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One Wicked Sin

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Lottie Palliser was once the toast of the Ton but now is notorious for being divorced—and penniless. Shunned by society and disowned by her family, the destitute beauty is forced to become a courtesan in a Covent Garden bawdy house. Refusing to oblige her customers, Lottie is about to be turned out onto the streets when a dangerous rake saves her with a scandalous offer... Lottie Palliser was once the toast of the Ton but now is notorious for being divorced—and penniless. Shunned by society and disowned by her family, the destitute beauty is forced to become a courtesan in a Covent Garden bawdy house. Refusing to oblige her customers, Lottie is about to be turned out onto the streets when a dangerous rake saves her with a scandalous offer... Ethan Ryder is the illegitimate son of an Irish Duke and a circus performer. He rose through the ranks as one of Napoleon's most dashing cavalry officers—until his capture landed him in England as prisoner of war. Now on parole, Ethan is planning his most audacious coup yet. But he needs to create a spectacular diversion. And having infamous Lottie as his mistress will lull everyone into thinking he's busily bedding her instead of plotting deadly treason. Both Lottie and Ethan believe that their cool heads and selfish hearts will give them the upper hand in their ruthlessly passionate union. Yet their unexpected bond will scandalize even them.


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Lottie Palliser was once the toast of the Ton but now is notorious for being divorced—and penniless. Shunned by society and disowned by her family, the destitute beauty is forced to become a courtesan in a Covent Garden bawdy house. Refusing to oblige her customers, Lottie is about to be turned out onto the streets when a dangerous rake saves her with a scandalous offer... Lottie Palliser was once the toast of the Ton but now is notorious for being divorced—and penniless. Shunned by society and disowned by her family, the destitute beauty is forced to become a courtesan in a Covent Garden bawdy house. Refusing to oblige her customers, Lottie is about to be turned out onto the streets when a dangerous rake saves her with a scandalous offer... Ethan Ryder is the illegitimate son of an Irish Duke and a circus performer. He rose through the ranks as one of Napoleon's most dashing cavalry officers—until his capture landed him in England as prisoner of war. Now on parole, Ethan is planning his most audacious coup yet. But he needs to create a spectacular diversion. And having infamous Lottie as his mistress will lull everyone into thinking he's busily bedding her instead of plotting deadly treason. Both Lottie and Ethan believe that their cool heads and selfish hearts will give them the upper hand in their ruthlessly passionate union. Yet their unexpected bond will scandalize even them.

