Millicent “Missy” Armstrong is entering her fourth London Season, but not for lack of suitors. Since her debut three years ago, Missy has received twenty marriage proposals. But she is interested in only one man—her brother’s best friend, James Rutherford. As a child, Missy looked up to James. As a grown up, her admiration has blossomed into the longings of a beautiful, sensuous woman—and she won’t rest until James admits his love—and desire—for her…
James Rutherford rues the day he let his physical weaknesses get the better of him by kissing Missy. His best friend has made it clear that Missy is off limits, and though he’s avoided her for three years, he hasn’t forgotten the feel of her soft lips pressed against his—and it seems neither has she. For no matter how much James tries to discourage Missy, he keeps winding up in her arms, sharing heated caresses that promise the most delirious pleasure…
Missy has plenty offers of marriage but the one offer she truly wants and has been waiting for since her coming out, from the man she’s been pining for since she was a young girl, is far from happening. So she takes matters into her own hand and decides to help things along. James does his best to resist his attraction to Missy for the sake of his lifelong friendship with her brother, but resistance is futile when matters of the heart are concerned and when Missy puts her mind to something.
Missy Armstrong is smart, loyal, tenacious and candid. She’s very headstrong and anything but shy. She knows what she wants and goes after it with everything she has and Missy wants James.
James Rutherford is loyal to his friends and despite his reputation of a jaded rake he is honorable and trustworthy. He has a hard time bringing his feelings towards Missy in agreement with his friendship with her brother.
SINFUL SURRENDER tells the age-old trope of the heroine being in love with her brother’s best friend and the hero falling for his best friend’s little sister. And I must say Beverley Kendall did a great job of pouring this trope into a lovely historical romance. It’s a sweet and passionate story of two people in love but one of them fighting it because of his pre-conceived notions about love and the fear of losing a lifelong friendship.
The book started a bit slow for me and I feared I’d have to struggle my way through it but after a few chapters I was completely enthralled by Beverley Kendall’s writing and the story of Missy and James. She knows how to pull the reader into her story and once I got into it I didn’t want to stop reading. I was sad to see that I’d reached the last page
What I found refreshing was that it was a very character-driven story about James and Missy’s difficult journey to a HEA. There was no forced suspense/mystery plot to distract from the characters and their development but it was simply a delightful, straightforward historical romance.
There were many secondary characters but they were never too much or annoying. I especially took a liking to Alex Cartwright, the third in the trio of friends together with James and Thomas (Missy’s brother). His sense of humor struck a cord with me and I hope to read his story some day too. For now I am looking forward to the next installment of this Reformed Rakes series: A TASTE OF DESIRE, starring Thomas and secondary character Amelia, who cracked me up! Can’t wait to see the fireworks spark between these two.
With SINFUL SURRENDER Beverley Kendall has beautifully written a refreshing and utterly enjoyable historical romance that will please any romance reader who loves to be swept back into the times of the Society, balls, house parties and rakes.
Missy knew with but the slightest bit of encouragement from her, Lord Crawley would ask Thomas for her hand. However, he fell into the vast category of all men other than James -the group who had a better chance of ridding London of its fog than gaining her affections.
“You’re angry.” (…)
“You are in a man’s chamber in your nightwear. Surely I don’t have to tell you that you have more than breached the dictates of Society. Ladies do not behave in this manner.”(…)
“I am a woman. I never claimed to be a lady.”
Rating: 7.5 out of 10