A Sinner without a Saint (The Penningtons)
Bliss Bennet, author
Artist Benedict Pennington is determined to persuade Julius Adler to donate his Old Master paintings to England to found a national art museum. Sinclair Milne, Viscount Dulcie, is equally determined to win Adler's collection by courting Adler's granddaughter, even though his sexual proclivities lie in an entirely different direction. Can a rakish viscount convince a passionately honorable painter that sainthood is less appealing than sin?
Bennett’s fourth Pennington romance introduces complicated gay characters who face down social conventions in 19th-century England. Incorrigibly glib Sinclair “Dulcie” Milne faces extreme pressure to marry well from his father, Lord Milne. He is goaded into betting that he can woo Polly Adler and inherit her grandfather’s extensive art collection, but his interests lie elsewhere—with his former schoolmate and artist, Benedict Pennington. Benedict engages in a parallel campaign to convince the Adlers to found a public art museum with their collection. The two men share a deep attraction, butting heads as they meet socially and Dulcie canvasses for Benedict’s brother’s parliamentary campaign. Impressed by the artistic realism of Benedict’s work, Dulcie talks Benedict into painting his portrait. The more serious, relationship-minded Benedict uses their posing sessions to wear down Dulcie’s flippancy and draw him into a hesitant romance. Several twists and turns delay their happy ending. This pleasing romance highlights the complications of premodern gay desires, rounding out its story with precise historical flair and genuine feelings. (BookLife)