The Art of Sinning

The Art of Sinning

4.7 30
by Sabrina Jeffries
     
 

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The first novel in the Sinful Suitors series by New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries! At St. George’s Club, guardians conspire to keep their unattached sisters and wards out of the clutches of sinful suitors. Which works fine…except when the sinful suitors are members!

American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take

Overview

The first novel in the Sinful Suitors series by New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries! At St. George’s Club, guardians conspire to keep their unattached sisters and wards out of the clutches of sinful suitors. Which works fine…except when the sinful suitors are members!

American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas.

No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/15/2015
Veteran historical romance author Jeffries (the Hellions of Halstead Hall series) launches her Sinful Suitors Regency series with two effortlessly crafted charismatic protagonists. Edwin Barlow, Lord Blakeborough, commissions brash American artist Jeremy Keane to paint a portrait of his sister, Lady Yvette, in exchange for introducing Keane’s sister, Amanda, to amenable suitors. Yvette is trying to find the child that her irresponsible brother Samuel left behind in a brothel; Jeremy offers to help in exchange for Yvette modeling for another, more provocative painting. When the two meet in secret at night and Yvette poses for his painting, their meetings become erotic encounters, and Jeremy opens up a world of sensuality for her. Yvette is revealed as a strong, smart woman driven by her quests to rescue her brother’s child and to find a man to love; Jeremy could be that man, but the scars of his past get in his way. Jeffries’s talent is clear, and readers will delight in the multidimensional characters, fast-paced plot, and heaps of emotional passion and sensuality. (Aug.)
—RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 Star Top Pick)
"With every book, Jeffries grows into an even more accomplished writer whose memorable characters and unforgettable stories speak to readers on many levels."
--RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 Star Top Pick)
"With every book, Jeffries grows into an even more accomplished writer whose memorable characters and unforgettable stories speak to readers on many levels."
Library Journal
08/01/2015
American artist Jeremy Keane will do anything to have striking, statuesque Lady Yvette Barlow as the model for his newest, unconventional painting, even agreeing to her outrageous request that he somehow get her into a Covent Garden brothel. Although they clash from the start, their secret bargain brings them closer together, and while both are averse to marriage, they find it increasingly hard to resist the attraction that simmers between them. Life-changing secrets are gradually revealed as plot layers are peeled away and Jeremy and Yvette are forced to come to terms with the truth and their feelings. VERDICT Marriage-wary protagonists spar their way to love as their prickly exchanges turn romantic, then sinfully hot in a complex story that gloriously launches Jeffries's new series. Although the story stands on its own, there are enough references to characters and events from previous books (primarily the "Duke's Men" titles) to make reading the earlier works recommended. Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls) lives in Cary, NC.
From the Publisher
"I liked the reader's control of the accents, switching between and American Mid-Atlantic accent to the plummy tones of the British ton could not have been easy." —Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476786063
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
07/21/2015
Series:
Sinful Suitors Series , #1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
111,941
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Art of Sinning

  • One

    London, England

    Late August 1829

    London’s loftiest lords and ladies packed the ballroom in the duke’s mansion for the wedding breakfast of Dominick Manton and his new bride, Jane. But despite the number of pretty women among them, Jeremy Keane, American artist and rumored rakehell, wanted only to flee.

    He shouldn’t have attended. He should have stayed upstairs in his guest bedchamber doing preliminary sketches for his painting, even though inspiration eluded him and he still hadn’t found the right model. Anything would be better than enduring this paean to domestic bliss.

    Thunderation. He hadn’t expected it to unsettle him so. Seeing a bride and groom smile adoringly at each other shouldn’t continue to bring back the past, to plague him with the guilt of knowing—

    Muttering a curse, he snatched a glass off a tray held by a passing footman and downed champagne, wishing for something stronger. He couldn’t take much more of this.

    With purposeful steps, he headed across the ballroom toward the entrance. He had to escape before he said or did something he regretted.

    Then the woman of his imagination entered, and he stopped breathing. She was magnificent. She wore a dress of emerald silk that shimmered in a shaft of sunlight as if the heavens had opened to show her to him.

    He couldn’t believe it. She was exactly the model he required for his latest work.

    As he watched, the brunette glanced about her. Tall and luxuriously figured, she towered over the delicate Englishwomen simpering their way through the crowd. With her strong features, jewel-green eyes, and generous mouth, she was the very image of the Juno in Gavin Hamilton’s Juno and Jupiter. She even carried herself like that majestic Roman goddess.

    She was absolutely perfect. It was not only in her looks, but her stance, at once self-effacing and imbued with drama. It was in the wariness lurking in her eyes.

    He must have her. After months of looking for the right model, he deserved to have her.

    That was, assuming she would agree to his proposition. She looked old enough to be her own woman, but he couldn’t tell from the cut of her ball gown if she was unattached, widowed, or married. He hoped it was one of the latter two. Because if she were a rank innocent, he’d have a devil of a time convincing her family to allow her to sit for him.

    He started toward her.

    “Jeremy!” cried a female voice behind him. “There you are!”

    He turned to find Zoe, his distant cousin as well as the pregnant sister-in-law of the groom, waddling toward him. Damn. He was trapped. Worse yet, when he glanced back for his goddess in green, she’d vanished. Of all the blasted bad luck. In a mansion like the Duke of Lyons’s, there was no telling where she’d gone.

