Author: Lorraine Heath

Review: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath

Posted June 1, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The son of a duke and an infamous mother, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton, fought his way to respectability. Now, the most eligible bachelor in London, marriage-shy Rexton will take only a wife with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets. But when he strikes a deal to be seen “courting” a sweet young debutante whose notorious older sister has blemished her chances for marriage, Rexton is unexpectedly drawn to the highly inappropriate, calamitous Tillie, Lady Landsdowne herself.

After a scandalous incident that sent shockwaves throughout society and disgraced her, Tillie refuses to cower in the face of the ton. Instead, she will hold her head high as she serves as a chaperone for her younger sister, but Tillie is convinced Rexton’s courtship is shrouded with secrets—ones she vows to uncover. However, doing so requires getting dangerously close to the devilishly handsome and forbidden marquess…

An Affair with a Notorious Heiress is the fourth book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series by Lorraine Heath and it follows Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton. Rexton has a bunch of siblings that we’ve come to know throughout this series. I have enjoyed every single book in this series and that didn’t stop with this one. Lorraine Heath is one of my go to historical romance authors because she writes historical romances that have that old school feel and I fall into each of her stories so very easily.

The Marquess of Rexton is no stranger to scandal. His mother wasn’t born into the aristocracy so when his father married her, she wasn’t really accepted but that didn’t stop his father from loving the hell out of her anyway. Rexton was bullied at school because of his mother. He grew up and had to deal with a scandal that was not his and he swore that when he grew up and took a wife, she would be above reproach. His children will never know the pain he endured when he was a child.

Lady Mathilda Landsdowne is a walking scandal. She’s a divorced woman who was caught kissing her footman and all this time later, she’s still paying for her actions. She has plans to leave England and return to New York to start over but first, she needs to get her younger sister situated and make sure that she marries someone who is worthy of her. Someone that will take care of her and make her happy, because Tillie knows all too well the misery behind marrying the wrong guy.

Rexton was approached by Tillie’s uncle to pay some attention to her younger sister, Gina in hopes that other gentlemen will take notice of her since Tillie’s divorce scandal has kept Gina from having the season she deserved. Rexton has no plans to marry Gina since she’s too young for him but when one of the best racehorses is dangled in front of his nose, he finds himself asking the young girl to dance…and then asking to take her for a ride in the park.

Tillie is suspicious of Rexton and she’s also attracted as hell to him. The attraction she feels for him is definitely returned and their story kind of takes off right when they meet. Rexton is immediately drawn to Tillie, to the strong front she puts up for everyone to the obvious love and support she has for her younger sister, Gina. The more time that Rexton spends with Tillie, the more that he wants her. Tillie is fighting her attraction to the man that is “courting” her sister but it’s a losing battle.

Lorraine Heath did such a great job of pulling my heartstrings with this book. Between Tillie not wanting Rexton to suffer from loving her and Rexton wanting to protect Tillie from everything and everyone around her, I was happy sighing all over the place. I completely connected with both of their characters and their situations. I wished for them to work things out and for them to find a way to be together and in the end, I got my wish.

Tillie was a strong heroine that was hellbent on making sure that her sister didn’t make the same mistakes she did and I really loved the relationship between the two sisters. Gina wanted Tillie’s happiness just as much as Tillie wanted Gina’s and I loved how Team Rexton Gina was. That was just too adorable for words.

Rexton was everything that I hoped he would be and I loved seeing him fall in love with Tillie. I loved seeing how close he was with his family and the way that they all came together to accept Tillie into the fold was just too stinkin’ good. The way that they banded around Rexton and his woman made my heart swell. He was such a good man and my bloodthirsty heart was satisfied with the beat down he gave anyone who dared to touch Tillie.

Heath worked her magic and it paid off because this was a fine romance and I’m super glad that I read it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath

Posted March 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham #3.5
Also in this series: Falling into Bed with a Duke, The Earl Takes All, The Earl Takes All, The Viscount and the Vixen
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 128
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The long-anticipated and utterly extraordinary tale of the Mad Marquess that proves love truly does last forever

The Marquess of Marsden always follows the rules. Expected from birth to adhere to decades of tradition, he plans to marry a proper young woman from a good family. But when a beautiful, and completely unsuitable, woman snags his heart, he begins to realize that to get what you want, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Linnie Connor dreams of the independence of running her very own bakery. And while she may be allowed to be a marquess’ childhood companion, the baker's daughter never ends up with the handsome nobleman. Determined to achieve at least one of her dreams, Linnie makes plans to leave her sleepy village for London, intent on purging him from her heart. And yet, when an invitation to the Marsden annual ball arrives, she can't refuse her one chance to waltz in his arms.

It will be a night that stirs the flames of forbidden desires and changes their lives forever.

Lorraine Heath did something with this story and I wasn’t even aware that I wanted this story until I picked it up for review. You see, this story is about the Mad Marquess of Marsden. The crazy man that walks the moors because he swears that his wife’s ghost is there with him. For three books, we’ve seen Marsden as an eccentric aristocrat who is just waiting for death to come so that he can reunite with his loving wife, Linnie.

