- Release Date
- February 2011
- Book 1 of The Sins and the Virtues
Erotic Romance, Fantasy Romance, Historical Romance
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....
Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Dec 23, 2010 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
191 people found the following review helpful
This book was so good, I don't even think I could begin to do it justice. I was totally immersed in the sensual world of the Fey while entranced by a young woman's introduction to the most erotic delights.
The cursed princes of the Unseelie Court (Dark Fey) are trying to find a way to save their dying kingdom. They feel that the Lennox sisters are just the way to do that. If they can get these women, who they believe are the Virtues that rival their Sins, to come to their court willingly, the Unseelie may be able to have children and thrive again.
However, the Queen of the Seelie Court will do whatever is in her power to prevent that from happening. She cursed the Unseelie because of what was done to her many years ago, and she's not through exacting her revenge. Thane, a prince of the Dark Fey, has been cursed with the sin Lust who takes over his body, and now he's set his sights on Chastity Lennox. She resists him at first, but he awakens a whole new side of her that both scares and excites her. What starts as duty develops into love, but it may not be enough to save the kingdom.
I don't even know where to start with this book. It was so amazing. The world building was phenomenal. The light and the dark Fey are battling it out for the Lennox sisters in England in the year 1789. I felt instantly transported to this rural town where Chastity and her sisters live. As someone who usually doesn't care for historical fiction, the fact that I was so drawn in was a clear testament to the author's superior writing.
The characters in this book are phenomenal. We are dealing with Virtues and Sins. Chastity, of purity and innocence, and Thane, of lust and dark desires. Their chemistry was palpable. Even when she was fighting them in the beginning, it was a tangible force in the book. But when they actually came together, it was electric and erotic, with deep emotion attached. I loved the two of them together. The angel and the devil. The way that through her love, Thane strove to become better--to be more than just his sin.
The other characters in the book, like the other Unseelie, who have their own sins to deal with, and the Seelie, who are supposed to be "good Fey", really made the story much more well-rounded. We get a lot of background information in this first book that I think will be very important going forward in the series.
As you might assume with a book about Lust, there were plentiful sex scenes in the book. All of them are extremely sensual, but there were some that were extremely creative. There was one scene in particular in a carriage that completely blew me away. I really appreciated the fact that the heroine was supposed to be a virtue, one of chastity to be exact, and she did not just jump right into bed with the first man that she was actually attracted to. Thane had to put a lot of work into bedding Chastity, and that made the story more real (as real as you can get with Faeries, curses, and virtuous daughters).
Ultimately it's a love story, and I was surprised to find myself rooting for the Dark Fey Prince to claim his princess, so that they could live happily ever after. And while they did, they had quite the fight on their hands. The plot lent nicely to betrayals, uncovered secrets, and revenge.
A fantastic start to a series into which I can't wait to dive deeper. LUST has an original plot, fantastic characters, an abundance of erotic love scenes, all wrapped up in superb writing and world-building. I was ensnared from the first word, and I couldn't disentangle myself until I had devoured the entire book! I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading romances. The story is written so well that I think even if the particular sub-genres (historical romance, fantasy romance and/or erotic romance) aren't of your interest, you will enjoy the book anyway.
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Book Review by Admin (author,reviewer)
Dec 28, 2010 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
184 people found the following review helpful
Remember when you were a little girl and you would dream of a prince on a white horse riding up to take you away to happily-ever-after?? Well, this book is that story, but in a totally hot, adult minded way! OY.... what I wouldn't give to be Chastity! LOL
The story itself if beautiful, romantic, hot, sexy, and is written so well that I literally couldn't stop reading it. I started reading it (at my desk, mind you) at about noon today, and couldn't walk away until I finished it at about 9pm! It had me sitting at my desk with my eyes glued to the screen in anticipation of whether or not Thane would win Chastity's heart. Lust is a gripping story that sucked me in, chewed me up, and spit me out wanting more!
