Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: Waking Up with the Duke by Lorraine Heath

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.

To say I loved Waking Up with a Duke would be an understatement.  It consumed me from the moment I began it.

There's so much anger and guilt simmering around Jayne, Walfort, and Ainsley.  Jayne blames Ainsley for Walfort's accident, which caused her to lose her child, her husband, and any future child they might have together.  Ainsley carries his love of Jayne and Walfort's secret in silence, as well as the guilt for causing an accident he has no concrete memories of.   Walfort is withering into nothing from the loss of his legs, and he's stopped touching or even really looking at Jayne as a result. 

"I'll consider your debt paid in full if you get my wife with child."

And so Walfort lays a path for Ainsley to have Jayne, despite both men believing Jayne would never agree to such a scheme. 

Ms. Heath does an excellent job with the entire tangle of emotions as Ainsley and Jayne embark on their month together in the country and their longing for one another when they part.  Their entire spectrum of feelings pop from the page, and everything they feel is palpable and true.  She even makes Walfort a little bit likeable (I felt some sympathy for him) when he realizes that Jayne has fallen in love with Ainsley. 

A wonderful, wonderful, wonderful end to a trilogy I'm so sad to see completed.  Waking Up with the Duke had me on the edge of my seat, tears in my eyes, until the end.

(A very special thank you to Avon, Harper Collins and NetGalley who provided me with an ARC of Waking Up with the Duke.)

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