Review: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath

Format: E-bookwhenadukelovesawoman
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Sins for All Seasons, #2
Publisher: Avon
Hero: Antony Coventry
Heroine: Gillian Trewlove
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 21, 2018
Started On: December 13, 2018
Finished On: December 15, 2018

I picked up a Lorraine Heath to read after ages, the last time I read a book of hers I cannot even remember. But what I definitely can recall with vivid clarity is just how emotional her books are, how much angst they carry, and how much I enjoyed them even as I cried over the obstacles between the hero and heroine in achieving their happiness.

It is 1841 and winter in London when Ettie Trewlove receives a bundle on her doorstep, another by-blow left for her to take in, babies born in sin by aristocrats that she has been in the habit of taking in and giving a home to. Even though she can ill afford to take in another, her heart is unable to leave the child to her fates, and so Gillian Trewlove grows up knowing a mother’s love, but never having actually known her own parents, always believing that she was only worthy of being left on a doorstep on a cold wintry night.

It is mid-August in 1871 when Antony Coventry, the ninth Duke of Thornley finds himself having the mother of bad days. With his bride having left him at the altar, Thorne finds himself being set upon by a bunch of ruffians, who would have killed him, if it had not been for the woman who finds him and comes to his rescue.

Gillian is the owner of a tavern in Whitechapel, and while she has a low tolerance for misdeeds in her tavern, she abhors violence of the kind that can do someone grievous harm. So when Gillian rescues a man who is definitely in need of help in the alley next to her tavern, she does not know that it is a Duke she is bringing into her life, nor how much things were going to change in her life from there onwards.

As Gillian slowly nurses Thorne back to health, he comes to the realization that Gillian is unlike any woman he has ever come across before. Thorne had assumed responsibility of the Dukedom when his father had passed away as Thorne had hit 15 years of age. Thorne had never known much affection or love in his life, not even from his mother, embittered by the actions of his father who had never stopped his philandering ways.

With the Dukedom had come responsibilities Thorne’s way, which had included a marriage that had been arranged the minute his bride-to-be had been born. What Thorne or the bride had wanted hadn’t factored in, and Thorne had been determined to do right by what was required of him, even if it means going against what he really wants.

Gillian knows her limitations as a bastard child, who practically has no place in society’s hierarchy. Especially not one that would make her desirable as a bride for anyone, much less a Duke. But the heart has a mind of its own, and it is as Gillian strives to help Thorne find his missing bride that their connection deepens. Each finding aspects about the other that fascinates and lures them closer together.

However, obligations and societal rules do not stop pressing upon one just because the heart yearns for something else. In the end, it is up to Gillian and Thorne to decide whether they want society to dictate their happiness, or chart their own course towards what is waiting for them, if only they are willing to make the sacrifices required.

I was so excited to be reading a Lorraine Heath after so long. I guess it was partly the excitement that made me expect more out of the story than it offered, which perhaps detracted a bit from the enjoyment factor. I was looking for the Lorraine Heath’s voice that I remember even after all this time, the dormant emotions that she is so good at rousing from readers.

I liked the slow build up of the romance between Thorne and Gillian. But I expected more from Thorne in a way, and while I found him sexy enough, I believed he should have stood up for himself more. But then understanding the rigid strictures of society that he had grown up in, it is also understandable where he comes from. Gillian comes off as the stronger character between the two, and because of the fact, it works between them.

I loved Gillian. She is strong, has a big heart, and wants to do right by Thorne, even if it means having her own heart broken along the way. That kind of sacrifice can only come from someone who loves in the truest sense. As I mentioned earlier, Thorne is a bit laid back in his nature, almost beta if you ask me when you consider the kind of hero he is. I guess that is one reason why the story lacked the angst I looked for. But I was glad when all was said and done, that Gillian turned out to be the kind of heroine who was deserving of the kind of gentle love that Thorne bestows upon her.

Recommended for fans of historical romances & fans of Lorraine Heath.

Final Verdict: Thorne and Gillian makes for a wholesome couple, and it is their journey towards happily ever after that I enjoyed much.