This was a different sort of romance in the sense that we know what happens to the main couple later on and that casts a slight shade on the romance in this one but I don’t even care because Lorraine Heath did a great job of telling Marsden and Linnie’s story. While I was reading this short story, I wasn’t thinking about what is to come for these two. I was just enjoying the story of two best friends falling in love and finding a way to be together.

Linnie was everything that I was hoping she’d be from the descriptions of her from the other books in this series. Goodness, if only Locke had gotten to know his mother because she was freaking awesome but as awesome as it was to get to know her, it was Marsden that I was happy to get to know all over again. A young Marsden was a hunky piece of yumminess and I loved seeing him before he went mad for love of his wife. I also really enjoyed seeing Ash and the twin’s parents as well. All in all, this was a short bunch of sweetness that I loved from beginning to end. In the short amount of pages included in this story, I laughed and I even cried a little bit because gah…it was good stuff. You guys should definitely read this one. It’s the perfect ending to a fabulous series. I totally recommend!

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

Posted November 28, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham #4
Also in this series: Falling into Bed with a Duke, The Earl Takes All, The Earl Takes All, When the Marquess Falls
Published by Avon
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere.

Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place!

Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.

The final hellion gets his story told in this book and as always, Lorraine Heath delivers a dramatic but intensely compelling story about two people who didn’t trust each other and yet were drawn to each other at every turn. Their passion turns into so much more than either of them wanted or was prepared for.

Locke is the lone bachelor in the hellion bunch and he is a-okay with that. He’s not in any rush to get married or sire an heir because he’s not ever going to fall in love. He makes this decision because he grew up with a father who turned away from life and went crazy over the loss of the love of his life. Locke’s mother. Locke has lived his life without a mother and because of how crazy his father goes after her death, he lived his life without much of a father as well. I mean, sure Marsden is around and he loves Locke but Locke lived a pretty lonely life when he was a kid before the other hellions came to live with them. As an adult, Locke prefers his own company instead of being part of a crowd or what not and that probably has a lot to do with being surrounded by whispers about his mad father but his reasons are his own. When Portia comes waltzing into his home, claiming to marry his father, Locke is taken aback because 1) who the hell does she think she is and 2) she is a hot mama and he wants her instantly.

Portia has a secret she is determined to keep and she’ll do whatever it takes to protect this secret. Like, marry a complete stranger because she is in dire need of the protection only a Lord of the aristocracy can give her. Her plan to marry the Marquess of Marsden is perfect because he’s old as hell and she’ll be able to live a peaceful life as his companion but when her plans get turned around and she ends up married to Marsden’s younger and more virile son, Portia’s world tilts and she has no choice but to ride it out.

Heath brings the angst with every book she writes and she does a great job of pulling the reader along for the ride. I was curious about what Portia’s secret was and even though I thought it took her far too long to come clean about it all, I thought the whole drama made for an entertaining read. Seeing Locke fall head over heels for Portia at the same time that Portia was doing the same thing had me happy sighing all over the place. These two were determined to do their duty and that’s it but life doesn’t always go the way you think it will and I loved seeing Portia and Locke work their way to that happy ending.

This was a great addition to the series and overall, I enjoyed the emotional journey through each book. Heath did it again, she rocked my socks with a romance that I ate right up and I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

Posted April 29, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Tracy
The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham
Also in this series: Falling into Bed with a Duke, The Earl Takes All, The Viscount and the Vixen, When the Marquess Falls

Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

Edward Alcott went on safari with his brother and twin, Albert.  It was to be their last adventure before Edward calmed his rakish ways and joined parliament.  Unfortunately, Albert is killed during the safari. Before he dies he asks Edward to pretend to be him so that Albert’s wife, Julia, doesn’t lose the baby she’s carrying due of grief.  Edward agrees and brings his brother’s body back to England but tells everyone that it’s Edward that died.

Edward manages to pull off his ruse with Julia but the longer he hangs around her the more he falls in love with her.  Strangely enough Edward discovers that Julia didn’t hate him as much as he had thought as she mentions things about him (Edward) that surprise him time and again.  After she gives birth he knows that he should tell her who he is but he just wants to be Albert for a while longer so that Julia will love him even though he knows she would be loving Albert and not Edward – as long as he can be with her.  Edward knows that she will hate him once she discovers the truth and he’s not sure he can bear it.

Julia knows that there’s something different about her husband but she thinks it’s just because he’s been away for four months and is now grieving over the death of his twin.  She does know that she has fallen farther in love with Albert than she had ever been and loves the changes in him.  When she finds out that he is actually Edward and not Albert she hates him, but love and hate are so closely connected she’s confused about her feelings for Edward.  When she finally admits to herself her love for Edward, the problem comes up that because of British law they can never be together.  Do they live separate lives and continue to yearn for each other or do they continue with the ruse and have Edward play the part of Albert for the rest of their lives?

Normally when I read romance novels I don’t particularly care for the characters pretending to be someone or something they aren’t.   Knowing that Edward was going to be playing the part of his brother in this book truly had me contemplating not reading it but Heath had me connecting with the characters in book one and I couldn’t fathom not reading their story.  I’m so very glad I did because I ended up loving this book.

