Author: Cara Elliott
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
My synopsis/thoughts: Alessandra della Giamatti, or Alessa, belongs to a group of scholars who call themselves the Circle of Scientific Sibyls. They are all women - intelligent women, who have bucked society's rules to gain the knowledge that they have. In private, they call themselves the Circle of Sin.
Alessa is a widow with a young daughter, Isabella. She has fled from Italy because of a scandal that she wishes to forget, but isn't finding it easy to adjust to England's standards. Somehow she continues to run into Lord James Jacquehart Pierson - or Black Jack and they go together about as good as oil and water. Kind words rarely pass between them and yet they seem to be drawn to each other.
Jack was a soldier and a war hero, but he has an artistic side and is taking lessons in painting/drawing - and is quite good. Based on a recommendation from his brother, he gets asked to accompany a group going on a archaelogical dig in Bath, in order to record findings with his art. When he arrives, he discovers that one of their experts is Alessa. Alessa is perturbed to find Jack in Bath and goes so far as to suggest that he "bought" his way in and will be bored in a matter of days. Alessa also discovers that someone from her Italian past is also a member of this group - Frederico Bellazoni - and he is trying to blackmail Alessa into helping him recover a golden imago.
I liked Alessa's sarcasm where Jack was concerned and that she wasn't afraid to speak her mind - even if it did go against the times. In the beginning, their relationship reminded me a little of the couple on the old tv series Moonlighting - (am I dating myself?). They were both really sarcastic and a little mean, but you could tell that there was a spark between them - it was just going to be a matter of when. This did have a twist at the end which I was not expected and that always makes a book more satisfying when you don't figure it out in advance!
This is the second book in The Circle of Sin trilogy - the first was To Sin With a Scoundrel which I reviewed back in March. The third book - To Tempt a Rake - is due out in March of 2011.
~I received a copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for my review.~
To Surrender to a Rogue
Publisher/Publication Date: Grand Central Publishing, June 2010