Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone

     I have such strong feelings about this story. It’s one of the few books I’ve read that grabbed me from the first page and kept my attention all the way to the last. Why 3.5/5 possible stars? Because I loved the book up until the last 20 pages or so, then I hated it. And honestly, I struggled between a 3 or 4, which is why I ultimately chose 3.5. If you care to know why, read on…

     We were introduced to Matthew, Earl of Wallingford in the first book of this series, Addicted, but the Matthew we see in Sinful is a very different man. With this story focused on him, we see a deeper, darker side to the man who makes no apologies for his lifestyle, which is one of decadence, excess and vice. He’s probably one of the most tormented heroes I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about, to get to know, to come to love – and desperately want to fix.

     Jane Rankin is a woman of low birth and as such is well aware of her place. However, Jane has had the good fortune to be employed as a Lady’s Companion by Lady Blackwood, herself being a woman who is no stranger to controversy. Through Lady Blackwood’s example, Jane has decided that she too could be her own woman, unmindful of society’s standards and social stigmas, and goes to work as a nurse at London College Hospital. It is there that she and Matthew first meet.

     This is one of those books that I couldn’t put down. I stayed awake, barely able to keep my eyes open, to read. The story is compelling, full of emotional ups and downs and in a word; amazing. I sobbed and sobbed and laughed and sobbed some more. What a ride!

     By the end of the book we’ve been through such emotional turmoil that I was totally ready for a truly emotional reunion, a happily ever after for the ages. I don’t know who to blame here; the author for skipping what could have been a truly beautiful reunion, (which based on the quality of writing I highly doubt), the editor for not seeing how rushed and empty the ending felt, or the publisher for being so concerned about page count that they sacrificed the story for the almighty dollar. But, no matter where the fault lies, I just didn’t feel that sense of contentment or closure that was worthy of these characters. To be frank, if I were them, I’d be pissed. Royally pissed even. Where was the emotion? Where was the truly heartfelt joy born of finally being able to be together? Oh yeah, that’s right, it was replaced by the sex – granted it was good sex, but it was just sex all the same. Of the hundreds of books I’ve read, this is only the 2nd one that after finishing I wanted to throw against the wall because of the ending. As a reader, I felt horribly cheated. Seriously, I cried.

***taking a deep breath***

     Thankfully the author has given us an incredibly beautiful epilogue which can be downloaded for free from her website. This is what I would have expected the ending in the book to be. No reader should have to go to the internet and find the real happily ever after ending to a story, especially one of this caliber.

     Ms. Featherstone, you have a true gift for writing and for making the reader feel, and feel deeply, however I would suggest that you get in touch with whoever made the decision on how to end the actual printed book and can them.

     Sexual content: pretty much the usual with a brief 'finger at the backdoor' scene.

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