    Stifling a curse, he faced Zoe. “Good evening, coz. Nice to see you again.”

    After bussing him on each cheek, she pulled back to glare at him. “I haven’t laid eyes on you in three months and that’s the insipid welcome you give me?”

    “I’m still tired from the trip,” he lied. “I just arrived from Calais yesterday evening, you know.”

    “I’m so sorry you and your apprentice had to stay with Max and Lisette last night, instead of at our house. But what with the wedding—”

    “You had too many other guests to juggle. I know. And there was more room here, anyway.”

    That seemed to relieve her. “Thank you for understanding. But everyone is leaving this afternoon, so I do hope you’re coming back to the town house with us as planned.”

    “If I can hold out until you’re ready to leave,” he said dryly.

    She flashed him a veiled glance. “I’m sure wedding celebrations aren’t your favorite.”

    His heart dropped into his stomach. Was she referring to Hannah? He hadn’t thought any of Zoe’s family knew about that part of his life. “What makes you say that?” he asked hoarsely.

    “Well, I assume any bachelor would find weddings dull, but especially you.” She laughed gaily.

    No. She didn’t know about Hannah.

    Relief flooding him, he forced a sardonic smile. “Weddings are more exhausting than dull. Between fleecing all the lords in the card room and comforting all the disappointed young lovelies who missed out on snagging the groom, I’m fairly worn out.”

    “Comforting? Is that what they’re calling it now?” She shook her head. “I see that your travels haven’t changed you one whit. You’re as incorrigible as ever.”

    “You know me.” He somehow managed a light tone. “What’s the fun in being corrigible?”

    Thank God she hadn’t guessed at the truth: that he hated weddings because they reminded him of his own over a decade ago. Which had been followed six months later by a funeral with two coffins—one for his wife and one for his stillborn son.

    Regret and anger roiled in his gut. Damn it, he’d suppressed the image of those coffins for a while now. Must it rise again every time he attended some fool’s wedding?

    Fortunately, Zoe didn’t seem to notice his consternation. “Anyway,” she said breezily, “I thought I should tell you that your sister and your mother are on their way to London.”

    God help him. That was the last thing he needed. “I suppose they think to fetch me back home to Montague.”

    Situated on the banks of the Brandywine River a few hours from Philadelphia, his family homestead held the largest of the textile mills that were the source of his family’s fortune. And now that his late, unlamented father was dead, his sister Amanda was running them all, since she possessed a half interest in the properties. He held the other half, although he’d toss it into the sea before he’d set foot on Montague land again.

    The better choice, of course, was to sell Amanda his half. She wanted it, and he wanted to give it to her. But since the properties had all come from his mother’s family, Father’s will demanded that Mother agree to the sale. And so far she had refused, confound her.

    She ought to know better than to think he would return to run the mills. He loved his mother and sister dearly, but Father’s death hadn’t changed a damned thing about his feelings for Montague. He would rather cut his own throat than carry on Father’s legacy. And the sooner Mother realized it, the better off everyone would be.

    “When do they leave for England?” Jeremy asked. How much time did he have to prepare?

    “When did they leave for England, you mean. They should arrive within a few weeks.” She ducked her gaze. “No doubt they departed as soon as they got my letter.”

    “Your letter?”

    Zoe stuck out her chin, though she still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “You can’t blame me for taking pity on them. You don’t keep them informed about where you’re headed.”

    “Because it’s none of their concern!” When she flinched, he moderated his tone. “And because I rarely know where I’m going next. I could write and say, ‘I’m sailing the Danube with an Austrian prince and his consort,’ but by the time they receive the letter, I’m likely to have befriended some monk with an Alpine refuge full of sculptures that I’m off to view.”

    “Precisely,” she said hotly. “As you’re so fond of saying, you blow with the wind. That makes it hard for them to keep up with you.”

    “They don’t need to.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “The point of this trip across the Atlantic was that I got to travel the British Isles and the Continent to see works of art I’d never experienced.” And to make a life for himself well away from home. “They know that.”

    “Yes, but Amanda is desperate to speak to you about your father’s estate. So when she wrote asking after you, I told her that you were returning to London to view the British Institution’s annual summer exhibition before it closes at the end of the month. I thought your family might get the letter in time to be here for that, but I gather that the crossings have been rough recently, so my letter and their ship were probably delayed.”

    Scrubbing a hand over his face, Jeremy muttered a series of oaths under his breath. “You shouldn’t have interfered.”

    Zoe laid her hand on his arm. “You’re the closest thing I have to a brother. I hate to see you at odds with your family.”

    “I’m not at odds with anyone. But there’s no point in talking to them. They have their minds made up about—” Catching himself before he could reveal too much, he pasted a bland smile to his lips. “It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done. I’ll deal with them.” Somehow.

    She cocked her head. “You won’t run off again, will you? You’ll wait for them to arrive?”

    “I came for the exhibition, remember?” he said irritably. “I haven’t yet had a chance to view it.”

    He thrust aside the possibility that his sister might have an urgent reason for needing him. If it had been so blamed important, she could have included that information in a letter to Zoe. And clearly she hadn’t.

    Zoe arched an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t put it past you to flee as soon as my back is turned. You have a bad habit of avoiding your American family.”

