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Perfect Sinner Paperback – June 1, 1999

3.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 6 of 10 in the Crightons Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Crighton family gathers for a second go-round (after The Perfect Family), this time featuring Max, the rottenest apple in the Crighton barrel. A sadistic, abusive, profoundly unlikable lawyer, Max thinks of female divorce clients as fodder for his bedroom, and infants as blind kittens to be drowned. He tells his wife, Maddy, that he closes his eyes and thinks about her trust fund whenever they make love. When Max goes off to Jamaica, supposedly to find his brother, David (who disappeared in the previous book), Maddy gets a taste of independence. A brutal attack and near-death experience bring Max a spiritual awakening that changes his life and gives Maddy renewed hope for their future together. Unfortunately, Max's metamorphosis will likely come too late for readers; forgiving him, and learning to like him, are impossible, so convincing is Jordan's portrait of his earlier, distasteful personality.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; 1st edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073351779X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0733517792
  • ASIN: 1551665158
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,401,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Perfect Sinner is perfectly awful. The author spends over 100 pages going on and on what a jerk Max is and what a wimp his wife is. By this point you would wonder why on earth she would ever want him back. The plot is confusing with too many characters to keep track of and lacks emotional depth. I can't believe this got published.
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Format: Paperback
This is my first Penny Jordan book and the only reason that I'll read another one is because I bought two at the same time.
Max Crighton doesn't love anyone but himself. He doesn't love his wife, nor his two children, Leo and Emma. He's told his wife, Maddy, several times that the only reason that he married her was because of her money and the connections her family gave him as a lawyer. That all changes in a trip to Jamacia to look for his uncle David. While there, Max is brutally attacked and 'sees the light' where his wife and children are concerned. He even sees everything that is wrong with his relationship with his parents.
Maddy Crighton has her love for her children to sustain her. When Max leaves to Jamacia, she realizes that she never loved the person that Max truly was, just the illusion of him. When he comes back 'different' Maddy is unsure of whether to trust this extrodinary change that she sees in Max. It's true that he seems to really love his children, but Maddy isn't sure that she can risk her heart again, no matter how much he is changed.
The Perfect Sinner is a totally unrealistic book. Not even really a romance novel, these characters make me want to scream. No one as abusive and cruel as Max can 'reform' as quickly as he did and all of a sudden decide that he's loved his wife all along but didn't want to admit it. Even if he did love her, no one that loves someone treats them like Max treated Maddy. I could understand why Maddy stayed married to him, but I think that it took her way to long to get a backbone.
Overall, I was very dissapointed with this book.
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By A Customer on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Okay, one would have to be a masochist to like the character Max! He was a complete creep and he made me want to deck him. His poor wife Maddy should have dumped him way, way before his reformation. By the time he was left for dead on the beach, he made me hope that he would push up daisies and that Maddy could get on with her life. The thing about this book, though, is that it stays with you. A lot of the romance books that I read, I can't remember the plot, let alone the characters in the books. This book hits on some very uncomfortable emotions and I think that you either like it or hate it, no in-between. What this book does do is make an impact. Quite frankly, after I read this book, I started reading Penny Jordan again. I hated Max but loved the book! This is a good book to read on a stormy night
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Loved this book! Penny Jordan shows great storytelling talent in this book. I couldn't put the book down. This sort of story doesn't always work in a story, but here it is sweet and believable. I think many people will enjoy the book.
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Format: Paperback
The thing that bothered me most about this was that it didn't really seem like a romance novel...and it has nothing to do with the 'hero's' behavior. When you read it, you discover pages and pages of detail on the numerous members of the Crighton family. Pages that deal with heroine Maddy talking with her cousins, her mother-in-law, her husband's grandfather. Pages where grandpa Ben Crighton moons over the disappearance of his eldest son David. Pages where David's 16 year old son Jack angsts over his father's absence and tries to run away to find him. Pages where female family members lower their voices in sympathy when they discuss how unloved poor Maddy is and how awful Max her husband (the 'hero' of this novel is) to her. Pages and pages of family interaction that- put together, comprise most of the story.

Comparatively speaking, there is very little interaction between the male and female protagonist. I don't even know why they chose to market this as a romance novel when it reads more like a FAMILY SAGA (ala Dynasty); I think this should've been titled 'The Crightons' instead of 'Perfect Sinner', although Max certainly does a good job of living up to the latter description.

(SPOILERS)

So, we all know that Max gets into trouble during his trip to Jamaica, has a complete change of behavior and personality that he's practically a whole new person - as frustratingly unrealistic this is (given that he exhibited no positive traits at all prior to the incident- nope, not even one!), what annoyed me most is that this event happened in the last part of the book. I was waiting for him to get to the transformation to see how the author would play it out, but it only happened past 3/4 into the story. Even then, you don't really see the change happen to him...
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Max was definetly a sinner. He was awful to everyone and I didn't undertand why he was the way he was. I feel that he deserved the beating he got.
Maddy was too good, too forgiving. She absolutely no backbone. It would have been nice if she had had an affair. Give Max a does of his medicine.
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Format: Paperback
He did not deserve a second chance. Jordan missed a potentially beautiful love story between Maddy and Griff. She should have spent less time on characters who don't matter in this story and more time on the story. Max's rehab should have happened 'on screen'. The ultimate sign that he was rehabbed would have been letting his wife go and acknowledging that his antics went too far for forgiving and forgetting. The final lesson should have been if you love someone let them go.
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