The Art of Sinning is the first book in Sabrina Jeffries's new Sinful Suitors series which is a spin-off to her Duke's Men series. I have been reading Jeffries for years now and enjoy how consistently she entertains me. As far as I can tell, the basis for this series is going to be an informal "club" of gentleman who spend their time protecting their sisters/cousins/wards from unsuitable suitors. I appreciate the protectiveness that this storyline emphasizes though I know that the meddling will not end well for anyone.
First out of the gate is an American painter, Jeremy Keane, who was first introduced as the cousin of the heroine of How the Scoundrel Seduces. He has been living and working in England for awhile now and is desperate for a muse to help him complete his ultimate project. Thankfully, for him, he spots the perfect model at a ball and pretty much forces his way into a introduction with Yvette, sister of the stoic Earl of Blakeborough. Jeremy convinces Yvette to model for him in exchange for helping her solve a family problem that her brother refuses to deal with.
The majority of this book involves Jeremy and Yvette spending time together at Blakeborough's country house. There is a great deal of sneaking around since they are making her brother believe they are just working on a perfectly suitable portrait while, at night, they are making their way through the scandalous painting of Jeremy's dreams.
It is obvious early on how well-suited these two are on an emotional level. Yvette has always felt out of place in society due to her height and blunt personality, but Jeremy is thrown for a loop by her which greatly improves her confidence. I absolutely adored Yvette! She isn't afraid to voice her opinions though she is never mean about it. I also enjoyed watching her interact with her older brother, Edwin, who gets his own story next.
For his part, Jeremy is hiding a dark secret about his life in America which is forcing him to resist his attraction to Yvette. The hidden past plot point went on a bit longer than I would have preferred, but it really helps explain Jeremy's behavior. I just wanted to give him the biggest hug once the whole truth was revealed. Sabrina Jeffries does a wonderful job with researching unique historical topics and, in this book, she clearly had a blast working in little tidbits about the 19th century artistic process.
The Art of Sinning was very easy to get into and I quickly sped through it. Jeremy and Yvette had so much chemistry together and I was rooting for them to get their heads on right and figure out how perfect they are as a couple. And I cannot say enough how excited I am for The Study of Seduction which pairs Yvette's brother (who was a huge surprise in this story) and her best friend, Clarissa.