Lust (The Sins and The Virtues #1)
by Charlotte Featherstone
Publication Date: 01/17/2011
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Thank you Netgalley, Harlequin & Spice for the electronic ARC. :)
Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):
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 its 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 purity 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….
I found this to be a very fun read and interesting concept -- the Seelie and Unseelie courts fighting over these girls (Chastity, Mary, Mercy and Prudence) that are imbued with the virtues that they are named after. The fight between the fae courts stems from a curse the Seelie queen put upon the Unseelie court after she was taken by force and raped by the Unseelie king - which produced twin boys, one that physically looked Seelie but has Unseelie powers and tendencies, and the other that physically looked Unseelie but has some Seelie powers. Anyway, the curse the Seelie queen put upon the Unseelie court inhibits them from having any surviving babies from any couplings between Unseelie members (only court members? It wasn't very clear) UNLESS the seven Unseelie court members/royalty that represent the seven sins are able to successfully, without any faerie magic, win over the love of their corresponding virtues, who are female mortals, and get them to willingly go to the Unseelie court.
This first book in the Sins and the Virtues series primary focused on Chastity Lennox and Thane, the Unseelie prince that embodies the sin of Lust. The story was a little hard to get into right away because of a the overload of characters and the author trying to explain the background of the story, while also trying to simultaneously lay out the unfolding story between Chastity and her sisters, and the Fae courts attempting to thwart the other court in their efforts to gain the attention and favor of the Lennox virtue sisters.
I thought it was an interesting twist that the author made Chastity's character not fully chaste, in the sense that she almost was warring with herself -- she had the urge to be chaste and embrace that (the woman she is supposed to be), but she also was going through a sexual awakening (discovering her sensual side and not so chaste tendencies (especially her thoughts for/involving Thane)).
I enjoyed Thane's character - especially his wit and inner turmoil over Chastity - that he is not just seducing her in order to save his court, but also his realization that he was falling in love with Chastity. I found Thane to be quite acceptable as the male protagonist in this historical/paranormal-romance, erotica read.
I definitely would like to read the rest of the books in the series and see how each of the Virtue/Sin match stories unfold. I anxiously look forward to the next book in the series.