Friday, May 24, 2013

Passions of a Wicked Earl - Lorraine Heath

Known throughout for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, the 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 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.
They are masters of seduction, London's greatest lovers. Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one . . . until love takes them by surprise.

I couldn't resist picking up the other books in Lorraine Heath's trilogy that ends with Waking Up with the Duke. Since "troubled marriages" and "second chance at love" are among my favourite themes in romance novels this seemed right up my alley. Not to mention the angst potential this kind of story has.

Well it definitely falls within those themes as the h/h have been married for a few years but separated after marrying due to a misunderstanding (I should say that said misunderstanding could have been easily explained at any time...). The heroine has been living in the country alone and the hero has been living in the city. But Claire wants to bring out her sister and she is determined to use her husband's status in society to do it.

I thought a bit unbelievable that after spending 3 years avoiding her husband and not explaining to him what was really going on that fateful night that Claire suddenly grows a backbone and decides to confront him, tell him the truth and make him do what she wants. But apart from that this it could have still worked for me. In fact when I finished I thought it an ok read, totally forgettable but not particularly bad. But looking back I keep thinking that Morgan just accepted Claire’s explanations to easily (for the kind of grudge he had been holding) and that exploring those feelings of his (that were also fueled by his past and the expectations it created) it could have been a major contention point in the story. As it was it kept being about Morgan's mistress, how he wanted to divorce Claire to marry her (when she was a typical "other woman" villainess) instead of being about them meeting again, changed by life and past events, and falling in love with each other.

I also have a problem with this series being called London's Greatest Lovers. The books are not about sex (ok not only about sex as this is a HR after all) and I didn't like this emphasis on sex to bring the heroines to the point. Balogh writes this type of plot beautifully, with little sex but great tension and that's how I prefer it.

Grade: 3.5/5

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