Book Review

“A Talent for Sin” by Lavinia Kent

Even though I bought this book as soon as it came out, I was for some reason very reluctant to read it, so I waited for the second one in the Series to come out to read them both at the same time. Then the second one came out, and I still could not get myself to read this new author. Finally, in July of this year, I got around to it. This is book one in Masters Family Series.  Second one in the series is “Bound by Temptation” (Johnathan Masters’ story) and the third one “Taken by Desire” (Anna Steele’s story).

When I read the synopsis for “A Talent for Sin”, it intrigued me, for no other reason, but that it was about a 31-year-old widow who is having a love affair with a 24-year-old man. I am all for the older woman/younger man love stories, since my love story falls into this category. I met my husband when he was 24, and I soon to be divorced at the “ripe” old age of 36.

The book starts with Violet and Peter already in a relationship. They are lovers; however Peter is ready for more. He has fallen in love with her. Violet on the other hand is not of the same mind, and she refuses his proposal. Peter does not give up that easily, and here is where the story, for me, starts to get interesting. We see the back-and-forth of this wonderful couple that are torn by their desire for one another, as well as their feelings of frustration with each other. She has been married three times (to older men), and all these marriages were less than ideal. She went through a pregnancy that ended in early child-birth, which ended in death of her little boy. Afterwards she was told that she can’t have children. To marry Peter, who is younger and needs heirs is totally unacceptable to her. We get to meet Violet’s much younger sister, Isabella and her brother Masters (whose story I read and LOVED in “Bound by Temptation”). Everything goes awry once Masters and Isabella come to town and all hell breaks loose. Broken promises, broken hearts along with a mysterious murder and betrayal enter to rock the very foundation of their relationship. The author pulled me in with the sensuality. It was so sensual that at times I put the book down to take a deep breath. Violet was a very strong heroine, in her attitudes as well as in her opinions. I also thought her vulnerable. Well, Peter just charmed me. His persistence, his maturity, his audacity had no bounds. This was one man who knew what he wanted, and went for it. He was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to make Violet feel secure in her future, even if that future would be without him in it. I thought the story well written, entertaining and emotionally engaging.

It is a pleasure to read Regency Novel that has a strong, independent, sensual older woman as a heroine. I wish I read it sooner.

I do recommend you read all three books, but I was a bit disappointed in the third book. Is it possible to hate the story and love the writing? That’s what I got out of this third installment. There was nothing wrong with Ms. Kent’s writing. Her characters were three-dimensional, at least the primary, and somewhat interesting but I just didn’t connect with any of them. This book gets into social issue of how much power husbands had over their wives. Upon marriage, all of her assets become the husband’s, and our Heroine had plenty of those, so she’s not willing to separate herself with them, be it giving it away to the husband or taken away by the nefarious means by her family. I didn’t like the games our Heroine played on our Hero. All of the characters, primary and secondary, were annoying me to no end. At one point I just wanted to line them all up and slap them silly! Like that scene with Cher in Moonstruck where she says to Nick Cage: “SNAP OUT OF IT”!

As I mentioned before, Ms. Kent’s writing was as excellent as usual, but the characters I just didn’t like much. Our Heroine was too busy plotting and manipulating, and the hero came off too timid. It took both of them forever to come clean and resolve the problems that they dug themselves into. However, I still recommend this novel just because of its writing and the social issue of that day.

As for my love story: This September 23rd my very young husband (42) and I (53) celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary, and we are as much in love with each other as when we first met. We have no children together, (trust me, this was a B-I-G issue for me) and surprisingly, not for my husband. My children are closer to his age than I am and we are a very happy and content family. He is the love of my life, my best friend and lover I had to wait for and meet when I was in my late 30’s. Go figure!
Love does find us unawares, grabs us by the throat, and pulls us in when we least expect it. Trust me, I know of what I speak!


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