30 review for One Wicked Sin

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*

    ONE WICKED SIN, the second book in Nicola Cornick's delightful series Scandalous Women of the Ton, is a compelling story of scandal, honour, betrayal and passion. Once married to a fabulously wealthy banker, Lottie Cummings had been one of the foremost hostesses in London until her reckless behaviour changes everything. Divorced by her husband, shunned by her former friends and disowned by her own family, she finds herself destitute. Her options are limited and she becomes a courtesan in a Covent ONE WICKED SIN, the second book in Nicola Cornick's delightful series Scandalous Women of the Ton, is a compelling story of scandal, honour, betrayal and passion. Once married to a fabulously wealthy banker, Lottie Cummings had been one of the foremost hostesses in London until her reckless behaviour changes everything. Divorced by her husband, shunned by her former friends and disowned by her own family, she finds herself destitute. Her options are limited and she becomes a courtesan in a Covent Garden brothel, but the life is not at all as she imagined. She can see no way of escaping her fate until Ethan Ryder, Baron St. Severin, comes into her life. The illegitimate son of the Duke of Farne, Ethan ran away to France as a boy and later joined Napoleon's army. He quickly rose to be a dashing cavalry officer but was captured by the British and is now a parole prisoner of war. He is planning a spectacular revenge on his British captors, but needs a suitable distraction to cover his activities. Having the notorious Lottie Palliser as his mistress fit his plans perfectly. Lottie certainly causes a stir in the small parole town of Wantage, enabling Ethan to finalize his plans but neither expects that their arrangement will lead to a passionate and all-consuming love, one which will be tested by the events unfolding around them. At the heart of this book is the story of two unlikely people meeting and falling in love. At first, their relationship is based on one of mutual need--Lottie needs Ethan as a means of escaping a life of degradation in the brothel and Ethan needs the 'notorious' Lottie to act as a smokescreen for his activities. Neither expects their relationship to be anything other than sex and money. Lottie provides the sex and Ethan provides the money! I like the way in which Ms Cornick conveys the subtle changes in Lottie's and Ethan's feelings for each other. When they first meet in the brothel, Ethan is expecting someone sophisticated and experienced but finds a vulnerable woman, very unsure of herself, and nothing like her reputation suggests. I think this is why he is initially attracted to Lottie, because she is totally different from what he expected, softer and appealing. Lottie expects no special treatment from Ethan: This was a man who had brought her for his pleasure and she knew she should not forget that. He had been bored, wanting a mistress to pass the time. She was the woman chosen. She is, therefore, surprised when he shows her great tenderness, realizing how her self-confidence has been shattered by her time in the brothel. He is even willing to seduce her rather than the other way around! In doing so, he helps remind Lottie how wonderful physical love can be. I think this is what initially draws Lottie to Ethan. Ethan is the one who struggles the most with his deepening feelings for Lottie. His reactions when he makes love to her are far different from those he has felt with other women: And yet making love to Lottie had been as profound as it was sweet. It had felt intimate and seductive in a far more dangerous sense than simply sexual. I sense a natural affinity between the two of them because they were both badly hurt in the past. Lottie was hurt both when her father abandoned her at the age of six and also when her husband rejected his seventeen-year-old bride. You can fully understand why she embarked on the various affairs. She was lonely and it was a form of escape from the emptiness of her marriage and I think that deep down, she was always looking for love. Ethan had also suffered when he was a child. He was taken away from his mother by his father, the Duke of Farne, to be brought up in a household that despised him and was later sent to a school where he was bullied because he was illegitimate. Those who enjoy steamy love scenes will not be disappointed and I particularly have in mind the scene where Lottie decides that enough is enough. She has always submitted to Ethan's will but this time, she is in charge! The plot is well paced with quite a few twists and surprises involving a traitor in their midst, the escape of Ethan's son, Arland, and the appearance of Lottie's brother, Theo. The theme of betrayal is an important element in the plot on different levels. Lottie is willing to betray Ethan because Theo offers her a chance to recover at least a semblance of her former life, which seems so important to her at the time. However, as she comes to love Ethan, she knows she can never betray him and is willing to risk her life to protect his son and Ethan himself. The traitor is willing to betray his friends for money and there is a further betrayal which I feel is the worst of all but I will not elaborate as this would spoil the impact. There is a certain lack of humour in this book compared to the other books in the series but I did find myself chuckling on a number of occasions. The scene in the marketplace where Lottie turns the tables on the stallholder who refuses to serve her comes to mind and the letters from the townsfolk asking Lottie for advice on fashions and other more intimate matters. I admit to being intrigued by the historical aspects in this book and wondered whether there really were parole towns and whether French officers were allowed a certain freedom. I did a little checking and discovered that Ms Cornick had certainly researched her material well because Wantage was actually as parole town. It just goes to prove that reading Historical Romance can enrich your mind! Here are a few of my favourite quotes: How had he, the most cold and calculating man in the kingdom, ended up with a courtesan who seemed almost as nervous as a virgin, accompanied by a canary that could not sing. She supposed that she could hardly blame her breasts for drooping; she was fairly weary of life herself. In the candlelight, she saw the shadow of his eyelashes against his skin, so spiky and hard, yet so soft that her heart did a little tumble. Strange that it should be that one small thing that pushed her over the edge into love and yet she could no longer deny it. "I love you. I've loved you for weeks. I would go barefoot for you, to the ends of the earth...." Anyone who enjoys a blend of powerful emotions, sizzling love scenes and lively action will definitely enjoy this second installment in Nicola Cornick's Scandalous Women of the Ton series. http://www.theromancereviews.com/view... This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fmbee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This series my my new guilty pleasure...except I feel NO guilt, only the most amazing pleasure as a result of reading. These books have it all, and especially in One Wicked Sin, everything works together to draw you in and keep you hooked: romance, espionage, family, secrets, redemption, and the most GLORIOUS sex. I 100% recommend this book! Picking up from Whisper of Scandal, we rejoin Lottie. Being too indiscreet about her affairs, she is divorced and disgraced, disowned by her family, and now This series my my new guilty pleasure...except I feel NO guilt, only the most amazing pleasure as a result of reading. These books have it all, and especially in One Wicked Sin, everything works together to draw you in and keep you hooked: romance, espionage, family, secrets, redemption, and the most GLORIOUS sex. I 100% recommend this book! Picking up from Whisper of Scandal, we rejoin Lottie. Being too indiscreet about her affairs, she is divorced and disgraced, disowned by her family, and now working as a courtesan in a bawdy house. Once bold and carefree, Lottie is now unsure of herself and her future. Just when she believes she has reached rock-bottom, Lottie is given an opportunity to enter a scandalous agreement with Ethan Ryder. The illegitimate son of the Duke of Farne, Ethan fought on behalf of Napoleon and is now a British as a prisoner of war. Being relegated to a small country town, he comes to London to procure Lottie as his mistress. Something that seems so simple turns out to be anything but, as Lottie finds herself in the between a rock and a hard place, choosing between loyalty to her country and love. I will be honest, when I first encountered Lottie in Whisper of Scandal, I despise her. But from the beginning of this book, I feel so bad for her and her current circumstances. It's tough to watch Lottie endure her disgrace: "That was her reality now. Sell herself--or starve. And she could not bee too particular about the purchaser." Even though her defenses are up, Lottie is quite honest about her situation. And we come to learn what drives her to enter into liaisons with men, constantly seeking love and acceptance, which since she was child, seemed to be conditional thing. And then there's Ethan Ryder: tall, dark, devilishly handsome, commanding, and controlled. I will admit to being suspicious at first: "He needed a decoy, a distraction. Lottie Palliser was going to be that woman." His intentions with Lottie seem questionable. And even though their relationship starts as a business arrangement, these two can't help their attraction. Lottie and Ethan are kindred spirits, both liking danger and risk: "I think that you and I are very alike Lottie. We're both survivors, both adventurers. We don't believe in martyrdom." SO TRUE! A few favorite moments: 1. Lottie is kind of smart, at least in an instinctive kind if way. For example, when she comments about Napoleon Revolution for Liberty, fraternity, and equality: "An odd sort of equality that sets one man up as Emperor over others." Funny, uncanny, and true! 2. THE AMAZINGLY HOT SEXY TIMES! -The almost Sexy times bordering on violent! In the carriage! Yikes! They both have a lot of rage... -"No. Lie still. We do this my way." *FAINTS* -"She felt superbly replete, ravished in the best and most satisfying of ways." HAVE MERCY. -Ethan in response to Lottie thinking she's fat: "delightfully curved. Voluptuous... Your body is divine." *SWOON* -"Here at least he could strip the elegant green and white gown from Lottie's opulent curves and bury himself inside get." *FAINTS AGAIN* -Lottie tieing Ethan down to the bed....MERCY! "I'm a little tired of being at your mercy Ethan. So I thought it was time you were at mine." AND THEN THE BOOB JOB! 3. One of the things I have the most difficulty with is how men are just using Lottie left and right! Even Ethan is guilty, and at times, I'm disappointed in his treatment of Lottie. Ultimately it comes down to Ethan vs. Theo, lover vs. brother. 4. When Lottie goes to the market and stands up to those jot wanting to sell to her. So brave! And she turns the crowds in her favor. So charming! I also lovvvvve how Lottie becomes the Dear Abby for this town, LOL! 5. I enjoy seeing all the familiar faces: Margery then Joanna and Alex!!!!!!!!!! :))))))))))))) 6. I enjoy seeing all the family relationships: father/daughter, father/son, brothers, brother-sister. And more than anything, I love the dichotomy between Duke of Farne and Ethan's interactions vs. Ethan and Arland. 7. The "I love yous" -"I like looking at you. I love you." *FEELINGS* Awwwww! -"You are my match, my love, my heart. You complete me. Anything less than marriage would never be enough." *CRIES* 8. Lottie and Ethan riding off into the sunset via air balloon! This book has so much action and twisty turns. It's a fun read! I'm particularly excited for the next book, especially after seeing Ethan and Garrick :))))))) I'm devouring this series, which makes me scared because I don't want the goodness to end! On to the next one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Toria