    It was more a case of avoiding what they wanted of him, though he couldn’t say that. Instead, he donned the role that had become natural around Zoe. “You know me,” he said genially. “Never met a responsibility I couldn’t shirk.”

    She looked as if she were about to speak, when someone hailed her from across the room. “Oh, dear, I’m being summoned. I believe we’re starting the wedding toasts.” She hurried off as fast as she could with a babe in her belly.

    Wonderful. Now he had to endure a series of sentimental pronouncements about the marital future of the happy couple.

    His gut knotted, and he frowned. He refused to sit through that. And it wasn’t as if he could wander the crowd, looking for his Juno during the toasts, anyway. That would draw too much attention.

    So he’d just escape until the wedding party was done with their maudlin speeches. Thank God he’d thought to tuck his cigar case into his pocket. Pausing only to snag a lit taper, he fled through some French doors onto the empty terrace.

    But not empty for long. Hot on his heels came another man, apparently thinking to escape the toasts as well. Jeremy didn’t mind. He hated smoking alone.

    The fellow stopped short at the sight of Jeremy and glanced back into the crowded room. Then, with a look of grim purpose, he shut the door behind him and evidently resigned himself to having company.

    Jeremy took pity on the chap. “Cigar?”

    “God, yes.”

    Lighting both off the taper, Jeremy offered one to his new companion. He watched as the dark-haired man in perfectly tailored attire puffed on it with what looked like satisfaction.

    “These are good,” the man said, as if surprised.

    “They ought to be. Brought them from America myself.” Jeremy drew on his.

    The fellow shot him a hard glance. “You’re American?”

    He nodded. “The name is Keane. I’m a distant cousin of the groom’s sister-in-law.”

    “You’re the artist whom the papers criticize so much.”

    Jeremy grimaced. “Indeed I am.”

    The man gazed back into the room. “I’m Blakeborough. A . . . er . . . friend of the bride’s family. Of sorts.”

    The bitterness in the man’s tone gave Jeremy pause. He’d heard that name somewhere. Ah, yes. Lord Blakeborough. Or more precisely, Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough. “Rumor has it that you were jilted by the bride,” Jeremy said with a bluntness equal to the earl’s.

    Blakeborough scowled at him. “Rumor has it that you’re an arse.”

    “Rumor is correct.” Jeremy took a puff of his cigar. Might as well live down to his reputation.

    The earl hesitated, then smiled. “You can’t be all bad if you carry around cigars of this caliber.”

    “I believe in being prepared for the rare occasion when one must wait out the excruciating boredom of wedding toasts given by people whom one barely knows.”

    “Or people one knows too well,” Blakeborough said morosely.

    Jeremy almost felt sorry for the chap.

    Almost. The earl was lucky not to have ended up married. Having a wife was a burden when a man was ill equipped to be a husband. “What we really need to salvage the evening is some good brandy.”

    “Ah! Excellent idea.” Blakeborough fished around in his coat pocket. “I brought a flask.” As he offered it to Jeremy, he added ruefully, “One must also come prepared for when the wedding of one’s former fiancée becomes interminable.”

    Jeremy swigged from the flask and handed it back. “I’m surprised you came at all.”

    “Jane and I were never really romantic. Besides, I wanted her to know there were no hard feelings.” His voice held an edge that belied his words.

    “And that your pride wasn’t damaged in the least.”

    Blakeborough smiled stiffly. “That played some small part in it, yes.”

    They smoked a moment in silence, the muted sounds of sonorous voices barely penetrating their refuge. Then a burst of laughter made them both glance through the glass doors.

    That’s when Jeremy saw her again—his Juno, in the flesh. Thank God.

    “Speaking of beautiful women,” Jeremy said to Blakeborough, “can you tell me the name of that one there in the emerald silk?”

    The fellow looked over and blanched. “Why do you want to know?”

    “I want to paint her.”

    The earl glared at him. “That won’t ever happen.”

    “Why not?” Then the man’s curt tone registered. “Don’t tell me—you’ve fixed on her as your future countess.”

    “Hardly. She’s my sister.”

    God rot it, that was worse. Sisters were sacrosanct.

    But Jeremy wasn’t ready to give up. The earl appreciated good cigars, which showed him to be sensible. Maybe he could be made to see reason. “Since I have a sister myself, I understand. I would strangle any unworthy fellow who went after mine. But my interest in yours is purely professional.”

    “Forgive my candor, sir, but I’ve seen your paintings. There’s no way in hell I’d let you paint my sister as one of your hopeless lunatics or seedy whores or whatever else you’re thinking to make her.”

    Damn. Admittedly, his work had turned rather bleak of late, but only because he’d come to prefer depicting the raw drama of the real world rather than prettified history or wealthy ladies and gentlemen in fine attire.

    And his latest painting would not only be dark but violent. Not that he meant to tell the earl that. “I can always disguise her features, change her hair color—”

    “That won’t work. In case you haven’t noticed, Yvette is rather distinctive in appearance.”

    Yvette. Even her name was exotic, which made him want her even more. For the painting. That’s all. “Exactly. She’s arresting, and that makes for a good image.”

    “Yes, but to change her enough for her identity to be kept secret, you’d have to turn her into another woman entirely. So you might as well go choose another woman.”

