Series: The Sins and The Virtues, Book 1
Release Date: January 18, 2011
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*Novel generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
For more information please visit Charlotte Featherstone's website.
Of old, humans and Faeries have dwelt side by side in parallel realms. Only the canniest mortals recognize the alluring creatures that often walk--and lie--among them.
The righteous Fae of the Seelie Court cherish an ancient quarrel with their Dark counterparts: a curse born of anger and deceit. The Unseelie Court will perish unless one of is princes can win a woman's love--honestly, without coercion... and love her wholly in return.
To halt the slow demise of his people, Prince Thane--the embodiment of Lust--infiltrates the Georgian court to seduce his mortal inverse. Noblewoman Chastity Lennox is pureity incarnate--a sensual prize well worth winning. But Thane's carnal quest proves more challenging than he ever dreamed.
No other has ever been able--or willing--to resist his erotic charms. Chastity's resolve is maddening... and intriguing. It makes him want her all the more. But how best to seduce one who truly seems above temptation? Discover her greatest weakness and become the intoxicating essence of her deepest, most forbidden desires.
Lust is the debut novel in Charlotte Featherstone's new series The Sins and Virtues, a wonderful historical romance that proves that the Fae are not simply for children any more. Extremely sensual and alluring these Fae Princes will have you wanting more!
The premise of the Dark Fae Princes being afflicted by the Sins with human counterparts housing their apposing Virtues was unique and refreshing. The concept raising some great themes that not everything is as it appears throughout the story.
The characters were interesting and well written, the development and inner workings of the characters nicely explored and really serving to flesh them out. Chastity is the embodiment of, well, chastity. She's sheltered and pure, and very much an island unto herself with only her sisters for comfort. While I did like her and found her to be a very relatable character there were definitely some elements that had me straining not to throw my Nook across the room. I loved the fact that we come to see her shedding her pious mane and exploring her sexuality throughout the story. The sexual awakening in actuality leading her to several self discoveries, but after a few encounters with Thane, she is convinced that he is Dark Fae. In and of itself this not a bad thing, it creates some inner conflict between the woman within her and the virtue which she uses to define herself. While in 'dreams' and minor encounters with Thane she is accepting of the fact, enthralled even by the possibility of it but, when he openly admits his status in the Dark Court without any subterfuge she freaks out. It was ludicrous, making her seem like a simpering indecisive moron when we know for certain she's actually quite intelligent. 'I love him, I love him not. I accept my Dark Prince, I do not. I'm a virtue, I am not.' It's just too repetitive and ridiculous as she constantly contradicts herself. Thane, however, is likewise maddening at times though I adored his character very much. In fact of the two, he seems the more human. He accepts the darkness within himself and even comes to find himself at odd with it. He comes to embrace the small pieces of good in him as well, learning that he is capable of kindness and love both things he never considered possible. He is the true embodiment of Lust, a perfect contrast to Chasity's chaste nature. He is sensual, decisive and utterly seductive with pinch of dominance to boot. I also loved being able to see glimpses of the other characters, both the Unseelie, the Seelie and the virtues. It made me want to know more about their budding ties making this a wonderful hook as it gives you a small taste of the things to come.
Truly the relationship between Chastity and Thane needs to be recognized. Steamy, erotic, thrilling...really the adjectives could keep coming. This story was breathtaking when it came to the development of their relationship, despite the aggravating mental back and forth. In truth, the conflict was wonderfully suited, but there was just an over abundance that pushed it over the edge making it frivolous. The crumbling ideals that Chastity clung to were extremely well written, the thoughts and feelings so relatable. It perfectly captured the guilt that nags at the back of pleasure when we are young, the thought that sin is so black and white. Her development into a woman and Thane's similar growth into a protective and loving man was wonderful to watch. It kept the story ever evolving driving it to it's fairty tale-eque conclussion.
The atmosphere and settings were wonderfully chosen. In fact, the historical era matched the theme of Sin and Virtue wonderfully. It was one of formal rigidity with an underlying sensual under belly, concealed just beneath the surface. It was a perfect juxtaposition to Chastity, and the other Virtues as well. All the lustful desires concealed under a guise of propriety. It also helped to reveal the idea that nothing is as it appears as well, bringing to mind the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, not to mention the very Sins and Virtues themselves. This novel perfectly reflects that Saints are not always Virtuous, Sinners not always Evil, and that the supposed good guys are not always so good, nor the bad so vile.
Really, this novel has so much potential to become an amazing series and I look forward to seeing the world and characters further evolve. While there are still a few things that nag at me there is so much that I wish to see Featherstone explore, especially the Courts of the Fae and answer some of the intriguing questions that arose within the first novel. The issues touched upon definitely peaked my interest and desire for more! Plus, I can't wait to see the other characters and relationships be development, especially on the side of the Unseelie. Their history and customs aren't really touched upon at all, the Court present in name only. I want to know more about the Princes and their sins, about the state of the Courts.
Overall, this is definitely one to keep your eyes on. Lust will entrance you and having you falling into the thrall of the Dark Fae just as surely as the heroine of the story. The hardest part about having read this as a pre-release? Waiting for the release of Vanity, book 2 in The Sins and the Virtues.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Scars
Advisory: Graphic Sexual Content