Anyway, I had the pleasure of reading Lavinia Kent's A TALENT FOR SIN, and this is another author whom I've added to my auto-buy list. It's a shame that I have to wait until February 2010 (I think) for her next one.
From the blurb:
She was blessed with a gift of temptation.
Violet, Lady Carrington, possesses everything a spirited woman could want out of life. Money (and lots of it). The freedom to make her own choices, with no huband to rule her. And a delightfully attentive young lover, Lord Peter St. Johns, to satisfy her every wild whim. But Peter desires more than Violet's lascivious attentions. He's desperate for her heart -- and her hand in marriage.
Yet with a toss of her russet curls, Violet refuses. A man like Peter belongs with a naive, blushing beauty, not a luscious lady with a talent for sin, and she would rather die than be beholden to anyone. But try as she might, she cannot convince him -- or herself -- that their tantalizing dalliance is a mere trifle. Perhaps Lady Carrington has finally met her match -- a man who will love but not control her, a man who can meet her wickedness with a fierce passion of his own...
As you may guess, ol' Violet isn't a simpering, virginal young miss who's never seen a naked man's chest. She's a widower, thrice over, and quite proud of her accomplishments despite society's wariness around her at times. What struck me was that Violet is an older woman, proud of the fact that she barely has a wrinkle...at thirty years old! I giggled. I had to -- thirty?! But people were living shorter lives back then, etc etc etc.
At first I was a bit put off by the younger man, older woman relationship, but in this case it worked. Peter may be younger by seven years, but he's a quiet solidarity in her life, and he's not willing just to turn tail and run because Violet says so. From the first page, you can see just how deep into Peter is and that this is more than just a passing affair for him.
The book is steeped in emotion, deeper than I would've originally thought, and that equaled everything out. The tension comes in when Violet's family returns to London and her sister, Isabella, may be put into a situation very similar to Violet's own when she was married off as a teenager to an old man. Masters, Violet's and Isabella's older brother, holds the reins to the family and usually what he says goes. But he never saw Violet's earliest marriage from her point of view and only saw what it would get him in return. It was quite interesting when I emailed the author to ask about future books, and she replied that the next one features Masters.
I can quite easily see even more books featuring characters from A TALENT FOR SIN, including Peter's brother and sister-in-law, who are already married and expecting their first child. A backstory book would be neat-o, in my opinion. ATFS just capped off what was a great reading week for me, and I had to share!