    “I don’t want another woman. I want her.”

    Blakeborough drank some brandy. “Well, you can’t have her. Between her argumentative nature and her ‘arresting’ looks, she’s had enough trouble finding suitors as it is. You paint her in one of your provocative scenes, and she’ll die a spinster for certain.”

    Incredulous, Jeremy stared through the window at her. “A spinster! Are all the men in England mad?”

    “Yes.” Blakeborough sighed. “Not to mention wary of the scandals that dog our family wherever we go.”

    Suddenly Jeremy remembered the other bit of gossip he’d heard. Blakeborough’s brother had been convicted of kidnapping the bride’s cousin. That must be quite a tale. He’d have to get the earl to tell him sometime. After he arranged to have the impressive Yvette model for his latest work.

    The first ones he’d exhibited in London—depictions of a lunatic asylum, a butcher shop, a carriage accident, and other “genre paintings,” as some called them—had received mixed reviews. Some critics had lauded his new direction. Others had complained that he no longer created the grand historical paintings for which he’d become known.

    But his new work, an allegory, would give to everyday struggles the same weight as great events in history or mythology. It would be his masterpiece. With any luck, it would gain him a place in London’s Royal Academy of Arts.

    With any luck, it would also launch him as an artist of equal caliber to Géricault or Delacroix, not just one more painter of the same old historical scenes. But for that, he needed a woman with a striking appearance to play the primary role. A woman like Blakeborough’s sister.

    “As it happens, I’m quite a popular fellow in society right now,” Jeremy said. Even if not lauded by his peers to the extent he wanted. “So a fine painting of your sister by me might increase her popularity, too.”

    The earl pondered that a moment, then narrowed his gray gaze on Jeremy. “That’s an excellent notion.”

    “You see? I wouldn’t robe her in anything outrageous—”

    “No, not that. What I mean is, you could paint her portrait, a formal one that shows off her attractions. That would surely help her in society.”

    Jeremy cursed under his breath. “I don’t do portraits.”

    “Why the devil not?”

    “Because the sitters always want false representations. They think they should be depicted as more beautiful or clever or rich than they are. And since I refuse to cater to such hypocrisy, they’re never happy with the results.”

    Blakeborough looked him over as if assessing his worth. “What if I paid you handsomely for the painting?”

    “Fortunately, I don’t need the money.”

    The earl snorted, clearly unfamiliar with that sentiment, especially coming from a lowly American artist. “Well, that’s the only way I’ll allow it. It’s a portrait or nothing, sir.”

    Stubborn ass. “I will not paint a formal portrait of Yvette—”

    “Lady Yvette,” Blakeborough corrected him.

    “And even if I did, I would paint her as she is. I would never agree to a portrait that ‘shows off her attractions,’ whatever that means. Might as well ask me to dress her up like a whore to entice customers.”

    “If that would work, I might consider it,” the earl grumbled. When Jeremy lifted an eyebrow, he added, “I’m joking. Mostly.”

    “Why is it so all-fired important that she marry?”

    Blakeborough stared into the ballroom at his sister. “I want her to be happy. And the longer she lives alone with me, the more likely that she will be dragged down by my cynical temperament.”

    “Ah. Now that, I understand.” He wanted Amanda to be happy, too. He just didn’t want to sacrifice his own happiness for it.

    “You said you have a sister as well?” the earl asked.

    “Yes. And if you think it’s hard to get your sister married off, you should try it with mine.”

    “Unattractive, is she?”

    “No, her looks aren’t the problem. Amanda runs four textile mills in America as competently as any man, which doesn’t exactly endear her to the male populace.”

    “Yes, but does she have a tart tongue like my sister?”

    Jeremy snorted. “Despite being a little slip of a thing, she cows fellows twice her size.”

    “But surely she can’t be as suspicious of men as Yvette.”

    “Only of every chap she meets. And though Amanda is quite pretty, she has a horrible sense of fashion. At least your sister knows how to dress well.”

    “When she chooses. You should see her wearing her most ragged gown and her permanently ink-stained gloves, poring over dog-eared manuscripts with a pencil behind one ear. Half the time, that damned pencil looses her hair from its pins to fall down about her shoulders.”

    Jeremy would love to see Lady Yvette with her hair down. Not that he’d mention that to her brother. “That can’t compare to Amanda at the mills. She wears trousers beneath her skirts. Says they’re necessary to her modesty when she has to climb the ladders.”

    “Climbs ladders, does she?” Blakeborough chuckled. “She and Yvette will get along famously. A pity that I need a wife willing to live in England. I’d marry her myself.” He paused. “Does your sister even want to marry?”

    “Who knows? Though I suspect she’d like to have children.”

    Or maybe not, given the tragic deaths of Hannah and baby Theodore. That had made quite an impression on Amanda in her youth.

    Shoving that painful memory to the back of his mind, he took a puff on his cigar. “But whether Amanda wants a husband or not, I’m selfish enough to want her to have one. Then she might stop plaguing me to return home and help her run the confounded mills. She could get her spouse to help her instead.”

    Blakeborough laughed. “You should coax her to come here to gain a husband. I can think of any number of younger sons with fine educations, good characters, and sterling connections who have no chance of making something of themselves while their families limit them to the few opportunities that are open to respectable gentlemen in the clergy, law, or the military. They would welcome the chance to start anew somewhere abroad.”

