Julia Hughes is the type of woman that never goes outside of her bubble. One day, she decides to start over and get away from her terrible marriage and boring job. Julia departs and finds a job as a caretaker for one of the richest families in the Louisiana bayou, the infamous de Vincents, a family full of murder and deceit. The one thing Julia does not expect is for them to be some of the most attractive people she has ever seen. She gets pulled into the drama, romance and danger almost immediately upon arrival. Jennifer L. Armentrout creates a juicy mix of contemporary romance and murder mystery in her book, “Moonlight Sins.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout has published some amazing sci-fi books and immensely popular romance novels. Her fans, myself included, were salivating at the thought of her creating another steamy romance. That is why it was such a letdown for this to not become a hit. It was a beautiful setting and the vibe of the haunted land gave some interesting depth. It laid the way for a creepy tale but did not fulfill it.
The book started off great. When the seductive Lucian was introduced, the audience got to feel out who the focus of the romance would be. Lucian seemed to be the ideal character as well. He was built and created with a beautiful mind. He said things like, “…beauty was a fickle gift given without thought. In most cases, it truly was only skin deep, and half the time it wasn’t even real.” It sets the way for an amazing character build.
The novel takes an interesting dive by dropping the sexy scene abruptly and turning to focus on death, specifically of Lucian’s father. The departure of theme was annoyingly unoriginal, and soon after the perspective of the story changes from Lucian to Julia, the boring house mom turned caretaker. It is all very typical of the genre.
The mystery ensues and there are obvious clues planted throughout that make the plot extremely predictable. For example, they could hear “sounds of footsteps on the floor above” right before they found the supposed suicide of their father.
Julia is the caretaker of Madeline, sister of the de Vincent brothers. Luckily, Madeline seems to be a more mysterious and complex character. However, this is ruined when she immediately and overwhelmingly reveals her mystery all at one time, leaving me disappointed and confused. The readers had no background on why she would do such a thing.
The book loses the reader’s attention through its the speed and the predictability of the plot. The relationship between Lucian and Julia was enjoyable but everything happened too quickly. He meets her once and has the typical controlling male response to “make Julia his.” All of this occurs during the aftermath of the father’s death and the weird occurrences with the sister’s mystery. It felt badly timed and would have benefited more from the Lucian than we got a glimpse of in the quote above.
The book had so much potential but failed to capture me fully. It just did not surprise me, excite me or make me emotional. The plot was too much like an old Lifetime movie. I hate to give such an unsatisfactory review on one of my favorite writers, but I am left unsatisfied with what I have read and do not plan to continue reading the series. Hopefully, the next book published by Armentrout will be one worth remembering.