The Fall of a Saint
Christine Merrill

Heat Level: Sensual


Honorable—and handsome to boot!—Michael Poole, Duke of St. Aldric, has earned his nickname "The Saint." But the ton would shudder if they knew the truth. Because, thrust into a world of debauchery, this saint has turned sinner!

With the appearance of fallen governess Madeline Cranston—carrying his heir—St. Aldric looks for redemption through a marriage of convenience. But the intriguing Madeline is far from a dutiful duchess, and soon this saint is indulging in the most sinful of thoughts…while his new wife vows to make him pay for his past.

The Sinner and the Saint

Brothers separated at birth, brought together by scandal


Christine Merrill is a new author to me but I did enjoy this book.  It does begin different than your normal romance but it is very well written and eventually the author lays out and explains everything. I think anyone who doesn’t read beyond the beginning will definitely miss out on a good book.  This is the second book in The Sinners and the Saint series but can be read as a stand-alone book.  There is enough past history explained within the book to keep the reader from feeling as if they are missing something if they haven’t read number one, The Greatest of Sins, in the series.

I can’t stress enough to not give up reading as it does begin differently than what is normally expected in a romance. Everything is not as it seems.  The author pulls everything together before the end of the book and an author who can pull this off, and Christine Merrill does, is very talented.

Brothers separated at birth, brought together by scandal

The hero is the Duke of St. Aldric, and the heroine Madeline Cranston, is a governess.  Michael Poole, Duke of St. Aldric, is everything society expects and desires in a duke.  Determined to live a different kind of an adult life than his parents, Michael became a gentleman everyone adored and respected and became known as “The Saint” with a perfect life and a perfect fiancée.  Then with an illness, mumps, he loses his fiancée and much of his perfect life.  Thinking everything is now ruined, especially as he is told as a result of the mumps he will never father children, he then turns to drink.

Making a mistake at an inn he enters Madeline’s room.  She thinks she is dreaming.  Madeline loses her position as governess along with her reputation which makes acquiring another position impossible.  She then shows up two months later on the Duke’s doorstep telling him she is with child. Being upset with him is putting it mildly and Madeline wants to make him pay.  She wants compensation.

Michael, being too drunk to really remember everything, doesn’t blame her and instead of compensation, offers a marriage of convenience.  The chance of becoming a father is something he thought was impossible and he wanted to grab at the chance and give his child legitimacy and childhood he never had.  But making that an actuality becomes very hard and with Madeline’s grudge against him he finds his life becoming exactly like his parents, a parents who lived life to make each other miserable. 

Madeline, who did not know the Duke prior to that one night and after a while begins to see the real Michael, finds it hard to continue her plan of making him pay in any way she possibly can.  He handles all the problems she creates in unexpected ways. 

Can this couple, with very different backgrounds, ever find happiness with one trying to make life as difficult as possible and the other bending over backwards to make things work to give his family a better life?  Will things really be different from the life he watched his parents live?

This great author pulls everything together into an entertaining read which tells the story of two people falling into unexpected circumstances and overcoming obstacles to make a happy life together.  This book includes and touches on every emotion a person will ever feel.  I highly recommend this and other books written by Christine Merrill.

Reviewed by Rhonda