    Jeremy gaped at him. “What a brilliant idea! She’s actually on her way here and should arrive within the month with my mother in tow. If you’d be willing to introduce her to decent gentlemen who might not mind moving to the countryside of Pennsylvania—”

    “I’d be perfectly willing . . . as long as you are willing to paint my sister’s portrait.” The earl cast him a calculating stare. “What do you say? Is that a trade you would consider?”

    Hmm. Much as he hated doing portraits, he hated even more the idea of arguing with Amanda continually about his refusal to return home. Maybe if he could gain her a husband, he’d finally get some peace.

    He glanced back into the ballroom. And who was to say that in the course of meeting his obligation, he couldn’t also convince Lady Yvette to model for the other work that had seized his imagination so thoroughly? He had a knack for charming women. Especially ones he wanted to paint.

    “All right.” He thrust out his hand. “It’s a trade.”

    Blakeborough brightened as he shook it vigorously. “You won’t regret it, I swear. We’ll get our sisters married off yet.”

    And Jeremy would get his masterpiece at last.

  • Meet the Author

    Sabrina Jeffries is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of several Regency-set historical romance series, including the Royal Brotherhood, the School for Heiresses, the Hellions of Halstead Hall, the Duke’s Men, and the Sinful Suitors. Whatever time is not spent writing in a coffee-fueled haze is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions: jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, music, and costume parties. With more than eight million books in print in twenty languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing a budding career in academics for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world. She always dreams big.

