Sandy M’s review of Beyond Scandal and Desire (Sins for All Seasons, Book1) by Lorraine Heath
Historical Romance published by Avon 30 Jan 2018
My favorite reads are when an author gives her characters an impossible situation. So impossible, it seems, that the reader even doubts there can be a happily ever after by the end of the book, despite the fact we know it’ll work out no matter what. Lorraine Heath is a master at this. From the prologue in this story, through the vengeance our hero wants, and then on to the heroine’s realization she can’t have love after all, your emotional state will barely be hanging on by a thread as that much-needed HEA finally comes to be.
I also like in this book that Ms. Heath has worked a bit of misleading information into the story line. Not for her characters, though there is a bit there too, but for the reader. Everything you thought you knew from page one takes a hit late in the story, about the same time the characters themselves finally work out exactly what happened thirty some-odd years before. I love being surprised like this.
Mick Trewlove is a bastard. He’s known that all his life. Though he is the son of a duke and he wants vengeance as well as acknowledgement, he has had a good life with his adoptive mother. Because his father refuses to talk to him and acknowledge him, Mick is ready to put his plan in motion to force the duke to do the right thing. That means the duke and his heir will go down while the businessman in Mick will reap the financial rewards of the downfall. His plan also includes the ruination of Lady Aslyn, who is the duke and duchess’ ward and betrothed to their son.
As successful as Mick is at his business dealings, Lady Aslyn is at being the perfect and innocent lady she was born to be and bred to marry well. She’s never stepped out of line in her life, but once she meets Mick, suddenly being naughty and wanton is appealing the more she gets to know him. Though Mick tries to keep his end game in sight when it comes to the lady, his self-delusion only lasts for so long. She intrigues and charms him at every turn, leaving him wanting her with no end in sight. Watching their slow burn toward romance and love is delightful.
Of course, their world has to blow up just when they’ve begun to believe maybe they can be together. Mick’s secret comes out, Aslyn is heartbroken, and the duke still denies he has another son. And when the duke and duchess’ story is finally told, you will lose your heart. It’s a gut-wrenching story they tell, and even Mick has to acknowledge that what he’s wanted for so long will never come to pass. And that’s when your doubts are swept away. Ms. Heath and her imagination come to the rescue. She does it every time, and it feels wonderful after your heartstrings have been pulled every which way and beyond.
I normally don’t do one of those favorite lines or passage from a book, but in this case I just have to, one between Mick and Aslynn:
“I fear I’ve worked you up into a lather. I supposed you’ll go to a brothel now.” She hated the notion of another woman touching him, of another being able to touch him in ways that a lady of her station could not, must not, would not.
“No.” His voice was raw as though he’d had to drag the word up from the depths of his soul.
“I lied. It wasn’t the ale that wanted you to kiss me”
He flashed a grin. “I know.”
Sobering, he cradled her face, stroked his thumb over her high cheekbone. “Never in my life have I longed to be legitimate more so than I do at this very moment.”
Mick’s last line there is so very devastating, because there isn’t a thing that can be done to change the circumstances. Society will have none of it and these two are left bereft. Just as I was.
I anxiously await Lorraine Heath’s books. She’s never once let me down, is true to her characters and the love and romance I come to expect in every story. I can’t imagine there’s a romance reader out there who hasn’t read her, but if there is, they should remedy that very soon.
At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .
Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . .
As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series: