Monday, January 29, 2018

Review - - Beyond Scandal and Desire


Beyond Scandal and Desire
By Lorraine Heath
Sins for All Seasons - Book 1
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
 





There have always been babies born on the wrong side of the blanket and various ways of dealing with them. In 1840 London, there was a well-known method among men of means. In exchange for coin, poor widows would take their bastards into their homes. What may, or may not, have been known by those same men is that many of those babies ended up in unmarked graves. Mick Trewlove was one of the lucky ones who did not but staying alive did not equate to an easy life. Mick stumbled upon the truth of his origins at an early age and from that point forward he had but one goal in mind: to become wealthy and successful enough to make his natural father acknowledge him.

Thirty-one-year-old Mick Trewlove has achieved everything he set out to accomplish...with one exception. He's wealthy, successful, respected - if not accepted - by London society but his natural father, The Duke of Hedley refuses to acknowledge him. The man will not even give him the courtesy of a face-to-face meeting. In Mick's mind, he owes him that at the very least for throwing him away like so much rubbish. Mick sets out to force a reckoning. The duke's beloved (legitimate) son and heir, the Earl of Kipwick has secrets he does not want his father to know that could disgrace him and send him into a financial spiral. He also has a lady to whom he is rumored to be all but betrothed. What better way to avenge the duke's actions against Mick than to ruin Kipwick and take all that he holds dear...including the lady, who Mick plans to seduce then discard. But the lady is not at all what Mick expects and the more time he spends in her company, the more dear she becomes to him. Revenge, however, does not quickly cool. If forced to choose between the two, which will win? 

Twenty-year-old Lady Aslyn Hastings has been the ward of the Duke of Hedley since being orphaned at a young age. She's had a good life with them, loves and respects both the duke and duchess, even if they are a bit overprotective, and is content with the knowledge that she will one day marry their son, though that relationship more closely resembles that of siblings than future lovers. And, if she sometimes chafes against the restrictions placed upon her as a lady, she pushes the discontent to the back of her mind. She knows her place and is grateful for it. Everything changes the day she meets Mick Trewlove. Suddenly, she knows exactly what is missing in her relationship with Kip and she seems to be happily breaking the rules she was taught at the duchess's knee at every turn. Is this love? Could she have found the man with whom she is destined to spend her life? Or, will she be left to pick up the pieces if Mick's plan is revealed?

I loved this book! I was pulled in from the beginning and my attention never wavered. Though surrounded by an intriguing cast of secondary characters, Mick and Aslyn are the heart of this story and remain so throughout. I was invested in them individually and as a couple and happily followed through all the ups and downs of their journey. Heath does an excellent job of allowing us to see below the surface of both characters, unveiling their strength, their hearts, and the flaws that make them believable and made me love them all the more. I love that Heath kept me guessing as to the final outcome of the story - not just Aslyn and Mick's relationship but what would happen with Mick and the Duke of Hedley. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, she would throw in a twist that had me back at square one. By the time everything was finally revealed, I was so emotional I went through at least half a box of Kleenex. 

This story offers an intriguing cast of secondary characters who have already piqued my interest. I'm looking forward to the stories of Mick's foster siblings and really hoping one of them features his youngest sister, Fancy and a more mature Earl of Kipwick. Those two have wonderful potential!  

For a deeply emotional, supremely satisfying story of acceptance, forgiveness, and love, I highly recommend Lorraine Heath's Beyond Scandal and Desire


Have you read any books by Lorraine Heath? Do you have a favorite?

What's the last book that had you reaching for the tissues?





19 comments:

  1. I haven't read her entire backlist yet, but I have enjoyed the books that I have read. One of her Lorraine Heath's best books is The Duke and the Lady in Red. That definitely caused a few tears. Sherry Thomas' book, Ravishing the Heiress, and Meredith Duran's book, Written on Your Skin, are emotional reads, too.

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    1. PJ - Since you referenced this in your review, I thought you'd be interested. Lorraine Heath just wrote this on another blog: "I had originally intended to pair Mick’s sister, Fancy, with Lord Kipwick, Aslyn’s fiancĂ©, but he turned out to be a rather unpleasant character and I don’t know that he’s redeemable—and now I have someone else in mind for Fancy."

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    2. Well, snap! I was so hoping she would redeem him for Fancy. Ah well, as he's residing in the author's mind (and not mine), I'm confident she knows him much better than I. And, I do so want Fancy to have someone worthy of her. Thanks, Kim!

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  2. I've enjoyed reading about 28 of her books. I really liked "An Affair with a Notorious Heiress". I can't wait to read "Beyond Scandal and Desire"!

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  3. I have been a fan of this author for quite some time, but I can't choose a favorite. It has been so long since I actually shed tears regarding a story that I can't recall when that last was.
    Will have to pick up a copy of this book to read, so enjoyed your review.

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  4. I love Lorraine Heath, PJ. She is an auto-buy author for me. My favorite of hers is still TEXAS DESTINY, though. I absolutely love that series and re-read it at least once a year. The Scoundrels of St. James series comes in a close second, with IN BED WITH THE DEVIL being my favorite in that series. Heath has a way of creating incredible characters and taking well known and over used tropes and breathing life into them, IMHO! Very excited to hear that her newest is up to her usual standards.

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    1. I very much enjoyed it, Irish, as I'm sure you could tell from my review. ;-)

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  5. I'm with Irish on Heath favorites. Her Texas trilogy remains at the top of my list, although I love many of the others. I thought the new one was a great read even though I almost passed on the ARC because I'm not a fan of revenge plots. I'm hoping for another better-than-I-would=have-believed read with When A Duke Loves a Woman, which pairs Gillie with a duke. A real stretch there, but I trust Heath to make it work.

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    1. I'm very interested to see what she does with Gillie, Janga. I have a feeling her Texas trilogy would top many a reader's favorites list.

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  6. She's on my tbr list. The last two books that I read both made me tear up - Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult and Look Again by Lisa Scottoline.

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  7. Lord of Temptation is a good one

    denise

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  8. I always love your reviews as they make me want to read the book from cover to cover. I can't say which one is my favorite book of hers, as I've read quite and few and enjoyed every single one of them.

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  9. This sounds like a wonderful beginning to a new series. Thank you for the terrific review. To be honest there are several of her books which have been among my favorites. Marry Me in Good Hope was the last book which made me tear up.

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  10. I remember reading her Lost Lords of Pembrook series, but haven't read more of her books in a while - I need to get some of them - this sounds like a good one.

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  11. I have read and enjoyed Lorraine Heath for years. I haven't had an opportunity to read any of hers recently, but have several on my TBR Mountain.
    I cry easily, so it there is often a scene in most books that will have me tear up. I am not at home t check through my books and jog my memory, but there was a book a few months ago that had me crying, not just tearing up. Sorry, but the past 3 months have been so busy, I can't remember the book title.

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  12. I've not read her before. Sounds like someone I need to check out.

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  13. I added this book to my TBR this morning but this review bumped it up to the top of it! I don't like crying when reading a book but some books are worth a few tears ;)

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