I give it 2 stars for the beginning, 5 stars for the middle, and 1 star for the end.
First, I have to say, there were a lot of things about this book that reminded me of Nine Rules to Break While Romancing a Rake. It’s like a poor man’s version of that book. An innocent girl sets out to find herself an adventure before marriage and a handsome rake becomes her guide and partner in crime. A lot of that happens here, but not done nearly as well.
I do actually love this trope. I loved it in Nine Rules and in A Week to be Wicked. I love the idea of the hero getting all wrapped up in the heroine and unable to resist helping her fulfill her dreams. And I loved it here too. Valentine is a great hero and his presence is the main redeeming quality of this book.
The beginning was pretty slow. It took about 100 pages for the story to get interesting and the romance to pick up. During that time the heroine, Eleanor, is very confused about what she actually wants. Instead of that materializing as her own angst, it just came off like he author wasn’t sure what she wanted or where she was going with the book. She kept saying “once she figured it out everything would fall into place” and I couldn’t help but wonder if that was some sort of mantra Suzanne Enoch was telling herself as she wrote this.
Once the actual romance begins to pick up, there are lots of great feels despite the confusion. The hero and heroine have great chemistry and there’s a good amount of tension. I thought Valentine was so sensitive and loving and I melt for a tender hero, especially one who didn’t know he was capable of such tenderness.
The hero and heroine spend a lot of time together trying to figure out the plot of this book with very little help from the author. They’re both confused and don’t know where they’re going, but somehow manage to find romance along the way.
The end is where this book goes terribly wrong. It simply devolves into complete lunacy. I don’t like to put spoilers in my reviews, so it’s hard to explain, but it’s a chaotic mess with an unfleshed out resolution and dissatisfying “I love you” scene that ended abruptly and had no epilogue. In fact, and this is a bit of a spoiler, but as romance fans, I think worthy of mentioning, Eleanor never even tells Valentine that she loves him. Unless I missed it, but I searched my kindle and I can’t find it.
For my fellow heat lovers, it’s lacking in this book. The emotions are great through much of the middle of the book. There are a couple of short and lackluster kisses and one and a half love scenes (I say half because it’s about a paragraph long). That’s it.
For a book that’s titled Sin and sensibility, there’s not much sin and very little sensibility.