Friday, January 31, 2020

Tour Review - - Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke
by Virginia Heath
Secrets of a Victorian Household - Book 4
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Release Date: January 23, 2020
Reviewed by PJ

A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!
Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

PJ's Thoughts:

I enjoy reading about characters at all stages of life but being a woman "of a certain age," I have to admit I do have a special fondness for a hero and heroine with a bit of seasoning. There is, after all, no expiration date on desire and romance. Both the hero and heroine in this book are past their 40th birthdays, widowed, and have no interest in marrying again. Lilian deeply loved her husband and had a wonderful marriage while Pietro, whose father forced him into an arranged marriage at a young age, has never loved. But both are still vibrant, sensual people and the attraction between them, immediate and fierce. 

I love that Heath takes Lilian out of her English comfort zone and away from friends and family for whom she would have remained "proper." By setting the story in Italy, she allows Lilian to blossom, throwing off societal restrictions, and engaging in a glorious love affair under the Roman sun. While it was a joy to watch Lilian embrace the latent sensuality that had always been a hidden part of her, it was equally enjoyable to watch Pietro, a notorious playboy who has indulged his sensuality frequently, learn to gradually open himself to emotions of the heart. 

The city of Rome features prominently in the story, with Heath bringing various parts of the ancient city alive through her descriptions. For someone who has visited multiple times, it was as if I was walking through ancient ruins and scenic hillsides along with the characters. For readers who have yet to visit Rome, it will make you want to book a ticket and pack your bags.

Pietro and Liliana's love story takes a leisurely path yet there was enough conflict, and growth, to hold my interest throughout. It can be read as a standalone, although references made to past events, and people, in Lilian's life left me wondering if there was more to learn about her character than what was included in this book. I began to question whether this book was part of a series and discovered that it, in fact, is the fourth book in a multi-author series with the first three books telling the stories of Lilian's three children. I enjoyed Lilian and the Irresistible Duke, and can recommend it as a standalone, but I have a feeling I might have had a deeper appreciation for Lilian's character, and the events that had brought her to this stage of her life, had I read the previous three books first which, after reading the epilogue, I am now inclined to do. 

Do you enjoy heroes and heroines with a bit more life experience?

Have you read any of Virginia Heath's books yet?


When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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  1. Virginia Heath has become an auto buy for me. I really enjoy her books and her style

  2. Ms Heath is a new to me author. Y'all continue to do that to me...give me another author who writes books I will love. Thank you.

  3. I do not read a lot of Regency Romance, but have read a few of Virginia Heath and loved them. She is the author I choose for this genre. Nice review.

  4. Love her stories! I've been a fan for a long time.

    As I am in my 60's I do like more experienced,older heroes and heroines.

  5. Virginia Heath was one of the first authors I read when I started reading romance. At that time, I picked up quite a few Harlequin Historicals. Since I am also a woman of a certain age, I am happy to see more authors writing books which feature older couples. Romance does not cease in the 30's or 40's. Time and experience can make a relationship so much richer.

  6. Congratulations, Glenda and DebraG. Enjoy.


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