Thursday, February 26, 2015

Emmy's Book Review... The Next Sin

The Next Sin (The Sin Trilogy, #2)
An epic tale of revenge and love in a new romantic trilogy from the New York Times best-selling author of The Beauty Series.

Bleu MacAllister is in hiding less than three months when Sinclair Breckenridge discovers her whereabouts. Her former lover, the future leader of a criminal organization known as The Fellowship, resists the tug of his heart heartstrings in her direction. Instead, he opts to watch over his beloved from afar. And she has no idea. But Sin's sacrifice is short-lived. His bonny lass is a hunted traitor. He fears Abram's assassins are closing in, leaving him with one solution for saving Bleu--make her his wife. Marriage seems an easy fix for their dilemma but wedded bliss is brief when the couple finds trouble lying in wait beyond the realm of the brotherhood. Will the original revenge seeker find herself the object of collateral damage?

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First off, thanks to Inkslinger PR and Georgia Cates for allowing us an ARC of The Next Sin to read in exchange for an honest review.

**spoiler alert**

This novel picks up shortly after #1 ended, with Bleu McAllister having left Sinclair Breckenridge in Scotland, going into hiding after he found out that she was not who she said she was.  She did not succeed in her original plan of killing Thane, Sin’s father and the head of the Fellowship (Scottish Mob). She planned to kill him because she is certain that Thane killed her mother.  Instead she got more involved than she planned, falling in love with Sin and getting too close to her target.  Sinclair has fallen in love with Bleu as well, and has initiated her into the Fellowship, intending to marry her.  

Her adoptive father Harry, is in hospice and is dying.  She has returned home to her adoptive sister and him, laying low and trying not to attract attention.  Sin has already found her, and has been watching her for weeks.  He contacts her, tells her that while his Uncle Abram (who was the one to find out her past) is actively hunting her, no one else in the Fellowship knows that anything is off with her.  They all think that she is in the States with her dying father, staying with him until he passes, not that she is a former FBI agent that infiltrated the Fellowship to kill it’s leader.  Sin wants her to marry him, to ensure her safety, as one of the Fellowship’s rules is to never harm another member’s family.  Abram would have no choice but to stop hunting her.  

It struck me as odd that when Sin arrived and told Bleu all of this information her first and only mission instead of trying to figure out a plan of action was to want to seduce him.  I mean, I get the man is good in bed, and that she’s missed him, but putting off rational thought when the man is standing there telling you to use your brain?  HUH?  Figure it out girl, then jump him.

He makes her take a few days to think about what he’s told her, and decide if marrying him is what she thinks she should do.  She accepts his proposal.  Without her knowledge he goes to her dad for his approval and to explain all of this to him.  Bleu was afraid Harry wouldn’t approve and would have a heart attack at the very thought of her marrying Sin.  Harry is the only one who knew the real reason she went to Scotland.  Harry gives his blessing, although reluctantly, when told the facts.  He wrangles a promise from Sin that he would kill the one responsible for Bleu’s mother’s murder, not Bleu herself.  They are married in Harry’s hospice room, as he is too ill to leave.  When he and Sin have a moment alone Harry asks him to help him die - a mercy killing.  At first Sin refuses - he’s never killed an innocent man - but after finding out that Bleu knows just how much pain Harry is in, and that she is having panic attacks almost non stop because of it, Sin decides to help Harry.  Harry passes, with dignity and free of pain.  

Bleu and Sin return to Edinburgh after Harry’s funeral.  Sin immediately steps back into the role as head attorney for the Fellowship, and life rolls on for them as it would normally for a “mob” family - he’s often pulled from bed at odd hours when someone has been arrested, or is involved in violent incidents for the family.  She is welcomed back with open arms by Sin’s mom and dad, but not so much by Abram.  Abram lays the false welcome on thick, but she knows he’s looking to discredit and get rid of her.  He tells her he knows who killed her mom, but she doesn’t believe him.  

Bleu and Sin go to London to visit a fertility clinic to determine if she can have kids despite her medical problems.  She’s already lost one ovary to cysts as a teenager, so their chances of having a child of their own blood is not good.  The doctor advises that she go on medication to get her ovulating so they can do the IVF sooner rather than later.  Her remaining ovary is not going to last long enough for them to wait to have a baby.  Bleu is feeling the pressure to give Sin their own child, if she can, as the Fellowship would never accept an adopted child as Sin’s “heir”.  She didn’t expect it to have to be that soon, and is struggling with that too. They decide to wait to make a decision to go through with the treatment until after they have the wedding reception that Sin’s mom has planned the reception is more of a coronation than a wedding reception, very fancy, so that everyone in the Fellowship can meet their future leader’s new wife. People keep wishing them happiness and healthy babies, none of them knowing of her fertility troubles.  Except Abram of course, who says it to get under her skin. When she dances with Abram (not by choice) he says something that makes her think that he is the one who killed her mom.  I don’t know how she didn’t suspect him already, but she was focused on Thane from the very start.  When she tells Sin her suspicions he warns her about investigating or accusing Abram of her mother’s murder, saying that it would destabilize the leadership of the Fellowship.  
 
