Sins of a Duke
I read the first twenty pages of Suzanne Enoch’s Sins of a Duke, sighed, and settled in for a fantastic read. After all, the heroine – before being properly introduced – had just slapped the hero across the face in front of a ballroom full of people.
Enoch’s new romance is loosely connected to the other three Sin books in the Griffin family series. This book features the patriarch, Sebastian, and an unconventional princess, Josefina. The hero and heroine careen wildly towards each other from page one, like magnets, unable to resist. Their inevitable crash draws nearer at a breakneck speed, faster and faster, building in intensity until, finally, inevitably, it happens. And it was…
Well, kind of disappointing really. With the sexual chemistry these two characters exude, I expected fireworks. Instead I got technical tepidity.
Now don’t get me wrong. This is still one of the most intriguing historicals I’ve read in a long time. The plot line is new, interesting, definitely different. I had no idea how the intrigue was going to play out early on, and it kept me on the edge of my seat until the very clever and not at all contrived ending. The secondary characters were well-used, not over-played, nor overly sentimental or foolish, as secondary characters are wont to be. Instead they all played their rules beautifully, adding to and enriching the narrative.
Sebastian’s life has always revolved around his duty to his family and his family name. His siblings have accused him more than once of having no human emotion. So when he’s assigned as liaison to the royal family of the new Costa Habuela, he’s astonished at his intense reaction to the princess Josefina. The family is in London raising funds for their South American paradise. Unfortunately for Sebastian, the more he begins to feel for Josefina, the more holes her story seems to develop. And scandal is the last thing the Griffin family wants.
Probably, my problem with the character’s relationship stems from my own high expectations. I’ve always been a fan of Suzanne Enoch’s historicals, defended her hotly when others described her as a “Julia Quinn wannabe.” And her contemporary series has only heightened my admiration. So when her characters don’t seem to quite hit it as perfectly as I’ve come to expect, I’m more disappointed than is probably strictly rational. The book deserves its “Hot” sensuality ranking, given with the description and the frequency of sex scenes, but I was disappointed in the main relationship as a whole. Separately, Sebastian and Josefina are more fiery than they ever are together.
I’d recommend Suzanne Enoch to anyone, and Sins of a Duke is no exception. The family Griffin is as captivating and refreshingly unannoying as ever. Unfortunately the relationship between Sebastian and Josefina doesn’t sparkle as brightly, burn quite as hot, as I could have hoped.