This book is a welcome relief from a succession of mediocre-or-worse historical romances that I have trudged through
of late. Despite looking like any other historical romance on the outside, Captive of Sin gripped
me from the first chapter and held my attention the whole way through.
Particularly noticeable in Captive of Sin was that almost the entire narrative consists of interactions between hero (Sir Gideon
Trevithick) and heroine (Lady Charis Weston). Author Anna Campbell immerses readers deeply into their lives as they encounter one another in a stable and travel together to Cornwall, then to Jersey, then back to Cornwall.
Charis meets Gideon after running away from her stepbrothers following a beating and taking refuge in a stable. Gideon's sense of honor
compels him to help her when it's plain she's in trouble. But it is soon plain
that the initial impression of Gideon as a hero, a strong and capable character, is only part of the story of this complex man.
Gideon is lauded as a hero after events in India, but only his two closest companions know the truth of his time there. As Charis falls in love with Gideon,
he exhibits some odd behaviors - most notably that he won't let anyone touch him. When they
are forced to marry to protect Charis from her stepbrothers, she has to try to help Gideon come to terms with what ails him,
at the same time opening herself up to rejection by the man she loves.
The strong point of this story lies in its characterization. Gideon and Charis are both very attractive people in nature and behavior as well as looks, and the reader is drawn into their world and wants the best for them. Charis initially comes across as perhaps a little weak, but she learns a new strength as she begins to deal with her feelings for Gideon. The gradual unveiling of the reason for his strange behavior is well written and convincing. There are a lot of sex scenes in this book, but they are tastefully done; I felt convinced by the romance that this hero and heroine had truly found salvation in each other. A really good read!