Title: Seven Years to Sin
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year: Kensington Publishing Corporation 8/28/12
Length: 341 pages
The longer the resistance…
Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams. . .
…the sweeter the reward
Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes—all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk—and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .
after being drawn into Sylvia Day’s writing through Bared to You and Reflected in You, i decided to branch out a little bit and see what her other books were like. The first outreach that i did was in Seven Years to Sin – an old school revisiting of the romance and erotica novels that i read when i was younger and truly enjoyable.
We’re introduced to members of high society in london – debutantes to be exact- one (Jessica) that has just made her debut that year, and we’re meeting her on the eve of her wedding and her younger sister Hester who is just a few years shy of that moment. They are from a family that is in high regard and they are looking to land their ideal husband – someone that can provide to them in a great manner as well as fullfill both their emotional and physical needs.
The opening scene is one that we are seeing through the eyes of these ladies – they are watching 2 incredibly handsome men wrestle with one another and of course have their own comments to discuss about them. there’s something to be said about these men that are incredibly handsome, exude a certain something, and are maybe not as high brow as could be accepted based on who these ladies are.
that same evening, again the night before jessica’s wedding, she’s out walking her puppy when she comes across one of those same men in the woods with a woman in what could be considered a compromising position. Jess see’s this man – Alistair in the midst of providing imeasureable pleasure to this women – apparently for a fee…and it causes Jess to pause and become completely enrapt in what is going on. It’s that moment when she’s still an innocent that something is stirred inside her, an attraction not only to what’s going on between alistair and the woman, but because of the man himself. She finds that she holds his gaze and can’t pull away, but yet she realizes that she must flee since she has a betrothed waiting for her at home.
so she marries as planned and we fast forward 7 years into the future. Jessica’s husband has passed away and now she’s left to deal with her life as a widow and attend to the property in Jamaica that he provided for her in his will. Upon learning that Jessica will be sailing to Jamaica, Alistair (who has ‘lusted’ after Jessica since that night 7 years ago if not longer) decides that he will accompany her on the trip and figure out a way to court her and woo her.
What i love about Alistair though is that at the onset of the story, we’re told that he’s the 4th son meaning that he doesn’t have any of the wealth or stature placed on him that his brothers do. he’s kind of left by the wayside because no one expects much of him and because he’s decided to live up to that expectation. We also learn that he’s actually not his father’s child as well which is a source of pain as well since his ‘father’ knows that he’s not the biological father and raises alistair only to escape embarassment but wants to provide nothing for Alistair in the end. He gives him land in Jamiaca, and a poor excuse for a ship, but by sheer determination Alistair has made something of himself and has grown up to be even more handsome and sexually desired but successful in his own right and someone that is capable of living in high society on his own merit.
So on the ship where Alistair and Jessica are the only travelers that are not crew (aside from their personal maids or stewards), Alistair begins his courting process – knowing that he’s desired by women and knowing exactly what needs to be done to get Jessica to open up to him. As to be expected, when you’re on a ship for so long with just one other person when there’s always been a clear sexual attraction from day one, it’s really not a matter of ‘if’ something will happen but ‘when’
Of course things aren’t always what they seem and things are never as easy as they are at the onset, and Sylvia Day has managed to weave a story that keeps you so intrigued, not just by the sensual nature but by the story itself. There were times when i felt that the story was a little thin but there was enough going on otherwise to keep me interested.
I also really like that the secondary story line with Hester was what it was – that she had presumed to have found true love upon her debut and things were not at all what they appeared to be as well. Finding herself in a marriage that was not quite what she wanted, and finding herself pregnant as well – well that all adds up to a bunch of trouble especially when you throw in another handsome man that has always had feelings for Hester and that Hester always found an attraction to. A love triangle in the more original form.
so that all being said – this was a welcome change from the contemporary erotica romance novels that have been so popular lately, taking us back a little bit to London when it meant something to be a part of society and as a result, you have to conduct yourself in a prim and proper manner when you’re out in public. An enjoyable read none-the-less and a fresh story to bring back chivalry, love, sensuality and well – being quite a bit rebellious