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Her Wicked Sin

Her Wicked Sin

4.1 8
by Sarah Ballance

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Her Wicked Sin by Sarah Ballance

Salem, MA 1692

On a moonless night, he rides into the winter forest on his beast as black as midnight...

Dashing stranger, Henry Dunham, comes to Salem on a mysterious errand, but is thrown from his horse in the dead of night and rescued by the local Puritan midwife, Lydia Colson.

Haunted by her


Her Wicked Sin by Sarah Ballance

Salem, MA 1692

On a moonless night, he rides into the winter forest on his beast as black as midnight...

Dashing stranger, Henry Dunham, comes to Salem on a mysterious errand, but is thrown from his horse in the dead of night and rescued by the local Puritan midwife, Lydia Colson.

Haunted by her past, Lydia is running from her own dark secrets, avoiding intrusive questions by pretending her dead husband is simply... away. But when she and Henry are caught in a compromising situation, one punishable by Puritan law, he saves her from scandal by claiming to be her errant spouse... and claiming her bed.

Forced to fake a marriage, Lydia and Henry find their passion overwhelming and their vows a little too real. As their lies become truths, a witch hunt closes in on Lydia, threatening not only their burgeoning love, but her life.

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Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
Sins of Salem
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Read an Excerpt

Her Wicked Sin

A Sins of Salem Novel

By Sarah Ballance, Erin Molta

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Sarah Ballance
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-249-4



Lydia Colson's nightmare lived and breathed on these moonless nights. When the world was at its darkest, remnants of her haunted past seemed to lurk in every shadow, denying her again and again the chance to start anew. No matter how justified the actions of her past, the peace she had hoped to find in Salem Village escaped her. It was her burden to bear.

The cruelly twisted body in her path was not.

Though stationary, the sight had crept upon her with silent ease, an aberration on a cold, lonely stretch of road with nothing but the woods to keep her company. Lydia purposefully avoided night travels here, but babies did not keep time, and Goody Louder's child had chosen to make entry in the witching hour. As a physician and midwife, it was Lydia's purpose to see to the birth, and what a child he was. Healthy and rowdy, the stout babe named John had a roar not to be ignored. The first instance of life never failed to bring joy, to make Lydia forget. But now an unsavory reminder of her past misdeed rested in the dirt, nearly buried in forest litter.

And he was not alone. A stallion, the same pitch as the night, danced and pawed the earth. Its capsized rider jerked, his long frame shuddering when the hooves clipped his torso. Might he be alive?

"Easy," Lydia said, fighting for her own control as she edged closer. She placed her hand on the animal's rump, her fingers tingling alongside the quivering flesh. The contact revealed tightly bunched muscles alongside a tension made visible in the rolling whites of the beast's eyes. "Easy, boy."

At the more intimate distance, she could see the man's leg caught in the stirrup and bent unnaturally to his position on the ground. He'd fallen from his mount. Had he been dragged? What bit of the path visible in the night showed little sign of disturbance, though the wind might easily have stirred the leaves to hide remnants of a struggle.

A smell of sweat mingled with a distant trace of smoke, hinting danger. The horse snorted and hopped, the strain on the stirrup eliciting a groan from the prone man. Would he lash out from his pain?

Lydia bundled her nerves against the perceived threat and scoffed at her insecurities. This stranger was in no position to cause her harm, but should he try, the mistake would be his.

She had killed before, and she would gather within herself to do it again.

Lydia offered her hand to the stallion. The animal stilled with its inspection, offering the chance for her to grasp the leathers.

"Easy there."

She repeated the refrain in prayer, for any illusion of control she could own over the horse would be just that. She was a mere wisp of a woman, no match for the power of the steed.

The leathers were supple in her hand. Buttery soft, they spoke of riches. Whoever the rider, he was either a man of means or a common thief. But no, something of him spoke of wealth — even in this state of disarray, he was too clean and well-groomed to be a beggar.

With an eye on the man, Lydia soothed the horseflesh with long strokes and eased to the ground, the grip of the reins a small comfort. Verily, she would be trampled alongside the stranger should the steed take mind to part ways.

