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To Sin With A Scoundrel (Circle of Sin) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2010

37 customer reviews

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To Sin With A Scoundrel (Circle of Sin) + To Surrender To A Rogue (Circle of Sin Trilogy) + To Tempt A Rake (Circle of Sin)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lady Ciara Sheffield joins the crowd of Regency bluestockings in this serviceable and nicely steamy debut romance. Ciara's knowledge of herbs and the unfortunate death of her extremely unpleasant husband has led to society labeling her Lady Murder, a slander encouraged by her husband's grieving family, who want custody of Ciara's son. In order to redeem her position in society, Ciara forms a sham alliance with a notorious but politically powerful rake, the earl of Hadley. While Ciara is a somewhat two-dimensional character, the romance with Hadley, which involves smugglers, kidnappers, and—even worse—gossip of the ton, is well drawn and intriguing. Glimpses of Ciara's circle of scholarly female friends promise that further Circle of Sin titles will share this one's intellectual bent. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Lady Ciara Sheffield couldn’t care less about the rumors that she “helped” her rotten husband to his untimely demise, but when his relatives try to use the gossip to ruin her and take guardianship of her son, Ciara’s friends in the “Circle of Sin,” a group of intellectually minded ladies, insist that Ciara take action. They think she should remarry, but their choice of a prospective husband, rakish Lucas Bingham, the Earl of Hadley, leaves Ciara wondering if her friends have lost their minds. Not only is “Mad, Bad, Had-ley” the subject of more scandalous gossip than Ciara herself, he is also insufferably arrogant and annoyingly sexy. Elliott skillfully brews up a smart, supremely satisfying Regency historical romance. --John Charles

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Product Details

  • Series: Circle of Sin
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; a edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044654129X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446541299
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I started creating books at the age of five, or so my mother tells me. And she has the proof--a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with full color crayon drawings of horses and bound with staples--to back up her claim. I have since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured my imagination ever since I opened the covers of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

I have a BA and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and now work as the Creative Director of a lifestyle sporting magazine, a job which lets me combine my love of the printed word with my love of art. I'm very fortunate in that my work allows me to travel to interesting destinations around the world--however, my favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets and used book stores offer a wealth of inspiration for my stories.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Sea Laughing on September 10, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're looking for something to put you to sleep because you suffer from severe insomnia, then this is the book for you.

I got this book because the reviews on Amazon were so good. Clearly, this is another case of manufactured reviews being used to bolster sales. For that reason, I felt I had to warn potential buyers on this site about the inflated rating on this book.

I'm an avid reader, now retired, so I'll read good books in a single sitting. This book took me days just to struggle to the halfway mark, and I finally grew so bored, I gave up without finishing. The only thing tantalizing about this book was the title.

There were two problems with this book: the characters and the plot. The author plodded through the tired storyline without enthusiasm. The hero was more of a wastrel than a scoundrel, and he was just too hard to like. The heroine was so stuffy and lacking in 'spunk' that I couldn't believe the hero was intrigued by anything but her looks. It wasn't hard to imagine that Regency Society would consider her a murderess, because she wasn't very likable. She certainly murdered any interest I had in her.

If you're interested in a book where nothing really happens except scholarly conversations and witty repartee that lacks any real humor, then you'll be enthralled with this one. Don't be fooled by the title: there wasn't much sin involved in the interaction between the hero and heroine.

The author does have great technical skills: she knows how to write a complete sentence, she's mastered basic grammar, and is very good with punctuation. In today's world, that deserves an honorable mention. However, she needs to work on creating sexual tension, three dimensional characters, and an interesting, believable plot. I give this book two yawns.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Regan on March 17, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on the reviews, I was prepared to like this romance very much, but alas, it was not a five star by my reckoning. It is the first in the Circle of Sin trilogy (To Sin With a Scoundrel, To Surrender to a Rogue and To Tempt a Rake). On the positive side, the story was interesting and I enjoyed the concept of a group of women scientists who gather together to pursue more than the London ton scene. Three of the Circle of Sin group are young women and the trilogy tells their stories. The author is clever with words and does a great job of sprinkling the text with foreign words to add authenticity to the characters. The dialog is witty even if some of it is contrived (even over the top at times). However, both the heroine and the hero could be irritating.

Set in London in the 19th century, the author does not give a date for the tale but in one place she refers to Napoleon's recent defeat in Russia, which would have been 1812. But then she has them dancing the waltz in London and that did not happen extensively until later (while the "foreign dance" was introduced in 1816 by the Prince Regent it was considered somewhat scandalous at the time). So I was left wondering just when this occurred. It would have been better if she'd given us a date. But let's assume Regency Era.

The story tells of Lady Ciara Sheffield, recently widowed and now a single mother of a young son, who is a scholar and a scientist. Her first husband was cruel so she does not have a high opinion of men and she has no need to remarry for money. Her in laws accuse her of murdering her husband and though an inquest cleared her, all London still calls her the Wicked Widow and suspects she is into poison as well as potions.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch on February 25, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lady Ciara Sheffield is a young widow with an eight-year-old son, Peregrine "Perry". The serious-minded scholar is an expert in chemistry. This is how the rumors of her husband's death began. The inquest of Sheffield's death showed no proof of foul play. Yet Sheffield's horrid relatives have helped rumors spread that Ciara had poisoned her husband. The nephew, Arthur Battersham, and his mother are trying to reopen the inquest. They are high in Society and well connected. With their whispering into the right ears, they could very well succeed in their attempt. Arthur has gambled himself into debt, which is why Ciara believes the Sheffield relatives are campaigning to steal away her son, by proving her unfit to be a mother. Should they win custody of Perry, they would also control his grand inheritance. Being called the Wicked Witch of Pont Street, Ciara keeps to herself and shields Perry from Society's barbs. Her close friends are the five women, two of which are elderly, which make up the Circle of Scientific Sibyls, affectionately known as the Circle of Sin. The other "Sinners" decide Ciara needs to get a fiancé with enough stature and connections in Society to counter the malicious machinations of Sheffield's relatives. And who better to play the part of a sham courtship than Lucas Bingham, the Earl of Hadley.

Lucas has never cared what Society thought of him. No matter how outrageous he behaves, Society loves him. Everyone loves nothing more than to read the morning paper to see what wild thing "Mad, Bad Had-ley" has recently done. However, Lucas does have a soft spot. His love for his uncle, Sir Henry Phelps, clearly shines through to those who know Lucas. Sir Henry has recently discovered what seems to be a lost manuscript by Hippocrates.
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