Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review - - Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed
Sons of Sin - Book One
By Anna Campbell
Publisher:  Grand Central
Release Date:  September 25, 2012


 

Unfairly robbed of his birthright, Jonas Merrick has turned into a bitter, ruthless man focused solely on increasing his wealth and wreaking vengeance on his enemy.  When he discovers that his enemy's wife has a weakness for gambling, he uses it to put her in his debt then offers to erase the debt in exchange for seven nights in his bed.  His plans go awry when the woman who appears on his doorstep one dark and stormy night is not the shallow beauty married to his enemy but her lovely, innocent younger sister.  When that woman turns out to be smart, feisty, courageous and lit from within with an innate goodness, Jonas goes from annoyed to intrigued and a new plan is born.  He offers her a wager:  spend seven days and nights as his guest.  During that time he'll do his best to seduce her but sleeping with him will be her choice and, at the end of the seven days, Sidonie will be free to leave his home with her sister's debt paid in full, whether his seduction attempts are successful or not.

The last place Sidonie wants to be is standing on the doorstep of Jonas Merrick's castle but she'll do anything to help the sister who took care of her when they were children.  If sleeping with Merrick will keep her sister and nephews safe from harm then so be it; she'll go willingly to the man's bed no matter how hideous he may be.  It doesn't take long for Sidonie to realize that there's much more to Jonas Merrick than what he presents to the world.  Though his face is scarred and he continues to insist he's a bastard through and through, the more time Sidonie spends with him, the more convinced she becomes that a good man lurks beneath the hard shell life's experiences have built around his wounded heart.  Desire flares and, as walls begin to crumble, the first flickering embers of a deep and abiding love spring to life...if Sidonie and Jonas have the courage to reach for it.

I loved this book so much.  I think it's Anna Campbell's best writing to date and that's saying a lot considering the quality of the books she's already published.  She immediately grabbed my attention with the riveting first sentence:

Storms split the heavens on the night Sidonie Forsythe went to her ruin.

As someone who grew up devouring Gothic romances from Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart, all it took was that one sentence for me to know I was in for a treat.  Campbell then gave me a hero, damaged both physically and emotionally, and made me care deeply for him.  Jonas tries so hard to be a villain, and he has his harsh moments to be sure, but there's just too much goodness at his vulnerable core, waiting for the right woman to heal his heart and set it free, for him to truly be a bad guy.  He believes his scars make him repulsive; his actions, unlovable.  His response - the parts he shares and those he doesn't - when Sidonie finally gives herself to him made my heart ache.

     He propped himself on one elbow, keeping a careful eye on the edge of the bed, and took her hand.  "Are you all right?"
     After a hesitation, she nodded.  "Yes."
     He waited for more but she remained silent.  For a woman, she was deucedly closemouthed.  How he wished she'd confide in him, trust him.
     Why should she?
     Except she'd trusted him with her body.  He didn't underestimate what that meant.  He wanted to thank her.  He wanted to beg her to stay.  He wanted to tell her she was the most marvelous being in creation.  Emotion silenced him, made it impossible to express what lay in his heart.  He raised her hand to his lips and kissed her palm with a veneration that sprang from his soul.
     He wasn't good enough for her.  But by God, he meant to make her happy while he had her.  

Sidonie is a heroine worthy of our damaged hero.  She's strong, loyal and has so much love to give but she's only seen the bad side of marriage and has no desire to be under a man's control.  And her loyalty, one of her best qualities, causes her to make a decision that could ultimately cost her the love of the man who has captured her heart.  Ms. Campbell had me flipping pages as fast as I could to find out what happens to these two people who so deserve a happy ending.

Adding to the suspense of whether or not our couple finds happiness is a villain I could have easily sent to his just reward and Sidonie's sister, a woman who at times elicited my sympathy while other times I simply wanted to whack her upside the head for being shallow and selfish at Sidonie's expense.

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed is the first book in Campbell's Sons of Sin series.  I read it in one day then read it a second time more leisurely.  I'll most likely read it again before book two comes out. Yes, I enjoyed it that much. I highly recommend this book and am already counting the months until I can get my hands on the next two in the series.  We meet the heroes of those books, Richard and Cam in this book, along with Sirius, a mutt of undetermined origin with whom I tumbled immediately into puppy love and who Ms. Campbell has assured me has a significant role in the next book, A Rake's Midnight Kiss.  

~PJ

22 comments:

  1. This sounds like another great book from Anna Campbell. She always gives us such complex characters and different situations. I know what you mean about reading through it as fast as you can to find out what happens. Problem is you do miss so much. That second reading is so much richer.

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    1. Pat, while this book gives us complex characters it's not as dark as some of her earlier books. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  2. Sidonie does sounds like a wonderful heroine. The traits she has is definitely ones I would want her to have especially because the hero is damaged. She can help him heal with her love. It sounds like you really enjoyed it and I'll be keeping this book on my mind.

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    1. I really liked both the hero and heroine!

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  3. One of my favorite authors. I am sure this one is going to be as wonderful or even more so than her other books :) And always the gorgeous covers.

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  4. I've been looking forward to Anna's new series and have it on pre-order; I just hope it doesn't take too long to get here. I might have to go and buy it tomorrow and return the other one!

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    1. Or buy one today and give the other to a friend! :)

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  5. I love books that you need to read through quickly & then re-read.

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    1. I love books that you need to read through quickly & then re-read.

      I do too! So delicious!

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  6. Great review, PJ! You know I loved this one too. Any new Anna Campbell book is worth celebrating, but this one is special.

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    1. I finally read your review after posting mine last night, Janga. Not surprised to see we're on the same page again. ;-)


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  7. I have been looking forward to this one for a while, can't wait to read it.

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  8. Love Love Love this one!!! I have a weak spot for any romance adaptation of Beauty and The beast...these tortured, cold, scarred alpha-males are so lovable! and so are these sweet but strong willed heroines. Great match!

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  9. Happy Release Day Anna! :) I quickly read through Seven Night and it was great! But will now have to go back and read more slowly so as to savor it properly, lol. Can't wait to see whose book is next!!

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  10. Great review, PJ! I already have this one on my list and will pick it up on my next trip to the bookstore!

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  11. Great review! I want to read this one, have been hearing good things about it.

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  12. I always enjoy Anna's books, she's so talented!
    This one is definitely going to be in my hands soon.

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  14. Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

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