    Wasn't ready to enjoy it as much as I did but after this I definitely want to read more of this author and this series. Liked the theme of the scandal, added an interesting dose of intensety and the love interest was interesting enough Wasn't ready to enjoy it as much as I did but after this I definitely want to read more of this author and this series. Liked the theme of the scandal, added an interesting dose of intensety and the love interest was interesting enough

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I am not sure why I am so surprised, but I really enjoyed 'One Wicked Sin'. I thought that it would be a mediocre Regency romance without personality and I only picked it up to get it off of my shelf, but it was a vivid read with a good plot and unique characters and I am not sure that I can part with it now. Cornick took the Regency period that I know and love, and she tilted it on its head. The heroine was unafraid of scandal and lust, and in fact courted notoriety. The hero was a bad boy, not I am not sure why I am so surprised, but I really enjoyed 'One Wicked Sin'. I thought that it would be a mediocre Regency romance without personality and I only picked it up to get it off of my shelf, but it was a vivid read with a good plot and unique characters and I am not sure that I can part with it now. Cornick took the Regency period that I know and love, and she tilted it on its head. The heroine was unafraid of scandal and lust, and in fact courted notoriety. The hero was a bad boy, not intent on rescuing the ton, or even the country, but seeing its downfall. It was all so deliciously new and exciting! Lottie was not my favourite heroine, and I felt that she teetered a bit too much toward the emotionless/lacking principles side of her personality. If she had shown some deeper emotion regarding her ex-husband and his betrayal of her, and perhaps had been more choosey with her affairs, then perhaps I might not have been as unsympathetic, but I did feel as though she had been the maker of her own misfortune. If Lottie had allowed herself to warm to Ethan and had thus developed principles to protect him and his cause, then again, perhaps I'd have warmed to her more, but she remained quite cold throughout, only becoming this likeable character at the very end. I genuinely felt that money was her only care, and as a reader of her deepest thoughts, I should not have thought this, even if other characters had. I should have been more aware of the impact of her husband betrayal had, and that she snapped because she was scared. I just felt that she was too cold and hard. She felt flaky and like a magpie attracted only to shiny things. Lottie is the main reason that this novel was a 4* review rather than a 5*. Ethan on the other hand was very well developed. His motivations were clear, he was principled and caring for those close to him and the causes that he believed in. Yes, he started off being quite harsh toward Lottie, but his flaw developed and was 'fixed'. Ethan was equal parts shocking and lusty - my Lord, the lust! - and a true bad boy - Treason?! Sacre Dieu! - but he was warm and compassionate and he was, at his very core, good. I loved that as a reader of Regency novels I felt uncomfortable with the scandal in this novel because it meant that I had been taken out of my comfort zone. Usually a scandal is a walk in the garden unchaperoned with a man, much less letting him strip you and start making love to you before an open window. The plot was interesting and intriguing, the characters were vibrant and Ethan was the perfect hero for me, and I would have happily rated 5* if Lottie had been a bit warmer, or more sympathetic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Terra

    This is a wonderful story and it flows very smoothly. It is also wickedly hot. Enough so that it will sizzle your fingers as you turn each page but with characters that are venerable, untrust worthy, shunned by the Ton and just down right naughty. Lottie our heroine has been shunned by the Ton for flaunting her affairs in the face of her rich husband who divorces her and leaves her completely destitute. Ending up in a brothel of all places for someone who was on the highest point of the ladder in This is a wonderful story and it flows very smoothly. It is also wickedly hot. Enough so that it will sizzle your fingers as you turn each page but with characters that are venerable, untrust worthy, shunned by the Ton and just down right naughty. Lottie our heroine has been shunned by the Ton for flaunting her affairs in the face of her rich husband who divorces her and leaves her completely destitute. Ending up in a brothel of all places for someone who was on the highest point of the ladder in the ton, she comes to realize that she can depend on no one but herself and trust is a word that will no longer be in her vocabulary. Ethan our hero is a prisoner of war and in search of a mistress with the highest amount of scandal attached to her. He needs her to divert attention from his activities and he gets a bit more than he bargained for in Lottie. She will most certainly give him a run for his money. Both characters have had a less than happy past, both are defiant and will push as far as they are possibly able to. They are more like kindred spirits in almost every way possible. Hot sex seems to be the one and only thing that they can delve into and trust each other with. Both are very passionate but hide it with a mask made of steel so as not to be hurt. The author has given us a really hot sizzling tale of two broken hearts, venerable to the core and self preservation is the number one key to all that they are. They are both good at what they do and sparks not only fly in the bedroom but also in each and every deception that they throw at each other. I have truly enjoyed this and will have to look at some of the other work of this author as it's nice to read something that flows as smooth as silk.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kit★

    I picked this one and the next one up to continue the series began with Whisper of Scandal. In WoS I didn't really like Lottie Cummings' character, because she was so flighty and selfish, and a little annoying. So when I started this one, and saw her brought down within the first pages, it was a little fun. But as the story continued, and I found the reasons why Lottie acted the way she did, I started to feel sympathy for her and understand her motives, though I didn't always agree with the way I picked this one and the next one up to continue the series began with Whisper of Scandal. In WoS I didn't really like Lottie Cummings' character, because she was so flighty and selfish, and a little annoying. So when I started this one, and saw her brought down within the first pages, it was a little fun. But as the story continued, and I found the reasons why Lottie acted the way she did, I started to feel sympathy for her and understand her motives, though I didn't always agree with the way she handled things. Ethan Ryder was a character I liked from the start, handsome and arrogant, but with principles and ideals, not just another jaded rake. The progression of their relationship was sweet and believable, and I loved the scene where he finally reveals his feelings. A thoroughly good book with unique characters. You don't see in historical romances too often many scandalized main heroines who actually did sleep around and admit it, in my experience it's all either rumor, or the girl gave herself to someone she thought she loved and they ended up betraying her. I'll be moving on to the next one Mistress by Midnight.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    The hero is the bastard son of an English lord who's been fighting for the French, for liberte, egalite, etc., and is now a prisoner of war. He is "on parole," living in the open in a village, with permission to go to London if he asks ahead of time. The heroine is a divorced woman with no income who's trying to make a living as a prostitute--but she's not any good at it, despite all the lovers she took when she was married. (Her ex, in this time when nobody got divorced, is gay and only married The hero is the bastard son of an English lord who's been fighting for the French, for liberte, egalite, etc., and is now a prisoner of war. He is "on parole," living in the open in a village, with permission to go to London if he asks ahead of time. The heroine is a divorced woman with no income who's trying to make a living as a prostitute--but she's not any good at it, despite all the lovers she took when she was married. (Her ex, in this time when nobody got divorced, is gay and only married her as a "beard.") So when the hero proposes that she become his mistress, she jumps at the chance. Both these characters are far more wounded than they let on. She comes off as mercenary--but is she really? He comes off as rakish and care-for-nothing--but is that true? They connect--somewhat--during their first days together in London. Then they go to the small village, and things change. And they get complicated. This is a good story, but I had a little trouble connecting to the characters. Perhaps because Cornick did such a good job showing their surface, masking characteristics... Maybe the pace was a little slow. Not sure. I was able to put the book down and not pick it up for a day or two. Still, overall, I liked it. It was a good read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Z.

