To Sin with a Scoundrel
Forever, Feb 23 2010, $6.99
Single mom Lady Ciara Sheffield loves two things: her eight-year-old son, Peregrine and chemistry. The inquest into her husband's sudden death determined Sheffield died of natural causes. However, her in-laws insist he was poisoned by her and the rags initially call her a witch but soon accuse her of scientific homicide. Sheffield’s sister and his nephew Arthur Battersham demand a new inquest as they spread the word Ciara used her brilliant chemist’s mind as the “Wicked Witch of Pont Street” to kill her spouse.
Since the Battersham duet is big shots, they have a great chance of a second inquiry. Ciara knows why the Battersham want her declared unfit to raise her son so they can have access to his fortune as his guardian and consequently pay off Arthur’s humongous gambling debts. Her close friends, the Circle of Scientific Sibyls, also known as the Circle of Sin decide Ciara needs a fiancé with connections to shut everyone up with one aristocratic stare. They choose Lucas “Mad Bad Had-ley” Bingham, who cares about no one except his beloved Uncle Henry Phelps, confined to a wheelchair. Henry has found a manuscript allegedly written by Hippocrates and asks Lucas to visit Ciara to translate it. They cut a deal with her working on the manuscript and he escorting her. As they fall in love, accidents begin to occur too frequently to be accidents.
The Circle of Sin historical romance is a fun tale starring a beleaguered heroine, a rakish antihero, the Scientific Sybils, the wealthy child, the uncle and razor thin villains. The story line is fast-paced though it remains somewhat by the subgenre book in spite of the overall strong cast. Still fans will appreciate Lady Ciara as she challenges her in-laws, the Ton, and love with the incorrigible Mad Bad Had-ley at her side.