by Louisa Burton

July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-553-38531-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Trade Paperback

In the Garden of Sin two vastly different novellas are presented in the French highlands at the Castle of the Hidden Grotto. This is a place where all of your hidden erotic fantasies can become reality and some that are surreal can be real. Whatever your body craves, the castle will provide someone or something to satisfy every fleshy desire.

The first story is about an English maid named Hannah Leeds who wishes to become a courtesan. She is the picture of purity. Hannah has no experience with the opposite sex. However, as the story unfolds her innocent is rivaled by her cleverness. You see this sweet little thing's only mission is not just to learn the sensual arts of whoredom, but she is trying to unravel a case that will save someone she dearly loves. There is a little catch to her plan, Domenico Vitturi. He is the head professor of the courtesan arts. Although half of his face is scarred from being burned, Hannah finds herself drawn to him in a way she has never been drawn to anybody. Domenico finds that he desires her and wants her more than he has ever wanted anyone. Hannah sees pass the scars of his past. Will he be able to see past her deceit and look into her heart as she has looked into his.

The second story is shocking and not at all the typical love story. Anton Turek is a vampire that is over six hundred years old and he has been carrying a torch for a particular Follet for about half of that. He is the submissive of Galiana Solsa a five thousand year old vampire who turned him. When he finally finds Lili, the Follet, he does everything he can to try to get out of the clutches of Galiana. Not realizing Galiana has an evil plan of her own, which will end at his demise and her acquiring a new lover, Elic. But Elic and Lili are lovers or at least they want to be, really really, really bad. Although Galiana and Anton have created a plan to wrap Elic and Lili up is a web of deceit and death, the tables are so awesomely turned, you never see it coming.

In the Garden of Sin is a pretty good read. Some parts become wordy and definitely too informational, but overall both stories are satisfying. What I really loved was the second story because you did not know who the hero or heroine was, and the two main characters were so twisted in their thinking and actions, you were really hoping that they got what they deserved.

Reviewed in August 2009 by Lakisha.

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