    3.5 stars rounded up. I think the author did a great job of making two sometimes very unlikable characters interesting. I loved that the heroine in many ways fits the stereotype of the evil "other woman" (and maybe did play that role in the previous book? I haven't read it yet) and she does develop and in a sense redeem herself ((view spoiler)[in realizing that has a moral compass beyond taking as much as she can from other people (hide spoiler)] ) but not by getting a total personality transplan 3.5 stars rounded up. I think the author did a great job of making two sometimes very unlikable characters interesting. I loved that the heroine in many ways fits the stereotype of the evil "other woman" (and maybe did play that role in the previous book? I haven't read it yet) and she does develop and in a sense redeem herself ((view spoiler)[in realizing that has a moral compass beyond taking as much as she can from other people (hide spoiler)] ) but not by getting a total personality transplant or repudiating all her past behavior. Both protagonists are well-developed characters, and I thought the masks they were, and how they break through them, were really interesting. However, while I felt invested in Lottie and Ethan separately, I wasn't that invested in them as a couple. Like, I could understand why they fell for each other and I liked that they ended up together, I just didn't have a lot of feelings about it. And I'm not sure how I feel about (view spoiler)[Lottie and Ethan presumably going to France while his son is in America? Like, Ethan spent a lot of time thinking about his failures as a parent (and rightly so) but then Arland seems to just drop out of the picture once he's safely on his way to America. But since we don't find out where Lottie and Ethan end up I suppose I can just imagine they meet up with Arland somewhere. (hide spoiler)] The logistics of the ending were a bit confusing to me in general, but I suppose it was meant to be sort of open-ended. I also had some trouble with the...idk, trivialization of RL political issues? Like, I am totally fine ignoring enormous amounts of actual history to enjoy a fluffy romance novel about people going to Almack's and getting ices at Gunter's or whatever. But since this book does get into some actual social/political problems like the prison system and the widespread suffering caused by a major rise in the cost of living coupled with decreasing wages, I really winced when the heroine would be all "zzzzzzz I don't care about politics, let's talk about how much money I can spend on gowns" or whatever. That being said -- spending money on "frivolous" things would arguably be a net good in that context, and despite Lottie's disinterest in politics she does show some care for oppressed people. I realize my take is contradictory and hypocritical, but there it is. And I have to say: I'm really sick of the "poor heroine cruelly deceived by her evil gay husband" trope. It's not an automatic dealbreaker for me but honestly the next time I come across it maybe it will be; I hate how common it is (/was? I feel like this is one of those things that shows up less frequently in more recent books) and I hate that the reader's sympathy is supposed to be totally with the heroine, in a context where sodomy could be punished by death. I'm not saying that I have no sympathy for the unwitting 'beard' in this situation -- it's just that the sympathy is always so unevenly distributed. It's like somehow the worst thing a man can do to a woman is not be attracted to her, which is bonkers. [And now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever come across the reverse, a hero's first wife being a lesbian -- the closest I can think is a few where the first wife is implied to have been asexual. Do m/f authors just not realize gay women exist too?]

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    She's divorced and he's a paroled military prisoner. Ethan needs Lorrie to help him create a diversion so he can rescue his son who is being held on a prison ship. She has turned to the only way she knows to survive by becoming a courtesan (and not very well). He offers to set her up as his mistress and uses her as a decoy. Of course, nothing goes as planned and his son gets impatient and escapes on his own. Lorrie is paramount to his not being recaptured and giving Ethan an alibi. Love doesn't wait She's divorced and he's a paroled military prisoner. Ethan needs Lorrie to help him create a diversion so he can rescue his son who is being held on a prison ship. She has turned to the only way she knows to survive by becoming a courtesan (and not very well). He offers to set her up as his mistress and uses her as a decoy. Of course, nothing goes as planned and his son gets impatient and escapes on his own. Lorrie is paramount to his not being recaptured and giving Ethan an alibi. Love doesn't wait until one decides the time is right, it just happens. After seeing to his son, Ethan returns for Lorrie and his friends aid their escape in a balloon of all things. There are many sightings of them but never confirmed and never captured.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette

    Very well written. The author gives herself the challenge of setting a novel during the little-known period of an uprising of prisoners of war during the Napoleonic wars, and then she gives herself the additional challenge of writing about an experienced woman. The heroine makes the novel work -- especially her "languid" repartee. She's also vulnerable. Both sides of her character work well when written, but they don't quite come together for me into a single consistent character. Also, the plot Very well written. The author gives herself the challenge of setting a novel during the little-known period of an uprising of prisoners of war during the Napoleonic wars, and then she gives herself the additional challenge of writing about an experienced woman. The heroine makes the novel work -- especially her "languid" repartee. She's also vulnerable. Both sides of her character work well when written, but they don't quite come together for me into a single consistent character. Also, the plot itself is done as well as it could be, but it's just difficult to have a hero acting heroically in such a captured situation.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    This book was a fun read. Lottie Cummings disgarded by her husband and on the streets. She ends up in a brothel . One evening a certain gentleman comes in and gives her a very interesting offer. So begins this novel and her love affair. Nicola Cornick does very well in writing love scenes in my opinion. Quite an enjoyable novel. I would recommend it for a light , fun read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Helen Geng

