Updated: Jan 18
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Avon Books
Book 1 in the de Vincent Trilogy
Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson.
Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent... her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting.
Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know.
The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #Romance Mysterious
Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L Armentrout is the first book in a trilogy series that centers around the de Vincents. This first one focuses on the youngest de Vincent son, the handsome player, nicknamed Lucifer, Lucian de Vincent, and the beautiful and kind-hearted nurse the family hires to take care of Lucian's twin sister, Madeline, Julia Hughes. Only, unknown to Julia, she meets her new boss the night before she is set to start her new job, and shares an intimate moment with him. When she is offered something she can't refuse to stay, she is quickly immersed in the dark, secret lives of the de Vincents. Rumors of the haunted mansion and the de Vincent family curse start to feel more real as Julia learns more about the families tragic past, especially with the latest death: Lawrence de Vincent. Despite this, Julia's and Lucian's attraction grows to something much more stronger. But can they overcome the family curse? Did Lucian's father really kill himself? And why is Madeline so troubled?
I think this is the first time I have ever read a book that actually felt ... gothic.
Is that a thing?
It must be. It just happened. Jennifer's use of imagery gives the whole book a very dark and mysterious vibe. Not just because it's set in New Orleans. The huge mansion, covered in vines that always grow back after being cut. The unexplained sounds. The brother's themselves, despite usually being pretty normal (well, except for Dev), all have a darkness to them. I won't lie. There were a couple of times I wondered if this was going to turn out to be a paranormal romance, but that isn't the case. Some explanations are given to the strange occurrences in the end, but we are left wondering if the curse is real. Being left with questions doesn't bother me, as there are two more books in the series. While the book was original in my eyes, and the story was interesting, I was left slightly annoyed that the mystery, wasn't really a mystery to me. I predicted what was going on early on, so once I got to the end, I didn't get that 'oh shit' moment one wants in a mystery.
Before I continue on to my thoughts on the characters, I need to point out that the romance aspect of the story was great. Julia and Lucian have great chemistry with one another, and even after reading the Wait for You series and Titan series by Jennifer, I am left feeling like this is one of her more erotic works I have experienced to date. Which isn't a bad thing. As I have said before, I am all for that.
Lucian is a good guy. Admittedly, he isn't my favorite of Jennifer's male leads, but he had quite a bit of lines that made me laugh, and he is obviously sweet. Protective. Smarter than he seems to those around him. Ruthless when he has to be. A little dark, and broken. While I enjoyed him, I didn't feel very connected to him though. Julia is a sweet character, who in a way, is the perfect match for the notorious player. She is the quiet to his wild. Her compassion, patience, loyalty and intelligence are most likely the qualities that drew Lucian to her (other than her being beautiful., of course). Like Lucian though, I didn't feel overly connected with her. I'm not sure if there just isn't enough back story with them, or what, but while I rooted for their happy ending, there was a slight disconnected with them.
Moonlight Sins, in the end, was a dark and twisty, sexy romance that was thoroughly enjoyable despite the minor problems I had. Was it my favorite of Jennifer's work? No. But it managed to draw me in, keep me invested. I can't wait to jump into the next de Vincent book, and maybe get some answers to some of those loose ends. :)
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Anna: "Oh my God, I think I just had an orgasm watching that."
Anna: "He asked about you, Julia."
Anna: "He asked 'who was that beautiful woman I was talk to earlier' and that was you. That was no one else. And that was why he sought me out to play darts. I was used. And I'm okay with that. You know why?"
Anna: "Because he's interested in you and this is your last night in this town, so you will do wherever he wants and do whatever he wants. Like anything. Even anal. 'Cuz I'd allow that. Oh yeah."
Julia: "Oh my God. You're insane. I don't even know him -"
Anna: "My sweet summer child. You don't need to know him to get down with him."
Taylor: "I'm about to say what's on my mind. You ready for that?"
Julia: "I guess."
He did what he'd done before, lowering his head so that his mouth was near her ear.
Taylor: "The whole time we've been standing here talking, I've been wondering about how those beautiful lips of your would taste. And I've also been thinking this who time that your lips aren't the only things I want to taste."
Taylor: "You really haven't done this before, have you? The whole hookup thing?"
Shaking her head, she wondered if her face was going to burn right off.
Julia: "I really haven't."
Taylor: "I see. You really are a good girl. I like it. But do you know what I like even more? I know there's a very bad girl in there who wants to come out and play."
Lucian: "I"m Lucian Taylor de Vincent."
Lucian: "So you've heard of me? Flattered."
Julia: "If I had known who you were, I wouldn't have let you into my apartment or done any of ... any of that with you."