"Goodman?" She addressed the rider as an equal, though certainly his station was above hers. His breeches showed little wear, save for their current run in the dirt. A fine leather boot with a silver buckle that shone in the dark was positioned near her head, wedged in the iron. Her hands shook as she set to releasing his leg, and as she watched him for a reaction she studied him further. A richly tailored topcoat was askew over a crisp, white, linen shirt that she noted beneath his thick wool greatcoat. He wore not a wig, which seemed to contradict his apparent status, though it was just as well, as his balance had already proven insufficient without the added weight.

"Be still," she said to man and horse, in hopes both would heed. She turned the stirrup leather, working it over the man's boot. With the new angle he freed so suddenly she didn't catch the limb before it hit the ground with an unwelcome thump.

The horse shied — gratefully in the away direction — but settled as soon as the reins grew taut. After a moment the animal stepped closer, lowering his head to nudge the stranger with a soft nicker.

"Willard, you beast." A round of profanity followed the utterance. Though the stranger's words were foul, they offered for his equine companion both comfort and reassurance. Their soothing cadence eased the alarm from the horse's eyes, leading his ears to relax from their pinned state.

Lydia found herself enchanted by the man's tones and by his obvious affection for the horse.

He shifted in the leaves, still facing away, and he had yet to acknowledge her. She should flee. She had freed him from his quandary, and his voice tinged itself not with pain, but with humor. She would feel no remorse for moving past, yet her feet did not budge.

If she remained silent, would he not know her there? No, eventually he would wonder what held the reins aloft. She watched, waiting for that moment. Through the profound darkness, she noticed his hair was a nutty brown and longer than that of a Puritan man, though its richness showed no trace of the powder worn by many wealthy travelers. He was a study of contrasts, this man. For all of his finery, he seemed to shun the ways of society, and his roguish nature appealed to those innermost desires she had thought long lost. Her husband, as he were, had ruined her womanhood.

This stranger, in the most insignificant ways, had roused it.

"I owe a debt of gratitude, Good Puritan," he said.

Those melodic tones, this time addressed to her. And he thought her a Puritan! A twinge of relief eased through her. She had thoroughly escaped the past. She need not fear every stranger for his intention. "I am a physician. Are you well enough?"

"Aside this daft horse, I am." He shifted then and groaned fiercely, but the pain did not alter the kindness of his features.

"Where is the hurt?" she asked.

"I am afraid there is no explanation within the confines of propriety," he said, his grin sheepish.

She tried not to match his smile, for she found his demeanor appealing but her trust lacking. "I assure I have heard worse."

He looked her up and down again until she felt in a state of undress. "Well, then," he said after a long study. "I shall say it is my seat that is the trouble."

Willard chose that moment to nod his head, jerking the reins from her distracted grip.

"You old fool." The man chided, reaching easily to take the fallen leathers.

"He stayed faithful," Lydia said in the horse's defense. "Had he taken down the path, your injuries would number more."

"I am afraid they already do. I cannot feel my leg, though from damage or cold I am unsure."

Lydia hesitated. From the angle of his body upon discovery, she had thought the man perished. Of course, it was expected his injuries numbered more than his seat.

"I will compensate you for your services," he said.

She nearly laughed. He was far from having escaped his compromising position, yet seemed ready to close business and move on. "Think nothing of it," she said. "I have merely assisted as would any passerby."

"In that case, I am grateful our travels allowed our paths to cross." He turned his attention to Willard, tugging until the horse stepped close and dutifully lowered his head. The stranger wrapped his arms around the neck and, with a number of grunts, leveraged himself upward to one knee. The second leg — the one she'd rescued — appeared not to cooperate.

"You are badly hurt."

"Yes. More than my seat, it seems."

"Let me help you." The words were automatic, as was the accompanying flush of heat when she thought of touching him. The night was far too cold for such a rise, but she dared not take credit of her awareness from the handsome stranger. Without waiting for an answer, she moved close and grasped his forearm.

Using Lydia as a post, he rose with an agony well-versed in a string of unspeakable words, for which he quickly uttered apology. "I assure it is only the pain that hath relieved me of my manners. Perhaps if I can get another four legs beneath me," he said, gesturing to the horse, "I may be on my way."

