Sins of a Virgin by Anna Randol

September 21, 2012

Cipher, Cipher bo Bipher Bonana fanna fo Fipher
Fee fy mo Mipher, Cipher!

Come on everybody!
I say now let's play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme out of anybody's name
The first letter of the name, I treat it like it wasn't there
But a B or an F or an M will appear
And then I say bo add a B then I say the name and Bonana fanna and a
And then I say the name again with an F very plain
and a fee fy and a mo
And then I say the name again with an M this time
and there isn't any name that I can't rhyme

Wrath, Wrath bo Brath Bonana fanna fo Frath
Fee fy mo Mrath, Wrath!

La Petit!
La Petit, La Petit bo Ba Petit"...aaakkkkk!
Spoilers ahead.  I gotta say this was a hard week, pick one book up - start reading - lose interest - put down - pick up, etc.  So, when I started reading Anna Randol's Sins of a Virgin, I was behind my time schedule. I had to finish this one whether I liked it or not.  Sins of a Virgin is the beginning of the Sinners Trio, about three ex-spies: Cipher, Wrath and La Petit.  This one is La Petit's story or, as she is called in this tale, Madeline.  Her knight in shining is Gabriel, who also happens to be a Bow Street Runner.  And, once again I must question the smarts-o-rameter readings of this particular runner.  How did anything get solved in ye' ole England?  You would think if you were questioning the background of the lady you lust after and you were introduced to the other two in the group who keep addressing each other by the names of Cipher and Wrath, a light bulb would go off.  And they are secretive, and sneak in windows, and quietly pull out knives and guns.  You would maybe ask, hey, why are you calling each other weird names?  Why are you guys so - I don't know – stealth-like?  But, noooooo, Gabriel doesn't.  So, Gabriel isn't the brightest wick on the candle.

Anyway, we are introduced to Madeline and Gabriel.  Here is the plot: Madeline did not get paid enough severance pay so she is going to sell her virginity to the highest bidder at an auction, and even though we are led to believe that she used her body when she was a spy, we are never sure whether she is or isn't a virgin.  Now for some reason Gabriel is ordered to guard her, but he doesn't want to because he is trying to solve the murder of his sister and that murder happened seven years ago.  Oh, and he's illegitimate and hates his father.  Of course, someone from Madeline's past is trying to kill her, and it just might be one of the men on the auction list.  And you know what else?  All the men on that list are also suspects in Gabriel's sister’s murder.  So, Gabriel thinks, hey, I can watch this woman who hides a knife under her skirt and solve my sister’s murder at the same time.  Then we have all the secondary characters, a lot of red herring suspects and the real murderer who I knew was the killer as soon as he made his appearance.  And, that's most of the plot.

For me this book failed as a romance.  I never understood why they loved each other.  They treated each other abominably, she lied, mistrusted, pretended her way through most of the book.  She wanted to earn her money as a prostitute – but you better never call her a whore, ‘cause she might get mad at you.  He was a little gentler, but he also had problems in the trust department.  And it took an eternity for Madeline to tell him the truth. Even after the third attempt on her life, she had problems confiding in him. It wasn't until they started working together that the book started to work for me, but that was after I was three-fourths of the way through.  So, it was too little, too late.  I found the two characters, especially Madeline, too dark for my taste.

This doesn't mean I'm giving up on Ms. Randol.  I've heard numerous good things about her.  Just because the first book I've read by her wasn't my cup of tea, doesn't mean the next one won't work for me.  So I will be checking out the next book in the series and we will see what happens.  

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Hot


Anonymous said...

I waited some time to start this book, and when I did, got only as far as what I call the killer point--page 50. If I don't get caught by then, it's DNF.
The reason for that surprised me a bit. I'm not usually a stickler, demanding that everything in a historical romance be accurate. But, I also don't want to have the feeling that the author doesn't even care whether it even seems historical. And from the outset this book read rather like a Mickey Spillane: The beautiful woman walks in and vamps the hardboiled detective sort of thing. Even the writing reflected that kind of tone. From diction to syntax, the style was simply too brightly "with it."


SidneyKay said...

Dick: Interesting point on the Mickey Spillane atmosphere. What was missing was the funny sidekick...someone needed to tell a joke or trip over something. This was gritty enough that I didn't like it, but not gritty enough to have a wow factor.