Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Spotlight for A Matter of Sin by Jess Michaels (Review & Author Interview)

As a fan of the historical genre I'm thrilled to bring you the just-released A Matter of Sin by Jess Michaels.  Get a glimpse of this book, along with my impressions of it, as well as learning more about Ms. Michaels herself through an interview.  So get reading and then add this book to your bookshelf!

TSP:  Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
JM:  Oh gosh, I don't think so. There have been very hard things and very nice things, but anything I've been through has brought me to the place I am now. If I changed something, I wouldn't be where I am, which is fully supporting my family 100% through my writing income and writing what I love. The wonderful thing about where we stand is that authors finally have choices! So if we don't like something, we can change it! I'd rather keep moving forward with what I've learned than look back.
TSP:  What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
JM:  I have a very nice office in our home in Tucson that looks out onto Sombrero Peak, which is a gorgeous mountain that makes me so happy to look at. Also, I can see my neighborhood. Not that I'm spying or anything. LOL
TSP:  The majority of your books are historical in nature, what draws you to that genre?
JM:  I just love the fairytale nature of historical romance. The men are alpha, the women have to fight their time (since my ladies are always independently natured) and the stakes are SO high. Put all that together and the kind of dark, erotic romances I write find a very nice home right in the Regency period.
TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about A Matter of Sin?
JM:  It's the first book in my new series, The Ladies Book of Pleasures, which is about a very naughty book circulating through Society and three very different friends whose lives are turned upside down by it. All three books in the series will be out THIS year. A Matter of Sin is out TODAY (July 15, please go buy it!!), A Moment of Passion will be out in October and A Measure of Deceit will be out in December.
TSP:  Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
JM:  It's hard to think about my erotic historical romances going to film They're too sexy and Hollywood doesn't make historical romances into movies very often. I wrote a series of urban fantasy books under my Jesse Petersen name. Married With Zombies seems to be the most likely bet to really ever get made. It's hard to know who could play a married couple on the rocks who use their marriage counselor's advice to escape a zombie apocalypse. Any suggestions?
TSP:  Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
JM:  Oh, so hard! I think they're all heroic in their own way. I write men who often start off as rakes or cads and become more heroic through love. But I would say that the hero in A MATTER OF SIN (Seth) is very heroic. He's trying to carry on a legacy left to him by his late father and brother. He's very willing to sacrifice anything, even his own happiness, to do what he feels is "right".
TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself? Do you have an eReader yourself?
JM:  I do almost ALL my reading on Kindle! I LOVE my eReader and eBooks are the reason I can support myself via writing. I LOVE the digital revolution and the choices it's offered publishers via hybrid publishing or self-publishing.
TSP:  My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
JM:  Favorite things: My husband, my cats, my nephews, Vanilla Coke Zero, sushi, Kindle, notebooks (I'm a paper freak), my laptop/desktop, the list goes on.
TSP:  Final fun question.... Do you like your heroes clean shaven or with facial hair?
JM:  My husband rocks the facial hair so I love facial hair in real life. But since I write historicals, I end up with a lot of clean shaven men who get sexy five o'clock shadows.

Scandal between the pages…surrender between the sheets.
The Ladies Book of Pleasures, Book 1
The widowed Lady Isabel Avenbury has one remaining younger sister to shepherd into an advantageous marriage, and then she will be free. Free to take a lover to fill her lonely nights—the only option left for a woman on the delicate edge of a certain age.
Except when she chaperones her sister to a country house party, she is taken aback by her sudden, undeniable attraction to the host. And deliciously scandalized when she finds a copy of the notorious, much-gossiped-about Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library.
When Seth Rowland, Marquis Lyndham, notices his book is missing, his interest is piqued as to which of the potential young brides at his party has absconded with it—and he’s shocked to discover it’s Isabel. Though older than the women he’d planned to court, the powerful beauty exudes a sensuality he cannot ignore.
The book inspires them to begin a desperate, passionate affair. But their time together is running out and they must choose. Follow society’s rules, or take a chance at love.



As a fan of Julia Quinn and Lorraine Heath I found myself drawn to this series starter as the style and banter is reminiscent of those authors.  Ms. Michaels joins their ranks by crafting an entertaining story where two immensely likable characters must choose between love and happiness or duty and obligation.  Amidst this emotional struggle is unrelenting sexual tension, delightful and supportive friends, and heart-wrenching decision making that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

Isabel's life has been one of responsibility since she married at a young age.  She married a much older man for the benefit of her family, and though he was kind, she sacrificed much for the welfare of her sisters.  She sacrificed passion, excitement, and children of her own (though society blames the woman for her barren state) and has decided that she finally deserves more.  Once her sister is married she can finally live for herself.  A weekend in the country hosted by Seth Rowland is the first step towards her independence but takes an unexpected turn as she discovers the book all of Society is talking about, the Ladies Book of Pleasures.  This book is an inspiration to her, though she refuses to admit it at first, as is the super sexy Seth.  As the party progresses Isabel and Seth engage in a tryst that allows both of them a reprieve from the obligations that have weighed them down but when the party is over which choice will they make...?  Isabel is immensely likable with thoughts and feelings we can all relate to.  Her loyalty throughout the years makes her worthy of a HEA and I was rooting for her every step of the way.

Seth too knows about obligations as the death of his brother leaves him to carry on the family name and a party in the country is his chance to find a bride.  He's tired of obligations and as he meets each young lady he finds all of them unexciting, immature, as well as too predictable.  The only woman to excite him is one Society tells him he can't have....the more mature Isabel, who he was attracted to when she first entered Society years ago.  He's drawn to her sense of wonderment and her intrigue with wanting to walk on the wild side.  He finds a kindred spirit in her and their sexual connection is combustible.  Their tryst gives each of them a chance to be free for a short time but it adds even more heartbreak as their time together ends.  They're a wonderful couple who both deserve happiness if they're just willing to take a chance on love.  I enjoyed Seth's playful side that's fully on display when he's with his friend Jason or Isabel.  He's charming with a sensual side that amped up the story's overall sexual tension and made for some very satisfying sexual encounters.

Along with a great main couple with a crackling and combustible connection is a delightful cast of secondary characters.  I adored Isabel's friends, Grace and Jacinda, and their unwavering support.  They were colorful and outspoken in their friendship which was heartwarming to see.  I look forward to these friends having their own stories told as they're both strong-willed women with intrigue surrounding them just hinted at.  Seth's friend Jason is equally appealing as he's unrepentant in his love for the opposite sex.  He's sexy, charming, and carefree but always supportive of Seth and their friendship was also a delight.  I definitely look forward to seeing more of this playful cad in a future book as he's immensely intriguing.  With delightful verbal banter and steamy sexual interludes the journey Seth and Isabel take is one that kept me engrossed in their outcome from start to finish and has me looking forward to the next installment in this sweet and steamy series starter.

My rating for this is an A-

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Thanks so much for having me today! :)

    1. Thank YOU for the opportunity to read your new book! Whose story is next to be told?

      The Scarf Princess

    2. The second book in The Ladies Book of Pleasures is A Moment of Passion (Jacinda and Jason's story). It's out October 14. :)