    Read June 2021

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Oh my! This one is unique. I really enjoyed it's twists and turns. Oh my! This one is unique. I really enjoyed it's twists and turns.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary Gramlich

    Take your breath away romance Lottie was an embarrassment to her family when she was a Palliser and a total humiliation as a Cummings. But Lottie was always truthful with herself and even when everyone including family, husband and the ton threw her out on the streets she knew somehow she would survive. Her ex-husband was the liar, the ton hypocritical and her family vicious but still Lottie figured out what she was good at and went from there. But it turned out what Lottie liked and was good at a Take your breath away romance Lottie was an embarrassment to her family when she was a Palliser and a total humiliation as a Cummings. But Lottie was always truthful with herself and even when everyone including family, husband and the ton threw her out on the streets she knew somehow she would survive. Her ex-husband was the liar, the ton hypocritical and her family vicious but still Lottie figured out what she was good at and went from there. But it turned out what Lottie liked and was good at as a married woman was not as pleasing when she had to use her body to make money. So when Ethan Ryder, Baron St. Severin proposes that she be his mistress during his unfortunate time of imprisonment she packed up and ran off with him. Ethan had not chosen to be born illegitimate but he did choose to fight with Napoleon against the English so being captured as a prisoner of war was less that acceptable. But being a prisoner of war during this particular time meant house arrest and keeping a mistress completely acceptable and Lottie was a joy to be suffering through all this with. Lottie turns out to be a complete surprise to Ethan in that he never thought to like her let alone come to love her but she did have a way about herself that drew him in and made him want to possess every beautiful inch of her. They both liked the dangerous side to life and taking risks was something they also shared so keeping secrets was nothing new to either of them. Yet the secrets they were keeping from each other were dangerous and at times treasonous but the two of them cared little for the punishment as long as they were together which proved its own reward. The English are playing games with Ethan which can turn deadly but Lottie realizes she knows what side to stand with she just has to convince Ethan she is there because of love not obligation. Ethan and Lottie both have tried for too long to please everyone it is time to scrap that plan and go with pleasing each other as well as themselves and the heck with the consequences. After I finished Whisper of Scandal which is Book 1 in this series I truly had no idea how Nicola Cornick was going to top that book romance wise as well as story wise. But she has done so with this one. Ethan is the ultimate alpha male who is spy savvy but a romance warrior. Lottie is a woman who has seen too much of life’s dark side but still glows with the radiance of knowing there is love after all you just have to find it. When these two get together the romance abounds and the end of this book truly will have you closing your eyes and dreaming of what man you would like to float in the clouds with!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kimm

    The second book in The Scandalous Women of the Ton trilogy picks up from a character I didn’t fancy much in the first story: Lottie Cummings (nee Palliser). Lottie was (is?) spoiled and selfish. In Whisper of Scandal, she’s atrocious. Honestly, I really couldn’t find much to like about her. With friends like her, who needs enemies? The only saving grace for me with Lottie is that I read One Wicked Sin before reading Whisper of Scandal—so I only had veiled references to her past to go on while lea The second book in The Scandalous Women of the Ton trilogy picks up from a character I didn’t fancy much in the first story: Lottie Cummings (nee Palliser). Lottie was (is?) spoiled and selfish. In Whisper of Scandal, she’s atrocious. Honestly, I really couldn’t find much to like about her. With friends like her, who needs enemies? The only saving grace for me with Lottie is that I read One Wicked Sin before reading Whisper of Scandal—so I only had veiled references to her past to go on while learning about her character. Imagine my surprise when I learned her role in the first book. Egad! Had I already known that going into One Wicked Sin, I probably would not have given her the slightest of chances as a heroine. Lottie gets around. Seriously. She is a desperately unhappy woman who sleeps with practically anyone, then finally creates such a scandal that she gets tossed out on her rear by her husband (such an unlikable character that it’s easy to see why she was miserable). Lottie ends up ostracized by all good society and finds herself in dire straits—ultimately leading up to her decision to become a courtesan. But, she’s a bad courtesan. Then, somehow magically, a gorgeous prison of war strolls into her bedchamber and offers her a way out. Of course she takes it, after all, she’s materialistic and all about survival. She just cannot give up the good things in life and Ethan Ryder can offer them to her. Ethan and Lottie’s relationship becomes a tug of war in terms of who can use whom the best. He’s out to gain what he needs with Lottie as a cover for secret plans and Lottie is out to gain whatever she can out before she’s tossed away. But, as in typical romance fashion, the requisite happy ending in not far away when both Ethan and Lottie find out what they truly mean to one another--despite their best efforts to avoid love. As with her other characters, Nicola Cornick writes both Lottie and Ethan and strong figures with a sense of adventure and bravado. No schoolroom misses found in the book! And Ethan’s role as a French sympathizer is an unlikely hero. There is some treachery at play in the story and I was impressed with the underlying motives Cornick developed in the story. Very interesting reading with great historical references smattered about. Much like Whisper of Scandal, this book is a great fit for Regency lovers who love beautiful settings and love with a bit of tragedy thrown in. Cannot wait for the final book: Mistress of Midnight!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Storer