Lucian: "So you're saying you would have let me rip your dress and fuck you with my fingers? Is that what you're saying?"
She made a choking sound as she glanced around the empty room
Julia: "I can't believe you just said that. I mean, I really cannot."
Lucian: "It's what happened and I don't regret it. At all."
Julia: "Well, I regret it. Obviously. The one time I go home with a guy he turns out to kind of be my boss who was scouting me out for the job I was hired for."
Lucian: "You don't regret it."
Julia: "Just because you had your fingers in me doesn't mean you know me."
Lucian: "That might be true, but I do know you want to save snakes and rats in your animal sanctuary. And I also know how it feels when you come all over my fingers. And I also know exactly how your nipples fit between my finger. And I know the hot as hell sound you make when you come. So, I know you don't regret that."
Lucian was sitting behind Dev's desk, feet kicked up on the shiny surface and legs crossed at the ankles when his older brother finally reappeared.
Dev: "What are you doing?"
Lucian: "Role playing."
Dev: "I don't think I want to know what kind of role playing you'd be involved in."
Dev: "As hard as it is for you to not make every decision based on your dick, I want you to try."
Lucian: "I don't make every decision based on my dick."
Dev: "You didn't fuck her. If so, you wouldn't still be interested in her."
Lucian: "I have no idea what you're talking about. I think Ms. Hughes will do well with our sister."
Dev: "And I'm assuming you've based that information off your conversation with her yesterday, because today, you spent ten minutes eye-fucking her and little else."
Lucian: "I didn't eye-fuck her for the full ten minutes. There were about two minutes where I was actually listening to your conversation with her."
Lucian: "Why are there five places set? Why are you still here?"
Stefan: "Because I live to make your life miserable."
Lucian: "Family. It's wonderful."
Lucian: I was just coming over to annoy you."
Julia: "At least you're honest about that."
Julia: "I would like to put some clothes on."
Lucian: "I think Flores wants you to stay seated."
Julia: "I don't care. I'm not sitting here in a towel any longer."
Lucian: "Not like I haven't seen it before."
Julia: "Not like you're going to see them again."
Lucian: "Is that a challenge? I do love challenges."
Julia: "Well, that's a challenge you're going to lose."
Gabe: "I'm going to head out. If he gets annoying, yell and I'll come kick his ass for you."
Julia: "I'll keep that in mind."
Julia: "You guys are really touchy and really friendly."
Lucian: "That means we like you."
Lucian: "You know what I find really helps when I can't fall asleep? There's this tea Livie has in the kitchen. I believe it has chamomile in it. Always helps me. At least, to just chill out."
Julia: "Oh, chamomile. That makes sense."
Lucian: "Also, fucking until sweat covers every inch of your body and you're near exhaustion also helps. I find that way a lot more fun and indecent way of falling asleep."
Julia: "That ... that is really ..."
Lucian: "Inappropriate? Yes. I know. Come on, I'll make you a cup of tea."
Lucian: "Do you believe?"
Julia: "Believe what?"
Lucian: "About the house and my family - the curse?"
She laughed softly
Julie: "No. No, I don't."
Lucian: "You should. You really should."
Lucian: "If you need anything for any reason, call me."
Gabe: "Or you can call me. I'm not as bossy as him."
Julia: "That is true."
Lucian: "I'm not bossy."
His brother let out a choked laugh
Gabe: "Are you seriously that unaware of yourself?"
Lucian crossed his arms
Lucian: "I have no idea what you're talking about. Ms. Hughes doesn't think I'm bossy."
Julia: "Actually, I think you're pretty bossy.'
Lucian: "Okay. Let me rephrase that statement. You like my kind of bossy."
Troy: "thought I'd pay my respects."
Troy: "Didn't like that man one bit, but I consider you guys my brothers. For that, I'll deal with a few minutes of wanting to punch myself in the balls repeatedly."
Lucian laughed under his breath
Lucian: "Right there with you on that."
Julia: "Is there anything I can help you with?"
Lucian: "There is a lot you can help me with."
Julia rolled her eyes despite the way her stomach did a pleasant little drop
Julia: "Let me rephrase that. IS there anything I'd be willing to help you out with?"
Lucian: "Oh, Ms. Hughes. You'd be willing."
Julia: "Is there literally anything you can't make sound sexual?"
Lucian: "No. It's like a superpower of mine."
Julia: "You are .... you are ..."
Lucian: "Incredibly sexy? Hot. Stunning. Extremely clever? No. Wait. I got it. I'm irresistible and irreplaceable?."
Her lips twitched
Julia: "More like reprehensible and manipulative."
Lucian: "Those are my less charming qualities, but they are effective, aren't they?"
