I recently reviewed a few other books by Kat Martin - Innocence Undone, The Devils Necklace and Wicked Promise. I gave so-so reviews to the first two and then four stars to the last one. This book, Perfect Sin, is the follow up to Wicked Promise so, you should read that one first. Trust me...it will be well worth it as it was the best so far.
This story, Perfect Sin, is the story about Rand Clayton and Cait Harmon. Rand was in Wicked Promise as the best friend of main hero Nick Warring. Rand was a dashing and kind and loyal friend in the first book and shows up in his own story this time. He is a high ranking duke with a long and well known family lineage. He is due to marry as it's time but, he isn't ready and has found no one suitable for a wife. He plays the field and enjoys the life that a high ranking member of society is allowed in his position. He meets up with our main leading lady Cait Harmon, an American in England who is with her family drumming up support and money to do further archeological excavations for a missing treasure known throughout the ages as Cleopatra's Necklace. Rand hears Cait's laughter first and is drawn in before he ever sees her. When he does lay eyes on her...it's instant attraction between the two of them.
Although I enjoyed this book quite a bit and was certainly interested in hearing Rand's story...it wasn't quite up to snuff as Nick and Elizabeth's story was in Wicked Promise. As appealing as I found Rand early on...(as we got to know him in the previous book), I did not find Cait very deep or well developed. I actually didn't think there was a lot to her besides loyalty to her father and sexual desire for Rand. This second story was still filled with lots of adventure, passion and betrayal. But...I almost think this one went a little over-board on these things, especially the betrayal section. The story started off well and I enjoyed their getting to know and becoming intimate with one another. Unfortunately, I felt their interaction happened a bit soon for me and then they go their separate ways as he is not ready to settle down and she is off to help her father at all costs. I almost felt the author took this independence the two had a bit too far. I felt their coming together and then parting was a bit much...they didn't want to leave but, did nonetheless. Clearly the author did this so, they could end up missing each other desperately while apart but, I thought this action was too dramatic and could have been written better.
Rand and Cait find each other again while she is with her father in Africa on a dig & search mission again and pregnant with his child. A friend disclosed this secret to Rand and he properly came to claim her as his own and take her and the baby back to England to be a family. Which they did - albeit reluctantly on Cait's part as she didn't want Rand rushed into anything he wasn't ready for. While their relationship grew leaps and bounds once they married and were getting set for the baby's birth...the story fell apart for awhile after Cait looses the baby.
She and Rand fall away from each other in grief and he heads back to London to return to his old rowdy and raunchy ways and he leaves her at the family estate to mourn and find her way back alone. Instead of the loss bringing them closer - it drove them apart. That was unfortunate.
I almost gave up on the book when Rand took up with his old mistress Hannah. I was sorely disappointed that the author would not only have him try to drown his sorrows and loss in booze, outings and gambling but, that he could actually take up fully with an old mistress and leave Cait on the side. I lost faith in our hero and he seemed tainted and stained at that point. Almost irrevocable so - he crossed the line of infidelity and that's not one to cross back upon easily. Other readers seemed to find this a serious "hitting a wall point" as much as I did. I felt Cait's hurt when she came back to the living after loosing the child and made a decision to help Rand finish healing so, they could be a family again. Only her attempts fell flat when she found him in London with his mistress and he didn't deny what he had been doing. She wisely left and went back to her father to return to her old life before she met Rand, try to forget him and their past and begin a new life away from England.
I was glad Rand spent months coming to terms with the loss of Cait a second time. He deserved to be put through the wringer knowing he did wrong by leaving her after the loss of their son, taking up his old sinful ways and going outside his marriage with a mistress to drown his heartache and not come to terms with how much he truly adored and loved his wife. For a sensitive man - as the author made him out to be - it took awhile for him to see himself and his emotions for what they were and make good on them. He was hurt, sad, miserable and disgusted with himself for the level he allowed himself to sink to. He beat himself up enough and with the help of wise friends, realized his mistake didn't have to be for a lifetime. He rose to the challenge to become a better man for himself and above all, for the woman he realized he adored, Cait. Rand of course redeemed himself by ending his old life and searching out Cait and not giving up on her even when she wanted no part of him the second time. He fought tooth and nail to win her back and did it the only way he could - standing loyal, barring his heart, never giving up on her, helping out her father and keeping them safe. He also was important in finding the mystery necklace that was no longer just an adventure tale told over the years. Rand almost lost his life trying to gain her favor back but, by giving everything up for Cait and giving it his all, he gained back her trust and love.
The love scenes between the two was hot and steamy - much like earlier novels. The descriptions detailed and passionate. Always on course and ever tasteful. I never felt that the outings were too much or out of context. They made sense and fit in well to the action scenes at hand. Their sexual connection was clear early on. Although the author tried to make their love seem "deep" much of their relationship felt sexual and attraction based. It did have touches of emotion to it so, it was not just sex. But...I think it will take time for their "love" to properly mature to a level they both need for it to be strong and last a lifetime and not just for a few months or a few years. We won't be there to read about this but, clearly by the stories end....they were finally on their way.
I would certainly recommend this book. Although there were some plot line drawbacks to this story that was not in Wicked Promise, the author did a fine job of getting the main character to cleanse his naughty soul and find a way to win back his leading lady with honesty, truth and a desire to only do better in the future. Some heroes who cross the line as Rand did would never be redeemed. You believe in Rand again at the end as does Cait and that makes this a worthwhile read. We all wish he wouldn't have cheated but, without a re-write...the ending cleaned up as much as it could. Enjoy the two stories - Rand and Nick - they are both worth it!