happy working for Lady Blackwood but recently took up nursing at her local hospital as a way to pay off debt, and once the debt was paid off she stayed on because she liked it.

When Lord Wallingford is brought in with a head and eye injury, Jane assists the young doctor caring for him. Although she's seen many male patients, she is attracted to him for reasons she doesn't understand. There is an intimate moment or two, and once he is better and able to leave, Wallingford wants to keep meeting her; he can't get her out of his mind. He is temporarily unable to see, but he knows she is lovely and he wants her in a way he doesn't understand. They meet once, but she wears a veil as she doesn't want the hospital employees to know she's meeting this man - she only knows him as Mathew, she doesn't realize he's the infamously scandalous Lord Wallingford. Their second meeting is heartbreaking; I felt so bad for Jane!

They next meet at Lindsay and Annais' wedding; Wallingford is Best Man and Jane is Maid of Honor. They detest each other (Wallingford does not realize who she is) and verbally spar back and forth, until a shadow crosses Jane's face and he realizes who she is. He's shocked, refuses to admit it, and has to have her, all at the same time. And she'll have nothing to do with him.

Wallingford and Jane's story is a very dark story. It's a story about pride, secrets, trust, redemption and love. Wallingford's secrets are indeed deep and dark. In this day and age maybe not so much, but for the time in which the story is set they're definitely scandalous. As Wallingford's secrets are revealed, the reader begins to understand why his life turned out the way it did. Jane has issues of her own due to childhood circumstances that make it difficult for her to give Wallingford what he wants and needs. Their path is a difficult one full of obstacles both internal and external.

Ms. Featherstone is a master (mistress?) of anticipation. For a good portion of the book, it felt like an "almost-kiss" - you know, where your heart is beating in anticipation and you're all tingly but you're not quite there yet? The tender scenes between these two were intimate and sensual and sometimes painful to read.

The story took a turn I wasn't expecting, which led to events that were heartbreaking. I'm not going to mince words here - this book did not end the way I wanted it to end. I do, however, understand why Ms. Featherstone ended it the way she did; it was the natural course of the storyline. To end it any other way would not have been true to the characters or the times they were living in. That's not to say it was a bad ending, just a dark one; not every book is cotton candy and unicorns. As an interesting side note, the end of the book mentions that Ms. Featherstone will publish an epilogue to this book on her site in May 2010.

This was a difficult book to put down, and I continued to think about it long after I finished it. I give this book 4/5 stars.

Sinful is available for purchase May 1, 2010.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I'm reading this one next..I've never read Charlotte Featherstone and I am looking forward to it. The ending sounds like it is going to kill me :)

  2. I haven't read this author before-but it sounds like I have to!

  3. I read this book as well and could not put it down either! I was so disappointed in the ending. I wanted to end differently as well. I agree that not all books can end the same, but, this particular ending just shocked me. Great review. :D

  4. I picture your Kindle covered in lick marks now...

  5. lol ok FIRST I have to say great review and Im really glad you liked this book...BECAUSE for some reason Ive not wanted to read it simply b/c the cover! lol The guys butt just...urks me! lol Idky but you however have changed my mind! Thanks girl! ;o)

    Happy Monday!

  6. I am afraid of bad endings, they make me throw books at the wall :(

  7. This is a great review! Of course you already know how I feel about this book. I think we agree on the ending, heart-breaking but very realistic... I cannot wait to read the epilogue. I loved this book.
    Will there be a book 3? I'm hoping there will be.

  8. Nice review! Of course it took me a bit to get past licking my screen at that awesome cover!

  9. Great review! I'm reading this one soon and am steeling myself for the ending! *sob* I'm so easily upset and this ending will just do that, I'm afraid.

  10. Fabulous review, Patti!

    Aw GAWD, the ending! I grappled with it and like you, it wasn't how I WANTED it to end. But a friend later pointed out to me that this ending is entirely realistic. However, we do love our fantasies but truly, it was the only way to completely unlock Jane's guard so I'm 100% for it.

    Oh, and I totally agree, the cover is completely lickable!!


  11. I must know! Cliffhanger? No HEA?

    That guy can wear capris like nobody's business.

  12. KC!!! Girl, you should come with a freakin' warning. I just spewed Diet DP on my desk!!

    And as far as the end goes, you won't get a peep out of me about it. *evil cackling* I'm thinkin' that Patti's a vault on that info as well.

    Hugs, VFG

  13. Mandi: The ending killed me but I was glad the author didn't cave just to make people happy.

    Buckeye Girl: Definitely read this and Addicted!

    Bells: Loved the story though.

    Chris: LOL, the ziplock bag fogged up.

    Monroe: *winks* I think it's a lovely butt :) I hope you read it and like it!

    Blodeuedd: It wasn't a bad ending, just not sunshiney (is that a word?)

    pattepoilue: Exactly - heartbreaking but realistic! I can't wait for the epilogue either.

    Amy J: Yes, the cover is quite lovely, isn't it?

    Janna: I hope you love the book, it really was an emotional read.

    VFG: When I finished, I just sat there for a minute...and blinked...and blinked...but it was right.

    Smokinhotbooks: Not a cliffhanger, no. (Hubs is getting a pair of those breeches for Christmas, LOL!)

    VFG: My lips are sealed!!

  14. OH WOW I was relieved to read your review of this book girl. I actually posted my review of it today as well lol. Small world huh I have been meaning to and finally got it posted this afternoon. I'm right there with ya it has it's major ups and downs but it's very well written. Great review hon and glad I wasn't the only one that felt that way about the ending!!!


  15. Patti great review! I have seen many reviews this way... I am really scare to read it.... but I know I will break.
    Hope all is well!

  16. I think it was a good decision to buy this one. Pattepoilue already made me crave it and I'm really happy I got it. Just need to find the courage to start it. Me afraid of crying. LOL
    Great review!
    And I agree, cover is very lickable. LOL

  17. JennJ: Thanks, I agree very well written but lots of ups and downs. I liked your review too!

    Cecile: I hope you read it (and Addicted) and like it!

    SusiSunshine: Glad you got it - hope you like it as much as I did!