“Unlike many historical romances that feature lords and ladies of the ton dancing their lives away, “Master of Sin” features characters on the fringe of society. Andrew Rossiter is a gigolo, a man who has made his fortune by selling himself to anyone who was willing to pay. Gemma Peartree is the illegitimate daughter of a successful courtesan. Both are hiding from something sinister and end up in the wilds of Scotland on a remote and somewhat desolate island. The two are extremely well-matched, as flawed individuals who desperately need to be loved – and are my favorite part of this engaging tale.
Andrew is forced into hiding when he witnesses the murder of an Italian duke and duchess. Andrew must flee with the couple’s young son – a boy who Andrew fathered in exchange for money – and hide from the murderer (as Marc, the young boy is technically the heir to the dukedom). Andrew arranges to change his name, buy a house far removed from society and hire a woman to help take care of Marc. This is how Gemma ends up stranded in Andrew’s new and somewhat tired home with a housekeeper who doesn’t speak English. The two take an immediate dislike to each other, but Gemma does bond immediately with young Marc.
Much of Andrew and Gemma’s relationship is antagonistic. Andrew wants Gemma to leave, but Gemma has nowhere to go. She also starts to care for her taciturn boss as much as she does for his son. Unfortunately, Andrew isn’t particularly proud of his past, and he isn’t sure how to deal with freely given affection. My heart bled for his tortured soul, especially as he struggled with his feelings for both Gemma and his son.
I have not read the first three books in Robinson’s Courtesan Court series. I was not lost at all, but suspect that Andrew may have been an important character in earlier books – and I do wish that I had read them first. There is much talk of Edward and Caroline who are the hero and heroine of “Mistress by Marriage.” I will be going back to read these books when I get a chance.
“Master of Sin” by Maggie Robinson is a highly emotional romance with tortured characters who find kindred spirits in each other. While I did expect this book to be sexier given Andrew’s history, the intimate moments between Andrew and Gemma were rather tender and quite fitting. After all, Andrew desperately wanted to leave his past behind. This one packs an emotional punch that will satisfy readers.”
Thank you, Jennifer!