That brings me to LUST- the Sins and Virtues: Book I By Charlotte Featherstone. This book would be great....if. The story has a marvelous hook-Seven women, born to be the very embodiment of Virtue. Seven Fey Princes cursed to each embody one of the Seven Deadly Sins. A curse that is visited upon them by the sins of their father. A curse that can only be broken by seducing one of the Seven Virtues and getting them to come willing to their Dark Faery Court.
Seven sins... Seven virtues... Untold desires.
Of old, humans and Faeries have dwelt side by side in parallel realms. Only the canniest mortals recognize the alluring creatures that often walk—and lie—among them.
The righteous Fae of the Seelie Court cherish an ancient quarrel with their Dark counterparts: a curse born of anger and deceit. The Unseelie Court will perish unless one of its princes can win a woman’s love—honestly, without coercion...and love her wholly in return.
To halt the slow demise of his people, Prince Thane— the embodiment of Lust—infiltrates the Georgian court to seduce his mortal inverse. Noblewoman Chastity Lennox is purity incarnate—a sensual prize well worth winning. But Thane’s carnal quest proves more challenging than he ever dreamed.
No other has ever been able—or willing—to resist his erotic charms. Chastity’s resolve is maddening...and intriguing. It makes him want her all the more. But how best to seduce one who truly seems above temptation? Discover her greatest weakness and become the intoxicating essence of her deepest, most forbidden desires....
It's a great story idea- Fated lovers, hot Faery men, sin versus virtue. It has it all.
Except …. maybe not a beta.
Because while the story idea is fabulous, the execution ( in some places) is lacking. At the beginning the author clobbers you with the set up- giving it to you, seemingly, from everyone's point of view. Also, I could start a drinking game guaranteed to get you sclockered-
Take 1 shot every time the female MC is described (or... ugh... describes herself) as a paragon or a wanton.
Take 2 shots everytime her lady parts are described as "her pink silk"
Also take 3 shots every time she uses the word “womb” (and you know how I feel about that.)
The author's instinct to limit the number of Virtues to four for this first book was a good one. I wish that she had that same idea on the Sin side. There are a passel of Faery Princes- made more complex by the fact that there are two faery courts. There are simply too many to keep track of. (As an aside- naming the King of the Dark Fey Court Niall was a mistake. No, Charlaine Harris doesn't own the name, but come on. It is distracting and not fair to your character.)
On the up side- the sex in this book is smoking hot and inventive. Thane, as the sin of Lust, is delicious and well drawn. Though the themes of submission and domination are extremely light, I can see how it would appeal to those that aren't ready to wade into the deep end of the kink pool. I was utterly seduced by the black haired, blue eyed hunk.
So, my final analysis? I wish someone had taken a red pen to the MS before sending it to print. I think that tightened up this could have been a great book. As it is, if you are looking for hot, smexy smut and aren't bothered by a LOT of repetition and a sometimes confusing plot then go for it. It is worthwhile for what it is-- just don't go in expecting too much.