The idea that each of the princes embody one of the seven sins is extremely interesting, and the fact that they must woo their opposite virtue makes it even better. The characters are very easy to relate to, and described well enough to be able to come alive in your imagination. They blend perfectly throughout the book and never over shadow each other. In a fantastical world full of impossibilities, Charlotte makes it possible to step into her characters lives and feel as though you are one with the story... Gasping, crying, laughing, and writhing right along with them as they travel through their tale of love.
Reviewed by Theresa
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BOOK INTERVIEW on February 2011
Hi Charlotte, thanks a lot for taking time for this interview!
Q: Sins and Virtues -- what a unique idea! How did you come up with the idea for this wonderful series?
Well, thanks! :) I knew I wanted to write a series based on the Fey, and I wanted it to have a bit of a fairytale feel. The easiest way to begin, I thought, was to start out with a curse--so common in fairytales! I knew I wanted the series to be primarily about the Unseelie Fey because they were always the fairies that interested me most.
My family is Scottish and my gran used to tell us stories of the fey all the time, and threaten us with them when we didn't want to stay in bed! Lol! I was always intrigued by the darkness of the ‘bad' faeries, so I decided to go with them.
I can't quite remember how the sins and virtues came along. It just filtered into my mind while I was brainstorming, and voila, I didn't look back!
Q: What goes into deciding the order of the books? What made you ultimately decide to do LUST first?
I suppose it didn't really matter who I started with, because I could have tailored future events to suit the remaining Sins, but Lust, he was always there, and I had this great visual of him turning into mist, and weaving his way into that perfume bottle! :) Ultimately, I knew that he would be fun to start off with, and his virtue, Chastity would be a good framework to introduce the virtues.
Their story is not very angsty, which I'm mostly known for in my books, and because it's a first book in a series, and the world building needed to be there, I opted for Lust because I knew their conflict was a tad lighter than the later sins who have much more baggage to carry around.
I'm happy with them, and the way they turned out. They introduced the curse, and the Sins and Virtues very well, I think.
Q: The world-building in this first book was phenomenal. What sort of research went into developing it?
Thanks! I tried to make the world realistic, and I know I have more building to do, but I'm so happy that the world felt realized to you. That's the hardest part of writing the first book in a series, building the world.
For research I did a bit of reading about the Fey, and the folklore surrounding them--especially in Scotland. And then, I just let my imagination take over. Basically what you read in LUST is what my mind conjured up, it's what I believe the Fey, and their court must be like.
When I was a kid, I was totally into the whole King Arthur thing, and when the movie Excalibur with Helen Mirrem playing Morgana Le Fey came out, I was addicted! I very much wanted that type of feel for my Fey, and in the next book, we‘ll be spending more time in the Unseelie Court, where you‘ll see it has a bit of an opulent medieval type feel--reminiscent of some of those loves scenes from Excalibur.
One of the reasons I chose to set it in Glastonbury England is because Glastonbury is so rich in Arthurian and Fey folklore. It's believed that it was the fabled Avalon. So, I thought it would fit in with my world, and everything I wanted to explore as the series progressed.
Q: Please tell us about LUST, the first book in this series.
Thane is a Fey Prince of the Unseelie Court, and he's possessed by the cardinal sin of Lust. The Unseelie Court is dying, cursed by the Queen of the Seelie Court. To end the curse, the seven Unseelie princes must lure their opposing virtues and bring them to their court, but they have to be willing to come with them.
Chastity is the virtue of well…chastity, and Thane's never met a woman, fey or mortal who could deny him, so when Chastity does, he does everything in his power to have her.
Basically, it's the story of Chastity learning that there is more to her than what everyone expects, and for Thane, he learns to live with Lust, and indulge his sin, but with only one person.
Q: What went into your decision in making this a historical fantasy?
