Passions of a Wicked Earl
By Lorraine Heath
London’s Greatest Lovers, Book 1
Available 26 October 2010
Known throughout the city for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, Eighth 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 entirely to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.
Claire Lyons was an innocent, frightened girl of 17 on her wedding day, seeking chaste comfort from a childhood friend. Now three years later, she has blossomed magnificently. Still innocent, she 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 now she has but one Season to win back the heart of the rogue she betrayed.
This Blonde’s Review:
Let me tell you first thing that I did nothing today except read this book. I was so caught up in it that I was 20 minutes late picking my daughter up from her first day of Preschool! So clearly I really loved this book.
To start we meet Westcliffe as he’s engaged in some rather scandalous activity. We’re able to read his thoughts and see how disappointed he is in his lack of feeling for anything in his life. This will immediately make many women love him and want More for him. We Want him to be happy right from the start. Then we meet Claire, who is very nervous to see her husband after three years. The husband she hurt dreadfully on their wedding day by being found in an innocent yet compromising position on their wedding day. Westcliffe has no desire to forgive her or have anything to do with her. He only wishes she would return to the country where he left her immediately following discovering her with her closest friend, his younger brother Stephen. Claire can not, since she is determined to help her sister escape marriage to a man she does not know or care for. As they spend time in each other’s company Claire starts to see that Westcliffe is not the man that he is rumored to be, that he is more caring and has more love inside of him than even he believes. Westcliffe experiences Claire’s laughter and innocent joy and starts to see what is missing in his life, even while stubbornly clinging to the plans he made prior to Claire’s arrival. Claire is determined to win Westcliffe back and sets about seducing her husband, even if she has to fight his mistress to do it. As she slowly drives Westcliffe wild he has to decide if he is willing to forgive and move on with his life or continue on the path he has chosen.
I loved Westcliffe. He was a strong man who had been hurt dreadfully by Claire’s perceived betrayal on their wedding night. I love that so many times during the book he was willing to look back and appreciate Claire even when she was young, and that he recognized the joy she would have brought into his life. In some ways, this made finding her with Stephen even harder for him to accept. His mistress was everything he was supposed to desire, yet nothing like Claire. The glaring differences were the perfect foil for Claire’s wonderful qualities. I found Claire’s nervous habit of moving furniture to be endearing, and her subtle seduction of her husband amusing and wonderful to read about. I sincerely loved the characters in this book. I enjoyed Beth, Claire’s sister and hope that she is featured in the next stories too so we can see what happens to her. I found the complex situation with the brothers, Westcliff the Earl, Stephen the middle son, and the youngest, Ainsley a Duke to be a unique addition. It led to some interesting dynamics with the youngest being the higher rank, Westcliffe the oldest as a penniless lord until he married Claire, and then Stephen without a title but all of his mother’s love. We didn’t see much of Stephen in this story but what I saw and heard of him made me eager to hear his story next. Luckily Stephen’s story, Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman, is due to be released 30 November 2010.
Lorraine Heath has started what I know is a fabulous trilogy with this first book of the London’s Greatest Lovers series. I can’t wait to read all three of them, while at the same time I know I’ll be disappointed when they’re over. I already know this series is one I will keep and reread again and again.
If you enjoy a wonderful romance story with characters you will grow to love, don’t hesitate to pick this one up when it is released October 26th.