by Suzanne Enoch

June 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-084307-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Fans of Suzanne Enoch's Griffin family series finally have the chance to read about the head of the family, Sebastian Griffin, Duke of Melbourne.

Sebastian is one of the most powerful men in England. He controls vast wealth, is a close consult with Prinny, and has the respect and admiration of the peerage. So why then, has Sebastian become obsessed with a woman he can't figure out?

When Sebastian is commanded to become the liaison to the visiting Rey of Costa Habichuela, he knows there is a reason. Costa Habichuela is a new country formed off the eastern coast of Central America. The Rey, Stephen Embry, has come to England to gain financing and an alliance with England. However, while the new country has Sebastian a bit on edge, it is the Rey's daughter, Princess Josefina Embry, that has Sebastian feeling like he is on the cusp of big change. Since the death of his wife, Sebastian has kept his family close, and his love hidden. But could Josefina finally be the woman to crack his cool front?

While there is something mysterious and appealing about Josefina, Sebastian starts to notice there is definitely something disturbing about Costa Habichuela, and as he starts to investigate, the problems just keep growing. Can Sebastian trust Josefina when she confesses her love, or is it all another part of the deception?

Sins of a Duke has a compelling plot but somehow the romance never quite hits its stride. It's sexy, for sure, but I never quite got the feeling that Josefina and Sebastian were a true love match. In part, this is because Josefina is a very hard character to crack, which makes her interesting, but also makes readers unsure if they can trust her. She is strong but her moral compass is definitely askew.

I found the most compelling part of this story to be the mystery surrounding Costa Habichuela. The romance between Sebastian and Josefina was almost secondary to my enjoyment and to be honest, I had hoped for a better woman for him. However, Sins of a Duke will still keep you interested, especially if you're wondering how the infamous Melbourne falls in love. The Griffin clan makes many fun appearances and does up the enjoyment factor of this book. All in all, it was a slightly disappointing read, with highs and lows in both plot and romance.

Reviewed in May 2007 by Sarah.

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