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Slightly Sinful

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When the four lady residents of a brothel in Brussels lose their life savings to a confidence man, their friend Rachel York, who introduced him to them, feels responsible even though all her money has been stolen too. She vows to help them recover their savings, but in order to do that she needs to get her hands on the jewels she will inherit at the age of twenty-five. And When the four lady residents of a brothel in Brussels lose their life savings to a confidence man, their friend Rachel York, who introduced him to them, feels responsible even though all her money has been stolen too. She vows to help them recover their savings, but in order to do that she needs to get her hands on the jewels she will inherit at the age of twenty-five. And in order to do that, she needs to acquire a husband--fast. Enter Lord Alleyne Bedwyn, who is recuperating at the brothel from wounds sustained at the Battle of Waterloo. Alleyne may have lost his memory, but he has not lost any of the dash and devilry that had always characterized him as the youngest Bedwyn brother. Although he needs to go off in search of his identity, he cannot resist embroiling himself in intrigue with Rachel first--especially when doing so seems ever so slightly sinful


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When the four lady residents of a brothel in Brussels lose their life savings to a confidence man, their friend Rachel York, who introduced him to them, feels responsible even though all her money has been stolen too. She vows to help them recover their savings, but in order to do that she needs to get her hands on the jewels she will inherit at the age of twenty-five. And When the four lady residents of a brothel in Brussels lose their life savings to a confidence man, their friend Rachel York, who introduced him to them, feels responsible even though all her money has been stolen too. She vows to help them recover their savings, but in order to do that she needs to get her hands on the jewels she will inherit at the age of twenty-five. And in order to do that, she needs to acquire a husband--fast. Enter Lord Alleyne Bedwyn, who is recuperating at the brothel from wounds sustained at the Battle of Waterloo. Alleyne may have lost his memory, but he has not lost any of the dash and devilry that had always characterized him as the youngest Bedwyn brother. Although he needs to go off in search of his identity, he cannot resist embroiling himself in intrigue with Rachel first--especially when doing so seems ever so slightly sinful

30 review for Slightly Sinful

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    Okay, let's get it out in the open: the premise of this book didn't sound very appealing to me at first. I mean, there's amnesia, deception, and another fake marriage - the fourth fake marriage/bethrotal in the Slightly series, and the fifth if you add A Summer to Remember, which is a prequel to the series. It should have been too much to take, right? Wrong! Somehow Ms. Balogh made it all work by making me fall in love with the H/h, and the rest is history... The events in Slightly Sinful and Sli Okay, let's get it out in the open: the premise of this book didn't sound very appealing to me at first. I mean, there's amnesia, deception, and another fake marriage - the fourth fake marriage/bethrotal in the Slightly series, and the fifth if you add A Summer to Remember, which is a prequel to the series. It should have been too much to take, right? Wrong! Somehow Ms. Balogh made it all work by making me fall in love with the H/h, and the rest is history... The events in Slightly Sinful and Slightly Tempted, the previous book in the series, take place concurrently so it's a good idea to read both books back to back. I did, on the advice of my friends Beanbag Love and BJ Rose, and I had a lot of fun realizing how things could have been completely different if "this or that" happened. What's Romancelandia, if not a place full of what-ifs? ;) Lord Alleyne Bedwyn, who's just embarked upon a career as a diplomat, has been sent to the front of the Battle of Waterloo to deliver a letter to the Duke of Wellington. On his way back to Brussels, Alleyne is shot, falls from his horse and suffers a head injury. Unconscious and defenseless, he's robbed, stripped naked by looters, and left to die in the forest. Rachel York was working as a ladies' companion in Brussels when she fell prey to the so-called Reverend Nigel Crawley, who was actually a con artist and managed to steal all her meager funds. He's also robbed the life savings of four whores (I don't like using this term, but that's how Ms. Balogh calls them in the book) who are friends with Rachel, so now she finds herself having to live in a brothel with these "painted ladies" while they plot how to track down the conniving "Reverend" and get their money back. But they need money to afford this chase, and the quickest way to get some at the moment is to loot the dead from the Battle of Waterloo. So off they go to the battlefield, but Rachel decides to stay behind in the forest... As fate would have it, the first "dead" body Rachel finds is Alleyne's, and when she realizes he isn't really dead, she cries for help. This is one of the what-ifs I mentioned above, (view spoiler)[as Gervase, the hero in Slightly Tempted, happens to be passing by right there and then, hears Rachel's cries, but doesn't stop because another man rushes to help her. What if Gervase had stopped? Well, both Slightly Tempted and Slightly Sinful would have been very short novels, LOL. (hide spoiler)] Anyway, Rachel takes the nearly dead Alleyne to the brothel with the assistance of Sergeant William Strickland, the man who rushed to her help in the forest. While nursing both men to health - Sergeant Strickland was also injured in Waterloo -, Rachel develops a special "connection" with Alleyne and, between moments of blessed darkness oblivion and painful consciousness, he becomes infatuated with her. He knows that he's feverish and at least partially delirious, but what red-blooded male wouldn't fall in love with such an angel? The problem is, when this red-blooded male finally awakes from his brush with death, he's got amnesia and doesn't know who he is. Slightly afraid of facing his new reality alone and hoping to buy some time until he recovers his memory, Alleyne decides to join Rachel and her friends in their quest to recover their lost money. So off they go back to England, where Rachel is to deceive her estranged uncle and convince him she's married to a nice gentleman (aka Jonathan Smith aka Alleyne) so she can get her hands on her inheritance. Once in posession of the jewels her mother has left her, Rachel can sell some of them and finance the chase after the dastardly "Reverend". But when they arrive at her uncle's estate, things get a little tricky, and Alleyne and Rachel are forced to spend more time together than they've planned. Pretending to be happy newlyweds in love for a month for her uncle's sake is due to take its toll, isn't it? And what will happen when Alleyne recovers his memory? Will he be back to being the haughty Lord Alleyne Bedwyn and forget about the group of misfits he met in Brussels? As I said in the first paragraph of this review, I loved Alleyne and Rachel. They were great together, and I could easily see why each fell in love with the other. There was a small misunderstanding in the beginning of their relationship, and Alleyne was aware of it and could have cleared it sooner than he did, but it wasn't bad enough to ruin the progress of the story. In fact, I understood why he chose to keep his silence and let Rachel keep her misconception about his feelings. It was just the way he found to resist his attraction to her. I also loved Rachel's relationship with her uncle and her friends. Granted, those four "painted ladies" were unbelievably nice and kind-hearted - I could have bought one, maybe two "whores with a heart of gold", but four at once was too much - and I had to suspend disbelief with their antics at Rachel's uncle's home, but they made me laugh so they didn't really bother me overall. As for the plot, I was okay with the amnesia and the deception in the beginning, but they lasted a bit too long. I got really nervous near the end of the story, (view spoiler)[when there were only three chapters to read and there was no resolution in sight. As it was, I was afraid the ending would be too rushed because there wouldn't be time to set everything right. (hide spoiler)] Trust Ms. Balogh to turn my fears to dust! The ending was just perfect, and I admit that (view spoiler)[the scene where Alleyne was finally reunited with his family made me sigh like a ninny. I know this book is about Alleyne, but I have to say that his brother Wulf completely stole the scene there: "Bewcastle had already seen him. His gaze was steady and silver-eyed and inscrutable. His hand reached for the gold-handled, jewel-studded quizzing glass he always wore with formal attire and raised it halfway to his eyes in a characteristic gesture. Then he came striding along the terrace with uncharacteristic speed and did not stop coming until he had caught Alleyne up in a tight, wordless embrace that lasted perhaps a whole minute while Alleyne dipped his forehead to his brother’s shoulder and felt at last that he was safe. It was an extraordinary moment. He had been little more than a child when his father died, but Wulfric himself had been only seventeen. Alleyne had never thought of him as a father figure. Indeed, he had often resented the authority his brother wielded over them with such unwavering strictness, and often with apparent impersonality and lack of humor. He had always thought of his eldest brother as aloof, unfeeling, totally self-sufficient. A cold fish. And yet it was in Wulfric’s arms that he felt his homecoming most acutely. He felt finally and completely and unconditionally loved. An extraordinary moment indeed." (hide spoiler)] Okay, I'd better stop now because this is no longer a review, but a rave from a die-hard Balogh fan, LOL. When it comes to her books, I just can't stop gushing about them. I. Just. Love. Her. Writing!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Al George