When I read stories about people playing someone they aren’t it makes me nervous for that reveal.  I’m almost coming out of my skin as I read waiting for when they are discovered.  This one certainly had me on the edge of my seat but the author did such a fantastic job of telling me Edward and Julia’s story that I almost forgot about the deception at times.  The emotions involved in every aspect of this story really got to me.  Albert dying (and Edward telling how he died) had me in tears.  Every time I thought of him dying the horror of it, it just made my heart hurt.  And Edward having to witness it and the reasons it happened?  Oh my lordy it was sad.  Albert was such a good man and husband and I hated to read about his death but then we wouldn’t have had Edward and Julia’s story.

The romance was sweet and quite touching.  I honestly didn’t think that I would like this book as much as I did.  No, we didn’t get to know Albert very well in book one but he was a fine upstanding man that of course I didn’t want to die.  That being said, I totally fell in love with Julie and Edward as a couple and wanted nothing more than for them to be together – but I just couldn’t see how the hell it was going to work!   The emotions were so high and there was so much at stake and all the ins and outs of “being” Albert or telling the truth (after Julia found out) were heart-wrenching.  I teared up more than once near the end of the book as it was a bit overwhelming.  I also loved the fact that Heath didn’t diminish the love that Julia had for Albert or make her love for Edward any greater.  It was just different and I so admired the characters for each recognizing that fact.

Edward’s character shouldn’t have been one that I ever liked.  In the first book in the series you could tell that he could be kind to his friends but I never thought I would love him. When we find that for the most part he was more playing a part than actually being a total wastrel/rake/drunkard and the reasons behind it I understood him a lot better.  I ended up liking him even more than Julia (even though I really like her too, don’t get me wrong) and that’s saying something about this author’s writing skill, imho.

The Earl Takes All is my favorite book of the year so far.  It’s April and it’s my first five star read.  I love this book and I highly, highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

Posted April 21, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham #2
Also in this series: Falling into Bed with a Duke, The Earl Takes All, The Viscount and the Vixen, When the Marquess Falls
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Romance, Regency
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

The Earl Takes All is the second book in the Hellions of Havisham series and it packed an emotional punch because everything that I was afraid was going to happen in the last book…happened and I was so scared to read this one because I didn’t know how to feel about what I knew was going to happen. If that doesn’t make any sense, sorry but that’s what I got for you.

Albert and Edward Alcott are twins that lost their parents when they were young boys. They were shipped off to live with the Marquess of Marsden at Havisham Hall, a friend of their fathers who was going to raise them along with the Duke of Ashebury and his own son, Locke. The Marquess of Marsden is known in the ton as the Mad Marquess because he’s gone mad ever since the love of his life died. He didn’t pay much attention to the boys when they were younger so they had free reign to run wild all over Havisham. They earned their reputations as the hellions of Havisham but they’re all grown up now. Ashe has married and taken his rightful place as the Duke of Ashebury. Albert has married and taken his rightful place as Earl of Greyling.

Edward and Locke are the lone bachelors in their group and the two of them have different reputations. Locke is the quiet one, the one everyone thinks is going to follow in his father’s footsteps and turn mad just like him. Before I get into the rest of my review, I am so looking forward to getting more Locke in his book. I’m so anxious to see where Heath takes his character because I love the hell out of him and we’ve gotten little information about him so far. Edward, on the other hand is the group weasel. He’s a dick to his sister in law, he lives his life with abandon not caring one whit about anything real or lasting. He lives for adventure and is known as the group scoundrel. The worst of the lot.

Edward invites Albert to go on one last safari with him before Albert’s baby is born and won’t have time for adventures anymore. It was to be Albert’s last hurrah before settling down for good into the family life. When tragedy strikes on the safari, Edward comes home with a promise to Albert to fulfill and a whole lot of regret.

Lorraine Heath hit me in the feels at every turn in this book. First there was Albert’s death and then Edward’s promise and then as the story unfolds and you see Edward and Julia getting closer and closer and your heart pounds because it’s such an impossible situation for Edward but what other course was there for him? What else could he have done to protect his brother’s child and wife?

Oh man, this book was good. Lorraine Heath really shines with these complex characters and stories. I tried to prepare myself for the angst that I knew was waiting for me within the pages of this book but like Edward, the romance that blossomed between him and Julia knocked me on my ass. I didn’t think I could love any of the hellions more than I loved Ashe but holy cow, Edward. I wasn’t prepared for the wealth of love I would develop for him. I think I loved him more than Julia did.

I thought Heath did a wonderful job of balancing the new romance between Edward and Julia without taking away from Julia’s love for Albert. There were little moments where I was unsure how things would work out for the both of them but I never once doubted the love between both Albert and Julia and then Edward and Julia. I really loved that she didn’t sacrifice one character to further another character’s story. This book was handled with a sensitivity that I think would be hard to write without making the reader hate one, if not all of the characters involved so I was impressed with Heath’s efforts. There wasn’t a thing that was taken lightly, nothing was brushed over and I liked that.

This was a good book and even with the complicated romance, I highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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