I picked up this novel because I usually like a little spice in my romance novels and the reviews led me to believe this would be a good choice. Although there were some good sex scenes in the book, I had trouble with it. The characters didn't seem to be that deep and I had trouble keeping all the other minor characters straight as to how they were related to the main characters. I about gave up halfway through, but managed to finish it off. It was an okay read, but I would probably recommend a Jo Goodman, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, or Renee Bernard book first.
I read this today, pretty much all the while trying to figure out where the beginning of the story was & what I had missed. George and Ivo - and yes, one of them IS a woman (although it's hard to tell which at times) - begin this story running into each other again, after 6 years, at a prizefight.
Don't ask me, I didn't write it...
They share a few smoldering glances and she (George) bums a cigar. I do so love these shrinking violet types.
It seems that 6 years ago Ivo fought a duel in George's honor, and is apparently bitter about the experience, which has caused him to be banished from home through the intervening years.
Ivo is convinced that George is a bit of a trollop, which is something of a mystery to me, considering the fact that she spends much of the book riding, shooting, and playing hostess to scores of unattached men, who seem to come & go at will through her home at all hours. Ivo & George are strongly attracted to each other, so he devises a plan for them to slake their inconvenient lust by spending exactly 6 nights together as lovers; one night for each year Ivo spent banished from home. Presumably, the idea here is that they'll fall in love and live happily ever after in the interim.
Which might have worked, I suppose, had they had any meaningful interactions beyond just having sex. It seems they both have plenty to say to each other, it just never actually gets said. About the most meaningful thing Ivo seems able to come up with is to tell George he isn't engaged. Thankfully, he was able to get that much out, otherwise, she *might* have decided not to have sex with him.
Not that they did as much of that as they did riding, shooting, & shopping, but it's nice to see at least some interaction between the H&H before the HEA just drops on you in the last chapter.
To be honest about it, I never quite got this story. The author threw dozens of secondary characters at me that I had no frame of reference for, and an H&H with a history that I saw nothing of. I couldn't come to any meaningful understanding of either character on an individual level, because there was nothing of them beyond what was taking place in a linear sense - other than vague past references made by secondary characters. I know that George is a widow and Ivo is an earl, but beyond that, I could only say that he's a bit of a pantywaist to his overbearing tyrant of a grandfather, and she lives the sort of life that would see her ostracized from the society she moves around in so freely, were she left to the tender mercies of just about any other Regency/Georgian period writer. I know that Ivo proposes to George at some point in the story, and apparently makes a hash of it, because she gets angry and storms out of the room. I'd have to make guesses as to exactly how he flubbed the proposal however, as the author never sees fit to actually write it.
And all of that, I could still manage to set aside if there were anything here even vaguely resembling a romance.
Unfortunately, I was left with the impression that George & Ivo simply spent enough time in the sack to feel comfortable with getting leg-shackled, and then there's a sweet little epilogue with their son & heir. I'm actually glad Hughes saw fit to commit that much to print, otherwise I might have had to surmise that's where this story was headed:P Overall, I'd have to say that Hughes seemed a little too fascinated with writing about house parties, social rounds, and fashion to give much thought to something so mundane as romance.
I gave Lord Sin a very generous C-, and that, mostly because I managed to finish it.