Sinful in Satin, the third book in Madeline Hunter's 'The Rarest Blooms' quartet did not diappoint in the least. Celia Pennifold is the daughter of a celebrated courtesan. She is brought up to take on the same life as her mother. However, at the age of seventeen, Celia runs away from the life she has been reared to live. She finds refuge, friendship and true family with the women in Cumberworth. Five years later, her mother passes away and Celia is left with a mountain of inherited debt and a house that she never knew existed. She decides to forge a new life for herself.
Celia's first night in the new house brings her face to face with Jonathan Albrighton, a man she remembers from the time she lived with her mother. Jonathan remembers Celia as well, as the girls she once was, not the adult she has become. It turns out Celia's mom had made a tanancy arrangement with Jonathan and he expects Celia to honor it. So, while she attempts to create a new life for herself, he lives in the attic and their paths cross often. And when her past comes calling in a sad and distrssing fashion, Jonathan is there to help Celia, even though she is most stubborn about it.
What I most admire about this story is that Celia and Jonathan live on the fringes of 'acceptable' English society and flourish regardless of the snubs they receive. Of course, their true friends (some titled, some not) and their emerging love for one another also create a strong foundation.
There is one more book in The Rarest Blooms quartet - Dangerous in Diamonds - and I plan to read it immediately.