Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Passions of a Wicked Earl by 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've never read Ms. Heath prior to Passions of a Wicked Earl, but I'm so glad I took a chance.  (Also, hello? trilogy -- it's a no-brainer I'm going to be tempted.)

As the narrative continues, and Claire and Westcliffe become (re)acquainted with one another, I wondered why she never called him by his given name.  I can understand the formality at the beginning of their new relationship but once the seduction begins, once they become intimate, that line was never crossed (to my recollection). 

The interference of Westcliffe's mother -- and her lover -- was also a twist I didn't see coming.  She recognized that Claire could be good for her stuffed-up eldest son, which was nice.  She wasn't as meddling as she could have been, I suppose, so Claire and Westcliffe are able to make their own romantic connections. 

I thought the danger placed on Claire in the final chapters was unnecessary yet necessary because of what it firmly spells out for Westcliffe.  He's made to confront his feelings, and things move forward between the husband and wife from there.

(A very special thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Passions of a Wicked Earl.)

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