    3.5 Stars I was a little dubious about reading "One Wicked Sin" after finding out the heroine was Lottie Cummings. She was in the previous book in the series as a secondary character and I didn't like her at all. However, although I found it difficult at first to forget how awfully she had treated her best friend by sleeping with her husband, trying to seduce her new husband and betraying her in other ways, I did begin to like her more and more as I read each chapter. I began to understand why she 3.5 Stars I was a little dubious about reading "One Wicked Sin" after finding out the heroine was Lottie Cummings. She was in the previous book in the series as a secondary character and I didn't like her at all. However, although I found it difficult at first to forget how awfully she had treated her best friend by sleeping with her husband, trying to seduce her new husband and betraying her in other ways, I did begin to like her more and more as I read each chapter. I began to understand why she was the woman she had become, but I still think it was daring of the author to think that all would be forgiven and forgotten. We find Lottie in a poor state of affairs after her husband had divorced her due to her indescreet affairs. Without the support of her family and her only true friend out of the country, Lottie didn't have anyone to turn too. With no money and no place to live, the only option she could see was to turn to prostitution. She hates it with a passion and has lost all her confidence. She is now a broken woman and competely different from the one we met in 'Whisper of Scandal'. One evening a gentleman offers to pay her to be his mistress, and upon reflection Lottie felt that this was the lesser of two evils, so she agrees. She did not expect to fall in love. Ethan Ryder is a great hero - at first he uses her, but not in a rough way. He's gentle and caring, but he still sees her as something he has bought. But after only a few days he begins to have feelings for her that confuse him as he's never felt anything like it before. Ethan grows considerably throughout the book, as does Lottie and they find true love. The one aspect that prevents "One Wicked Sin" from a higher rating is the balance of sex and plot. With 'Whiper of Scandal' Cornick gets the balance perfectly, but here there is too much talking and thinking about sex. If they're not thinking about it, they're talking about it and if they're not talking about it they're doing it. And although I realise that sex, lust etc is part of a romance novel, there is too much of it here for my taste and nothing much else happens for a good portion of the novel. However, the second half is much better balanced that the first. VERDICT: Overall, "One Wicked Sin" is a fun, entertaining read and the characters growth is touching and heartwarming. Cornick gives us another romantic ending that makes the heart flutter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jo (My House of Books)

    Sequels typically don't measure up to the first book of a series. That's my experience anyway; no matter how much I want to like them on their own, for their own measure and delight, it never happens. That can be true of One Wicked Sin. We met Lottie Palliser (nee Lottie Cummings) in Whisper of Scandal. She was Joanna's vapid friend, who became Joanna's husband's lover for a short while. She is bold, seemingly wanton, and perhaps without a code of common decency (she also throws herself at Joanna Sequels typically don't measure up to the first book of a series. That's my experience anyway; no matter how much I want to like them on their own, for their own measure and delight, it never happens. That can be true of One Wicked Sin. We met Lottie Palliser (nee Lottie Cummings) in Whisper of Scandal. She was Joanna's vapid friend, who became Joanna's husband's lover for a short while. She is bold, seemingly wanton, and perhaps without a code of common decency (she also throws herself at Joanna's new husband). When we requaint ourselves with Lottie, she's in a house for courtesans, divorced by her husband for her affairs, so she offers herself in trade with the only skill she has: she's good on her back. I knew this would be a 'hard sell' to sympathize with Lottie given her behavior in Whisper of Scandal. The problem is that we don't see Lottie actually suffer for her sins, so to speak. She's been a courtesan for several months, but the story picks up when Ethan arrives, looking to claim her as his mistress because of her scandalous reputation. And, boy, does she ever live up to it. Along the way, as happens in romance novels, Ethan and Lottie fall in love. I wasn't unhappy that she found love, just wanted to see her struggle a little bit for it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    April

    ONE WICKED SIN by Nicola Cornick is a Regency historical romance set in 1813 London. It is well written with details,depth,fast paced and a page turner. It has romance, sensuality,betrayal, love, full of action, deceit,regrets, danger, desire, prisoner of war, British and Irish men. The hero, Ethan, is handsome, full of regrets, hard,the illegitimate son of a Duke, a prisoner of war, determined to free the other prisoners of war of their horrid treatment by the British, considered a renegade, on ONE WICKED SIN by Nicola Cornick is a Regency historical romance set in 1813 London. It is well written with details,depth,fast paced and a page turner. It has romance, sensuality,betrayal, love, full of action, deceit,regrets, danger, desire, prisoner of war, British and Irish men. The hero, Ethan, is handsome, full of regrets, hard,the illegitimate son of a Duke, a prisoner of war, determined to free the other prisoners of war of their horrid treatment by the British, considered a renegade, on parole as a prisoner of war, and his part British/Irish/ and French. The heroine,Lottie, is beautiful, is divorced, forced to become a Courtesan after her divorce, disowned by her family, friends, is bought by Ethan as his mistress, and taken to a small village in England where paroled prisoners of war are kept. Ethan wanted a scandalous mistress and it got one. As they learn of each others past, they become close and are attracted to each other. In the end Lottie must choose between the man she has grown to love,Ethan, and her country. Lottie has been betrayed by the brother she loves,trusted and believed was the one person who wouldn't leave her alone. I would recommend this story especially if you enjoy love, action packed adventure,and a sensual love story. This book was received for review from Net Galley and details can be found at HQN and My Book Addiction and More.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isabella Kai

    One Wicked Sin tells the story of Lottie Palliser, known as Charlotte Cummings in book one. Now divorced, she longs for security and a way out of the sink hole she managed to fall into. Ethan Ryder was the answer to all her problems but nothing comes for free. Ethan made Lottie an offer she simply cannot refuse. Money for scandal was the name of the game they were playing. Truth be told, I hated Lottie on the spot from book one. I didn’t want to read her story. She’s manipulative, insensitive and One Wicked Sin tells the story of Lottie Palliser, known as Charlotte Cummings in book one. Now divorced, she longs for security and a way out of the sink hole she managed to fall into. Ethan Ryder was the answer to all her problems but nothing comes for free. Ethan made Lottie an offer she simply cannot refuse. Money for scandal was the name of the game they were playing. Truth be told, I hated Lottie on the spot from book one. I didn’t want to read her story. She’s manipulative, insensitive and has no sense of morale whatsoever. Then I saw her humbled, frightened for her future and how she rose above it all. True, she had a lot of failings but her strength of character surfaces when it’s needed the most. Ethan Ryder was a mystery to me. From start to finish, he was a big question mark. I liked that he’s ’rough around the edges’ because that just adds more to Ethan’s allure. There’s a hidden depth in Ethan with the element of danger that can swallow you whole. Lottie and Ethan are the perfect pair. Both of them lack trust and always edgy but neither can lie to the other, they can hide but not lie. With Lottie and Ethan it was like watching them dance, waiting to see who will lead.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I am not a huge fan of romance novels but recently I have been enjoying the odd historical romance. I liked this one because the heroine is not some 18-year old virgin instead she is a 33 year divorced woman who has been caste off by her friends and family because she likes to have sex and her husband did not. Lotty, the heroine, has some realistic concerns like she needs a place to live and she needs money. Ethan our hero is a bit of a rouge, a prisoner or war and constantly involved in traitor I am not a huge fan of romance novels but recently I have been enjoying the odd historical romance. I liked this one because the heroine is not some 18-year old virgin instead she is a 33 year divorced woman who has been caste off by her friends and family because she likes to have sex and her husband did not. Lotty, the heroine, has some realistic concerns like she needs a place to live and she needs money. Ethan our hero is a bit of a rouge, a prisoner or war and constantly involved in traitorous scheming. As part of his latest scheme he needs a distraction and what better than a mistress who is scandalous. This is of course a love story so needless to say they each develop feelings for each other, but they try to act like it is only a business deal. Over all I liked it, the book was well written, had a bit of excitement, very sensual, and it all works out in the end. The book lost a star because I think she could have done a bit more to include Ethan's scheming or at least a bit more action. It lost another 1/2 star because well as much as I tried to like Lottie I just could not warm up to her. 3 1/2 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kitten Kisser

