Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
In this battle between enemies, passion will win.
Lady Sophia Huntington isn’t what she appears to be. Born into a noble family, the impulsive, wild-hearted beauty has fallen on difficult times. Banished from her home, Sophia dreams of the day she can finally win her father’s forgiveness and return to London. Until the sudden appearance of a suitor from the scandalous St. Claire family threatens to reveal her darkest secrets . . .
Dominic St. Claire vows to exact revenge upon the Huntington’s, who destroyed his family’s fortune generations ago. His perfect target is the lovely but proud Lady Sophia. After using her to discover the Huntington’s financial secrets, he will cause a great scandal by eloping-and then abandoning his bride. But his plot soon unravels when he finds his own heart ensnared-in a trap not of his own making.
This is a good second installment in the Scandalous St. Claire’s series.
Sophia Huntington Westman is in Baden Baden Germany, desperate to leave, as she has been stuck here since her husband died. She is a wonderful card player and has been trying her luck at the gaming tables to earn enough money to get back to London where she wants to be welcomed back into her family’s good graces. However she needs a lot of help to gain their respect, as she went against everyone’s wishes when she eloped with Captain Jack Westman.
Captain Jack was a handsome and exciting man who swept her off her feet when she was looking for some adventure away from the stifling constraints of her family. Unfortunately he gained most of his confidence from drinking which also killed him after a few short months of marriage.
Although her luck at cards recently has not been the best, she did find a wealthy man, Lord Hammond, who was attracted to her and willing to place a bet with one turn of a card. She wins the much needed money and now had enough to leave. She gets out of Germany as fast as she can because Lord Hammond wants more from Sophia than she is willing to give and he seems a little on the slimy side.
She makes her way to Paris before confronting her family as she does not believe the timing is right. A friend she met in Baden Baden, Camille Martine, is living in Paris and starting up a club called La Reine d’Argent and Camille believes Sophia would be a wonderful hostess, although not the job of a respectable woman, it is still a job.
The St. Claire’s are in Paris to put on a play at the theatre and they run into Camille who tells them all about her new club and the woman who is helping her run it. Dominic is intrigued to say the least, as he met Sophia several years ago at his club, The Devil’s Fancy, were they shared a memorable kiss. They have both thought of that moment many times, but he was unhappy she was a Huntington and did not want to want her. However after being re-acquainted they are unable to keep apart.
Unfortunately Lord Hammond also makes his way to Paris and is delighted to see Sophia, she however is less so. He in turn is angry and threatens both Sophia and Dominic. Dominic is so worried he decides the best way to help Sophia is to marry her before they return to London. Old prejudices come up between them; his parents do not like the Huntington’s however his mother warms up to Sophia quickly. Sophia is worried the marriage is a mistake for many reasons, however finally decides after meeting her mother on a walk that she no longer needs or wants the respect of her family as she sees what a real family should be.
Sophia is helping the St. Claire’s with their new play, and when Dominic’s sister hurts her ankle Sophia takes her place and is a natural actress that everyone adores. Things become dangerous when Lord Hammond and Sophia’s brother come to the play and within a week the St. Claire’s theatre and gaming hall are empty of patrons. So Sophia takes things into her own hands as she finally feels at home and does not want anything to happen to her new family.
I liked this book but was not overwhelmed by it. Sophia was hard to like in the beginning as she seemed to be indecisive about what she wanted to do. She said she wanted to go back to London but ended up in Paris instead, doing the one thing that would not gain her the respect from her family. I also thought that when she becomes a wonderful natural actress, it is a little rushed. There also is a diary of Mary St. Claire Huntington’s life from several centuries ago that helps shed some light to the reason the St. Claire’s and Huntington’s do not like each other which is helpful. I liked Sophia and Dominic together and thought the chemistry was well done; they grew to love each other despite their family prejudices. I liked this second book in the series better than the first so will continue as I am getting to know the characters enough to care about what happens next.
I give Two Sinful Secrets by Laurel McKee 3.5 stars!