*I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is one of those books you cannot put aside. In the beginning, during the first few pages, I wasn’t sure where this might go because I didn’t read the plot outline. Anyway, in the very beginning, when Sin, Lady Cynthia Westhope, visits her best youth friend in Madame Blanche’s, one of the top brothels in London, I thought in the beginning that it’s about Madame Blanche’s and indirectly it is but not really.
The whole book is about social constraints. What society does to a young unmarried woman who gets pregnant because there weren’t too many options but in any case, the baby wouldn’t be raised by her but given to a foreigner. And she’d be married to a man who’d be willing to oversee her not existing virginity. But Madame Blanche never wanted to give her daughter up …
Jasmine, Madame Blanche, has a loving brother – James, the second son of the Duke of Scarlet – who wants her back with the family and he’d give up her happiness and live with her daughter just to see her socially restored because the ton is already talking. So he arranges Jasmine to be kidnapped, the only problem is that he isn’t kidnapping Jasmine but Sin because the young woman is wearing Jasmine’s white coat. And when he finds the girl abandoned in the sheppard’s cottage he doesn’t remember her so he takes some liberties with her, takes her virginity.
However, he puts Sin into the same position his sister was, she could be with child. Of course, the storyline doesn’t end here.
I really enjoyed this storyline and I think my favorite side character wasn’t even Jasmine but Aunt Prudence and her over 90 years of wisdom. She was fun, real fun.
Next to that James really went through a lot of character development in my opinion. In the beginning, he was only thinking of what the ton thinks about how this would influence his father and brother because the Duke of Scarlet isn’t the “nicest” person. But he learns what a unmarried woman has to face when a man decides to (maybe) impregnate her.
Well done! Rating: 5*****
PS: As much as I like the cover of the book it doesn’t fit the story at all.