She opened her mouth, then closed it without speaking. He expected no more from her, but her sensibilities tugged. Were he a woman, Lydia would insist on extending aid. What was it about this man that lent her such pause? Could it be his appeal, or was she fearful of something unnamed? It mattered not. She was duty bound. She found her tongue. "The nearest place of public shelter is a long ride. I suspect you are in no condition to find trouble a second time."

"That much is true, Goodwife."

"Lydia," she said. No man's wife, but as long as he thought her attached, perhaps she could offer him shelter for the night. "My house is just up the path. You are welcome to shelter there."

"Well, then. Lydia." He tried her name with such curiosity she felt she heard it anew. "Please call me Henry, and know I do not wish to return your kindness with scandal."

"Fear it not. I have cared for others, and by morn you will be on your way."

"Your generosity is a blessing." He looked to Willard, then to his injured leg.

Lydia smiled in spite of her lingering doubts. "May I help you aloft?"

Asking for help must have been under his station, for he seemed to blush a bit within himself, or as much as the dark revealed. But he did position himself near Willard, who had tired of the excitement and now stood dozing with his nose to the ground. "It appears I am in need of a leg," he said.

Even in the dark, his eyes sparkled with humor.

"That you are," she said, boosting him with some effort into the saddle.

He lay awkwardly across Willard's back for a moment before clumsily swinging his leg over to straddle the horse. "I feel I should offer the mount to the lady," he commented. His words were terse, presumably with pain. "What brings you out alone this late night? Does your husband not fear for your safety?"

Lydia did not tell him how very far from the truth his words had proven. "A neighbor Goodwife was with child. Her pains began, and with her husband gone to trade she sent her young son for help. Once the babe was born, she had only the child to watch over them. Though he was quite the gentleman offering to accompany my return, he is but a boy of only four. His mother needed him far more than I."

"Quite the honorable lad indeed. Your husband did not come for you?"

"He is ... detained with his business. It is not the first I've been summoned for a late night birth. Babes keep their own time."

"True enough. As does a four-footed sod." He favored a weak laugh and patted Willard's neck with undisguised affection.

Glad for the change of subject, she asked, "Do you remember your fall?"

"I remember the oaf jumping sideways due to the sound of the wind. He unseated me, but not before my boot took to my stirrup."

"Some might call that poor rider position," she said with a smile. His good nature charmed her.

He made a sound like a chuckle, but quickly stifled it. His trunk had taken a blow from Willard's hooves, so his pain concerned her and she took note.

"This is true," he said, "but not as poor as lying on the ground with such a weighty creature overhead."

"He is a good boy. He stood quite loyally as I approached."

"I am quite sure he was too lazy to drag me far," he said with another weary laugh.

"The night's rest will serve you well," she said. "It is just ahead."

The remainder of the short trek to Lydia's modest home passed in companionable silence, but for the quiet cacophony of dead leaves jostling underfoot. Once they arrived, Lydia helped to steer Willard to the rear porch so her guest would have a shorter dismount.

Lydia looked from her guest to the small paddock and modest lean-to behind the house, unsure whether she should see first to horse or man. "Does he ground tie," she asked, "or is that only when anchored?"

Rich brown eyes grazed her. "You are a woman of good humor," he replied. "Have you a companion for him?"

She thought with sadness of the favored mare she'd had to leave behind when she had fled Cambridge a winter ago. "I have not. Will he mind?"

"It is for the better. He can be quite the bully."

Lydia had seen no such evidence from the well-mannered equine, but kept her opinion to herself. "I will check the fence and see to him, then. Please feel free to help yourself inside."

"Let me wait here, lest another stranger happen by in hopes of your company."

His words drew from her a shiver having nothing to do with the cold. Was it his reminder of the ever-present promise of harm in the shadows? Or was it the genuine concern in his voice? She was well-used to caring for others, but to have a man — aside from the drunken louts tarrying alongside taverns in neighboring Salem Town — center his attention on her was another matter. For the briefest of moments, she regretted that he thought her married. Though she knew nothing of him, he well enchanted her and was quite easy on the eyes.

She left Henry on the porch, as was his desire, and despite his opinion to the contrary, Willard remained a perfect gentleman when taken to his quarters. Lydia checked the fencing and, upon finding it satisfactory, removed his tack. He responded by flopping to the ground and having a good roll. Though she had not any grain, the spent summer grass lay tall and brown under the fallen leaves and would serve him well enough. Collections of rainwater offered drink. Satisfied Willard was settled enough for what remained of the night, she gathered the tack for the shed and headed back to the house.