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Would it have hardly any story & be mostly sex? Or would it be the opposite - too much story & not enough sex?! After all when one reads a romance novel there are certain expectations. You need a good story, you want the sexual tension, you want a happy ending. Well this book met up to all my expectations of how a romance novel should be! It's been a while since I've read any romance books because the last few were pretty lame. I used to be a romance I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Would it have hardly any story & be mostly sex? Or would it be the opposite - too much story & not enough sex?! After all when one reads a romance novel there are certain expectations. You need a good story, you want the sexual tension, you want a happy ending. Well this book met up to all my expectations of how a romance novel should be! It's been a while since I've read any romance books because the last few were pretty lame. I used to be a romance novel junkie thanks to the first one I ever read being fantastic. I read it several times yet I cannot remember the name. I was only 14 at the time. This book is a reminder as to why I love romance novels! For a change our lady in love is in her early 30's rather than a late teen or early 20 something. She is not a untried virgin but she is virginal when it comes to true love. Her suitor is everything to make your heart flutter - handsome, muscular, a black sheep & under it all a good guy - of course! I would gladly read more of Nicola Cornicks books after reading this one! I think she did a marvelous job & I was thoroughly entertained. Not too short. Not too long. Juuuust right!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    2.5. This time I judged a book by its cover and it is the only reason I ended up buying this book. After reading more about this book, I noticed that this is not one of the books which I usually read. However, reluctantly I trudged on - as expected, I did not care much about the way the characters were introduced - even though I do like my romance in novels, the two main characters were drawn together by lust and not by love and true feelings which were a bit too hot and sexy but also downright 2.5. This time I judged a book by its cover and it is the only reason I ended up buying this book. After reading more about this book, I noticed that this is not one of the books which I usually read. However, reluctantly I trudged on - as expected, I did not care much about the way the characters were introduced - even though I do like my romance in novels, the two main characters were drawn together by lust and not by love and true feelings which were a bit too hot and sexy but also downright cheesy (or should I say sleazy?!). However, as the novel developed ( and thank God for me not giving up on my books), the background of the story was actually brought to the forefront and I was hooked on knowing what was going to happen. I loved the sarcastic witty remarks uttered by the heroine. If I come across a similar novel, or another one in the series, to be honest I would think twice before I would dive into it but if you want some light, escape reading then why not? However, do grab another book if you are not into erotic, sexy scenes - this book had about four or five romps described into detail haha.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mudpie