    If I get shot or fall from my horse, please deliver me to the nearest brothel. Not that I plan on any of those things, but one must plan. Series: Yup Sexy times: Couple of times. All beautifully handled and nothing too scary. Although there was one devirgining that didn't exactly go as planned. Plan on reading more by the author: Gotta finish the series, don't I? Synopsis: Alleyne is high on his horse hurrying back to base command to deliver a letter and get to his sister who sits waiting for him w If I get shot or fall from my horse, please deliver me to the nearest brothel. Not that I plan on any of those things, but one must plan. Series: Yup Sexy times: Couple of times. All beautifully handled and nothing too scary. Although there was one devirgining that didn't exactly go as planned. Plan on reading more by the author: Gotta finish the series, don't I? Synopsis: Alleyne is high on his horse hurrying back to base command to deliver a letter and get to his sister who sits waiting for him when he is struck in the leg by a bullet. Enter Rachel who is on her way to loot from dead bodies...now lest you judge her, read the book to see what brought her to such heights. She stumbles upon a dead not dead guy and calls out for help, the only answering summons coming from a one-eyed recently been shot soldier. They manage to get him some treatment and hustle him off to said brothel. Upon awakening, A has no memory of who he is and he makes the assumption that Rachel is a ho, seed planted by the aforementioned Rachel. And she convinces him she is the type of prostitute that plays at being the innocent. Baby Prostitute and A, not known as A since he has no idea who he is, do their thing. You'll have to read the book to see what happens there since I'm not tossing out too many spoilers. And in the interim, the four other women of the house, A and the man's man formerly known as the one-eyed soldier hatch a plan to get their money back from a swindling icky of a human being. Off they go adventuring all the while A has to work at this memory while everyone else has to work at playing their roles in what becomes a bit of play acting all in the name of cornering the icky human being. Things happen, happy endings are had more than once and everyone walks away smiling. Heroine: Rachel. So she's a good girl. A decent girl. A girl with a huge heart. BUT if she tells A to pack his bags and go one more time... Hero: Alleyne. He's rather delightful. Such a gentleman. And he does so well surrounded by his ladies of the night. He too has a rather large heart. And truth be told, I was totes in loves with him. Why it did or didn't work for me: I loved it. Totally worked for me. I loved all of the secondary characters, the narration, the adventure, the coming together, the finding of family. This was a solid story and well worth the time it took to listen to it. Signed, Time to backtrack to book 4. Nothing like reading a series out of order.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Three and a half stars. Enjoyed Alleyne and Rachel's story. Alleyne is seriously wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, left for dead, and robbed of all belongings. Rachel stumbles across his naked body (yup!) and realises he is still alive. With the help of some others, she saves his life. But he has no idea who he is...... His family in England believe he has perished and they hold a memorial service and grieve for him. Yeah, the story's a little far-fetched in parts, especially the bits about the Three and a half stars. Enjoyed Alleyne and Rachel's story. Alleyne is seriously wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, left for dead, and robbed of all belongings. Rachel stumbles across his naked body (yup!) and realises he is still alive. With the help of some others, she saves his life. But he has no idea who he is...... His family in England believe he has perished and they hold a memorial service and grieve for him. Yeah, the story's a little far-fetched in parts, especially the bits about the brothel and the wh*res with hearts of gold. And they're all a bit OTT when they are in England. But Rachel and Alleyne do form a real relationship, and their love is allowed to gently grow and develop. Lovely HEA, of course. Another enjoyable and readable addition to this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Cook