Little more than a divided room plus a privy, Lydia's simple clapboard home had never been indulgent, but once inside she discovered Henry had a way of filling her space. Lydia couldn't remember when a man unaccompanied by wife or child had last breached her threshold, but the moment had left no clear impression on her such as this. So she wouldn't have to ponder the meaning of Henry's effect on her, she busied herself readying a quilt for him to rest upon. Though she was not of means, she did offer some comforts, including a fair amount of clean linen for the only bed. Once she had prepared a fire for warmth and a spot for him to possess, she assisted Henry across the room and helped him sit.

He grimaced, though once settled he quickly offered a pinched smile. "Thank you again for your hospitality."

"Would you like a drink to ease your discomfort?"

His eyes twinkled. "Is it a groaning ale you offer, Midwife?"

Lydia stilled in her surprise with his knowledge of the bracer. "You are married with child?"

"No. Many young siblings, though. Father liked to claim the groaning drink Mother took for her pains was more robust than his own ale."

She laughed. "Indeed, it is usually the case. Is that your preference?"

"Rum, if you have it. I will groan for a taste if that is your pleasure."

Lydia busied herself with his drink. "You are likely to groan whether I pleasure it or not, Good Sir."

He chuckled, the pain momentarily lifting from his handsome features. He bore a straight nose, kind eyes, and full lips cultivated not of a hard life. "Please do call me Henry," he said.

His gentle tones soothed her into a complacency she thought dangerous.

"Henry." She tried the name, deciding she liked it upon her tongue. She knew not of his purpose in Salem Village, but could not fathom it nefarious. She favored his gentle nature and felt it rooted innately to his character, for no man could entertain such kindness in his compromised state without being pure at heart.

Henry tasted the drink with a sip, then finished it with a swallow. "Thank you again."

Lydia studied his movement, intentionally leaving him to reach the reclining position without help. Though he did not react as if he felt sudden pain, she had not forgotten the toil of his uncooperative leg.

Suddenly bashful, she sought her voice. "Perhaps I should look at you."

"I would delight in that," he said with coy cheer. "But should your husband enter in the midst of your inspection, I do not wish to have another accident tonight."

"You need not worry about his return," she told him. "He will not be back this eve."

He looked at her a very long time before responding. Then, gently, quietly, he said, "While I would think that favorable if I am to enjoy your ministrations, I fear what my presence here will do for your reputation."

"I am a physician tending a patient. Nothing more." As if to ascertain her point, she approached and parted his coats. Though she would do well to check his bruises, the thought of undressing the traveler left her nervous and unsure. As it were, she felt through his fine linen shirt, finding nothing obviously out of place but her own curiosity ... until Henry's hand came to rest on her arm.


Excerpted from Her Wicked Sin by Sarah Ballance, Erin Molta. Copyright © 2013 Sarah Ballance. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Sarah and her husband of what he calls "many long, long years" live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they're asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren't much better than the kids). Though she adores romantic suspense, she writes in many genres.

