I really wanted to give this book more stars - it's been a long wait for Sebastian's story - but unfortunatley it just didn't hit the mark. Other than Josephina's looks, I could not see where the attraction was for the duke. So, on their 2nd meeting, she slaps him in public, and got his attention, she certainly had nothing going for her personality wise. Towards the end of the book I started to have some sympathy for her, but I'm sure if Sebastian had waited, or looked around, he could have found someone much, much better. Good to see the Carroway's mentioned!
I wanted to love this book so badly. Sebastian, Duke of Melbourne, has been a key player in the other Griffin novels by Suzanne Enoch and the wait to see him get his own story has been long. Such a shame that it proved to be a disappointment.
Josefina was a deeply unsympathetic character I found. She and her family are committing a fraud. They claim to be Royalty of a faraway country, Costa Habichuela. By doing so they are securing money fraudulently from the banks and from innocent people quick to buy land in this 'paradise' which is not what it seems. Admittedly Josefina eventually sees that she cannot pursue this fraud but seeing as it is made clear that she has assisted her father in other schemes over the years it's still hard to applaud her finally finding her conscience!
Her father has picked out Melbourne as being an ideal husband for a Princess, seeing the Griffin name as being one that will lend their cause some weight. Immediately this made me uncomfortable with the idea of a genuine romance developing between the two. Another problem is Josefina's aggressive nature; publically slapping the Duke, behaving in a haughty manner on social occasions and playing the Princess card at every opportunity rather made me wish I were there to give her a good slap in return.
Combine all of this with the fact that I felt that what Enoch developed between the pair for the first two thirds of the novel was physical gratification rather than romance and love and by the end of this novel all I was really left with was the feeling that Sebastian deserved rather better.
It's not all bad, the reader is drawn into feeling more sympathy for Josefina during the final stages of the novel and eventually some genuine tenderness is shown between the central couple but all in all considering the standard Suzanne Enoch normally produces, this book failed to deliver the goods in every way.
Indeed oh dear, I had waited for what seemed like forever for Miss Enoch's foray into the historical romance genre and found this effort somewhat dissapointing. I had no empathy for the characters and found that I couldn'r care less if they got together. I also felt that the characters were a little too modern and their affair depended more on love at first sight than anything else. Having said all that the Sins of the Duke is a relativley easy read and a pleasant way to while away a few hours. To get a better appreciation of Miss Enoch's work try London's perfect Scoundrel.
I loved the three previous books in this series and looked forward to the one about Sebastion. what a let down. There was no chemistry between him and Josefina, no reason to believe it was love. The storyline was wrong for him, it would have been better centered around a feisty lady of equal status he had to woo. There was no sense of romance and I felt very irritated by Josefina.
This is a really good read, as are the entire collection on the Griffin Family. Well written and the author doesn't make any of the sloppy mistakes so many do when it comes to the langauge of the period. The hero and heroine are fiesty fun people that you feel you would like to know. Definite recommend it for everyone who has ever enjoyed Georgette Heyer and other great writers about the period.