    An incredibly unique set up with our injured war hero, left on the battlefield for dead, and our Lady heroine living in a whole house with a bunch of prostitutes who decide to go grave robbing to recoup their lost money. Thus our on death's door hero is rescued by our unlikely heroine. Hero has amnesia and they fall in love as she nurses him back to health and he tries to remember who he was. Loved it so much. An incredibly unique set up with our injured war hero, left on the battlefield for dead, and our Lady heroine living in a whole house with a bunch of prostitutes who decide to go grave robbing to recoup their lost money. Thus our on death's door hero is rescued by our unlikely heroine. Hero has amnesia and they fall in love as she nurses him back to health and he tries to remember who he was. Loved it so much.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christi | christireadsalot

    4.5 stars! One of my favorites in the Bedwyn series. So much happens in this 5th book of the series and I really enjoyed it! Lord Alleyne Bedwyn lost his memory after the Battle of Waterloo and is found and taken in by the heroine Rachel. Rachel brings Alleyne with her to a brothel, where she is currently living while trying to help her friends, 4 of the ladies who work at the brothel. Rachel feels responsible after accidentally introducing a man into their lives who ended up stealing all of thei 4.5 stars! One of my favorites in the Bedwyn series. So much happens in this 5th book of the series and I really enjoyed it! Lord Alleyne Bedwyn lost his memory after the Battle of Waterloo and is found and taken in by the heroine Rachel. Rachel brings Alleyne with her to a brothel, where she is currently living while trying to help her friends, 4 of the ladies who work at the brothel. Rachel feels responsible after accidentally introducing a man into their lives who ended up stealing all of their life’s savings. She plans to help them recover their savings by getting her hands on the jewels she will inherit when she turns 25. To inherit them she also needs to be married and needs a husband fast! Alleyne is wanting to gain his memory back but in the meantime can’t help but be drawn to Rachel and her plight to help her friends, so he decides to get involved and be her fake husband. This book had it all…starts out in Brussels, injured war hero, amnesia, rescued by the heroine, fake marriage, intrigue, theft, scandal, fantastic friend group amongst the side characters/ladies, family ties, forgiveness, and even a bit of humor!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sam (AMNReader)

