The Greatest of Sins by Christine Merrill

The Greatest of Sins by Christine Merrill


Having spent years believing a lie about his birth, Dr. Samuel Hastings has been condemned to a personal hell of his desire’s making—his sinful thoughts of the one woman he can never touch would damn his soul for eternity.

Lady Evelyn Thorne is engaged to the very suitable Duke of St. Aldric when a shocking truth is revealed—and now Sam will play every bit of the devil to seduce the woman he thought would always be denied him!

The Sinner and the Saint: Brothers separated at birth, brought together by scandal.

The Greatest of Sins by Christine Merrill

This started off as a lovely historical romance before taking a darker, but no less interesting turn. I really enjoyed this story that featured the practice of medicine in 1800s and a love triangle of sorts between the classes in a time when social standing meant everything.

I am no fan of love triangles, but this one was different. The loser in this situation apparently gets his own book – and therefore happy ending – so I was able to be happy with the outcome. Nobody is all that perfect here, and there were times when all of the characters involved made decisions and did things that weren’t particularly typical of ‘romance characters’. In fact, there’re flaws in these people that might make some readers dislike them; a problem with love triangles is that everyone involved is going to partake in questionable behaviour at some point.

The author obviously did a great deal of research into the way medicine worked at the time (though I question the detailed dinner table discussion about childbirth!), beginning with her note explaining the history of the stethoscope before the story started. I liked that the details didn’t completely take over the story, but that it offered a new look at the time period and set the story apart from most others in the genre.

Christine Merrill is a new-to-me author, but I will definitely read more of her books. Apart from a few American expressions sneaking in here and there, the feel of time and place in this book was very strong. I sure hope the other book in The Sinner and the Saint series comes out sooner rather than later, as the duke needs his happy ending too!

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

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