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Aug 23 2015 9:00am

First Look: Sharon Page’s Deeper in Sin (August 25, 2015)

Deeper in Sin by Sharon Page

Sharon Page
Deeper in Sin (Wicked Dukes #2)
Kensington / August 25, 2015 / $12.95 print, $9.99 digital

Passion Lost
Memories of a dark past have left the Duke of Caradon disinclined to have any fun. But at the urging of friends, he finds himself attending a Cyprian ball in the hope that some woman will attract his attention. And one certainly does. A stunningly sensual woman who reawakens feelings of carnal desire he thought long lost. . .

Desire Found
Sophie Ashley knows little of the courtesan life except what she's read in a book. A quick learner, Sophie makes her debut at the Cyprian Ball hoping to find a wealthy protector. And when she makes the acquaintance of the reclusive Duke of Caradon, she's most eager to test her talents in the art of erotic seduction. . .

Deeper in Sin tells the story of Sophie, a down-on-her-luck common girl looking for a new start. And she chooses a brazen one: becoming a courtesan. The second book in Sharon Page’s erotic historical Wicked Dukes series is not only a bold seduction between two people seeking redemption or only a dark whodunnit, but rather a primer of insight into the lifestyle of a mistress in Regency England—one where you’ll visit the other side, where courtesan life isn’t at all glamorous; it’s murderous.

Sophie also has the odds stacked against her, an adopted daughter whose biological mother was a prostitute herself. Now she has a child to support, scandal in her past, and she’s desperate, yet still somehow innocent. Seeking out someone to care for her and protect, in exchange for certain favors, she attends a Cyprian ball—and this is where our education begins.

Cyprians are “those elegant courtesans who looked like proper ladies.” Wealthy, with homes of their own and their own infamous niche in society, this is no seedy arrangement or back-alley transaction, though Sophie sees a few of those. She hits the jackpot, though, with Cary, a Duke, former soldier, and all-around good guy, who pulls her from the greedy clutches of the Cyprians who want to take her down and the lechers who would have her. Sophie and Cary, surrounded by so much lusty sin, can’t help but feel a natural attraction, and Sophie’s convinced of what—and who—she wants.

“Bloody hell,” the Duke of Caradon muttered behind her. He pulled her back from the door. His broad chest rose and fell with his heavier breaths. “I wanted you to see the kinds of things a man would demand of you.”

“I would be willing for a man I desire,” she said honestly. “For you.”

The duke rubbed his temple. His teeth were gritted. “That is not what I wanted you to discover.”

She moved toward him until her bosom almost brushed his chest. “But it’s what I have discovered. I’m not innocent, you know. I certainly know what desire feels like. And I want you.” She gripped the duke’s solid forearm and surged up on her tiptoes.

Sophie sucked in a scared breath, softened her lips, and pressed her mouth to his.

Her first kiss as a courtesan!

What Page has always done best in the erotic historical vein is that she isn’t afraid to shock. There’s some nasty crimes and deviant sexual behavior. There’s also sexual freedom and expression in a positive light—between Sophie and Cary and in the corners of proper British society that’s forbidden and fun because of it. Someone’s going after courtesans and framing a target on Cary’s back, all while Sophie and Cary surprisingly gently explore the growing heat between them.

“At first I thought you were trouble. Now I see the same is true for me. I am trouble for you. But you are my chance at redemption, Sophie.”

“From what? What happened to you?” This was the first time he had put it that way. As if he had done something for which he needed redemption. That was why he was rescuing her.

He didn’t answer, just propelled her toward the entrance. The monk put his hands together in a gesture of prayer. He bowed to both her and Cary, and pointed a long, bony finger toward the now open door.

“Good lord, we are walking into hell.”

The highlight here is the focus on the truth about a scandalous sector of society, popular among some, hated among others, who nevertheless put on regal airs even while making up the underbelly. Straight from their mouths, they admit, “Being a mistress is a short-lived career” and “All mistresses have some kind of vice. Some way to escape…” Alcohol, drugs, gambling are the self-medications of choice. That’s why we root for Sophie and Cary — to solve the mystery, to overcome their pasts, and to build a future just for them, carving their own way and giving all the rest something to hope for. 

***

Learn more about or order a copy of Deeper in Sin by Sharon Page, available on August 25, 2015: 

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Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.

 

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