My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Well, guess what? I LOVED this novella by Natasha Blackthorne titled A Midsummer's Sin! It was lush, sexy with a story that warmed my heart. The best of all was how the author managed to give me a satisfying story within a novella, which doesn’t happen to me often. I also appreciated the author’s flowing writing style a lot.
A Midsummer's Sin has a very erotic yet different and beautiful storyline with an appropriate setting. It’s a story of two seemingly mismatched souls healing each-other and becoming one.
Goodman Thomas is a converted puritan. He had once been a libertine of the worst kind. But then, Patience happened to him. He converted, married Patience and has lived a strict life of abstinence ever since. Sadly, about a year or so ago, Thomas has experienced the worst grief and loss of his life- the deaths of his infant son and beloved wife while on board a ship. He now only has his young daughter Hannah to call his family. On that ship, the Abigail, Thomas also met a young woman who shook him to his core. Thomas had fallen in love with her on spot, but for all the wrong reasons.
The woman in question, Rosalind, is beautiful and when he saw her first, there was no doubt in his mind that she is of questionable character. And truthfully, Rosalind was an actress who was forced into prostitution at a young age by the manager of the theater where she worked. She had no other option as we learn from her life story. But I absolutely loved her. Her honestly and kindness was inherent, just as much a part as her sensuality. When Rosalind was running away desperate to leave this life behind from another of her trip to her ‘clients’, she bumped into Thomas and that was all that took for her to fall for him. Thomas saved her, bring her back with him. She’d been working as a bondswoman for one of his neighbors, an elderly woman named Goody Wilson ever since. Even though Rosalind appreciates this simple and strict life almost as much as she hated her life as a prostitute, she has no intentions of converting because Rosalind is not willing to discard her inherent sensuality for such beliefs.
Either way, the only thing Rosalind has ever wanted was to be Thomas’s wife, though she knows this is a wish that’d never be fulfilled. A woman like her, whom Thomas most probably despises, if not pities, is no candidate for a wife. Thomas might be looking for a wife now but he’ll never really want her, will he? Oh, but she was SO WRONG! Thomas was mad for her. Of course, his stern beliefs made him think this is sin, to want her sexually but his body lets him know every time Rosalind is near. It’s worse because with Patience, Thomas hasn’t known sex almost at all. She only tolerated his attentions. After his son was conceived, even not that. For all his debauched ways, Thomas respected his wife’s wishes and stayed celibate until now.
But Rosalind tempts him to distraction. And on one hot summer’s night, his fantasy comes alive when he finds her dancing in the woods by the moonlight, clad only in her thin shift. That scene was all it took for Thomas’s resolve to break. Rosalind understood his looks, knew what he wanted but this time, she had a choice. She also craved this man like no other.
I can’t tell you enough how sexy the love scenes were between Thomas and Rosalind, or Rose as he begins calling her after that. I never once felt it was merely about slaking their lust, definitely because I felt the intensity, the yearning, that connection between them from the beginning. Loved how Rosalind gave Thomas all she had to offer because she believed in her feelings for him and that nothing can be ‘sinful’ when it’s happening between them. My two most favorite scenes were in the stable of Thomas’s house... In one, ooh lala, it seems our Goodman has a penchant for spanking. *fans herself*
It took Thomas a while to break from his hesitations and his dread of falling back to his libertine ways. After all, Rosalind was the type he has dallied with. I was glad that he didn’t view Rosalind that way for long, though he hurts Rosalind more than once with his condescending tone and manner. There are confrontations that create some grave misunderstandings. I could feel Rosalind’s hurt to my very core; her helplessness that Thomas probably doesn’t care about her enough and the despair, that she doesn’t know what to think of this union between them. Will she win his love? Will she lose him to the memory of his ‘beloved Patience’?
Almost the same can be said for Thomas. He was wrapped in a web of puritanical beliefs that didn’t suit him that much after all. It clashed with his own sensuality and his longing for Rosalind in a way that also left him thoroughly confused. Hot sex and spanking definitely doesn’t go with the ‘pious and sacred’ relationship he has had with his first wife.
But love wins the day and with quite a healthy push from an unexpected source, Thomas had to concede what he should’ve seen much earlier; that his happiness lies being with Rosalind and not without her.
4.5 stars. Highly recommended if you’re looking for something short and really sexy. I’ve already read one other NB’s books, going to check out more later.