Despite Sin’s advice, Bleu follows Abram and finds that he has a woman on the side.  While the fact that he’s running around on his wife is not terribly surprising, the fact that the woman is not connected to the Fellowship is.  With the help of Isobel (Sin’s mother) Bleu questions the woman about any possible scars on Abram’s leg.  If he was the one to kill her mother, he would have a large dog bite scar on his leg.  They offer the woman money if she can confirm, preferably along with a photo, the existence of a scar or not.  

They start the treatment for the IVF.  They are preparing to fly to London for the embryo transfer when the Fellowship is attacked by one of it’s enemies, the Order. A shipment of weapons meant for an important new Irish connection is stolen. Sin sends Isobel with Bleu to London, planning to follow the next day and arrive just before the procedure.  Sin leads a raid on an Order warehouse in retaliation, trying to locate and get back the shipment.  The raid goes off fairly well, and they get their original shipment back, along with something better - bombs, and the material to make them.  He makes it to the flight and off the plane, but get stuck in traffic and he misses the procedure.  Bleu is seriously pissed at him, until he tells her what happened.  I thought she was over reacting being as angry as she was, for pity’s sake, she knew things like this could happen when she married him.  Skip ahead, and it’s confirmed that the IVF took, she is pregnant.  She and Sin make plans to tell his parents.  

At the restaurant Abram “just happens” to show up, and horns in on their dinner with his whole family.  As soon as the happy new is out of Sin’s mouth Abram is questioning if they know if the baby is actually Sin’s.  He makes sure that they know, and everybody at the table knows, that they had an IVF.  Bleu is beyond furious, of course.  She tells Sin about some of Abrams machinations, telling him that the man’s obsession with hanging on to his power is endangering the entire Fellowship.  She is still convinced that Abram killed her mom, and at this point I was too.  She and Sin fight about her killing Abram in revenge for her mom, if she can get the proof.  Remember, Sin made a dying promise to Harry to not let her do just that.  He tells her that he’s ready to take his rightful place in the Fellowship, knocking Abram out of power altogether.  He calls his dad and the official meeting is held.  Abram is, of course, not happy about this at ALL.

Three weeks later pass….Bleu has her first sonogram.  She and Sin get the happy news that they are having twins, and that both are growing just fine.  They are ecstatic, and make plans to cook dinner for his parents that night and and announce the news.  Sin returns to work, but as Bleu opens the door to go the market she is greeted by three guys - from the Order!!  They force her to leave a message for Sin on the wall in her own blood, and kidnap her.  (Someone had already been inside their apartment and removed all of the weapons, which I found curious.)  When Sin returns home he finds his parents waiting outside, the door unlocked, and the message on the wall.  They immediately swing into action, searching out where the Order might have taken Bleu.  They figure this is happening in retaliation for the raid earlier in the story, but Sin fears that they have decided to take revenge on him personally.  

Earlier in the story Sin was forced to shoot and kill a boy that attacked him - the boy turned out to be the son of the Order’s leader.  Sin fears that the Order will kill Bleu - and their babies - in revenge.  They receive a message ordering them to return the loot they raided from the Order warehouse, if they wanted Bleu to live through the night.  Sin is a wreck.  He and his father make arrangements, and are following the truck to the warehouse when they are stopped by the cops.  Sin is arrested, although he begs the cop to just give him an hour, explaining that the Order has his pregnant wife.  The officer doesn’t listen, and the book ends with Sin in cuffs and Bleu’s life on a timeclock.  I’m left with a couple of questions:  was this all organized by Abram?  Is he in cahoots with the Order?  Is he the one who cleared out the weapons, leaving Bleu defenseless?  Did he kill her mom, or order it done?  ACCCKKK!  I need the next book!

I actually enjoyed Sin’s POV more than Bleu’s in this book.  The action sequences with the Fellowship and the Order battling were very well done, and read wonderfully.  Bleu - well, I don’t really know how to say it, but the girl just seemed all over the place for the entire book.  I realize a whole lot of things happen to her in this book that could throw her completely off of her game.  Her dad dies, she gets married and pregnant all in a relatively short period of time. Still though, the Bleu we get in this book is worlds away from the one we see in the first.  I’m hoping she will get her edge back in the last book.  It’s due out in March, and I’m looking forward to it.  

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