Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell


To save her sister, Sidonie Forsythe takes her place and travels to Castle Craven to fulfill her sister's debt and spend one week with Jonas Merrick.

Jonas Merrick was declared a bastard by his cousin and lost his heritage. He's lived a secluded life, hiding his scarred face (and more scarred soul) from the world. He wants nothing more than to hammer the final nail in his cousin's financial and social ruin -- to complete his revenge on his cousin, Jonas Merrick preyed on his cousin's wife's weakness for cards and had planned to ruin her -- but, when he sees the woman who has come in Roberta's place, his plans for revenge are derailed -- but a new plan takes its place.

Sidonie's innocence proves irresistible to Jonas and so he sets out to seduce her -- and she sets out to resist him.

But seven nights proves to be too much for a virtuous woman like Sidonie and she succumbs -- the same seven nights also prove to be too much for a rogue like Jonas and he, too, succumbs.

With so much anger and enmity between Jonas and his cousin, Sidonie is caught in the crossfires -- and she must choose who to protect: her family or Jonas.

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed is the first book in Anna Campbell's new series about the Sons of Sin. We are introduced to three men of questionable birth and how they will overcome the "taint" they were born with.

The first of the three is Jonas Merrick, son of the late Viscount Hillbrook and his Spanish wife. The former Viscount's brother questioned the legitimacy of the marriage and, subsequently, the legitimacy of Jonas's birth and both were stripped away from Jonas when he was a young boy -- and his cousin, William inherited the title.

Then his dignity and pride were taken from him when a vicious attack at school leaves him with a scarred face.

But Jonas is not a man who will take things sitting down (and neither was his father) -- his father ensured that Jonas's future would be secure and bequeathed to him everything that was not entailed. All that was left of the viscountcy was a title and nothing more. And Jonas has managed to increase that legacy -- but he still wishes to avenge his parents and he has worked slowly towards that goal. Chipping away bit by bit at his cousin's already dwindling fortunes.

The coup de grace would have been the ruination/debauchery of Lady Roberta, his cousin's wife -- but he does not count on Roberta's sister, Sidonie to step in and take her place.

There's no place for Sidonie's purity in Castle Craven -- a dark and gothic place that reflects the darkness and bitterness of Jonas's soul. But a deal's a deal -- and so Sidonie agrees to spend the week with Jonas.

This is a Beauty and the Beast story -- Sidonie's personal sacrifice to save her sister resonates deeply with Jonas. He's never had someone to defend him or to care so deeply for him -- and Sidonie's presence in the castle brings light to his dark life.

Sidonie was initially terrified of Jonas, but she slowly realizes that Jonas is a man with a heart -- a heart that's been betrayed one too many times and so he protect it from the world.

Seven nights was all they had. The limited time adds urgency and poignancy to their affair -- every day that passes, they learn a bit more about each other but, every day that passes, is one day less that they have together.

I'm always on your side.

No one had ever spoken those words to Jonas. Gently she eld him to her breast on the tumbled bed. Her scent surrounded him, rich with the musk of satisfied woman. By God, he'd never have these sheets washed. He wanted Sidonie's fragrance surrounding him forever.

When Sidonie herself was gone.
- p. 259

There are warring forces that stand in the way of Sidonie and Jonas being together: Sidonie's loyalty to her sister prevents her from revealing a secret to Jonas -- a secret that would change the playing field between Jonas and his cousin.

This is a story that stirs one's emotions. Sidonie and Jonas are wonderfully passionate characters who are moving against the tides of society and their family to find their happy ending.

I've read and enjoyed all of Anna Campbell's books (from her debut, Claiming the Courtesan) and Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed shows how much she's grown as an author. The next book, A Rake's Midnight Kiss is scheduled for release November 2013. I'm looking forward to Richard's story and Camden's story. ^_^

To find out more about Anna Campbell and her books, visit her website. She's also on Facebook.


Final note: My favorite lines: Their goodbye was spectacular. But it was still goodbye -p. 261

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