    This book is nearly insufferable. It's just a bad combination of terrible inner monologue, silly, tough to care about relationship. Totally not for me. This book is nearly insufferable. It's just a bad combination of terrible inner monologue, silly, tough to care about relationship. Totally not for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    I had low expectations for this book because I haven't really much liked Alleyne. He's aloof, cynical, and just a tad out of his depth. Maybe my expectations were simply low, but this book blew them out of the water and I am so happy. The amnesia thing is such a cliché that I was a bit surprised to see Balogh using it. She's better than that, I thought. Fortunately, she really is better than that and used that cliché to pull off a really interesting character arc. I have no idea what real amnesia I had low expectations for this book because I haven't really much liked Alleyne. He's aloof, cynical, and just a tad out of his depth. Maybe my expectations were simply low, but this book blew them out of the water and I am so happy. The amnesia thing is such a cliché that I was a bit surprised to see Balogh using it. She's better than that, I thought. Fortunately, she really is better than that and used that cliché to pull off a really interesting character arc. I have no idea what real amnesia might do or how realistic Alleyne's reaction was, but Balogh used it in this story as a way to distill down his essential character and strip it of his emotional background. Interestingly, this both worked really well as a device and served up an Alleyne I found easy to fall for. It turns out that the essential Alleyne is a rogue, but a kind-hearted, intelligent, easily pleased rogue who wants nothing better than to provide for his friends' happiness. Add in the essential uncertainty of a man who doesn't know his kin, his past, or his place in the world and you have someone immediately engaging for me. And I found Rachel equally engaging on her side. Mostly. She, too, is kind. Also loyal and brave and in desperate circumstances. Her willingness to figure out ways to help her friends was endearing and I enjoyed her interactions with Alleyne and their growing relationship. Building that relationship took a good deal of bravery all on its own as neither of them knew if he had circumstances that would turn their love into a great tragedy—after all, he could have a wife and children buried in the past he couldn't recall. I even liked the side characters, even though they were somewhat broadly drawn. I enjoyed their enthusiasms and determination to make the best they could with whatever life threw at them. They each had deeply silly moments, but they also balanced each other such that they ended up going in helpful directions (or at least, non-harmful ones). As is standard with Balogh, all the important people were extremely broad minded, but I kind of counted on that because it was really the only way things could work out in the end. The only real fly in the ointment came early in the novel. It provided a good deal of friction in the story and took a long enough time to work its way out to steal the five stars the book might otherwise have earned. (view spoiler)[Rachel's rather off-handed claim to be one of the "working ladies" was uncharacteristic and deeply foolish. That she doubled down on it any time she was presented a chance to walk it back was painful. That it created a wedge between her and Alleyne was more than a little annoying with both of them unreasonably attributing the worst interpretations on anything the other said for far, far too long. (hide spoiler)] But that annoyance faded fast once they got over themselves and Alleyne's handling of it turned out to be a good emotional moment, so I got over it lighter than I might otherwise have done. Which makes this my favorite of the series, thus far, edging Freyja by a nose (a Bedwyn nose! Hahahahah) A note about Steamy: Standard for the series. Two explicit sex scenes and some glossed-over bits and kissing put this in the middle of my steam range. I kind of hated the first, though it was a decent portrayal of the (painful) circumstances.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    After the events in the last book that left me dying to know what came of Alleyne, I dove in and put my fears to rest. He's a Bedwyn. Even an epic battle couldn't end him. Though, in all seriousness, it was war and a stray bullet did nearly end him save a generous, determined woman and a broken soldier saving Alleyne's life. This was my favorite entry in the series since Aidan's story in book one. Slightly Sinful is the fifth in the Bedwyn saga and would work fine standalone if necessary. That sa After the events in the last book that left me dying to know what came of Alleyne, I dove in and put my fears to rest. He's a Bedwyn. Even an epic battle couldn't end him. Though, in all seriousness, it was war and a stray bullet did nearly end him save a generous, determined woman and a broken soldier saving Alleyne's life. This was my favorite entry in the series since Aidan's story in book one. Slightly Sinful is the fifth in the Bedwyn saga and would work fine standalone if necessary. That said, it works best when read in order as the series is about a family of siblings getting their romances. Alleyne is the youngest of the Bedwyn brothers and feeling somewhat at loose ends. He takes up a diplomatic job as assistant to Sir Charles Stewart on the eve of Waterloo. He is given the task of delivering a message from Stewart to the Duke of Wellington on the raging battlefield. He completes the task and sets out with the reply only to be hit in the thigh by a bullet. His horse spooks, throws him and he hits his head only to wake up in a brothel with no memories. He's being cared for by a handful of entertaining ladies of the night and a young woman who is not what she seems and tries to put on a brave front though she's been battered about and now is at a loss. Can a man with no personal memories still manage to know when a good thing is right in front of him?. Rachel York is full of guilt and remorse for naively trusting a scoundrel with her friends' life savings, her own nest egg, and stupidly thinking they were engaged when he runs off with it all. She and her friends who sell themselves to make ends meet are stuck in Brussels with little money and a burning desire to get their money back and a bit of revenge from Crawley. Now, she's burdened them with the handsome wounded man they decide to call Jonathan Smith who has amnesia and a gruff sergeant who was wounded in war and dismissed from the only thing he'd ever known. Mr. Smith and the others have a devilish scheme to get her jewels from her tightfisted uncle so she can sell them and restore everyone's money. She can go along with the plan of deception, but she must guard her heart from falling in love with a man who could be anyone. If this book had a theme, it's there's more than meets the eye when it comes to people and situations. It also blends heavier themes with lightheartedness to create a romping adventure when a group of people set out to catch up with a crook and shake him down for their money and do a scheme of deception of their own to help Rachel be put in possession of her rightful fortune. I'm always up for a good misfits tale and there is nothing more misfit than four middle-aged prostitutes, a one-eyed former army sergeant, an amnesic gentleman and a naive young lady. Rachel possesses beauty, generosity, loyalty, and determination, but she was hampered in the beginning by sheltered naivete and a need to be wanted and loved after her parents are dead, her father gambled away a comfortable income, and her sole remaining relation has turned his back on her. I felt sorry for her because her past had left her not just lonely and needing family, but desperate for it which was why she was easily duped by a conman and now gets all growly when Alleyne identifies her as a lady and not with her prostitute friends. She even goes so far as to lie to him and say she is a prostitute before she attempts to seduce him because she has the mistaken notion that losing her virginity will identify her more closely with her friends and take away her naivete. She can't even see just how she wronged him by the lie or the future repercussions on herself- a baby? a venereal disease? a hard and desperate life as a woman who is always being used and used up to survive? Alleyne's story is interesting after seeing him as a side character throughout the series. He's lighthearted and takes very little seriously. He's loyal and helpful when his family needs him, but is restless and trying to figure out his place in life like his older siblings. Then, here he is with a clean slate. His personality is unaltered and of course he questions and fears the unknown that is his past, but he puts this aside to help Rachel secure her future before trying to figure out his own. It was interesting seeing how his character grew and became a part of a makeshift family even though he was also part of another family. The romance is a blend of fake mates and friends to lovers. Attraction is there, but the deeper feelings develop over the long haul. I felt that the romance wasn't always front and center though it was always there even when Rachel learns the truth of her past and gets that family she was always craving, while the group worked to take down the shyster who took their money, and then when its Alleyne's turn to face his past. There was so much going on in this one that I know I haven't done it justice. I really enjoyed how the author wove it all together and brought out all the emotions in me. I think I liked this one precisely for all the elements equally balanced instead of the romance filling up the middle and marginalizing the rest. This was a solid outing in the series and leaves me buzzing with need for the most highly anticipated book in the series with the romance of the icy, utterly controlled, and powerful Wulfric. This is a solid historical romance series that I can definitely recommend particularly if you like the tie of family.