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    The Art of Sinning 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love Sabrina Jeffries' novels. This one delivers the ROFL humor as well as the poignant angst of romance. Be sure to read this where you can laugh at ease. I did find it a stretch that an Artist and from wealth by trade would be accepted as a suitable match but, this story makes it work. Some of the best paintings deal with this subject so this romance is no less satisfying. I loved the characters.
    momlina More than 1 year ago
    No surprise here, Sabrina Jeffries has written another MUST BUY. Some author’s seem to crank out books every year and eventually they all seem alike. I have read a few series by writers that have become so predictable that I say to myself “This is where she compares the hero’s kiss to a favorite candy or this is where she grabs his hair during the sex scene. I have read all of the books written by Sabrina Jefferies and she never repeats herself. She always finds a way to make her story seem original. Yes, the hero and heroine meet, fall in love, and have a crisis, but that’s the only predictable thing about this book. The premise has just enough of a twist for it not to be a typical romance story. “The Art of Sinning” is book 1 of the Sinful Suitors series. Jeremy Keane, the hero in Art sinning, was introduced to readers in “How the Scoundrel Seduces” from the Duke’s Men series. While it’s not necessary to read the previous books, I always feel I know the characters just a bit more. Also as always, the sub-characters in this book will be focused in the next book (or books) of the series. I simply couldn’t put the book down. It is well written, it has a good flow, and the pace is steady. I wanted to finish it in one sitting. The characters are interesting, well developed, and just a tad different than the typical found in romances. The storyline was believable, the dialog witty and always a plus to me, I couldn’t predict what would happen next! I received this ARC from NetGalley with the promise to write an honest review
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Storyline kept mr hooked
    SusanFrank More than 1 year ago
    Good start to the new series, with characters from the previous series, The Duke's Men. We met Jeremy Keane, American artist, in How the Scoundrel Seduces, as he helped out with his cousin Zoe's problem. Now he is pursuing his art, searching for just the right model for the painting he has in mind. Nobody is right until he meets Lady Yvette, but getting a lady to pose for this particular painting isn't going to be easy, especially with her very protective older brother hovering. Yvette is a young woman with a mind of her own. She isn't a typical English miss, having survived the scandalous behavior of her younger brother, and having a most unusual hobby of collecting slang for an unorthodox dictionary. She's intrigued by Jeremy's offer to paint her, and counters his offer with one of her own. She'll sit for him if he'll help her find her younger brother's mistress and her son. There is a strong attraction between Yvette and Jeremy from the very beginning, but both are determined to resist it. Yvette has been burned once before by falling for a scoundrel, and barely escaped with her reputation. She no longer trusts her own judgment when it comes to men, but she's sure that Jeremy isn't a man to pin her hopes on. Jeremy knows better than to get involved with a respectable woman. Doing so could get him married to her, and he's been married once before with tragic results. He avoids any kind of romantic entanglements, usually packing up and leaving before things get serious. I liked Jeremy a lot. He portrays himself as quite the rake, but when you look past the surface, he really isn't. He uses his reputation to keep people from getting too close to him, but working closely with Yvette makes keeping his secrets much harder. Not only is he attracted to her, he actually likes her. Trying to behave like a gentleman around her gets more difficult the more time they spend together. Yvette is a very determined young woman. She has her mission and she isn't going to let anything stop her. I loved seeing her negotiate her requirements with Jeremy, and make sure that he doesn't try to renege. I loved her hobby of searching out street cant, and the conversations they had because of it. She also has a very curious mind and no trouble asking questions, even if they are inappropriate. I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop, even as both tried to deny what was growing between them. Their conversations were fun, as both are quick witted and have pretty wicked senses of humor. Jeremy quickly came to look at Yvette as more than just a model. Even though he resisted telling her about his past, just her presence in his life started to change the way he looked at his future. I also loved seeing how he tried to change the way she saw herself by showing her how she affected him. I liked how Yvette didn't take long to see that Jeremy was not the scoundrel that everyone says he is. She is determined to find out why he pretends to be, and it was fun to see the way she chips away at his protective walls. When his past becomes fully known to her, she sees that until he deals with it completely they can't have the future they deserve. I loved how she saw him so clearly and called him on his actions. Facing that past and learning things he hadn't known before was very emotional, and I loved seeing that emotion expressed rather than buried. The changes in both of them by the end were significant. As the first in the series, some time is spent introducing cha
    PrincessThuy1 More than 1 year ago
    Stories like this one is why Sabrina Jeffries is one of my favorite historical romance authors. What a wonderful start to a new series. I loved Jeremy and Yvette together. They were just so sigh-worthy together. I loved the romance, the clever dialogue and the secrets revealed. Oh my. And I loved Edwin. Yvette's brother, whom you may remember as Jane's fiancé in If The Viscount Falls, before Jane realizes that she was still in love with Dominick Manton. Yes, I may be confusing you but if you've read Ms. Jeffries previous series you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, you don't need to read the previous books to understand what is going on in this book. I just love when books have characters that are all connected. Makes me feel like I'm a part of this wonderful world Ms. Jeffries has created. And trust me, once you read one of her stories, and realize other characters have their own books, you'll want to go back and read those too. And I am so excited that Edwin got his own story as well. He deserves his HEA, and I was lucky enough to read an ARC of his story, The Study of Seduction. Read my review of it here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1523409641?book_show_action=false
    Hfowler More than 1 year ago
    The first book in a new series by Sabrina Jeffries takes place after her Duke's Men series ends and focuses on the American artist Jeremy Keane. He is on the hunt for his Juno, a woman to be his muse for a new painting, and he sees her at a wedding. She is the friend to his cousin Lady Zoe and her name is Yvette. She is a headstrong woman who loves collecting "street cant" and slang and who speaks her mind. He strikes up a conversation with a man who he later discovers his her older brother and they strike up a bargain; he will paint her portrait in hopes of drumming up a suitor for her and Edwin will look into finding suitors for Jeremy's sister, Amanda. Of course, Yvette strikes her own bargain with Jeremy, she will sit for his scandalous new painting behind her brother's back if he helps get her into a bawdy house. Bargains made, he moves out to Stoke Tower to start the portrait, but as things usually go the attraction between the two heats up when she has to be scantily clad with him in a darkened room late at night to allow him to paint the real painting he is interested in creating. They but heads, give in the passionate kisses only to regret it right after, and then she takes matters into her own hands. Through their adventure sparks fly, passions heat, and her secrets for wanting to visit a bawdy house are revealed. Though he never wishes to marry, when the inevitable happens, he sets out to convince her to marry him. The intense moments when she forces him to confront his past are heartbreaking, and her poignant moment with her brother afterwards is too sweet for words. The story ends happily and Sabrina Jeffries presents yet another entertaining story and strong characters that draw you in with their past struggles and the fight for a happier future. I enjoyed the read and am looking forward to book 2 in 2016.
