J. Saman is one of those romance authors that always captures my heart right from the beginning with relatable female characters that are strong willed, intelligent and ready to face anything that’s thrown at them. Many authors depend on weak-minded females to carry along a good romance novel, but Saman has women in her stories that I always admire and relate to.
Darkest Sin is not a different formula for Saman in this manner, where we have Emma who is on the run from her ex-boyfriend who tried to kill her. She’s gone into hiding and has tried to stay low, but while he’s trying to find her, everyone she has ever loved or been close to has been killed in his pursuit.
Emma could have chosen to become a scared young woman who took her own life with everything she’s had to face, but instead she decided to carry her own fate in her hands and keep herself hidden for years in the shadows of regular society, trying to hide from her crazy ex.
That is until a handsome stranger shows up in a coffee shop of the latest city she’s hiding out in, Las Vegas. She is sitting there having a cup of coffee when a stranger tries overly hard to get her to go out on a date and this mystery man defends her honor and immediately catches her attention. Emma is rightly concerned that this handsome fellow isn’t who he says he is, but that doesn’t stop her attraction to him. They are inexplicably drawn to one another and she can’t stop following the mouse down the rabbit hole.
This was not just a romantic journey, but one that incorporated so many elements of our seedy underworld of crime lords, drug and human trafficking and gambling, but also wove in tons of fun supporting characters that I’d love to learn more about. Specifically the elusive Fiona; she is the wife of one of the hotel owners and she has been through hell and back. Her and Emma immediately connect over their shared experiences and similar traits.
A story filled with drama, excitement, lots of crime and of course lots of sexual attraction and fun to be had between our main characters. I greatly enjoyed diving into the dark world of Darkest Sin and getting lost in their adventure. There have been a number of romance novels written lately that incorporate these darker story elements and I personally think they bring a refreshing light to romance novels. Because not all love stories are fairy tales, in the traditional sense.
One other thing that I enjoyed about the relationship dynamic between Emma and Gavin, was that while they had concerns and they mulled them over a little bit, they didn’t let those hang heavy in the way or drive them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Saman does a great job letting these characters explore their reservations and talk about their issues together, finding ways to overcome those issues. Many romance novels I read, this is the climactic piece that pulls them apart and allows them to find their way back to one another. Whereas Saman uses these elements as a strength factor for her characters. Very commendable character developments that I wholeheartedly appreciate.
Have you read any novels recently that incorporate a lot of crime or seedier elements? Do you think it makes you view the characters differently than when you read about ordinary people?
About The Author
J. Saman is a USA Today bestselling author of new adult and contemporary romance. She lives in New England with her husband and three amazing daughters.
J. loves all types of novels, but finds herself always going back to writing/reading romances. She’s addicted to Diet Coke and sour candy, and swears way too much. She’s an admitted lover of second chance romances, love triangles and the perfect amount of angst. She writes smart, strong women and sexy alpha (slightly nerdy) men who have a softer side.
J. Saman Books Website