Passions of a Wicked Earl
by Lorraine Heath
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Book #1 in the London’s Greatest Lovers series
Number of Pages: 384
Ages 16 and up
CW: cheating, death of a pet
Known throughout London for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, the 8th Earl of Westcliffe, cannot forgive an unpardonable affront to his honor. Discovering his young bride in the arms of his brother was a staggering blow–so he banished the beautiful deceiver to the country and devoted himself to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.
Claire Lyons was an innocent, frightened girl on her wedding day, seeking chaste comfort from a childhood friend. Now, years later, she has blossomed magnificently and has returned to London with one goal in mind: the seduction of her notorious husband. Unskilled in the sensual arts, she burns nonetheless for the kisses too long denied her. And she has but one Season to win back the heart of the rogue she betrayed.
This is my first foray into the writing of Lorrain Heath and she did not disappoint. The beginning had me a bit nervous, Claire was quite young when she married Westcliffe. Yet the story starts years after the wedding and the bride and groom haven’t seen each other in the three years since that day. The age difference isn’t vast and I no longer look at Claire as a child. But, while Claire has been the picture of innocence, the same cannot be said for Westcliffe.
Claire returns to London and inserts herself back into her husband’s life to help her sister, but in truth, she also wants to make a real go of their marriage. She knows what is said about her husband and that he has not been faithful during their years apart. She also knows the part she played in his disdain and lack of discretion. There is so much heartache between Claire and Westcliffe and they’ve never been a true couple, before or after their vows.
That this couple has chemistry is undeniable. Westcliffe is stubborn and only believes the parts he wants to believe when it comes to his wife and the things she’s done in the past. For her part, Claire is not at all good at logically explaining things although she is a very bright and capable woman. She also has a streak of stubbornness and refuses to beg or plead when her husband refuses to listen. Without knowing the whole truth, Westcliffe comes to get to know his wife’s true nature anyway and it’s almost as if her past mistakes don’t weigh as heavily on his mind. Or so it seems.
Watching these two fall in love, against their better judgments at times was lovely. The way Westcliffe has to look at himself and how he hurt Claire through the years and watching him grow as a person through that was quite satisfying. As was seeing Claire work through the different stages of her growth. Yes, she made a huge mistake. There comes a point where she has to stop being a martyr about that (very innocent) mistake and stand up to Westcliffe.
I flew through this story and I’m greatly looking forward to reading more about these brothers, as well as other books from this author. Looking back after finishing this book it is quite formulaic, but it was captivating and fun and I don’t care that I saw what was coming. It just works.
This is such a lovely review. Sometimes it doesn’t matter that you can predict a book. If the characters are endearing and the writing is good you still enjoy the journey.
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