Julia: "Why do you want to spend time with me and know all this stuff about me?"
Lucian: "Is it so hard for you to believe that I'd be interested in spending time with you? Or getting to know you?"
Julia: "Uh, yes. Yes, it is."
Lucian: "Okay. It's clear you're not getting it. I'm interested in you, in getting to know you, and in getting to spend time with you. And if you ask me why, I really can't answer that. I don't know. It just is. And I know you think it's because I'm bored. I'm not. Trust me. If I want to find something or someone to occupy my time with, the options are literally unlimited. And I know you think it's because I want to fuck you. That is true. I do. Obviously. I'm not going to lie about that. I lay in bed for hours just thinking about exactly what I'd like to do to you. It is strange though. The fact I actually want to fuck you and get to know you. Those two things are usually not accompanying one another."
Julia: "Wow. Just wow."
Lucian shrugged a shoulder
Lucian: "Hey, it is a surprise to me, but doesn't change what I want."
Gabe: "How are you, Julia."
Julia: "Fine. I was just finishing up lunch. We had Livie's beignets. They were amazing. I are so many of them."
Sabrina: "We can tell. Since half of the beignets appear to be on the front of what I guess is a shirt."
Julia: "Well ..."
Glancing down, she wiped a finger over the dusting of powdered sugar that had gathered on her chest. Bringing her finger to her mouth, she smiled at Sabrina.
Julia: "I was saving it for later."
Then she popped that finger in her mouth, sucking the sugar right off.
Lucian: "I really like her."
Gabe: "So do I."
He glanced over at him.
Sabrina: "What would you like about her? She looks like she could break either one of you."
His gaze shot to her.
Lucian: "You sound like a jealous, hungry little -"
Sabrina: "You know I like it when you call me names, Lucian. It makes m e feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
Lucian: "As if there was anything inside you that is warm."
Gabe: "Let me ask you something."
Lucian: "If it's about Maddie, I don't want to hear it, because I don't want to punch you off this stool and draw attention."
Gabe: "It's not about her. It's about Julia."
Lucian: "What about her?"
Gabe: "What would you do if I said I was interested in her?"
Lucian: "I'd punch you off that stool."
Lucian: "You take your job seriously."
Julia: "Why wouldn't I?"
Lucian: "I like that about you."
Julia: "My life is now complete."
Lucian: "Not yet, but I can help you with that."
Lucian: "I'm not just screwed up, Ms. Hughes. I'm as broken as they come, but I don't need to be fixed. I don't want to be fixed. I like all my fucked-up shards and pieces. They make me who I am. They make me rel. The question is, can you handle real?"
Lucian: "I love those sounds you make. Just hearing them could make me come."
Julia: "You ... you can't be serious."
Lucian: "Don't believe me? Touch me and find out. It'll be over in under a minute. That's how hot you make me. That's how crazy you got me."
His hot, wicked mouth moved along her jaw to her ear.
Lucian: "I can help you do it. You want that?"
Julia's eyes drifted shut as she bit down on her lower lip. This was insane. She needed to stop this, but she didn't when he curled his hands around her wrist. She let him draw her hand down his chest, over the tight ridges of his stomach.
Lucian: "What do you think? You say yes, I'll help you. I'll prove t o you just how read to explode I am. I can s how you what I do. I can s how you what I do when I'm thinking of you."
Lucian: "Damn, Ms. Hughes. I think Ii'm going to want to keep you."
Lucian: "Who cares if you're an employee or not? That doesn't matter to me or my brothers. What matters is what we want."
Julia: "The world doesn't work that way. Other things matter."
Lucian: "That is exactly how my world works."
Clasping the sides of her cheeks, he lowered his head and kissed her - kissed her like he had the first time.
Lucian: "And Ms. Hughes? You're in my world now."
Lucian: "Ms. Hughes, are you manhandling me?"
Julia: "Shut up."
Lucian: "I kind of like this."
Julia: "That's because there's something wrong with you."
Julia: "It's okay. I'm ready."
Lucian: "You sure about that? I can hold your hand if you want."
Julia rolled her eyes
Lucian: "If you take my hand, Ms. Hughes, I may not let go. Just letting you know."
Julia: "And I'm letting you know that it will be my choice if I took your hand. Or anyone else's hand."
Lucian: "I don't think you'll notice anyone else."
Julia stepped forward, shooting him a tight smile as she offered her hand to Gabe. She arched a brow and then faced Gabe. His brother helped her into the backseat.
Tilting his head back, he laughed deeply.
Julia: "You paint?"
Lucian: "I've been known to dabble a time or two."
Gabe: "Are you actually being modest?"
Lucian: "Would I be anything else?"