Writing historicals is where my love lies. And I'm a real fantasy nut, Star Wars, Excalibur, Lord of the Rings….I love it, and I love fairy tales, too, so it was an easy slide into each other, from the location of Glastonbury to the fairytale-like Unseelie Court. I couldn't imagine writing this series as anything else.
Q: You create characters that are incredibly three-dimensional. What is your process into making these wonderful characters?
Time. All my character plotting is mental. It can take a few days, or a few months for me to know my characters intimately. Mostly, the process is just me thinking about them, hearing them in my head, putting them in hypothetical situations and seeing how they act. By the time it comes to write the book, I know them so well, that I don't have to think about what they would say or do. I can actually feel them and hear them, and they feel really real to me. I need to deeply connect with a character, and I think it's this process that helps me, and in turns make the characters feel real for the reader.
Q: What is your favourite line of exchange between Thane and Chastity or a favourite scene in the book?
This is hard but I think it's when Thane, after figuring out Chastity's one little vice, and uses it against her. It was hot writing those scenes!
The visuals of Chastity anointing her body with the perfume, and it contains Thane's essence, and he begins whispering to her, all those naughty things that Lust--and him want to do to her--yeah, that's my favorite!
Q: What Sin do you most identify with and why?
Gluttony! Lol! Seriously. I love to cook and eat, I have a book buying compulsion, and whenever I‘m in the bookstore I want more,more, more!
My Fey prince of Gluttony is a real hedonist, and I'd secretly like to know what it's like to be him!
Q: If you were a Virtue, which one would you be and why?
Hmmm, probably faith or hope, or even kindness. The world is sometimes lacking in that!
Q: Please share with us an interesting behind the scenes story or fact from when you were writing LUST.
Well, nothing really weird transpired during the writing, but some of my friends thought it was strange that I wrote the book to Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven! We were driving along, and that song came on the radio while I was in the plotting stage. It had the right mystic atmosphere, so it became Lust's song, and I played it over and over again.
Q: What is next for the series? Please give us a sneak peak.
Vanity is the next book in the Sins and Virtues series, and it releases in early 2012. It's a bit Beauty and the Beast, and the book takes place in the Unseelie Court, so readers will learn more about the Dark Fey and their rituals, and beliefs as well as the court, and perhaps the other remaining sins who were not introduced with LUST.
I'm seeing it as darker, more emotional then Lust.
After that, I'll be proposing to write Avery's book next--he's the Fey Prince who harbors Gluttony. I'm SUPER excited to write his book, and his opposing virture is Temperance/Restraint--he should give her a run for her money! After that, I have plans for Envy. He's very tortured, and I'm looking forward to exploring that with his virtue Mercy/Kindness.
Q: What's on the horizon for you in 2011?
This is a big year for me, I have lots of releases out. It's also the year that I'll be debuting in mass market, with a dark and sexy historical story from HQN books. It's a trilogy titled The Brethren Guardians, and the first book is SEDUCTION AND SCANDAL (July 2011) and features the alluring and darkly mysterious Earl of Black.
Also, for fans of ADDICTED and SINFUL, I've written a novella that will be featured in an anthology The Wedding of the Century with Mary Jo Putney and Kristin James. The novella contains the children from those books. Readers have been clamouring for more of the Addicted world, so I've paired up Jase, the son of Lindsay and Anais from Addicted, and Blossom, the daughter of Wallingford and Jane from Sinful. That anthology release in June of this year.
And then in December, the second Brethren Guardian book will release, it's entitled PRIDE AND PASSION, and I'm in the midst of writing it now!
I hope readers are going to love these books as much as I do!
Thanks so much for having me!
Thank you, Charlotte! We enjoyed having you.
Charlotte is offering an awesome giveaway – a print copy of LUST!
Mechanics of the contest:
You can do either or both of the following to enter the drawing:
1. Write a comment or question to Dianne below in the comment box (3 chances to win) from now to February 28;
2. Check out our contest page from February 9 to 11 to enter your email address (1 chance to win).
The winner will be announced in the comment box in March.