  9. 4 out of 5

    notyourmonkey

    Oh, Mary Balogh - always with the really good stuff, be it excellent use of cliches or exploration of interesting themes within the context of historical romance, but always undermined by some really dodgy stuff. Yes, yes, this is dress-up-doll historical romance - they've all got their teeth, the women are always surprisingly independent - but you don't get to handwave away the things you don't like (bad dental hygiene, extremely limited spheres of influence for the vast majority of women, the Oh, Mary Balogh - always with the really good stuff, be it excellent use of cliches or exploration of interesting themes within the context of historical romance, but always undermined by some really dodgy stuff. Yes, yes, this is dress-up-doll historical romance - they've all got their teeth, the women are always surprisingly independent - but you don't get to handwave away the things you don't like (bad dental hygiene, extremely limited spheres of influence for the vast majority of women, the actual number of dukes at any given time in what is now the UK, etc.) and keep things that are in fact problematic just for humor. To wit, two thumbs up for acknowledging that women who are forced by circumstance to become prostitutes are, in fact, human, too, but two thumbs down for then perpetuating "and they were born to be servants!" thing, not to mention the fact that Our Heroine could, of course, never whore herself out like her it's-a-valid-lifestyle-choice prostitute protectors for no other reason than because Our Heroine was born a lady. You don't get to have your cake and eat it, too. You don't get to pull an "it's okay for them; they're just born low class" and have it not completely yank me out of the romance. Don't get me wrong, I do love me some good amnesia!fic, and I adore pretend-to-be-married stories, but this one combined them in slightly awkward ways that didn't really work for me. Our Heroine came off a little irrational and over-the-top self-centered, even when she was supposed to be this angel. We didn't know enough about Our Hero pre-head injury to be amazed at any particular change in behavior. There were some delightfully wacky set-ups and over-the-top characters that were relatively well-played, but my lingering impression from this book is just generally feeling sympathetic towards Our Heroine's much-beleagured uncle.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Throughout the Bedwyn Saga Alleyne Bedwyn has been one of my favorite characters. He is a jolly fellow, quick to laugh and even quicker to help his siblings out with the most recent scrap they've gotten themselves into. In his own book he is no different, despite the fact that he is suffering from amnesia and has no idea who he is. I had moments when I liked the heroine, Rachel, and other times when she annoyed me. But overall I thought she was a good match for Alleyne. This book had an introducti Throughout the Bedwyn Saga Alleyne Bedwyn has been one of my favorite characters. He is a jolly fellow, quick to laugh and even quicker to help his siblings out with the most recent scrap they've gotten themselves into. In his own book he is no different, despite the fact that he is suffering from amnesia and has no idea who he is. I had moments when I liked the heroine, Rachel, and other times when she annoyed me. But overall I thought she was a good match for Alleyne. This book had an introduction of a lot of knew supporting characters- four of them whores, who were hilarious, and a Sergeant recently dismissed from the military because he lost his eye in battle. He became Alleyne's gentleman's gentleman.... as he liked to call it. :) As I come to the end of this series, with only the dukes book remaining (which I am highly looking forward to), I can say that I am so glad I read these books! I highly recommend them. :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura Elizabeth

    This series has been a win for me but this is my least favorite. Everything in this amnesia trope is far fetched. It’s not bad and I do like the characters, it’s just a not very believable storyline.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    In Slightly Tempted, the aristocratic Bedwyn family is rocked by news of Lord Alleyne Bedwyn's death at Waterloo. While searching the battle's casualties for saleables, Rachel York (a well-born woman left penniless by her father's gambling&drinking) comes across Alleyne's body, already stripped by other scavengers. But he is not dead, just gravely injured. Rachel carts his limp body back to the brothel where her old nurse works, and she and the whores nurse him back to health. But Alleyne, alas, In Slightly Tempted, the aristocratic Bedwyn family is rocked by news of Lord Alleyne Bedwyn's death at Waterloo. While searching the battle's casualties for saleables, Rachel York (a well-born woman left penniless by her father's gambling&drinking) comes across Alleyne's body, already stripped by other scavengers. But he is not dead, just gravely injured. Rachel carts his limp body back to the brothel where her old nurse works, and she and the whores nurse him back to health. But Alleyne, alas, has lost his memory completely, and is afraid that even if he were to meet his own family he wouldn't feel anything for them anymore. Rachel and the whores, meanwhile, gave all their money to a clergyman who proved to be a conman, and are torn between getting back to business and getting revenge on him. Alleyne comes up with a plan to both postpone his own search for his identity and solve the women's money problems: he and Rachel will pose as man&wife to finagle Rachel's uncle into giving them her late mother's jewels. The whores pose as gentlewomen and servants in order to accompany them, and they all set off for England. But when they reach Rachel's uncle's estate, their hare-brained scheme turns even more complicated. Rachel's uncle is very ill, and he asks that Rachel and her companions stay with him for a month. While the whores and Sergeant Strickland get the uncle's estate into order, Rachel and "Jonathan Smith" have to maintain their masquerade as husband&wife. A masquerade that is all too easy to perform in public--and all too tempting in private. The first few chapters are a fun intro to Rachel and the whores, who have a lot of personality to start with and then fade into the background for much of the novel. The last few chapters are a triumphant confrontation with the conman/clergyman (in which the whores shine like crazy vindictive diamonds) and FINALLY the reunion of the Bedwyn siblings. The reunion was all I could have hoped, particularly in regard to my favorite two Bedwyns, Freyja and Wulf. But most of the novel is just basic Balogh fare: a few hurtful misunderstandings heightened by lack of communication between the love interests, the standard sex scenes, several realizations of how important family members have been in the past, and of course, a waltz at the ball. I wish Rachel and Jonathan/Alleyne had more personality, because even though I just finished the book a few hours ago I've already half-forgotten them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ursula

    3.5 stars What to say about this audio-book? Of course, the story was nicely read by Rosalyn Landor. Her different voices and accents for the women were particularly good. I just didn't love the story. For example, the constant reference to whores (with hearts of gold, who actually LOVED their profession enough to lust after men and even do it for free- yeah, right, in which universe?) bothered me, and it was a case of protesting too much about how the MC's didn't care that the women were "whores 3.5 stars What to say about this audio-book? Of course, the story was nicely read by Rosalyn Landor. Her different voices and accents for the women were particularly good. I just didn't love the story. For example, the constant reference to whores (with hearts of gold, who actually LOVED their profession enough to lust after men and even do it for free- yeah, right, in which universe?) bothered me, and it was a case of protesting too much about how the MC's didn't care that the women were "whores", that it didn't matter, that one shouldn't judge them etc. etc. Clearly, it did. And while the H was a nice enough fellow, I have never known a man who spends every second of a sexual encounter minutely analysing every aspect and intellectualising/rationalising the act the way he did. For goodness sake, just enjoy it and make sure your partner does! I did actually ask a young man I know (OK, my 22 year-old son) whether he does that and he burst out laughing. Maybe an older man might, but I doubt it. It is this tendency of MB that I just don't like. They are quite cerebral MC's and the passion just seems artificial. The amnesia trope is one that can be great if done well (A Lady's Code of Misconduct but that is not always the case. Here, I thought the agony of not being able to commit to a relationship because nobody knew whether the H was already married, or had children, let alone what his name was, was clearly expressed and I did feel the MC's frustration and misery. The heroine showed great strength of character, prepared to risk her heart knowing it might be broken, but having the courage to do it anyway. It was also wonderful that she was able to reconnect with family and find somewhere she belonged. To see the hero finally discover his purpose in life and find some meaning to his existence, something aristocratic younger sons often struggled with in those days of strict rules of succession, was terrific. So a solid 3.5 stars, but I can't give more to a romance that, in the end, kind of misses out on the "romance" for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Renae

    Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Mary Balogh has finally let me down. Slightly Sinful was just too silly for me. There's an amnesia plot and a troop of whores out for revenge and just...ach. What I tend to love most about this author is how down-to-earth and honest her narratives are. This book, however, was more like a silly romcom than a realistic look at what it takes to make a relationship work. And that's fine, just not the content I'm here for. Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Mary Balogh has finally let me down. Slightly Sinful was just too silly for me. There's an amnesia plot and a troop of whores out for revenge and just...ach. What I tend to love most about this author is how down-to-earth and honest her narratives are. This book, however, was more like a silly romcom than a realistic look at what it takes to make a relationship work. And that's fine, just not the content I'm here for.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Malory

    IF I READ ONE MORE BOOK of Miss Balogh with a pretend marriage I am gonna rip my eyes off! What is the matter with that? #Audiobook and Rosalyn made it bearable but Oh My God,it is always the same story with the Bedwyns. 2 more to go for my "mad about series"challenge and I am scared that it is gonna be all the same again.What a shame :/ I am done with Balogh after the Bedwyns. IF I READ ONE MORE BOOK of Miss Balogh with a pretend marriage I am gonna rip my eyes off! What is the matter with that? #Audiobook and Rosalyn made it bearable but Oh My God,it is always the same story with the Bedwyns. 2 more to go for my "mad about series"challenge and I am scared that it is gonna be all the same again.What a shame :/ I am done with Balogh after the Bedwyns.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Juliana Philippa

    Great, great read - Rachel and Alleyne are wonderful, and the secondary characters extremely colorful SUMMARY (Bedwyn Family, Book 5): Slightly Sinful overlaps significantly (chronologically speaking) with the previous book in the Bedwyn series, Slightly Tempted (Morgan and Gervase's story). Lord Alleyne Bedwyn (26), working as a British diplomat in Brussels, is sent to deliver a letter to the Duke of Wellington during the Battle of Waterloo. He receives a reply letter to deliver and heads back to Great, great read - Rachel and Alleyne are wonderful, and the secondary characters extremely colorful SUMMARY (Bedwyn Family, Book 5): Slightly Sinful overlaps significantly (chronologically speaking) with the previous book in the Bedwyn series, Slightly Tempted (Morgan and Gervase's story). Lord Alleyne Bedwyn (26), working as a British diplomat in Brussels, is sent to deliver a letter to the Duke of Wellington during the Battle of Waterloo. He receives a reply letter to deliver and heads back to Brussels, though he is in pain from being shot in the leg. When his horse throws him from the saddle, he hits his head and is knocked unconscious. When we meet Miss Rachel York (22), she is practically all alone in the world, with an estranged uncle as her only remaining relative. She has recently split with her betrothed, who was a relatively new acquaintance made while she was a companion to an elderly woman in Brussels. After entrusting her pretty meager funds to him and convincing four other women to do the same, she overhears him and his sister talking and realizes that they are not the charitable Christians they appear to be (he's posing as a reverend) but are in fact con artists. They had been departing Belgium and heading for England, but she makes a quick getaway and returns to Brussels and the four women, whom she feels honor-bound to tell the truth to and in some way recompense. The four women (fantastic characters! - they had me laughing throughout the book) are Flossie Streat, Geraldine Ness, Phyllis Leavey, and Bridget Clover, the latter of whom was Rachel's nurse for six years in her youth. They are prostitutes and have been running a brothel for the past four years, saving up money so that they can return to England and retire. I tend to be long-winded in these descriptions, so I'll try to cut it down to the basics (and fail horribly): Rachel comes across Alleyne and the women take him in, nursing him back to health. Due to his fall, he has amnesia and unfortunately remembers nothing, including his own name; he is given a new one in the meantime - "Jonathan Smith." They also pick up Sergeant William Strickland (another wonderful secondary character), a soldier who lost one of his eyes at the Battle of Waterloo. They all head to England after deciding to visit Rachel's uncle, Baron Weston, in order to deceive him into thinking that Rachel and "Jonathan" are betrothed so that she can secure the jewels her mother left her. They will then be able to track down the evil con artists and get back their money. Of course, things don't go exactly as planned - nothing in life is ever that simple - but everything ends well and there are happy/deserved endings all around (who would expect otherwise?!). REACTION: I greatly enjoyed this book and thought it was a real treat, especially after having been somewhat disappointed by Slightly Tempted I've looked through some of the Amazon.com reviews and have seen many of the same complaints. The first is that people are tired of Balogh's repeated use of the same plot devices: fake/will-be-broken-off betrothals; in this case she goes past a fake engagement to a fake marriage (my question is, has anyone else also noticed how there is *always* a lake with a small island that the main characters row to and make love on?!?). The second complaint is that this book's plot leaned to the implausible. My response to the first would be that I agree, but that Balogh is such a good writer that when she is able to succeed in all other ways (good writing, great chemistry, wonderful characters) I frankly don't care, but that's personal preference. To the second, I really have to protest - do we actually read these books because they are based on reality and believability? No, we read it for the romance and the chemistry, for the wonderful if-only-they-were-real-and-waiting-outside-my-door heroes and the great, strong heroines whom we can (let's face it) either imagine to be us in another life and alternate universe or a dear, dear friend, so we can share in the happiness. CHARACTERS (main and secondary): The book is brimming with wonderful characters. It's nice for a change to read about a Bedwyn who doesn't carry himself with haughtiness and arrogance, but instead has an easy grin and is good-humored (even before he falls in love!). Alleyne definitely changes from how we've seen him in past stories (somewhat shallow and aimless) to how he is by the end of the book (responsible, with a sense of purpose), and I think the development rings true and is well-done. I thought Rachel was a great heroine (and what a great change to have the heroine save the hero - literally). She's a strong young woman who has had a painful childhood and youth, but is hard-working and tries to be positive. I especially liked that she was friends with the wonderful female-quartet and was slightly protective of them, refusing to look down on them because of their profession (though I don't think Balogh should have had her call them "whores" in her thoughts as often as she does at the beginning). Not only are the hero and heroine wonderful, but all of the secondary characters are well-written and add much laughter and tenderness to the story. The reunion that Alleyne has with his family is very emotional if you've read the other Bedwyn books, though I'll concede it occurs later in the book than I had expected. I also agree with the other reviewer who said that Balogh was brave in having the first romantic encounter not be wonderfully successful so that we can see the characters work through it; adds a certain reality to the story which is otherwise blissfully far too perfect to be real. I loved this book and think it is definitely one of the best ones of the series (ranks up there with Slightly Married and Slightly Dangerous, IMO).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I've loved the whole Bedwyn family! Not my favorite in the series, but well worth the read. Overall I enjoyed it. The ending was my favorite. The premise of the story with an amnesiac Hero saved by a virtuous woman who is now living in a brothel was scandalously funny, entertaining, and a fun wild ride. I laughed and even teared up a little in the end. I liked the way this story paralleled book #4 so that we really were able to see what happened to the missing Alleyne Bedwyn. One of my favorite I've loved the whole Bedwyn family! Not my favorite in the series, but well worth the read. Overall I enjoyed it. The ending was my favorite. The premise of the story with an amnesiac Hero saved by a virtuous woman who is now living in a brothel was scandalously funny, entertaining, and a fun wild ride. I laughed and even teared up a little in the end. I liked the way this story paralleled book #4 so that we really were able to see what happened to the missing Alleyne Bedwyn. One of my favorite things about this Hero was that he had a true since of fear and he wept... because strong men of character cry. Beautiful. I could definitely see me reading this whole series over again. (btw, I read #6 before this one; reading out of order didn't take away from the story in the least)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darbella