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Her Wicked Sin 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Lydia Colson is a skilled healer, a midwife, and Salem’s only physician. The year is 1692 which any history major will tell you is an infamous year in the village of Salem, Massachusetts. She is also very beautiful, blond, and an isolated loner without family and carries a tragic past in her heart. One night, upon returning home from an emergency call, she comes upon a handsome and well-dressed rider who has fallen from his horse. He is injured and so she takes him into her home to look at his injuries. I like the details that Ballance describes that give clues to the stranger’s financial means such as his shiny silver buckles and the absence of a wig. Henry Dunham is a wealthy gentleman from Cambridge, born to a prominent and successful family. He seeks a long lost older brother for his mother who is ill and grieving. He is also attracted to Lydia’s quiet competency and beauty. He questions her about a husband and Lydia lies, telling him he travels a lot and so he is not present. But Henry does not disclose his own reasons for traveling through Salem. When they are discovered by the town’s biggest gossip in a rather compromising position, Henry quickly asserts himself as Lydia’s long lost husband, finally returned. Because the punishment for adultery is death, Lydia is grateful (and also downright shocked) at Henry’s audacity. But she is nonetheless wary of him. Because this is a novella, I realize things must move along at a rather fast pace, however, the way that Henry and Lydia fall into bed is too fast despite Henry’s touching handfast ceremony. We soon learn more about Henry’s status and his desire to remain with Lydia reveals more about his personality. For all his finery, he seemed to shun the ways of society, and his roguish nature appealed to those innermost desires she had thought long lost. The novella is told more from Lydia’s point of view but it really needs more from Henry to feel complete. He is a little difficult to get to know and understand and it seems to teeter almost on a rich son defying the wishes of his dominant father. Henry takes to wife a woman he doesn’t even know who has painful secrets and an unknown past that a family of Henry’s prominence would never in a million years condone. The sinister events of the witchcraft hysteria are constantly in the forefront and the author keeps a nice balance in the pacing and tension between the romance amid the madness. The villagers are suspicious and wary of Henry’s fine black stallion and of his apparent wealth. The Puritans were modest and of the cloth… The love between Henry and Lydia is a sweet and calm romance despite the smoldering sexual tension that attracts them. He respects her independence and inner strength, something very rare in a man of this time period. He also likes that she is interested in him as a person, not for his family’s money. He is kind, loving, and protective of her. However, I find it a little hard to believe that Lydia could so easily trust Henry given the circumstances of her past. I would like to see Henry work harder to earn Lydia’s trust. I don’t care for the cover as it’s kind of misleading. Lydia did not seduce Henry and, while she is blond and he is dark, I don’t find this version of Henry as sexy as he’s described. For the rest of this review: http://bit.ly/1ESwrZ2
2_PMVH More than 1 year ago
Witchcraft is afoot within Salem, with rumors, jealously, a black "Devil" house & 2 people who can't keep their hands off & clothes on one another! Lydia Colson is a woman with many secrets & lives in the Salem Village. She talks of a hubby who travels for work, helps with all the ladies functions & works as a midwife & doctor if needed. The truth is her abusive husband is dead by her own hands, so she keeps her head down within the Puritan community & lives her life alone. Henry Dunham is from a rich family, but he is on a mission to find his half brother for his mother, before she gets any sicker. Plus he has become disillusioned by the whole rich world & would love to live a simpler life. As he is traveling with his huge & misbehaving steed, Willard, the big boy gets spooked & now Henry is laying on the ground with his foot caught in the stir up. That is how these two lonely people meet, as Lydia calms Willard, untangles him & helps the injured Henry to her home to heal. When they get to her simple home, he knows she is lying about a husband, questions her & she confesses that he is dead. Lydia examines him, half unclothed, as the village busybody, Rebecca Mather, storms into her home! Henry listens to words like adultery & death, opens his mouth & claims to be her traveling husband. Lydia is shocked, but has no time to fix it because a young mother needs her help. Henry will not allow her reputation be ruined, so they talk about handfasting, he claims her as his wife & with hesitation, she claims him as her husband. They do have an amazing chemistry & Henry can't keep his hands, lips, teeth & his third leg away from her. In Salem there is "so called" witchcraft afoot & with a helpful gossiping & jealous wife, 4 spoiled sisters, Lydia riding Willard, the huge "Devil" horse, through the village, their decadent passions released, a revenge filled enemy from both their pasts & a mysterious stranger looking for Lydia to make their worlds explode with untruths. With all the false witchcraft accusations, will Lydia be safe? What will Henry be willing to lose for his Lydia? Can Lydia's past destroy her new love? Who will slap Rebecca Mather upside her head? Oh, PICK ME! This is my 1st Sarah Ballance book & it takes place in a world that I that loved to explore in my high school years. Salem was a town