I apologize for missing WM yesterday. I'm experiencing tendinitis so I had to lay off the word processing. But I'm back today to share another romance with you. They just keep calling to me. I need to start some other books soon, but for now all I've wanted is romance and lots of it.
Summary from Goodreads
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published August 28th 2012
by AvonISBN 0062025791 (ISBN13: 9780062025791)
Handsome and disciplined, Gabriel Huntford knows his time is best spent hunting down criminals from the darkest corners of London. As a Bow Street Runner investigating his sister's death, he has no desire to join London's strutting peacocks in this competition when there are more important tasks at hand.
Now, his quest leads him to one of Madeline's "suitors," so he agrees to help this sinful woman. But what begins as a business arrangement quickly turns into something more . . . and love blooms with a passion neither one expected.
I think I more or less bought this book on a whim. It sounded intriguing and so I decided as I might buy it as not. I'm so glad I did. Sins of a Virgin wasn't just a romance story, it was a crime story. And the crimes were wrapped around the main characters so tightly that never for one moment was the romance not centre stage.
Gabriel, a Bow Street Runner, is far more interested in finding his sister's killer than he is in protecting Madeleine when he first accepts the job to strut her around London. He doesn't think very highly of Madeleine, who is after all, auctioning off her virginity. But when he realizes that several of her bidders are men he suspects in the case of his sister's murder, he decides to accept the job in the hopes that it might lead him to the murderer.
Soon, both Gabriel and Madeleine realize there is more to one another than meets the eye. Gabriel doesn't buy that Madeleine is merely a whore or opportunist, and Madeleine is rather admiring of the fact that she can't fool Gabriel. She appreciates how observant and intelligent he is. But even though they are both drawn to one another, neither desires seriously pursuing their feelings. Madeleine has a fortune to make off her virginity, and Gabriel wants to find the killer. But when Madeleine is stabbed, things start to heat up.
I really liked Gabriel. I loved that he didn't buy the games Madeleine played, that he saw right through them. I loved that he was too honourable to be indifferent to the fact that Madeleine was selling her virginity, but would never have placed a bid even if he had the money. I loved that while he wanted to protect her, he also let her be involved in the investigation. I was blown away with how he makes Madeleine think of her own pleasure and desires instead of his own. He was determinedly single minded throughout the book, and I loved that with Gabriel, you always knew where you stood. And what I loved most was that even after he and Madeleine had been together, and she'd accepted his offer of marriage, he gets together a huge of money to bid at the last minute simply to show Madeleine that she is everything to him, far more than any sum of money.
Madeleine is kick ass! I loved how strong she was, how unflinchingly brave. I loved that she was able to come out of the jails of London and take the fate of becoming a spy for England and make it her strength. She thought her work as a spy, her seductions, had somehow made her into a whore, and I was very proud of her when she casts off all the insecurities she had carried with her because of that and her early family life, and allows herself to really be herself. I was especially cheering for her when she decided to jump off the cliff and let her heart lead her. And her heart led her right to Gabriel, who had fallen in love with the woman under the masks she presented to the world. A woman, who is a little fragile but his perfect match.
The story was great, the crimes were wrapped up neatly and logically, the romance sizzled, and I'm very curious about Clayton and Maddox. Can't wait to read more of Anna Randol.
4.5 glittering stars