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 stars Rachel and Alleyne. I liked this, but some things did irk me. For example, the 4 sweet aging whores. Loved them as side characters, but did not enjoy reading that one of them was portrayed as being noble because she was going to "teach" a young guy how to show his bride a good time in bed. Yuck, to me, that is cheating on your love one and who knows what std (even lovable people get std's) he might also be sharing with his new bride in the fall because of his adventure with the prostit 3.5 stars Rachel and Alleyne. I liked this, but some things did irk me. For example, the 4 sweet aging whores. Loved them as side characters, but did not enjoy reading that one of them was portrayed as being noble because she was going to "teach" a young guy how to show his bride a good time in bed. Yuck, to me, that is cheating on your love one and who knows what std (even lovable people get std's) he might also be sharing with his new bride in the fall because of his adventure with the prostitute. Now granted she was just doing her job, but still was not a nice thing to do to his bride to be. Also, Alleyne and Rachel's first sexual time together was so tainted by him thinking that she was a prostitute. I really disliked him making her feel that she was so gauche at sex for her first time. The plot line was not as solid this time and I really was tired of really about those jewels that one day would help Rachel out. My final thought was that Frejya (the physical violent one) really needs to stop punching people unless it is in self defense. I did not find it endearing when she punched Alleyne hard in the jaw. Not cute.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lady Wesley

    Rosalyn Landor's audio version of this Mary Balogh classic really tickled my funnybone. In Brussels, right before Waterloo, the heroine innocently gets mixed up with four jolly prostitutes, and they take in a wounded Alleyne Bedwyn, who has lost his memory. Also a crusty sergeant who has lost an eye and been dismissed from the army. The seven of them set out for England -- the ladies in pursuit of a charlatan posing as a minister who has stolen their life savings, Alleyne hoping to find somebody Rosalyn Landor's audio version of this Mary Balogh classic really tickled my funnybone. In Brussels, right before Waterloo, the heroine innocently gets mixed up with four jolly prostitutes, and they take in a wounded Alleyne Bedwyn, who has lost his memory. Also a crusty sergeant who has lost an eye and been dismissed from the army. The seven of them set out for England -- the ladies in pursuit of a charlatan posing as a minister who has stolen their life savings, Alleyne hoping to find somebody in London who recognizes him, the heroine to demand that her uncle release her fortune to her, and the sergeant as the self-appointed bodyguard and valet to Alleyne. Hijinks ensue, and while the written book is quite humorous, Landor's performance makes the whole adventure utterly hilarious. If you liked the book, do give the audio a try. I guarantee it will make you smile. And the reunion of Alleyne with his brother the Duke of Bewcastle may bring a tear to your eye.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christa Schönmann Abbühl

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked the premise with the brothel, and the amnesia story line. So much was going on. I was also very much into the redemption of the relationship between Rachel and her uncle. And I found the hero quite likeable in his vulnerability. This hero was the first in this series to at least attempt some sort of contraception. Again I thought about Veryan and how she was urged to include sex scenes in her historicals. She refused and stayed true to her old fashioned ways. Balogh obviously was able to I liked the premise with the brothel, and the amnesia story line. So much was going on. I was also very much into the redemption of the relationship between Rachel and her uncle. And I found the hero quite likeable in his vulnerability. This hero was the first in this series to at least attempt some sort of contraception. Again I thought about Veryan and how she was urged to include sex scenes in her historicals. She refused and stayed true to her old fashioned ways. Balogh obviously was able to better adapt to the needs of a modern audience, but I am not sure she is entirely comfortable with it. As I am not reading my romance for the sex, I am completely ok with Veryan‘s approach. Because even though her heroes and heroines never have sex before marriage, and no on the page sex at all, she has - in my opinion - written some of the hottest heroes and hottest scenes in historical romance ever.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Drache

