Lady Sarah’s Sinful Desires is the first book in a new series for Sophie Barnes, The Secrets at Thorncliff Manor. I really enjoyed this one; it almost is a sweet romance the main characters don’t give in to their desires until the last part of the book, almost the ending. I don’t think I would have liked it as much if it was any different, if they had acted sooner on those desires it just wasn’t who the characters were. The story flowed smoothly from beginning to end, it was witty and sweet you can easily sympathize with the characters who have things in their past that have colored their current actions. I love the concept for this series, Thorncliff Manor is a large estate run by a wise and eccentric older lady, a widow who thought it was a shame to let such a big house go to waste and so she lets out rooms in the house for vacationing families who can afford it.
Lady Sarah has a secret and it’s not the hamster hiding in her reticule, it’s a secret that can embarrass her family and ruin her sister’s chances at finding good matches. In a way to remedy this, her selfish and uncaring parents have arranged for her a marriage. Sarah is deeply sorry about her indiscretion and bears all the guilt for it, something her parents make sure she doesn’t forget to feel sorry for so she is resigned herself to her fate and together with her family she has traveled to Thorncliff Manor to meet the man she is suppose to marry. Unfortunately then man, Mr. Denison is old enough to be her father with two daughters her age and is absolutely horrible.
Christopher, the Viscount Spencer, and his family are vacationing at Thorncliff Manor while the family house is being renovated. He is being pressured by his family to finally settle down and get an heir but that is the furthest thing from his mind. In his past he was betrayed by a woman and he hasn’t quite gotten over it. Looking to avoid any and all matchmaking, napping in the Conservatory changes all that.
It was easy to start a friendship with Sarah, what isn’t easy is denying they could easily make something more of it. Sarah as caring as she is, as fun as she is to be with, Christopher respects her plans to marry Mr. Denison. He knows there is another reason she is being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want and confides in her his past in hopes she reveals her own. Holding out as long as she can she finally is forced to explain what happened. But will her past ruin the desire and the friendship they have created or will Christopher love her enough to look past the past.
Overall this was a great read, I think on my list on favorite historical for the year this easily falls in the top five. The name is misleading but if you can forgive that you’ll like it.
**ARC provided by Publisher**