The Most Wicked of Sins
Kathryn Caskie
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Buy *The Most Wicked of Sins* by Kathryn Caskie online

The Most Wicked of Sins
Kathryn Caskie
368 pages
September 2009
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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If you're going to enjoy The Most Wicked of Sins - and it can be an enjoyable book - you need to first disengage the plausibility receptors in your brain and just pretend to yourself that this could all happen.

Yes, really. A family of seven called Sinclair, all of whom exhibit one of the Seven Deadly Sins, have been cast off by their Scottish duke father and are trying to exist in a penniless state in London. One of the daughters, Ivy, decides to arouse jealousy in the beau (who seems to have moved on to someone else) by paying someone to appear interested in her. Of course, she can't just choose anyone - he has to be a bigger fish than her beau (a viscount) - so she picks on the new Marquess of Counterton. He's newly acquired the title, so no one knows him in town. All Ivy needs to do is hire an actor, rent Counterton's London home and install the actor there, passing him off as a suitor.

Right, that's unbelievable. But wait - there's more! She finds her actor outside the theatre and... would you believe it! Ivy doesn't realize it, but he's ACTUALLY the Marquess of Counterton. He goes along with the deception and... well, you can guess what happens. Or if you can't, you could read this book and find out. It's full of improbabilities - Ivy behaves entirely unlike a young woman of good family and gets away with outrageous behavior - but if you can ignore that (I found it hard to), then there's a bit of a love story tucked away in this book, although not a particularly convincing one. Characterization is fairly minimal, but there's a reasonable amount of action and dialogue which lifts this story a little above others.

And the final implausibility: after Ivy marries her Marquess, the book describes her as the 'Countess of Counterton' rather than the Marchioness. Historical accuracy isn't always strong in these books, but that is a bit of a basic error. If you enjoyed the previous book in this series, this is more of the same and will probably suit; I just couldn't cope with the implausibilities myself.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2010

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