filled with bullies, greed, spoiled & scared children, racism & gossip galore, not so Christian to me. Ms. Ballance brought this world to life for me, with the Goody this & Goodman that & all the untruths flying around. Lydia was an abused woman, but she discovered her deep inner strength. Henry is a great rich boy hero with a heart for a simpler life & that takes a strong person to walk away from money for happiness. This may of been Salem, but even they had passions & desires & these two had the straw mattress in flames. Now the gossiping harpy, Rebecca, made me so mad that now I have dent in my Kindle, from pulling her head thru the screen to slap her hard! This my 1st 1600s American historical romance & I loved this unique world. Ms. Ballance showed the hateful side of Salem, but she also showed the warm friendships & the neighborhood of helpful hands that many historians forget. I also want to THANK her for bringing back my high school days & the many library memories! I left my 1800s reading COSMOS, find a Salem world of friends & rumors & DISCOVERED a new voice in romance that I enjoy! Ms. Balance gets a score of 4 fingers up & 7 toes & I can't wait for the next book. This book received for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He fell off his horse, and she just happens to be a healer. Convenient and cliche. The story is fair, but the characters are decent. The editor didn't do this story justice. I think Sarah Ballance is capable of more, so I haven't given up on her. I'll read her next one and see if it's better.
LynelleClark More than 1 year ago
Impressive story and characters. I received the book from the author for an honest review. They say ignorance is bliss, but in this case ignorance showed the foolishness of men and women as you read about this time period, where everything was called sin when it did not coincide with what the Puritans believed. A time of turmoil, witch hunts and manic lies, all to show yourself superior. The author did a wonderful work in recreating that time and the life they led. She showed how people's perceptive was distorted and used for their own cunning devices. It seemed nothing would stop someone to make false accusations and got away with it, all in the name of witchcraft. Admitting the worst sin imaginable. Lydia Colson found herself in that position, accused of witchcraft. But before I give the story away let me just say this, I was greatly impressed with her character. Doing what was necessary to survive she committed a sin. The reason the book is called Her Wicked sin, a fitting name for this well written and authentic historical book. A sin that would led her to Salem where she worked as a midwife and physician. Due to this, she opened herself for unwarranted attention from neighbors, especially Rebecca.  A canning gossiper if I have ever seen one. Cruel, unforgiving always seeking the worst in everyone else. I really do not like her, but for her role she was perfect. In rode Henry on a black steed, called Willard, and from the very moment these two were alone their troubles started. It created more trouble but yet...always a but **smile**. Two people could not be more suitable than these two. Even if they had to lie to protect this newly discovered love. Passion and love flared from the first flickering of light between them. Spontaneous, instant and romantic. This is after all a romance novel.  Your heartstrings will be pulled, and filled with compassion and love in the story as you read more about them and the trails they faced.  Henry's character was sincere, strong and he had a mind that brooked no resistance from his very wealthy parents. I was impressed with his charming wit and love for this woman, clearly not from the same stock as him.  Now I sound like them **giggles**. The stranger that always lurked in the background would leave you speechless at the final outcome. And you wish the story would continue.  A wonderful fast paced read I can recommend, that will leave you with no doubt that you want to read more from the author's pen. You will not be disappointed with Sarah Balance newest book.
srfeike More than 1 year ago
Lydia moved to Salem Village to get away from her past and was quickly accepted as the town's new midwife/physician. However, those were dangerous times to live in Salem, with every move you made scrutinized and judged, and if someone did not like what you said or did you were accused of witchcraft. Lydia's carefully crafted world starts to crumble after she reaches out to help a stranger. Lydia was a great female lead, strong and independent, brave and spirited, but content to live within the restrictions put on her by the time period in which she lived. She had a good heart and wanted nothing more than to help others. Henry was a great guy – and the two of them together was a lot of fun. Set in the era of the Salem Witch Trials, this historical romance was very well written. The language, setting, and details of the story all fit right in with the timeframe in which the story occurred. It was eerily accurate, at least to my untrained eye, including the way Lydia was accused and the town's actions. Overall, a great story that was fun to read.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
