Early Review: Lust by Charlotte Featherstone

Lust (The Sins and the Virtues, #1) by Charlotte Featherstone
To be published Jan. 18, 2011 by Harlequin Spice

Quick Take:
This ethereal, fairy-tale-like story is imbued with deft use of sensuality, which I rather enjoyed. There's plenty of character posturing and subtle insidiousness, so don't look for high-octane action here or you'll be disappointed.

Book Description (from GoodReads):
Of old, humans and Faeries have dwelt side by side in parallel realms. Only the canniest mortals recognize the alluring creatures that often walk--and lie--among them.
      The righteous Fae of the Seelie Court cherish an ancient quarrel with their Dark counterparts: a curse born of anger and deceit. The Unseelie Court will perish unless one of is princes can win a woman's love--honestly, without coercion... and love her wholly in return.
      To halt the slow demise of his people, Prince Thane--the embodiment of Lust--infiltrates the Georgian court to seduce his mortal inverse. Noblewoman Chastity Lennox is pureity incarnate--a sensual prize well worth winning. But Thane's carnal quest proves more challenging than he ever dreamed.
      No other has ever been able--or willing--to resist his erotic charms. Chastity's resolve is maddening... and intriguing. It makes him want her all the more. But how best to seduce one who truly seems above temptation? Discover her greatest weakness and become the intoxicating essence of her deepest, most forbidden desires...
Okay, so I've got to put my Forthright Cap on…because while I enjoyed this book overall, I also recognize that it's not your typical PnR and may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Though the details are complex, the overall story can be summarized quickly: seven Dark-Fae males are cursed with a cardinal sin apiece, and must non-forcibly secure their correlating human Virtue. Sounds like a fairy-tale premise, right? Well this book is very much like a fairy-tale in several respects, for better or worse (depending on your tastes). In many an old fairy tale or fable, many things (situational limitations, character abilities) just "are." You don't question or consider them too deeply, and they aren't explained. That is the case here; remember that when (to make something up) someone randomly turns into a tree or some such. ^_^

This book is primarily concerned with desires, internal struggles, and inner-character. One can expect a lot of description and mental-musing. The thrills and chills typically derived from high-octane action stories simply isn't here for the most part. And this is not innately a bad thing, either: the intriguing mind-game that plays out amongst the cast is quite dependent on the characters' machinations. It did however get tiresome at some points....the back and forth "did he, didn't he/will she, won't she/should I, shouldn't I" that at times seemed to hash out the. same. things.

One will note that this book doesn't contain very much sex, but has A LOT of sensuality. Ms. Featherstone seems able to take the most innocuous items and tame situations and make them incredibly sensual. Not an easy task, I'd think.

World-building is done through multiple perspective shifts amongst the Sins, the Virtues, and their relatives. While this was (in this case) a useful device for advancing the plot and exploring the depth of the curse's effect, it didn't do a while lot for me as far as connecting with the characters. Which is too bad, because such a narrative device is usually great for fostering attachments to characters. And personally, I'm a big-time character reader.

Reading this book was certainly an enjoyable experience, although (or perhaps because?) the story was executed in a fashion unlike what I'm used to. More than ever I'd like to check out Featherstone's non-paranormal offerings (Sinful or Addicted), to see what her writing style is like there. I can most definitely see this book being hit-or-miss for many.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars 


  1. I am always so in love with her covers, they are all so beautiful. Perhaps I will read one one day :)

  2. They are! I wonder if it's the same person who does them all. They've all got a similar dark, surreal vibe to them.


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