Will a week of seduction...
Desperate to save her sister's life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.
...Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?
Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?
Roberta has bit off more than she can chew, knee deep in a gambling debt she can't hope to pay off. Especially since her abusive husband's coffers are so empty. With no other way to pay Jonas Merrick, the bastard son of a Viscount-who just so happens to be Roberta's husband's cousin-agrees to satisfy her debt if she agrees to cuckhold her husband and spend a week with him at his crumbling Gothic estate (never mind that man has more money than sin!)
Jonas doesn't care for the woman, but he'll derive great pleasure from getting one over on his cousin. In a long standing rival with the man, he'd enjoy the opportunity to piss William off. However things don't go as planned, because instead of Roberta at his door, he finds Sidonie in her place.
Sidonie agrees to go in her sister's place because she knows that if William finds out his wife slept with his cousin, he'd kill her, and Roberta had her sons to think about. So the sacrificial virgin lamb goes off willingly to the lion's den expecting to find a monster. However, instead, she finds Jonas-a deeply scarred man...inside and out. But despite his facial disfigurement, she finds a self loathing man who is lonely, but caring and tender in his own way. He thinks he's the devil's right hand man, but Sidonie see's a broken man in need of compassion.
During the week together, they learn so much about each other, touch each other's souls without meaning to and find so much encompassing love that it threatens all their preconceived notions of what they thought they were destined for.
"I hardly know you at all," she said, to remind herself as much as to put him in his place. She stifled the reckless urge to lean into his caresses. "So why do I feel that you count every beat of my heart?"
Sidonie and Jonas embark on a journey that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. He believes that no one could ever love him for him because of the scars on his face, his illegitimacy as a Viscount's son, and because of the sins he believes he's committed in his life. But Sidonie sees past them and right into his heart. It's not an easy ride, especially after their week is up and they're forced out of their passionate bubble, but together these two come out stronger; united.
I loved the angst, loved the uncertainty not knowing if things would work out for our couple. Trust is a delicate thing, and their bond had just begun to form before real life got in the way.
I really don't know how to put into words how much this story touched me deeply on an emotional level. It's a Beauty and the Beast tale at heart, but it goes beyond that. Jonas is one of the most kindhearted, tender man I've met in Regency romances, and he's much more fragile than he likes to let on. Sidonie was a little frustrating with her reluctance but as a woman from that time it makes sense, so I made allowances, and she certainly redeemes herself.
This story earned the Golden Olive in my heart, and I hope historical romance lovers give it a shot and can embrace a tale as old as time that Ms. Campbell breathes new life into. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the Sons of Sin series! :D
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