Elegant Sins is the first book in a new series by Alta and Stasia. It’s all about a generations old secret society in the Deep South, involving blue blooded Southeren gentlemen who have that old school charm bred into their bones and dripping out of them like honey.
We start out with Grace. She’s a waitress in a diner in a dead end town. She’s busting her ass because she wants to be more than that. She doesn’t have much money, so she’s going to business school one free class at a time. (I totally think that this is awesome and there are so many great free classes offered online.) Grace has a goal, and she’s going to do everything she can to make it. Then she gets a notification that something is happening with her credit. Turns out her boyfriend has dumped her, stolen her money, stolen her ID, and ruining her credit all at once. Then, on what is the very worst day of her life thus far, she gets an invitation. She’s been invited to be a belle at the Order of the Silver Ghost, based in Oleander Mansion.
Montgomery Kingston has just turned 25. That means that it’s his time to be initiated into the Order. As soon as he finishes his 109 day long initionation, he’ll be able to take over the family business and get rid of his dad. But first, he has to find his belle, use her, and break her. You see, the belles aren’t the girls you take home to dear maman and marry. They’re the ones that you fuck in front of a bunch of other guys, and keep as your mistresses. For his inititation, he’ll have to choose one of the 20 beautiful women paraded in front of him, stay in a room with her for 109 days, and do whatever the Invitations tell them to. He looks at all the beautiful women lined up for him, and he sees Grace. He doesn’t know her name yet, but there is just something about her. She is dignified and regal, even though she has no fucking clue what is about to happen.
Did you know that Oleander, while very pretty, is incredibly poisonous? Pretty much every part of this plant, from the stems to the petals, will kill you. Even brushing up against the leaves of the plant can cause you to have some skin irritation. I think that fact makes it a perfect name for the home base of the Order. They are toxic and poisonous, and there is definitely something rotten under all the pretty trappings.
Grace is a very appealing character, at least to me. I really enjoyed her strength, courage, and determination. She had a goal in mind and she was going to do everything she could to meet that goal. It takes a lot of work, drive, and discipline in order to do everything she did for herself to meet her goal, even before she fell into the clutches of the Order. I have tremendous respect for her. Plus, when you add in her smarts and knowledge to all the other good things, you really see how she could be an asset to anyone at any point.
Montgomery, what a mouthful of a name, not that Monty fits him, really is torn in two at some points, I think. I really like his mother and the advice that she gives him before he goes to the mansion. I can really see her influence on him and on a lot of his actions. There are aspects of his father in him too, at least sort of. M does have some dark aspects to him, but really which of us doesn’t? I think that he fights himself sometimes, trying to figure out what parts of him he wants, doesn’t want, likes, doesn’t like, etc.
There are a lot of scenes in this one that really knocked me out, but I think the one that really affected me involved satin, canes, and 10 minutes and 9 seconds. And I hate M’s dad.
OK, that’s all there is to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!