Lucian: "I know why you came to me. And I'm going to spend hours, maybe even the rest of the night, making damn sure you don't regret this."
Lucian: "I've done some things."
Julia: "What kind of things, Lucian?"
Lucian: "Things I'd do to your ex-husband if I ever had the pleasure of meeting him."
Julia: "You can't mean that. You don't -"
Lucian: "Don't say that I don't know you, Julia. I do. You're kind and nurturing. You have the best laugh, but you don't laugh nearly enough. You're smart and even if you think you're scared of things, you're brave. And I hope you realize that last part. You wouldn't be in this house, far away from everything you know, if you weren't."
She let out a shaky breath
Lucian: "And I know enough to know that you fall into that very small group of people that I would do terrible things to those who've harmed them."
Julia: "What things?"
Lucian: "Stuff I'm not necessarily proud of, but wouldn't change. I would do anything to protect those I care about. Truthfully, so would my brothers. There is nothing we wouldn't do."
Julia: "You guys ... your family really is in it's own world."
Lucian: "You know what?"
Lucian guided her back until she was lying on the couch as he rose above her. Those beautiful whiskey-colored eyes met his.
Lucian: "I want you in this world - my world. Do you?"
Julia: "What ... what are you doing?"
Lucian: "Memorizing what you look like right now so I can sketch it later."
Lucian: "You okay?"
Julia: " More than okay. It was ..."
Lucian: "Amazing? The best you ever had? You'll never be the same again? You saw Jesus, didn't you?"
Julia laughed as she lightly smacked his arms. He caught her hand and brought it to his mouth.
Lucian: "It was amazing. I don't even have words and I always have words."
Lucian: "I think I'm going to need seconds. And thirds. Like a fucking buffet of Julia nonstop."
Dev: "What in the hell are you doing?"
Lucian: "What does it look like?"
Dev: "It actually looks like you're making a grilled cheese sandwich."
Lucian: "Congrats. You're able to make simple observations and report on them."
Julia: "Would it make you feel better if I was sitting next to you?"
Lucian: "Yes. It would make me feel so much better. You know why?"
Lucian: "Because I like you, Ms. Hughes. I really do.
Julia: "I like you too -"
Julia yelped as he sat up, wrapping an arm around her waist. One second she was standing and the next she was lying on her back beside him.
Julia: "Holy crap, even drunk, you're fast."
Lucian: "I'm always fast. I like you best right here."
Heart pounding, she turned her head toward him. He was looking at her, and suddenly, he looked so incredibly young."
Lucian: "I think I ... like you too much."
Lucian: "Now, Dev, how can on cheat at pool?"
His brother snorted
Dev: "If there's a way, you'll find it."
Julia: "That sounds about right."
Dev: "I like her. She's smart."
Lucian: "You're supposed to be on my side, Ms. Hughes."
She raised her brows as she sipped her wine.
Dev: "And proving that she is as smart as I keep saying she is, she remains quiet. Unlike some."
Richard: "He's never had anyone fight for him the way he has fought for others. I have to ask. Are you going to fight for him, Julia?"
Julia: "I'm here. I'm here because I love you."
It was Lucian who flinched. He stumbled back a step
Lucian: "Don't -"
Julia: "No. You're going to shut up and you're going to listen to me."
Lucian blinked. Surprise rendered him quiet.
Julia: "I cannot imagine what you're going through and what you're feeling. The last twenty-four hours have completely changed your life - changed everything you knew, but they haven't changed who you are."
Lucian: "I know exactly who I am."
Julia: "I don't think you do. I don't think you know at all."
Lucian: "You only know the half of what I've done -"
Julia: "I know enough to know that you're the man I love. I know that you're fiercely loyal and protective. I know that your amazingly talented and generous. I know that you're smart and you're funny. I know that I can't even stay m ad at you even when you're annoying the hell out of me. I know -"
Lucian: "You know that I'm bad for you?"
Julia: "You're not."
Lucian: "Baby, you don't understand. This fucking house, this fucking family is going to ruin you just like it rots everyone."
Julia: "That's not true. I know it's not. Because it didn't ruin you. It didn't rot you."
Julia; "I love you. And because I love you, I'm not going to give up on you - on us. I'm going to fight for you. So get used to it. I'm yours. You're mine.
Lucian: "I don't deserve you, but fuck, I love you."
Lucian: "We're going to move."
Lucian: "We're going to move out. We're going to find a new place - maybe in the city. You'd like that, I think. We're not going to stay here."
Julia: "Maybe ask me if I want to move in with you?"
Lucian: "You came back. You're kind of stuck with me now."
Check out the rest of the de Vincent Series below!