Since being abandoned by his mother as a child Andrew has learnt to use his good looks to survive. He was taken off the streets but the person who should have been his protector abused him in the worst possible ways and led him into a life of sin and debauchery. Throughout his adult life he has amassed a fortune by catering to the eclectic tastes of the rich. After a surprising chain of events leave him with sole custody of his young son he finds himself in need of somewhere safe to live, somewhere that his reputation won't reach. Moving to a tiny island off the coast of Scotland isn't how he expected his life to turn out, especially not living with a quick witted governess who sets his pulse racing. Gemma has secrets of her own and desperately needs to keep her job, she quickly falls for Andrew's son Marc but is more than a little wary of Andrew himself. She can't afford to let anyone close enough to uncover her past but resisting a man as attractive as Andrew isn't going to be easy.
I have really enjoyed Maggie Robinson's Courtesan Court series so I'm sad that Master of Sin was the last instalment. Luckily she has a new series starting soon - the first book of The London List series is Lord Gray's List and it will be published in October - so I don't have to feel too upset. I was a little nervous about picking this book up though. We were introduced to Andrew in the previous book Mistress by Marriage and the way he behaved didn't leave me with the best impression of him. In fact I was more than a little nervous that Maggie wouldn't be able to turn him into a worthy hero so I half expected not to enjoy his story. I'm very pleased to say that Maggie proved me wrong though and I'm so pleased with how this series ended.
Andrew has had such a difficult life and although he has done a lot of things he is embarrassed about and ashamed of you can't help but understand exactly how he ended up in that position. He was groomed for the role of gigolo by the man who raised him from a very young age and did what he felt he had to do to ensure that he would never again have to live in extreme poverty. I found myself warming to Andrew almost immediately because of the way he was so quick to protect his son. He gave up everything that was familiar to him to look after a child he barely knew and that just shows what kind of man he really is deep down. As much as Andrew didn't feel worthy of being a father and building a happy family life he proved over and over how much he deserved it.
Gemma was a character I loved from the minute she walked onto the page. She is intelligent and extremely witty but what I liked most about her was her complete and utter refusal to back down and do what she was told. She was very opinionated, knew exactly what she wanted from life and was determined to go out and get it. It was nice to come across a historical heroine who isn't a virginal wallflower and the reason that the housekeeper wasn't talking to her had me laughing out loud. Gemma was a larger than life character who came wrapped in a very small package and she shook Andrew to the core. They really did make a perfect couple and I felt that they both needed each other to deal with their pasts and move on with their lives.
One of the things I loved most was watching Andrew bond with his son Marc - seeing them all become a tight knit little family was a beautiful thing. I also enjoyed the dynamic with the housekeeper and her husband and the other islanders along with the misunderstandings caused by language barriers. It was refreshing to read a story about a male gigolo - I'm sure most of us have come across books about female prostitutes who find their HEA but I don't think I've read about a male one before.
Master of Sin is a great ending to the Courtesan Court series and one I would definitely recommend. Although the book could be read as a stand alone story I'd suggest reading the series in order (or at least reading Mistress by Marriage before this one so you see Andrew's full story) because I've loved them all. Maggie Robinson is definitely an author who is on my must list read when it comes to historical romance and I look forward to reading many more of her books in the future.