    onmtntime More than 1 year ago
    I am not lying I started to read this book 5 different times and could not seem to get into the book! I love Sabrina Jeffries so I knew it had to be me. It was like all of a sudden something clicked and I just couldn't put it down. It is just as wonderful as all of her books are. It just goes to show that even the most avid readers sometimes have a blocked mind but when it comes to Ms. Jeffries books she always pulls you through! Excellent In spite of my slow start.
    PDX_reader_Jane More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning is the first book in the Sinful Suitors series. American Jeremy Keane is determined to stay in England as he searches for THE model of his most ambitious painting. He briefly glimpses HER at a wedding. Jeremy approaches Edwin Blakeborough (the jilted groom from If the Viscount Falls) for an introduction. As luck would have it, THE model is Edwin’s sister, Lady Yvette. Through much negotiation, Jeremy and Edwin strike a bargain --- Jeremy will paint Yvette’s portrait and Edwin will attend Jeremy’s sister Amanda when she arrives from America. Both brothers are anxious to marry off their reluctant sisters! But Yvette has her own agenda. She will pose for the formal portrait and Jeremy’s clandestine painting IF he will get her inside a Covent Garden nunnery. She refuses to tell him WHY she needs to go there. Furthermore, Jeremy has secrets of his own. Mayhem, menace and treachery ensue. Will their secrets unite or divide the couple? Are passion and pleasure enough?
    julieford More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning is the first in the Sinful Suitors series. This story is amazingly filled with laughs, tears and of course love. Jeremy Keane is an American artist who is battling his past filled with guilt, anger and sorrow. Lady Yvette is leery of rogues due to her past. When the two meet, they make a bargain. He can paint her in private for a scandalous painting if he helps her to secretly locate someone from her brother's past. During their adventures, they overcome the past and learn to love and trust.
    LoveLifeandBookLust More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning is a devastatingly beautiful novel, filled with breath-taking characters and an exquisite plot. Sabrina Jeffries is well known for her immense ability to turn out heart-stopping, stunning, heart-wrenching tales. And The Art of Sinning is Ms. Jeffries at her best. I simply loved Jeremy and Yvette. Their story is a passionate one, filled with laughter, love and hope. It's a fun, deep, soul touching read that all Historical Romance lovers are sure to enjoy !! ( actually 4.5 stars )
    Tammy3771 More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning is a great story of an American Artist Jeremy Keane and Lady Yvette Barlow. This is the first book in the Sinful Suitor Series and Mrs. Jeffries has written another wonderful book. I love how she is able to make the reader become intertwined with the characters. I loved the plot twist and did not put this book down. My only disappointment is that I have to wait until next year to read the next book.
    dbrown34001 More than 1 year ago
    Jeffries begins her dynamic new Sinful Suitors series with Jeremy Keane’s story. He was introduced in The Duke’s Men series and demanded a book of his own. Coming from America to escape family responsibilities and paint topics more suited to his exotic tastes, he runs into another obligation. He’s heir to vast lands and a fortune if he elects to take it. All he wants to do is paint. Jeremy is searching for the perfect model apart from the prostitutes he generally uses when he spots Lady Yvette Barlow across the ballroom at a wedding he’s eager to escape. He’s coerced into an arrangement with Yvette and her older brother before he can paint her portrait. They’re unaware he has something else in mind entirely. Yvette has an agenda of her own. Despite the fact that she’s drawn to Jeremy, she tries to ignore the feeling as she needs him to gain entry to the brothels of London. She knows she cannot do that without his help as he has a reputation for knowing them well. She’ll only agree to his “masterpiece” if Jeremy consents to her requirements. Although her brother Edwin, Earl of Blakeborough, has given his consent for the painting, he keeps the pair under his watchful eye. This makes their attempts to visit the brothels almost impossible. I really like Jeremy and Yvette as a couple. They constantly spar off one another in a way that’s pleasing yet not too hostile. Their adventures lend suspense to the story while their budding romance is believable as it advances. Secondary characters are both familiar and new, with Edwin being the most prominent of the new ones. Hopefully he’ll get a book of his own and give readers something to anticipate. Readers should enjoy The Art of Sinning as it is fast-paced, character-driven, and well-written. I know I did.
    cgenna1 More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning The Art of Sinning is the first novel in Sabrina Jeffries the Sinful Suitors series. We met Jeremy Keane in HOW THE SCOUNDREL SEDUCES, he is the cousin of Lady Zoe Keane. A fresh twist of sort to this historical story since Jeremy is American not English royalty. I love his bad boy image, his looks and charming wit yet he struggles with past mistakes. Keane's an artist and a painter that is linked to his muse. Lady Yvette is a source of perfection for his next works and he MUST have her. In order to get what he wants, Jeremy agrees to a deal with the firey spirited Yvette. In exchange for modeling he promises to take her to the brothels to solve a family mystery and so the entertainment begins with the "Lessons in the Art of Sinning". A page turner of fast witted banter, multiple mysteries and romantic notions. I look forward to how the St. George's Club evolves - brothers and guardians that have to marry off their sisters and wards and they want to keep scoundrels and fortune hunters away from them-except that's exactly who the Sinful Suitors are! I fell in love with Edwin Barlow the Earl of Blakeborough, the family dynamics and his interactions/friendship with Jeremy were heart warming. When you read a Sabrina Jeffries novel you will get her sense for the joy of life! Every woman wants to hear what Jeremy said to Yvette, "I notice everything about you". Happy Reading!
    sin39 More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning the first in Sinful Suitors series by Sabrina Jeffries Jeremy Keane is an American artist in England, He does not wish to return to America and the family business. Lady Yvette Barlow is very headstrong. See what happens when these two get together. Jeremy offers to paint Yvette. You will laugh so much. If you enjoyed the Dukes Men series you will love this one. You will see a few from it. Another great book and just know series.
    -Cail- More than 1 year ago
    I have been waiting for Jeremy's book since we met him in SJ's last series and I was not disappointed. Not only that, but in between the fantastic chemistry between him and Yvette, Jeffries introduced such fabulous members of a brand new club that I cannot wait for the next in the series to be released. The story has a nice flow, and the character's relationship develops realistically. I look forward to seeing both these characters and the secondary characters in future books. I received an ARC of this book for an honest review from the publisher and enjoyed it so much that I bought a paperback for my keeper shelf.
    MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
    #1 in the "Sinful Suitors " series. An interesting start to what promises to be an exciting new series. Well written with interesting and engaging characters. The storyline is interesting and exciting, a bit unique, with a bold and determined heroine and hero who is determined to keep her safe. Add a bit of danger, a sweet romance,passion and you find yourself engrossed in an English romp. The secondary characters are impressive as well. I can't wait for their stories to be told. Once again Ms. Jeffries has written a story that holds her fans clued to the page. Well thought-out, well researched and well executed. A must read for any fan of Historical Romance. A simply exciting story. I can't wait for the next installment to come out, soon I hope. * Received for an honest review from the publisher via Net Galley * **Will be cross -posted on My Book Addiction and More ** Rating: 4.5 Heat rating : Mild Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
    streetmouse More than 1 year ago
    Loved it! This first book in a new series is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be a really fun ride. It features an artist (a hot one) and his chosen model (also hot, and so much fun). You'll find that the plot isn't quite as intricate and complicated in this book as it is in some of Jeffries' work, but that just lets the wonderful characters shine all the more. Plus, the end actually made me cry (in a good way). Read it. You'll love it!
    zsoccerbrat More than 1 year ago
    *Mild Spoilers* Sabrina Jeffries once again has written a masterpiece of epic proportions in her new novel, The Art of Sinning. Jeremy Keane has a past that mentally disallows him to marry, but he still falls head over heels in love with Lady Yvette Barlow. It will take a poignant reveal and a heart wrenching separation for Jeremy to convince Yvette that they can have the happily ever after so sought after and achieved by their friends and family. Mrs. Jeffries’s writing made their emotions tangible and real allowing readers to empathize with the characters’ feelings. I always know when I pick up one of Sabrina Jeffries’ books that I will be left wishing the next were available, but this book soared above my expectations. I can honestly say that I cannot wait for the next book and that I will be preordering it and reading it the day I receive it. *I received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.*
    def618 More than 1 year ago
    This is a very good book and the start of a new series. Jeremy, an American painter, and Lady Yvette have both been hurt in the past and are afraid to trust. They fall in love while he is painting her portrait, though Jeremy doesn't think he's capable of loving someone. Yvette lives with her older brother, Edwin, who only wants her to be happy and married. Jeremy agrees to help her find someone she's looking for and she agrees to pose for a risque painting. Edwin and Jeremy, while drinking one evening, decide to start a club for men trying to keep their sisters away from rogues. The club members' stories will be the rest of this series. This book stands on its own though some characters from Sabrina's previous series, The Duke's Men, do appear in this book. While not my favorite from Sabrina Jeffries this is still an enjoyable read.
    BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
    **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review** Jeremy Keane is known around London for his eclectic art pieces and for being an American rake. When he’s forced to attend a wedding party, he sees a woman he must have as the muse for his next piece. When she turns out to be the sister of a gentleman he was just discussing the trouble with having a sister, he agrees to paint her portrait against his own wishes so he can paint her the way he really wants to. Lady Yvette Barlow doesn’t exactly fit in society’s utmost standards. Her family has already been scandalized by one of her brothers, she’s too tall and curvy, and not to mention she has the oddest hobby. When she meets Jeremy Keane, she can’t help but feel the attraction. Her problem is that he doesn’t seem to be nearly as affected… Yvette reminded me of Elizabeth Bennett’s character from Pride and Prejudice to a point. She’s quick-witted, is resolved to not marry for anything less than love, stubborn, and loves her family to a fault. I really enjoyed reading about her in this book. Jeremy was a little harder to figure out. While up front, he uses the title of rogue to do what he wants to do as well as avoid dealing with the pain from so many years before. Because of this shield he’s created, it’s a long journey for Yvette to see what he’s done and try to break through. I really enjoyed this story. While it took me a bit of reading to recognize a few of the characters from the author’s last series, I loved the connection. This was a great story with great characters, especially dealing with close family problems in such a way. I highly recommend it
    Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
    This is book 1 in the Sinful Suitors series. Artist Jeremy Keane has been traveling and painting instead of taking over his father's business. In London for a wedding, he encounters the perfect woman for his latest painting. But since she is a member of the ton, there is no way he will be able to paint her. That is until he makes a deal with the lady herself. Lady Yvette Barlow makes a deal with Jeremy. She will be his model for the painting IF he will help her track down a woman at one of the city's brothels. Jeremy agrees...but what happens when they each find themselves attracted to the other? Will it interfere with both of their plans? LOVED the first novel in Jeffries' new series. We are introduced to Jeremy in Jeffries previous series, The Duke's Men. I liked him even them. He had this aloofness that attracted me to his character. Yvette was very enjoyable too. She had this innocence about her and saw the good in everyone. But she also had this wicked side to her (agreeing to pose for Jeremy's "other" painting) that made her very interesting. Another wonderful start to what I'm sure will be an A++ series!! Thanks go out to Pocket Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
    JeneratedReviews More than 1 year ago
    What’s not to love about strong, out of the ordinary characters that radiate passion! Sabrina Jeffries’ start to her new series the Sinful Suitors, The Art of Sinning, heralds the beginning of what promises to be a great series. As only Ms. Jeffries can, this book built up nicely and finished with her usual flair. If you are looking for a satisfying book excursion this novel is it! *I received this ARC via Netgalley.*
    DebDiem More than 1 year ago
    The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries was a fantastic read! It's a well written book and I loved the characters. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the drama and the humor and of course the sinning. I look forward to reading more from Sabrina Jeffries in the future. This is a complete book, NOT a cliffhanger. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley for review purposes.
    TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
    Jeremy Keane is trying to avoid going back to America where he will be required to take over his father’s business. Instead he is in London looking for the muse of his scandalous painting. Lady Yvette agrees to pose for his painting for a price. They both have things in their past that make them wary of love, will they be able to move past them together. A fast paced entertaining story. I loved the characters and the chemistry between Jeremy and Yvette. A great historical romance read! Looking forward to more in the series.
    JuliaAD More than 1 year ago
    A great way to start a new series. I really liked that some of the characters from the other series were part of this one too. Jeremy and Yvette are really good together. They both have things in their past that they need to let go. If they do that, then they have a chance at happiness.