Waking Up With the Duke
by Lorraine Heath
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Book #3 in the London’s Greatest Lovers series
Number of Pages: 389
Ages 16 and up
CW: miscarriage, depression, cheating
They are masters of seduction, London’s greatest lovers…
Renowned for his bedchamber prowess, Ransom Seymour, the Duke of Ainsley, owes a debt to a friend. But the payment expected is most shocking, even to an unrepentant rake—for he’s being asked to provide his friend’s exquisite wife with what she most dearly covets: a child.
Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one…
Lady Jayne Seymour, Marchioness of Walfort, is furious that such a scandalous agreement would be made. If she acquiesces, there must be rules: no kissing,and certainly, no pleasure.
Until love takes them by surprise…
But unexpected things occur with the surprisingly tender duke—especially once Lady Jayne discovers the rogue can make her dream again . . . and Ransom realizes he’s found the one woman he truly cannot live without.
Even from the blurb, this book was a hard sell. But I really wanted to read Ainsley’s HEA so I went in with trust in the author to do this right. I expected Jayne’s husband, Walfort, to be a real tool right from the start. While he was a bit grating and I felt he wasn’t fair to Jayne because of feeling sorry for himself, he didn’t seem like a bad guy. Then, somehow, even when things are revealed and I didn’t like him, I have to admit that I didn’t hate him either. He annoyed me and I disliked him and a lot of his actions (how often would he try to guilt trip Ainsley?) but I didn’t detest him.
I’m so glad Ainsley was everything I had hoped he would be throughout this series. He’s so caring and doesn’t miss a thing. Whether it’s the plight of a commoner in a small village or Jayne’s pain when her husband makes ridiculous requests, he’s tuned into those around him and always strives to do the right thing.
Jayne started out a bit single-minded in her hatred for Ainsley. To be fair, he does have a reputation and he was the one with her husband when he had his accident. Yet, even before spending one on one time with him, she couldn’t deny their attraction. Once she got to know him she realized it wasn’t just a physical attraction but that the two actually had a lot in common. This is where the guilt comes in, which is also where my hostility toward her husband deepened.
The path Ainsley and Jayne embark on is not conventional, but it was lovely to watch them truly get to know the inner workings of each other while sequestered away. When that time is over, it broke my heart. These two play things out until the end but do get their HEA. It’s hard-won and deserved as they are both amazing people.