The Deadliest Sin by Caroline Richards
Publisher: Kensington (Brava)
Genre: Historical (Victorian)
Length: Full Length (300 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia
They had haunted Julia Woolcott all her life, but the strangest of all began with an invitation to a scandalous house party, and a game more dangerously arousing than any she’d ever imagined.
Driven by his ruthless ambition, Alexander Strathmore would do anything to come face to face with the mystery man who’d challenged him to first debauch Julia, then destroy her.
A wild shot…a frantic carriage ride through the night…a forbidden seduction. Rakehell adventurer and sheltered spinster, Alexander and Julia will break every rule of propriety to chase down their nemesis and consummate their unlikely passion.
Redemption seems only a remote possibility for one who would sacrifice another human being to feed his own insatiable ambition to gain new knowledge. Alexander Strathmore must survive an arduous journey plagued with seen and unseen dangerous that tests his mettle if he is to become a hero.
Country mouse Julia Woolcott has her own terrifying journey to make once she sets foot outside the safe haven her Aunt Meredith created for her long ago. It is also her ambition that lands her in a quagmire of hedonistic, depraved people who thrive on dragging the naïve, unsuspecting down to their level. Even though Julia is intelligent, highly educated, and talented, she is not world-wise and has no experience with such morally bankrupt people.
The metamorphosis of Julia and Alexander is full of tension, terror, and horrific happenings that keep the reader turning pages. However, the heart races as the attraction between them grows. They converse on the same intellectual level, but the physical attraction is primal. Their lovemaking is driven by a need neither of them truly understands.
The secondary characters, all with their own agendas, create a labyrinth full of pitfalls that Julia and Alexander must navigate successfully if they are to survive. Through heartbreaks and acquired self-knowledge, they emerge changed individuals.
Caroline Richards certainly keeps the reader’s adrenaline pumping from page one. A couple of unresolved issues that involve Julia’s mental and emotional well-being leave an unsatisfied feeling. However, the strength that Julia and Alexander ignite in each other makes one believe that somewhere along the way in their adventures they will find the answers they need. While The Deadliest Sin reveals the dark side of human nature, it also shows a forgiving love that encompasses every aspect of the hero and heroine’s lives—attention keeping reading.