I haven't ever seen a historical romance set in the time of the Salem witch trials and, since I think that time is very interesting, I was excited about reading this. It didn't quite meet all my expectations, but I did really enjoy it. Her Wicked Sin was a lovely read, complete with a wonderful setting and steamy romance. I really liked this book. My favorite part of the book was definitely the setting. The author did a great job re-creating the world of Puritan Salem and the superstition of the witch trials. It was brilliantly done, creating a setting that really drew me in. Lydia was a great character. She was a strong heroine, determined to make her quiet living, regardless of the Puritan laws. I thought she was likable. I don't really have anything to say about her other than she was lovely. I adored Henry. He was so sweet and adorable and so determined to protect his loved ones. He was perfect and I just loved him. The romance was sweet and there was definitely chemistry between these two right away. I thought it was so sweet how they came to trust and fall for each other. And, the sparks were there from the moment they met. I thought they were lovely together. The plot was well paced and I was kept interested the entire way through. There was definitely a twist, when we find out how Lydia's past and Henry's past are connected. So, if I liked all this about the book, why did I rate it 3.5?  Well, it felt kind of incomplete. I felt like there should have been more to it somehow. More about the character, more about the story. It didn't feel all there, if that makes sense. I finished the book feeling vaguely dissatisfied, even though I liked the story. So, that definitely took away from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. But, for the most part, I really liked this book. Her Wicked Sin was a lovely historical romance. With a unique setting and steamy romance, this is a book romance lovers won't want to miss. I really enjoyed this book and I think others will, as well. *I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
I loved HER WICKED SIN, a romantic story set in 1692 in Salem, MA. It was suspenseful at times and also had a few twists I didn’t see coming (I think it’s great when that happens!). I experienced a range of emotions as I read this story. Anger that children and adults could be so downright nasty and mean spirited. Distressed at the accusations directed at Lydia. I also felt Lydia’s anguish, her strength, and then her joy with Henry. That the author made me feel these emotions is a tribute to her writing ability. The characters the author created were well developed and the story flowed at a good pace. I thought the language to be appropriate for the time period which demonstrates, to me, that Ms. Ballance did her research. The intimate scene was extremely well-written and totally in keeping with the setting and story. It was very moving. HER WICKED SIN did not disappoint this reader’s expectations at all. I will be reading this book again and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance and readers who love a good story. I’ve followed Ms. Ballance’s career and I only see her star shining brighter with each book she writes. Rating: 5 Heat Rating: Mild Reviewed by: Karen C Review Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
AGoodell More than 1 year ago
Normally I'm not a fan of American history, growing up in Europe I know nothing about it and typically it holds no interest for me. However, 30 pages into Her Wicked Sin I was hooked. Not only was this book a wonderful love story but a fab way of giving a history lesson to ppl like me that normally don't care. It's about a young lady who has "lost" her husband moved to a new town to start over. She then finds a stranger in need of her help. She is a healer. The stranger is on a quest of his own, looking for a lost brother. Together they battle their feelings, his family and a small town. The only downside is I felt it was a little rushed at the end and with that got confusing. But well worth the 2.99!!!
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
On a moonless night, he rides into the winter forest on his beast as black as midnight…. Dashing stranger, Henry Dunham, comes to Salem on a mysterious errand, but is thrown from his horse in the dead of night and rescued by the local Puritan midwife, Lydia Colson. Haunted by her past, Lydia is running from her own dark secrets, avoiding intrusive questions by pretending her dead husband is simply…away. But when she and Henry are caught in a compromising situation, one punishable by Puritan law, he saves her from scandal by claiming to be her errant spouse…and claiming her bed. Forced to fake a marriage, Lydia and Henry find their passion overwhelming and their vows a little too real. As their lies become truths, a witch hunt closes in on Lydia, threatening not only their burgeoning love, but her life. Review: Though I don't read a lot of historicals this book caught my attention because it is about Salem. I thought the writer did an excellent job in her research and making you feel like you were in that period of time. From the language, to the descriptions of everyday life and the blending of fact made the story come alive. Lydia is a midwife trying to start a new life in Salem. She has been living on her own for a year telling everyone her husband is away. Lydia is a strong person to keep her secret, live on her own and in a place where neighbors are turning on neighbors. How scary it must have been to never know if one little thing said or done wrong is going to put you on trial and that is what happens to Lydia. Lydia happens upon Henry while out helping a neighbor, she rescues Henry and takes him back to her house. Their attraction is instantaneous, this leads to being found in compromising position and forces Henry and Lydia to pretend that Henry is the husband who has been away. I love the intimate scenes between Lydia and Henry, they are sexy and romantic. The hand-fast scene was one of my favorites. Henry is so great, he fights to save Lydia both with his family and the government. In the end he literally fights his brother to save her. This was a great story and according to Goodreads says it is book #1, so I cannot wait to see what the next book holds. 4stars