    I read book 1 Joanna's story way back in 2014. I must have liked the author enough to buy the bext 2 books in the series - and they disappeared into my TBR pile hehe...I sure am glad I saw this book and read it. Plot wise it is refreshing because I could not imagine how the book would end and give our angsty couple their HEA. In Joanna's story I distinctly remember not liking Lottie as she was such a slut going after even her best friend's men. But in this book we fully learn of Lottie's sad his I read book 1 Joanna's story way back in 2014. I must have liked the author enough to buy the bext 2 books in the series - and they disappeared into my TBR pile hehe...I sure am glad I saw this book and read it. Plot wise it is refreshing because I could not imagine how the book would end and give our angsty couple their HEA. In Joanna's story I distinctly remember not liking Lottie as she was such a slut going after even her best friend's men. But in this book we fully learn of Lottie's sad history. Her bad behaviour was simply a cry to have someone love her. Abandoned by her father at a young age and married to a terrible husband at age 17, it's a credit to Lottie's survival instincts that she made it this far. I really felt for her and likewise for Ethan. I genuinely like both the main characters and it's a huge credit to the author who could make us feel so invested in these two and empathise with them greatly. Looking forward to Northesk's book next - Ethan's half brother the future duke, he's paired to Merryn Joanna's bluestocking sister!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Readers first meet the outrageous Lottie in Whisper of Scandal, the first book in the Scandalous Women of the Ton series. I knew she was going to be great fun and I’m pleased to report that I was correct. Poor Lottie has been called on the carpet for her promiscuous ways leaving her destitute and forced to sell her favors in order to survive. Oh how far the mighty have fallen. Ethan is a complex character and I went back and forth about whether I liked him or not. Both he and Lottie are mercena Readers first meet the outrageous Lottie in Whisper of Scandal, the first book in the Scandalous Women of the Ton series. I knew she was going to be great fun and I’m pleased to report that I was correct. Poor Lottie has been called on the carpet for her promiscuous ways leaving her destitute and forced to sell her favors in order to survive. Oh how far the mighty have fallen. Ethan is a complex character and I went back and forth about whether I liked him or not. Both he and Lottie are mercenary to the point of being repugnant and the moment I was going to write them off then they’d turn around and do something to redeem themselves. I really enjoyed the dynamics of their relationship and how Cornick wove in historical facts without allowing the plot to get bogged down. With intriguing plot twists and strong memorable characters, One Wicked Sin is a definite keeper. ~ Ana, www.ireadromance.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    more of a 3.5 actually. this one surprised me, the characters were actually quite believable (for a romance novel) and the plot was rather different. Lottie is the woman the female leads usually triumph over; she's sexy, scandalous, quite lacking in morals, but she has a certain, i don't know, depth about her that allows the audience to still like her and want her to be happy. The male lead on the other hand, while he is fighting for the french in stead of the typical british, he's the steryotyp more of a 3.5 actually. this one surprised me, the characters were actually quite believable (for a romance novel) and the plot was rather different. Lottie is the woman the female leads usually triumph over; she's sexy, scandalous, quite lacking in morals, but she has a certain, i don't know, depth about her that allows the audience to still like her and want her to be happy. The male lead on the other hand, while he is fighting for the french in stead of the typical british, he's the steryotypical tall, dark, and handsome with secret wounds he can only share with and be healed by this "true love." Gack. I mean, don't get me wrong, i like hot guys who make hot passionate love to the women they love as much as the person but for heaven's sake COULD WE GET A LITTLE ORIGINALITY??? PLEASE???? it's the same goddamned guy every romance novel i read and i'm getting a little annoyed. But over all, pretty damned good, especially for a romance.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was my first experience reading a book by author Nicola Cornick. It is the story of Lottie Cummings who after being divorced by her sucessful banker husband, has fallen from the top of Londons's society to the dark and sinful life in a seedy brothel. There she is approached by Ethan Ryder, the illegitimate son of a Duke, and now French prisoner of war held on parole by the British. Ethan proposes an offer for Lottie to become is paid and kept mistress in the back country town of Wantage. Do This was my first experience reading a book by author Nicola Cornick. It is the story of Lottie Cummings who after being divorced by her sucessful banker husband, has fallen from the top of Londons's society to the dark and sinful life in a seedy brothel. There she is approached by Ethan Ryder, the illegitimate son of a Duke, and now French prisoner of war held on parole by the British. Ethan proposes an offer for Lottie to become is paid and kept mistress in the back country town of Wantage. Doing next to anything to prevent herself from stooping to the levels of becoming a whore, Lottie accepts Ethan's offer. What starts out as a mutual business arrangement soon becomes so much more. I found this story to be well written with lots of action, excitement and intrique with many secrets discovered a long the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Nicola Conick's work.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I enjoyed this one more the second time around. It may have just been that I was reading Here We Are at the same time, but I found this book to have a lot of feminist themes. There are moments when Lottie is promised a return to the high society life to which she grew so accustomed. It involved her having to make decisions about returning to the utter oppression that women felt in the eye of society or embracing a new life where she isn't expected to be a delicate flower. It's clear from the beg I enjoyed this one more the second time around. It may have just been that I was reading Here We Are at the same time, but I found this book to have a lot of feminist themes. There are moments when Lottie is promised a return to the high society life to which she grew so accustomed. It involved her having to make decisions about returning to the utter oppression that women felt in the eye of society or embracing a new life where she isn't expected to be a delicate flower. It's clear from the beginning (really from book one) that Lottie doesn't fit the ton's idea of how a woman should act, even if she does love some of the extravagance being a ton darling offers. Ethan has a bit of that male savior quality to him, but Lottie often has the chance to save him back. It was a fun read with a nice dose of adventure.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    I loved this historical romance by Nicola.......it's one in a series and I look for more. Just can't get enough of them. Lottie Cummings, once toast of the ton, is now divorced, shunned by soiciety, even her family and friends. She becomes a Covent Garden courtesan until a dangerous rake saves her with a scandlous offer. Ethan Ryder, who has many secrets and was once in Napoleon's cavalry, is captured and now a parole in England. Prisoner of war, and he is planning something really big, a coup. He I loved this historical romance by Nicola.......it's one in a series and I look for more. Just can't get enough of them. Lottie Cummings, once toast of the ton, is now divorced, shunned by soiciety, even her family and friends. She becomes a Covent Garden courtesan until a dangerous rake saves her with a scandlous offer. Ethan Ryder, who has many secrets and was once in Napoleon's cavalry, is captured and now a parole in England. Prisoner of war, and he is planning something really big, a coup. He needs Lotties help to throw more attention on her then on what he's up too. But the passion that sparks between them is soo strong, so will he give up on the coup to free his comrades or be with her.............a great book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tasneem

    I found this book and the historical event that it is set around really well researched and told. It is a fact often forgetten that there were 60,000 or so prisoners of war in the UK from the Napoleonic Wars. The book deals with one of those prisoners, Ethan Ryder and his romance with Charlotte, a divorcee shunned by the supposedly high sticklers of society. The only reason this book doesn't get a 5 star rating is because the ending is a bit too Mills and Boony for me, a bit too over the top. Bu I found this book and the historical event that it is set around really well researched and told. It is a fact often forgetten that there were 60,000 or so prisoners of war in the UK from the Napoleonic Wars. The book deals with one of those prisoners, Ethan Ryder and his romance with Charlotte, a divorcee shunned by the supposedly high sticklers of society. The only reason this book doesn't get a 5 star rating is because the ending is a bit too Mills and Boony for me, a bit too over the top. But otherwise, the story and the writing are excellent. They are passionate, and yet, there is also restraint, wit and humour in the narration of the romance. A highly involving book, it is one I am pleased to recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Helene Harrison

    Review - I really loved Lottie, for not being as bad / sinful as she was made out to be. I also really loved Ethan and Arland, but I do wish that we'd seen more of them together than we did. Lottie was particularly interesting to me. Living outside the ton isn't usual in these sorts of novels, particularly in the way that it ends. The French wars make an interesting background, and it often happens that in these novels, it is just about ignored. Genre? - Historical / Romance / Erotica Characters? Review - I really loved Lottie, for not being as bad / sinful as she was made out to be. I also really loved Ethan and Arland, but I do wish that we'd seen more of them together than we did. Lottie was particularly interesting to me. Living outside the ton isn't usual in these sorts of novels, particularly in the way that it ends. The French wars make an interesting background, and it often happens that in these novels, it is just about ignored. Genre? - Historical / Romance / Erotica Characters? - Lottie Cummings / Gregory Cummings / Joanna Ware / Alex Ware / Ethan Ryder / Arland Ryder Setting? - Wantage & London (England) Series? - Scandalous Women of the Ton #2 Recommend? - Yes Rating - 18/20

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