Monday, December 03, 2007

A Season To Be Sinful by Jo Goodman

Title: A Season To Be Sinful
Author: Jo Goodman

Type: Historical Romance
Series: No

Publisher: Zebra Books
Copyright: 2005

Why: LOL. It was an accident really. Some time back, I read a Jo Beverly title. Then another. Really liked the first one, Devilish; the second was a DNF, The Dragon’s Bride. I mentally categorized Beverly as a hit-or-miss author for me and remained open to trying her other books. At some point, I picked up A Season To Be Sinful and tossed it on my TBR stack. No rec for it, just liked the blurb. Read it this week and loved it. THEN realized it was a Jo GOODMAN title, not Jo BEVERLY. Guess my head is still elsewhere. So, I read this one by happy accident and now find myself echoing Casee’s comments—where has Jo Goodman been all my reading life?


Alexander Grantham, Viscount Sheridan, is stunned to find three young boys at his door, demanding he right the wrongs of an incident that occurred earlier that evening when he thwarted a determined thief. When he discovers his wily pickpocket is a woman, now gravely injured, he takes his flame-haired attacker under his wing. Clearly, Sheridan's new "guest" is a lady of quality. So how did she become a common street thief? He finds himself irresistibly drawn the to clever, cheeky Lily, and determined to unlock her mysteries...

The five years since she left the care of the French convent have been a nightmare for Lily. Her secrets are dangerous-as is the powerful man determined to find her.

The handsome Viscount is clearly a gentleman with secrets of his own, but staying with him could mean the difference between life and death for Lily. With each passing day, her handsome host Lily's convalescence into an increasingly sensual escape. Now her greatest challenge may imagining anything less than a future in his arms...

Comments: Though only two years old, A Season To Be Sinful harkens back to the historical romances that secured our lifelong patronage of the genre. This book has absolutely everything we love as romance readers.

Hero: A Viscount with a quiet, but commanding presence—fueled almost entirely by his wry sense of humor. Goodman draws his character, his breath from that humor; using it to color his perspective of life, duty and heart. It is what opens him—mind and heart—to three street urchins and the battered woman devoted to them. Flat-out, this guy is the consummate smart-ass, with no trace of bitterness and only the most self-deprecating sense of arrogance or superiority. He is innately compassionate, highly intelligent and possessed of remarkable patience. I wanted to spend the entire book in his company. He is both entertaining and reassuring.

Heroine: Goodman begins the book with a spine-chilling threat to Lily, an innocent raised in a French convent. Then keeps the reader in the dark about which fate the young Lily met. As a grown woman, it is clear that whatever her experiences, they have made her stronger, wiser. And the ultimate pragmatist—wielding a perspective much like the hero. Not a victim and with a core of compassion that endures.

She does hold a great deal back—both information and emotion. As a result, some of her actions, particularly when it comes to matters of intimacy, take the reader by surprise. As Goodman refuses to follow any formula here, the reader must continue to trust Sheridan’s patience and tact. These scenes are deeply emotional and surprisingly erotic. Goodman captures those slow measures of trust beautifully and again, leaves me wondering why I’ve not heard more about her. Is it simply because she is already a fixture on auto-buy lists everywhere?

Secondary Characters: Goodman surrounds Lily and Sherry with perfect reflections of their appreciation and humor for life. The three boys attached to Lily contribute as much charm and vulnerability to the story as Lily and Sherry do. And Sherry’s Aunt is clearly the hand that guided him through life’s tragedies keeping his compassion, pragmatism and humor intact. Each of these characters strengthens the story’s tapestry, providing plenty of laughs AND ensuring that the reader remains emotionally vested in the story.

Overall, I think the story is well paced because it is powered by the development of relationships and never in danger of being overwhelmed by plot. There is a villain, more than a few secrets and the requisite obstacle to an HEA. Goodman’s focus on character however, lends realism where it counts. Circumstances and challenges are exactly that; neither takes on a life of its own, neither is allowed to drive the story. Instead, Goodman lets her characters DEAL.

Loved it.

To Save You Some Time: Goodman has an extensive backlist featuring stand-alone titles and a number of series. She also has a new release, If His Kiss Is Wicked.


  1. How funny that you didn't realize this was Goodman and not Beverly. I've done that so many times...

    I haven't read this one yet, but I'm planning on buying her entire backlist soon. She really is great. :)

  2. Hi Holly!

    LOL I'm stupidly anal when it comes to my TBR lists and such. But all of it has gotten completely away from me in recent months. *shrugging* This was a happy consequence I guess.

    I'm looking forward to her backlist too!

  3. If you say it's good, I've got to find it. You've been reading some good ones, haven't you? sigh Back to the UBS to find Goodman books.

  4. I enjoyed IF HIS KISS IS WICKED so I'll be trying more of hers soon too.

  5. She's a wickedly good writer and I've loved her for years. I HIGHLY recommend the Compass Club books. And If His Kiss is Wicked was also very well done.
    I don't know why she isn't better known. I'd love to see more readers start to read her wonderfully good books

  6. You'll love her Linda!

    Glad to hear you liked If His Kiss Is Wicked Rosie. I think I'm going for that one next.

    And Kristie, I was just about to ask the question again, LOL. Wondering why no one had piped up to say they have read Goodman for years. So good to hear she is on your loved author list; only strengthens my resolve to tackle her backlist. For series, I'll start with one you rec. Thanks!

  7. Hey this was a really good review, I'm totally adding this to my list, thanks sweetie!


Have you read it? What do you think?

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