Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Laurel McKee’s DUCHESS OF SIN – Entertaining Irish “Regency Style” Romance


This is the second in McKee’s Sisters of Erin trilogy (Countess of Scandal, Duchess Of Sin and Lady of Seduction), and the series is best read in order. This second one begins in December of 1799, as 18-year old Lady Anna Blacknall decides to go with her daring friend, Jane, to a masked ball at the scandalous Olympian Club in Dublin. Once there, Anna finds herself in the arms of a masked Irishman with familiar green eyes who tells her to leave, that she doesn’t belong there. After a passionate kiss, she flees remembering a similar kiss in a stable two years before during the Uprising—a kiss from Conlan McTeer, the Irish Duke of Adair.


Conlan, a leader in the Irish anti-Union movement, is drawn to the alluring Anna but he doesn’t want to involve her in his dangerous business. Of course, he doesn’t resist her either when Anna comes pursuing him.


The story is well-written and held my interest. I especially enjoyed that it was set against a tumultuous time in Ireland’s history even though the plot doesn’t go into great depth on that. To me, this story had the feel of a Regency romance, notwithstanding the time period is a decade earlier.


The physical relationship between Anna and Conlan (not to mention her courtesan-like moves), seemed incongruous with the care he should have taken with her innocence and what would have been reluctance on the part of an 18 year old. Taking her up against a wall in the dark in a bad part of town just didn’t have an authentic feel of an early encounter between a duke and a young woman of the Ascendency in Ireland in 1799. But if that doesn’t bother you, it’s an enjoyable read.


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