How to Seduce a Sinner by Adrienne Basso

I had the hardest time remembering the title of this book. And there's a good reason why. It has NOTHING to do with the story. There is no "sinner" to be seduced. Yes, there is a seduction or two, but the inclusion of the word sinner seems kind of odd. The hero of the story, Carter, isn't a philandering rake. The heroine, Dorothea, isn't really  promiscuous either. So I'm at a loss as to why this particular title was chosen. Other than someone was a little too fond of alliteration?

I was really impressed with the author's writing style. The first half of How To Seduce A Sinner flew by due in large part to the witty dialogue. At times, it's so great you're smiling along with the characters. The second half of the book, though, seemed to lag terribly. It was probably an attempt to add tension by dragging out the seduction of our heroine, but for some reason, it didn't work for me.

The only other thing about the novel that REALLY bugged me was the introduction of Major Doddington as a half-hearted plot device to throw some marital discord in there.  It seemed too artificial. If our hero was going to have a jealous fit, he should have had it BEFORE he realized he was neglecting his wife. The fact that his wife was constantly in the company of another while he was off with his friends apparently neither bothered him or really even occured to him until a contrived and short-lived confrontation later in the novel. It makes no sense and provides very little drama or suspense.

Aside from our oddly superificial Major, every other secondary character is well developed and interesting. The duke, Dorothea's sisters, the friends of our hero--all were skillfully done and believable. And the author has successfully planted seeds for those characters to get their own stories in future novels.

This is a fun, light historical romance that I think fans of Julia Quinn would enjoy.

My grade: B-

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