Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L. Armentrout

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout delivers the unforgettable story of a woman whose new life has just begun—but may end in murder...

Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent... her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting.

Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know.

The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia...

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Book 1
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Avon Romance

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance, Mystery
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is a slow burn romance novel. Julia and Lucian have a chemistry that is hard to describe. While I hated how they started, the instant heat between them was hard to deny.

Julia is relocating for a new job – she's nervous but knows that her life needs a change. After getting out of a less than stellar marriage, she feels that she can live her life for herself again. While out with her friend for her going away party, she meets a very handsome man and throws caution to the wind... “whoops” doesn't even begin to cover that when she meets her one-night stand again.

Lucian is essentially written as a manwhore from the beginning. He's the black sheep of the family and is not only proud, but holds his head high when his brothers point it out. What you soon discover is that Lucian is way more sensitive than who he projects. His family has MAJOR issues and watching him interact with his brothers is a test in patience and love. Really, his brothers are nutcases and Lucian seems the most stable.

When Lucian's sister returns after being gone for a decade, unable to communicate, it becomes a mystery to be solved of where she's been. Loyalties will be tested and only Lucian and Julia can find their own way through their relationship. Will the secrets become too much?

This was a very intriguing story with a little creep factor and a lot of twists and turns. I can't wait to see what happens next because I hope those brothers of his get their own stories.

4 Gothic stars.

Moonlight Sins reminded me of Gothic romance. Old-school V.C. Andrews, where the reader is left wondering if there is something paranormal in the air. An old, gigantic mansion, a twisted, rich family who believes they are cursed, mysterious deaths, and questioned lineages.

I refuse to give a synopsis style review, as this truly is meant to be a mystery, and I refuse to post any spoilers, and the blurb gives a good rundown of the novel's setup. I went into the novel blindly, and I'm glad I did.

The book and the series have a great hook – a mystery that isn't revealed until the climax. Even with its slow-pacing, barely a trickle of information regarding the 'mystery' during the bulk of the novel, I was still intrigued enough to keep flipping the pages.

While it's a long book, with a dark, Gothic feel due to the setting and its mysterious characters, I will admit, the pacing and slow reveal does make it feel even longer than its page count. If you're patient, the payoff is worth it. If you're more of an instant gratification reader, more interested in steam and angst than mystery, this novel may not be for you.

While I enjoyed Julia and was curious about all of the de Vincent brothers, the romantic and sexual connection didn't pull me in as much as the mystery did. The romance felt forced, to me anyway. While there was plenty of banter between Julia and Lucian, as well as with Gabe, I didn't feel the spark. I never became emotionally invested in the characters.

I will say, near the ending, I was worried these two characters were going to be kept apart for the sake of another installment with them as the narrators. Not a spoiler, but a guarantee for those who need it – happily ever after was achieved.

While I figured out the mystery early on, and was only waiting to be proven right or wrong, the level of intrigue in the de Vincent family kept me actively engaged. I look forward to reading novels by Dev and Gabe in the future (I hope), and am curious to see where the author takes these characters and the series next.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
This is not your typical love story. I enjoyed the intrigue, ghosts, family infighting, and dissension. The way the characters are written makes you want more, especially interaction between the brothers. There's a story there that the reader only gets a glimpse of.

A well-known family has its secrets and does its best to protect those they love, and in doing so, often color outside the lines.

The romance between Julia and Lucian starts off rocky, with Julia having difficulty imagining a relationship with a man who seems to have little to no ambition. Lucian knows that there is something about Julia that calls to him, to open his closed heart to a love.

Julia knows that any relationship that she has with Lucian will be second to him protecting his brothers and his twin sister. He's willing to do anything to make sure his sister has the best care necessary and makes a full recovery. Julia wants the same thing but has a feeling that there is more to his sister's condition that meets the eye.

I enjoyed this story, the way the characters were written and can't wait to read the next story in the series.

I don't read many books which give off a vibe of ghosts and even vampires, but the blurb really appealed to me, and to be fair, it is all in the delivery rather than being reality – and I enjoyed the gothic creepiness more than I expected! I am pleased that it is the first in a series, as the de Vincents are an interesting bunch of characters, and there is plenty more to find out, for sure.

I enjoyed the suspense in this novel, and it certainly kept me thinking all the way through, which was fun. It is done with great style, and the layers build up very effectively as the plot develops. From the first scene in the study, to the later revelations, we are led along an overgrown garden path of clues and diversions.

My feelings about the relationship between Lucian and Julia are more complicated – they clearly had chemistry, but after his first act, which was sign-posted, but at the same time rather weird, I took quite a while to warm to him as a serious suitor. Luckily Julia felt the same way, so I could also warm to him as a person, although I have a feeling that future installments will convince me more of the whole thing being real.

I did have a few issues with some of the writing, but I did read a proof, so these things may have been resolved by the final edition.

Looking forward to who features next, and catching up with them all.

Moonlight Sins was my introduction to Jennifer L. Armentrout's writing. I will say that there were good points and bad points, but the good definitely outweighed the bad.

This is a story of intrigue, with many different layers. The de Vincent family is steeped in mystery and plagued with prophecies. The question is, which is real? Are the 'hauntings' real? What or who is the real threat? These all kept me interested in the story, and ultimately kept me guessing. I was able to guess the main angle relatively early, but I had to find out if I was right!

I like the de Vincent brothers, I really want to learn more about them! Lucian is the youngest brother, and not taken very seriously by his family. He's a smooth talker, a bit overbearing, but ultimately, he's American Royalty and he acts like it. It took a while for me to "like" Lucian.

Julia is the girl next door, she's caring, compassionate, and full of fire. She knows what she wants, how she wants it, and when! She will not be manipulated, but she is her own worst enemy. Her head being at war with her heart, this just made me feel like she's a real person.

I loved the slow-build, the teasing and flirting – it was sexy. I enjoyed Julia and Lucian coming together because their interactions were hot. I will say a lot of the book felt like filler, instead of real action, it was just a glimpse in their everyday lives.

I do want to read more about the de Vincent family, both Dev and Gabe have caught my interest. I also want to see how the family moves on from the events in this book.

I absolutely ADORE Jennifer L. Armentrout. Whether it’s young adult, new adult, fantasy, romance, or some combination of all three, I’m convinced I’ll be obsessed with it because if it’s by Jennifer L. Armentrout I know I won’t be disappointed. I simply cannot say enough kind things about her writing! So, it comes as no surprise to anyone that I think Moonlight Sins is definitely worth reading. I loved the whole paranormal suspense vibe it had going on. Plus, I was immediately drawn into the story and it kept me guessing. Although, it took me some time to warm up to Lucien de Vincent, but eventually he won me over. I’m totally intrigued by the rest of the de Vincent brothers and where this story is going next!

I really enjoyed reading about the de Vincent brothers and I can’t wait to read Gabe’s story next in Moonlight Seduction! Also, pretty intrigued by the eldest de Vincent, Dev, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for that book too. I’m basically convinced that Jennifer L. Armentrout couldn’t possibly write something I didn’t find utterly riveting. She consistently impresses me in every direction she takes!

FIVE STARS for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Moonlight Sins.

JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT is the #1 international and #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 40 books, including the Wait for You, Lux series, the Dark Elements series, and Til Death. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion, Harlequin Teen and writes steamy and fun New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. Jennifer is also the founder of Apollycon, a yearly reader event that brings in over 1400 readers and authors together each year. She currently lives in West Virginia with her husband and two dogs, Loki and Diesel.

Connect with Jennifer

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Moonlight Sins (de Vincent #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout to read and review.

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