Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Brava – (January, 2012)
Length: 288 pages
Series: Sin Trilogy Book 3
Rating: C; Enjoyable, would recommend
Heat Level: 4; Very Hot
The Deepest Sin by Caroline Richards
A novel with various highs and lows, The Deepest Sin by Caroline Richards has a few problematic elements. Overall though, Richards pens an intriguing story mixed with an enjoyable romance.
Meredith Woolcott has seen her two wards settled and married, finally allowing her to enjoy her own freedom. Thinking her troubled past is far behind her, she sets off to Egypt completing research for an upcoming paper to be delivered at Burlington House in the following month. When trouble finds her, she is surprised to find Sir Richard Archer coming to her rescue. Archer knows the trouble has everything to do with Meredith’s former lover, but she believes him dead and refuses to accept the possibility that he is haunting her still. With Meredith’s life in danger and Richard her valiant protector, they must work together to find the true reason behind the threats. Yet with the fiery passion simmering between them, Meredith quickly realizes the deepest sin may be giving her heart to a man she is not entirely sure she can trust.
It pains me to admit it, but unfortunately my interest in The Deepest Sin would come and go as the novel progressed. The detail and description of it all was so overwhelming that I would become distracted and find myself re-reading paragraphs. Richards also includes a few flashbacks, which I felt were not cohesively included in the storyline. It was sometimes quiet distracting and lengthy which made the transition back into the current story line difficult.
The hero Richard is certainly difficult to warm up to. While he appears heroic at first, you come to realize there is more beneath the surface. Too much detail of past transgressions (i.e. mistresses and vices) make it difficult to find him endearing. He comes across as somewhat of a snob, but to an extent, so does his heroine. Meredith could really be classified as a bluestocking heroine…she was determine to changed women’s role in education and society and usually forceful with her position. Yet sometimes she seemed so distracted or oblivious to the situation around her. She does her best to pretend that no problem persists which was sometimes frustrating to read about. I haven’t read the previous installments in this series, so there may be more details that help understand the true nature of these characters.
It is impossible to consider this an innocent or charming love story. Both characters are somewhat long in the tooth, for the time period, and are not strangers to games of passion and love. While their shared passion was explosive, sometimes it felt misguided. With their maturity came reckless abandonment and instances where the couple acted as if they were forced together for means of distraction and self gratification. Not necessarily because of any feelings they may or may not share, which wasn’t really all that romantic.
While I did have some disappointments, there were plenty of highlights to this novel. Richard and Meredith did have plenty of fun and playful banter. The dialogue between the two characters was spirited and intelligent. There were a few times where their clever phrases or muttered replies left me laughing. The villain and story line was developed very well and overall intriguing and entertaining. Also, underneath it all was a charming romance that had it’s fair share of sweet and tender moments that any historical romance fan will adore.
The Deepest Sin has a fascinating plot, intriguing adventure and a passionate romance, but it just doesn’t get everything right. While I finished this novel and found it enjoyable, there was just something unique missing that failed to fully captivate me. I am a reader that relies heavily on character description and development, yet I couldn’t form a strong attachment to these characters. I really felt like I was on the outside of this story looking in, and not immersed in the magic of it all. It’s easy to see Caroline Richards has a strong voice with descriptive prose and thorough knowledge of her subject and time period. So while this novel may not be my favorite, I would not hesitate to try previous or future works from this author.