REVIEW: Passions of a Wicked Earl by Lorraine HeathMonday, November 8, 2010 1:00
Sandy M’s review of Passions of a Wicked Earl (London’s Greatest Lovers, Book 1) by Lorraine Heath
Historical Romance published by Avon 26 Oct 10
Lorraine Heath is one author who, in my eyes, can do no wrong. Her books are full of emotion and passion, characters who take up residence in your heart from page one and who you’d like to know every day of the week, a story that is compelling and heartfelt, and romance that both breaks your heart and then makes it sing. Yes, this author is one of my favorites. She always will be.
Right off the bat we get huge conflict between Morgan Lyons, the 8th Earl of Westcliffe, and his estranged wife, Claire. They’ve been married for three years, a union that has never been consummated due to the fact Westcliffe found his new bride in bed with his brother – on the wedding night. He lost it. As you can imagine. He packed his wife up and took her to his country estate, where she’s been living in the intervening years.
But now she’s back in London. Claire’s not the child who feared her husband on her wedding night and made the biggest mistake of her life. Her sister is now of marrying age and their father has chosen a man who would make a horrible husband, so Claire puts on a brave front and confronts her husband in his home, explaining why she’s there and hoping for forgiveness. But she’s going to have a long wait.
Westcliffe has not been celibate during their separation and he’s currently involved with a widow whom he only lusts after, and that’s good enough for him. Until he really begins to see his wife. He notices things about her he never took the time to notice before. Her gentleness and kindness move him as no one else has ever done. Her skin is soft and drives him wild, something his current lover does not do. However, it will take more than any of this for him to trust her ever again.
Seeing nearly the same things in her husband as he sees in her, Claire begins to have hope for their relationship. She sees his kindness and loneliness and vulnerabilities, and she also begins to realize how much she truly hurt him, how much she destroyed his trust, something that didn’t come to him easily even before her error in judgment. They’ve been enjoying each other’s company escorting her sister to balls, taking walks, and just talking. Little by little Claire believes Westcliffe has come to love her and they may have a chance.
Of course, betrayal hits again and all they’ve worked for is thrown for a loop one more time. And this time tragedy strikes as well, which leads to the realization of what one will do for the person they love. Such an emotional time for Westcliffe and I love him all the more for his vulnerabilities, his mistakes, his misunderstandings.
I really like the way Ms. Heath even uses Cooper, Westlcliffe’s dog, throughout this book. You get such an insight into the man through the companionship with his pet, just as Claire does. There are some wonderful moments with that collie.
Stephen’s book is next and I’m am very anxious to find out what Ms. Heath has done with him. He’s the middle brother and one who has not done well in life, causing havoc all around him. It’s going to take a lot for me to have a soft spot for him, but I have every faith in this favorite author of mine.
Lastly, I love these covers. My favorite is the next book, Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman. Check out an enlarged copy of it somewhere. Depicts Stephen’s story before I’ve even read it!
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.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: