Forever / February 4, 2014 / $5.99 digital
After an eventful Season, Anna Sloane longs for some peace and quiet to pursue her writing. Though her plots might be full of harrowing adventure and heated passion, she'd much prefer to leave such exploits on the page rather than experience them in real life. Or so she thinks until she encounters the darkly dissolute-and gorgeously charming-Marquess of Davenport.
Davenport has a reputation as a notorious rake whose only forte is wanton seduction. However the real reason he's a guest at the same remote Scottish castle has nothing to do with Anna . . . until a series of mysterious threats leave him no choice but to turn to her for help in stopping a dangerous conspiracy. As desire erupts between them, Davenport soon learns he's not the only one using a carefully crafted image to hide his true talents. And he's more than ready to show Anna that sometimes reality can be even better than her wildest imaginings...
Nothing gets my little historical romance heart beating quite like a rake in need of reforming and a heroine who writes racy novels. But in order to do either character any justice, there have to be multiple layers that make the rapscallion rake likeable, and the heroine more than a bluestocking. Cara Elliott doesn’t disappoint in her second Hellions of High Streetnovel, Sinfully Yours.
Immediately, Elliot’s strong, fun voice seeps through the pages in the form our snappy heroine:
You would rather wrestle with an ill-tempered Word Goddess than waltz across the polished parquet in the arms of Lord Andover?”
“Andover is a bore,” grumbled Anna. “As are all the other fancy fops who will likely be dancing attendance on us.”
While Anna may sometimes take her life too seriously—she’s the second daughter of a matchmaking mama who had once hung all her hopes for a meaningful match on said daughter—Devlin “Devil” Davenport swoops in to help her taken things not so seriously.
“Allow me to point out two things, Miss Sloane. Number one—I was here first.”
The marquess had a point.
“And number two…” His hand touched her cheek. He wasn’t wearing gloves and the heat of his bare fingers seemed to scorch her skin. “We both know I’m no gentleman.”
From here the steam only seems to grow between the pair, but like any expertly crafted book, these characters and their motivations should not be taken at face value—especially of the charming Devlin.
Luckily, Anna soon sees past Devlin’s charming façade, but it takes a while for the pair to see past those layers and realize they’re both more complex than they let society see.
He was watching her with a rather peculiar expression—half exasperation and half something she couldn’t quite define. “Tender” was the first word that came to mind, which was of course ridiculous. The Devil Davenport didn’t have a tender bone or sinew in his body.
Cut him and he would bleed sarcasm.
What first drew me to this book was the author heroine, but it’s Devlin who makes the book. He’s surprisingly sensitive and self-aware, while still being clever and just as seductive as you would want any rakish hero to be. As in many a good reformed-rake setup, Devlin is not as bad as society thinks, and alternatively Anna is not as good as everyone thinks either. I had several sigh-inducing moments while Anna and Devlin’s mutual attraction and feelings came to the surface, which made this a sweet and sexy read.
The mystery within the book—and the reason the couple even find themselves at a house party together—creates a nice backdrop to the slow-seduction Devlin and Anna play at. This is definitely a great second book in the Hellions of High Street series and leaves me panting for the next book.
Learn more or order a copy of Sinfully Yours by Cara Elliott, out now:
Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.