Friday, May 17, 2013

Waking Up With the Duke - Lorraine Heath

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.

I guess I haven't learned my lesson yet because, after the Candice Hern book I read out of order, I started a trilogy with the last book once more. Every time I talk about my favourite westerns I mention Lorraine Heath's Texas trilogy. Such wonderful reads! I've read a few other books by her over the years but none has touched me as those three books and to be honest it had been a while since I picked up one of hers. A comment on one of the groups I belong to made me want to pick up something of hers and this was what I found in the TBR pile.

I was a bit unsure when I started it. First of all who comes up with these titles? I think they are just plain silly! And then the premise... This is a romance so I knew from the beginning that the h/h would end up together but having your heroine start as a married woman just doesn't make me run to pick it up. But on I went and now I'm glad I did.

For those of you who have read the Texas trilogy this is not as good as those but it did remind me, in terms of intensity of feelings and guilt of the characters, of those books. Although his friends idea at first seems idiotic to him, Ainsley eventually agrees because he loves Jayne and feels partly responsible for her unhapiness. That decision, though, costs him because he will be giving up his child and he will be invlved with a married woman, which he has vowed never to do. Jayne on the other hands feels keenly that she is betraying her husband and to make it worse with the man responsible for his problem.

I had no doubt that Jayne and Ainsley would fall for each other and eventually accept those feelings but I had a hard tnme understanding why Walfot was doing it. He professed his love for his wife but always seemed very cold when dealing with her. I did like it that we just find out the answer to that towards the end because  that way Jayne and Ainsley situation seemed even more difficult to deal with.

I did like Ainsley a lot more than I liked Jayne. He seemed more alive, with more depth and so more interesting. Once again I thought that I would very much liked to have met him in the previous books, especially as his brothers seem equally interesting. The ending dragged a bit longer than I think was necessary but overall it was an engaging read.

Grade 4/5

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