    Reread 04/2022 Still/again having some issues with Alleyne and Rachel's book. Both characters were not very likeable to me for big parts of the book. 3 stars. The best thing about this book is in my opinion the fact that it's the last installment before Slightly Dangerous 😀 ------------------ Review 07/2020 Sadly I didn't love Alleyne's story as much as the other Bedwyn-books. I liked it, but didn't feel the strong connection between h and H as in the rest of the series. Nevertheless a great book. 4 Reread 04/2022 Still/again having some issues with Alleyne and Rachel's book. Both characters were not very likeable to me for big parts of the book. 3 stars. The best thing about this book is in my opinion the fact that it's the last installment before Slightly Dangerous 😀 ------------------ Review 07/2020 Sadly I didn't love Alleyne's story as much as the other Bedwyn-books. I liked it, but didn't feel the strong connection between h and H as in the rest of the series. Nevertheless a great book. 4 stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    The plot and writing is good. I don't think I enjoy slow-burn romances very much. Oh, but what a beautiful family reunion. *sniffles* . Three books down, three more to go! Maybe I'll read Morgan's book next since it's in the same time frame. The plot and writing is good. I don't think I enjoy slow-burn romances very much. Oh, but what a beautiful family reunion. *sniffles* . Three books down, three more to go! Maybe I'll read Morgan's book next since it's in the same time frame.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aly is so frigging bored

    2nd read September 2015

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Reads Romance

    3.5 stars Exciting and lighthearted love story of Alleyne, youngest Bedwyn son and Rachel York, long lost niece of Baron Weston. This was a fun book to read despite the challenges they both faced - Alleyne’s amnesia and lost of his identity, and Rachel’s destitution and determination to help her friends. If you’ve read the previous books, you will be familiar with Alleyne and know him to be the least haughty, most welcoming of the siblings. Rachel is a soulful, kind spirited heroine who doesn’t be 3.5 stars Exciting and lighthearted love story of Alleyne, youngest Bedwyn son and Rachel York, long lost niece of Baron Weston. This was a fun book to read despite the challenges they both faced - Alleyne’s amnesia and lost of his identity, and Rachel’s destitution and determination to help her friends. If you’ve read the previous books, you will be familiar with Alleyne and know him to be the least haughty, most welcoming of the siblings. Rachel is a soulful, kind spirited heroine who doesn’t believe herself to be above others despite being a lady. I love reading their playful banter, it really shows you how much they are suited and enjoy each other’s company. I found it draggy in the middle, but everything is made up for during the last act when Alleyne finally regains memories of himself and his family. The scene where Rachel reveals his true name to him after she discovers it - my heart stopped for a second. Their declarations of love - happy sigh. And then the pièce de résistance, the reunion scene with all his siblings and Bewcastle’s reaction... Just simply one of the best in the series by a stretch. ❤️❤️❤️ A perfect ending and brilliant lead up to the last book Slightly Dangerous, which centers on Wulfric’s love story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Saly

    3.5 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa - (Aussie Girl)

    3.5 stars. I'm enjoying this series but just not quite enough to make the full 4 stars. 3.5 stars. I'm enjoying this series but just not quite enough to make the full 4 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    4 stars It turns out I haven't actually read this book the first time I read the Bedwyn series. Not sure why, but it happened. In any case, this is the story of Alleyne (the brother who was presumed dead at Waterloo) and Rachel. It's a fun story. I liked how the entire amnesia plot was handled. I LOVED the side characters who are both colorful and very real. And that reunion at the end was so, so perfect. I had some slight issues with Rachel and Alleyne's reasoning in the last third of the book or s 4 stars It turns out I haven't actually read this book the first time I read the Bedwyn series. Not sure why, but it happened. In any case, this is the story of Alleyne (the brother who was presumed dead at Waterloo) and Rachel. It's a fun story. I liked how the entire amnesia plot was handled. I LOVED the side characters who are both colorful and very real. And that reunion at the end was so, so perfect. I had some slight issues with Rachel and Alleyne's reasoning in the last third of the book or so, but nothing truly major. All in all, a fun book, but still full of emotional moments that make it shine.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    4.5 stars, SO delightful! Amnesia is a classic dramatic romance storyline, and it's done really well here. I loved every bit of this story, from Alleyne's recovery in the brothel to the farcical deception the group attempted to pull off back in England. Rachel was a fairly unremarkable heroine, but I've liked Alleyne throughout the series, so it was great to see him here, and the side characters really stole the show. Since Alleyne doesn't know who he is through most of the book, we don't get th 4.5 stars, SO delightful! Amnesia is a classic dramatic romance storyline, and it's done really well here. I loved every bit of this story, from Alleyne's recovery in the brothel to the farcical deception the group attempted to pull off back in England. Rachel was a fairly unremarkable heroine, but I've liked Alleyne throughout the series, so it was great to see him here, and the side characters really stole the show. Since Alleyne doesn't know who he is through most of the book, we don't get the whole Bedwyn family descending on him at any point, so instead Alleyne and Rachel are surrounded by four prostitutes intent on getting vengeance on a fake preacher, and a one-eyed former sergeant who is determined to become Alleyne's valet. And Rachel's uncle Baron Weston turned out to be great too. Loved every minute of reading/listening to this, especially Rosalyn Landor's skill at assigning voices to the whole wacky cast of characters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jen (mrs-machino)

    Amnesia books are always a little crazy, but this one has fun characters and a solid plot. I’d like this a lot more if Alleyne’s long absence didn’t cause his siblings so much pain.

  30. 4 out of 5

    T from Istria 💛💚

    Implausible story with ladies in a brothel, amnesia, thieves/swindlers, ex brothel-workers in English manor estates... The love story was sweet but the rest was almost a farce. Oh and the ending - simply beautiful!

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