Genre: Paranormal Romance
Paranormal Element: Demons, Vampires
Series: Sinners & Saints (Book One)
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Review copy received from author.

When I was sent Lost Wages Of Sin by Rosalie Stanton for review by Parajunkee, I read the back and was immediately intrigued. Sins, Angels and Vampires. Doesn’t get much better than this. Plus throw in some long held unrequited love and I am a goner. Rosalie Stanton definitely delivered in this book with engaging and funny characters plus a storyline that zipped along, making me wonder where the time had gone when I was finished. This book for me, was a fresh new take on a paranormal world and some quick and neat world-building that left space for plenty more tales.

Ava is a sin. One of the Seven Deadly Sins. Avarice to be exact. When we meet her she is hiding out from her former boss Lucifer. Lucifer is on the warpath. Not because she fell in love with an Angel, but because she didn’t manage to make him fall all the way. Sebastian loved her and was going to leave Heaven for her (and she was going to leave hell) but he got cold wings (heh) and left her a Dear Jane letter instead, fleeing back to Paradise, leaving Ava to deal with the fallout of their failed relationship. And what a fallout is is. Lucifer is incensed because if the Angel didn’t fall he was free to go back to the Big J and tell him all of Ava’s secrets. This puts Ava and all her siblings (the other sins) in hot water with Lucifer because if their secrets are revealed they become useless to Lucifer and Lucifer has no time for useless.

Dante is a vampire and has been friends with Ava for many centuries. What Ava doesn’t know is that he has had secret feelings of love for her for all of those centuries. Feelings he hides with innuendo and flirting. When he finds out Ava is on the run and why she is on the run he goes to find her, simultaneously worried about her and wanting to protect her and angry with her for being with someone else. Dante had convinced himself that Ava just wasn’t into sex, having never showed any interest in it over the many centuries he has known her and had reconciled himself to being her friend and colleague on earth. That she finally gave her virginity to someone else and an angel to boot has him writhing in jealousy.

This was a fun and sexy book. I really liked the world the characters inhabited. I love the shades of gray the author drew. That Big J wasn’t all saintly and Lucifer wasn’t just pure evil and neither were angels and demons. Dante, who is supposed to be selfish and capricious and evil actually turns out to be a steadfast and loyal friend and companion capable of moments of great tenderness and intimacy. Admittedly, until we get past his facade of innuendo (initially he does come out with some incredibly crass comments) he does come across as this hedonistic vampire only out for himself. But the author does a great job of drawing out his personality bit by bit. Ava on the other hand is a contradicition of empowered female and unsure Mary-Sue. She is totally at ease with who she is in terms of her work and her place in the world but is completely at sixes and sevens when it comes to her sexuality. The first time she explores it she is hurt badly by someone she figured would never hurt her. An Angel. And then she is afraid to try a second time especially so soon after the first time and with a vampire. Someone who would use her then toss her or so she thought. It was quite heartbreaking watching Ava suddenly have to deal with this new Dante she couldn’t relate to and the feelings he was arousing in her. I enjoyed the journey that Ava took, watching her come to the realization that she had also become blinded by the prejudice and superstition that humans had about good and evil. That Dante was someone she could count on and more than that she deserved to have someone who she wants and who wants her. (A big thing for Avarice.) All in all this was an extremely satisfying romance with a quirky set of characters and some captivating worldbuilding. Enough to make me go back for second helpings.

I would recommend this book for lovers of Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy. Readers who enjoy the sexxorin’, with some funny banter and sexual tension. Fans of Jeaniene Frost, Charlaine Harris and Dana Marie Bell will enjoy this book. It is quite explicit in areas so I would suggest it is for the adult reader.