Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lady Sarah’s Sinful Desires (Secrets at Thorncliff Manor #1) by Sophie Barnes - Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway

Enter to win one of three paperback copies of LADY SARAH'S SINFUL DESIRES

Lady Sarah’s Sinful Desires
Secrets at Thorncliff Manor # 1
By: Sophie Barnes
Releasing April 28, 2015

Welcome to Thorncliff Manor, where London's elite mix, mingle, and may even find their heart's desire...

There are thousands of things Christopher, Viscount Spencer, would rather do than hunt for a bride, especially since experience has taught him that women are not to be trusted. Then he finds the intriguing Lady Sarah scrambling around in Thorncliff's conservatory and he is instantly charmed by her passionate nature. But why is she so intent on avoiding him?

Lady Sarah would make the perfect bride for a peer—if not for a tarnished past that she's hiding from the ton. A stay at Thorncliff Manor was meant to help her plan for her future, not fall in love. Yet Christopher's kisses are irresistible, his gallantry enticing. When her secret stands to be revealed, will the truth ruin their dreams of happiness?

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“Good,” her father said as they stepped over the threshold into a massive hall with polished marble floors. At the center, a large wind rose was inlaid in black and gray tones.  “I’m glad we understand each other.”

Sarah  would  never know  if he said anything  further, for her entire focus was riveted upon the marble archways  that flanked the sides, the niches that stood above  them,  filled with  poised  statues  and  crowned by  towering   windows   through  which  golden  rays of sunlight  cast their  glow.  Above these, the ceiling curved toward an enormous painting depicting a fray of soldiers, angels and leaping horses.

“Come  along,  Sarah,”  her stepmother hissed, the words undoubtedly louder than intended  as they rose through the air and bounced  off the walls, filling the vast space with  bitterness.  “Don’t stand there dawdling. We’re being shown to our rooms now.”

On a heavy sigh, Sarah followed her family as they were led to a long corridor by a maid.  Though  the ceiling here was not as high as in the hall, it was still high enough  to make Sarah wonder  which poor  servant  was  given the  task  of dusting  for  cobwebs  all the way up there, if Thorncliff  even had a ladder long enough  for such a task, or if they just left the spiders alone  in the  hope  that  no  one  would  see them.  As they walked, Sarah also noted that footmen had been placed  at  every  corner,  their  expressions  impassive as they stared  straight  ahead,  protecting the virtues of young ladies by bearing  witness to potential mischief. Or perhaps they served to protect Lady Duncaster’s valuables from Thorncliff’s many visitors, Sarah mused.

They soon arrived in another hall, this one smaller than the first. A splendid staircase monopolized the space as it rose up, splitting halfway before continuing left and right. Bronze statues of women reaching toward the ceiling, each with a candelabrum in her hand, stood on either side of the base, while tall lanterns reminiscent of the streetlights Sarah had seen in London stood at the very top.

“I daresay I’ll lose myself in this place,” Alice murmured as she looked up at the ceiling, almost tripping on the steps in the process.

“If you do, I’m sure a maid or a footman will direct you to your room, though I doubt it will even be an issue, since you and Juliet will be in either my own or Hester’s company,” Lady Andover said, referring to the lady’s maid the three sisters would be sharing.

Sarah  didn’t  need  to  look  at  her  sisters  to  know they  would  both  be scrunching  their  noses  at  such a prospect,  for  as kind  as Hester  was,  she’d  gotten on  in years  and  lacked  the  energy  Alice and  Juliet craved.  “We would so much rather have Sarah for our chaperone,” Juliet said. “Oh please, Mama, can’t we spend our days with her instead?  You won’t wish to run through a maze with us anyway, and Hester prefers to sit in the shade all day.”

“Which   is very correct   of her,”   Lady Andover said.  “Young  ladies  should  stay  out  of the  sun  and off  their  feet  as  much  as  possible.  They certainly shouldn’t be running around like savages.  Besides, Sarah will be quite busy during her stay here. She’s going to make the acquaintance of Mr. Denison and will no doubt be quite occupied by his company.  Isn’t that so, Sarah?”

“Quite so,” Sarah said, dreading the meeting her father had arranged for her.

“So you see,” Lady Andover continued, her breath coming in short bursts as they reached the top of the stairs, “Hester and I will have to do.”

“As  you  requested  in  your  letter,  my  lady,”  the maid said as they followed  her down  a long corridor lined  with  burgundy runners,   “you’ve  been  placed conveniently  close to each other.  The rooms are also quite spacious, so hopefully you will all be very comfortable.” Halting  in front  of a door  carved  in rich tones  of  auburn-colored  wood,   the  maid  pressed down   on  the  handle   until  the  door   swung  open. “For the young ladies,” she said before crossing to the door opposite and doing the same. “My lord and lady.  If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ring the bell pull.”

“Thank you,” Lord Andover said as he popped his head through the doorway and peered inside the room.  “I think this will do very nicely.”

Bobbing  a curtsy,  the  maid  took  her  leave while Alice  and   Juliet  escaped   inside  their   room.   “I’m sure Hester will be up as soon as she’s ensured that the footmen have our luggage under control.  In the meantime, Sarah, please see to it that your sisters get some rest,” Lady Andover said, her countenance stiff as always. “The journey has been a trying one.”

“I will do my best,” Sarah promised.

Fantastic job of describing the characters and their emotions. Lord and Lady Andover, Sarah's parents, and Mr. Denison, the man she will have to marry are hateful. Sarah is so sweet, she does not deserve the way they treat her because of her mistakes. She is resigned to her fate, but then she meets Christopher and begins to secretly dream of a different future. What starts off as friendship soon turns to more with a little meddling from their hostess and his family. Christopher's sisters are great and his brother Richard is intriguing, I hope he gets his own story. Highly recommended - I can't wait for the next book in this series! 

ARC via Edelweiss

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parsons. But, most impressive of all, she's been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.
While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion: writing. When she's not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast. 


  1. Thank you so much for being part of the tour. Hope you have a lovely day!