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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

The longer the resistance...

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she'd held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield's image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams. . .

...the sweeter the reward

Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes—all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years' worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk—and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .

Rhonda's Review:

 Alistair Caulfield has harbored a love for Lady Jessica Sheffield for many years,  but many factors made that love unattainable.  He being younger, and the 4th son of a duke and duchess,  there was no role for him.  Alistair is quite a free spirit,  making his own way in the world at a young age and building his own fortune by whatever means necessary.

On the eve of Jessica’s wedding, she is walking her dog for the evening and comes across Alistair engaged in a lecherous act with a married woman.

“The horror she should have felt at finding a man engaged in sexual congress was markedly absent.  Because it was Caulfield, and he fascinated her.  It was a terrible sort of captivation with which she viewed him-a mixture of envy for his freedom and horror at the ease with which he disregarded public opinion.” 
Being free wasn’t afforded to Jessica as her father had her already paired with Benedict Sinclair, Viscount and future Earl immediately upon her presentation as a debutante.  Having spent her life under her fathers thumb and having propriety beaten into her, Jessica was just happy to be away from that situation.  Happens that her marriage was a good one, but fate had other plans for Jessica.

“Other men coveted the mystery of her, but Alistair had seen behind the veil, and that was the woman he lusted for.  Forever beyond his reach in reality, but a fixture in his mind.  She was burned into his memory by the raging hungers and impressions of youth, and the years hadn’t lessened the vivid recollection one wit.”

After six years of marriage to Benedict,  she is widowed.  Benedict left her everything including the property in Jamaica.  Almost a year into her bereavement  of her husband, Jessica decides she needs to get away from society for a while and decides to travel to Jamaica to tend to the property there.  Just so happens that Alistair has now made his return to London, and has arranged with Jessica’s brother in law to escort and assist Jessica on her trip. Jessica doesn’t know of Alistair’s return or of his plans to accompany her on the ship for the next six weeks, alone with only the two of them and the crewmen.

“He wanted her to see him as the man he was now-cultured and learned.  Polished.  His presentation was meant to be the first salvo in what was intended to be a slow careful seduction.”

The unattainable becomes attainable as the courtship of Jessica Tarley begins.  These two alone on a ship together have no distractions from each other, and Alistair couldn’t have planned this better.  I loved watching these two turn their lust into love, and tear down each others protective walls.  Each sharing the most emotional parts of their past with one another.  Not only knowing each other carnally, but getting a good look into the true make up of each other.

“She’d started this journey as a widow, certain she would be alone for the rest of her life.  She ended with a lover, a man to whom she’d bared her body and soul, revealing memories of a past she had previously shared only with Hester.”

There is also a heartbreaking secondary story going on that involves Jessica’s sister, Hester. Growing up, Jessica tried to protect Hester from their fathers’ rages, only for her to end up married to a man with those same rages. Michael who has loved her since their youth wants desperately to protect her, is in difficult position. He would love nothing more than to save her but all he can do is extend his friendship and try to be there for Hester as best he can.  I certainly wouldn’t mind a continuation of her story.  I loved Michael and Hester, and hated Regmont!

I loved this story so much!
Sylvia Day is versatile in her writing, and once again I have experienced her beautiful writing and characterization.  This is story of two people falling in love, and I truly fell in love with this cast of characters and their story.  Alistair is that strong, dominant, and sexy man that I love so, but yet he’s not afraid to show his love for all the world to see.  I really liked Jessica, she is stronger than she believes, smart and very perceptive.  In the face of propriety she embraces herself, and the hellrake she has fallen in love with.  

“Seven years.  It felt as if her attraction to him had been simmering the whole of that time, waiting for his touch to free it.”
*All quotes are taken from the novel Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

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