Favorite Quotes

Then he was standing before her, and for all her imaginings of this moment—all the times in her mind that she’d been calm, witty, and oh so very clever—the actual reality hit her as a bit disappointing when she heard herself ask, “What are you doing here?”
Both corners of that glorious mouth that had haunted her sleep hitched up. Slowly, ever so slowly he reached into a pocket inside his jacket, withdrew gold-rimmed spectacles, and perched them on that sharp aquiline nose of his. How could he suddenly appear even more masculine than before? “I wanted a better look at you.”

His mouth slid off hers, trailed along her chin, creating a myriad of sensations that heated her to the core. She had this odd need for him to place his mouth elsewhere, on her breasts, her stomach, lower. Dear God, but she felt wanton, yet she seemed incapable of pushing him away as he nibbled along her throat, his tongue lapping at the sensitive skin, before he moved on to the next area. He reached her collarbone and his mouth lingered, suckling gently before journeying back up to her chin and retreating.

Tearing his mouth from hers, he shoved himself down a few inches, plumped up her breast with one hand and offered it to his questing mouth as though it were the finest morsel ever served. As his lips came securely around the turgid nipple, he suckled, and she very nearly came off the bed as pain and pleasure warred for dominance, and pleasure won, sending armies of sensation throughout her. She pressed her honeyed canal against him, tilting up her hips, bowing her back in a way that allowed her to rub her intimate core along the length of his hard shaft.
If the way he jerked was any indication, now he was the one close to coming off the bed.

As the world exploded around her, as she flew apart and came back together, she knew memories would not be enough to sustain her, but they would be all she had and she would cherish and hoard them. She became aware of his frantic pumping, his harsh breathing, his stifling moans—
Then he pushed himself free of her, burying his face between her breasts as he shook with spasms, spilling his seed in his hand in an effort to protect her from anyone ever learning of her sins.

His fingers danced over the outer portion of her thigh, up and down, up and down, until he moved to the tender and sensitive inner edge, his fingers no longer frolicking but slowing to a meander until they reached the haven that was already moist and aching for him. “You’re so wet,” he rasped.
Moving her hand down, she rubbed the swollen length of him. “You’re so hard.”
“Aching with need, actually, need that will go unsatisfied until later. But you, princess, you need not wait.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

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Review: Sweet Lullaby by Lorraine Heath

Format: E-booksweetlullaby
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Homespun, #21
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Jake Burnett
Heroine: Rebecca Anderson
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publications: March 1994
Started On: July 1, 2010
Finished On: July 1, 2010

When I first started off this book last night I was a bit apprehensive because at first the story didn’t seem to be so interesting. Maybe it was because I was too sleepy and tired to give any real thought to the story unfolding but somehow the thought of reading through a story where right from the beginning the hero is in love with the heroine didn’t seem to be that exciting. But boy am I glad I was wrong. This book has got to feature one of the most endearing heroes I have ever come across.

Jake Burnett is a man who has been wronged so much in his life. A mother who sold her body to keep a roof above their heads and a father who never acknowledged his bastard child until his mother passed away when Jake was about 10 years old or so, Jake never knew any happiness or joy in his life even when he was brought home to live with his father. Bearing the brunt of his father’s many beatings and punishments and being made to live in the barn seeking the warmth of the animals to keep him from freezing to death at night with an his elder brother Ethan who continuously found ways to make him more miserable, there didn’t seem to be any end to Jake’s suffering until his father died leaving him with all his property.

At first wanting nothing to do with the property, Jake travels around and works for Rebecca’s father at his ranch. From the very first moment that Jake encounters Rebecca, he falls deeply in love with her. Rebecca is a beauty whilst nobody would call Jake a handsome man. Jake wears the marks of all the hardships that he went through to become the man he is on his body and face.But Jake doesn’t fall in love with Rebecca because she is just a pretty face but because for the first time  in his life, a woman makes him feel welcome and not soon afterwards a deep and lasting friendship is formed between the two.

Jake never dreams of the possibility that one day he may have everything his heart desires. But when Rebecca gets pregnant after sharing a night of passion with the love of her life Brett Meier who has left without knowing that he has fathered a child, Rebecca never envisions that her father who had loved her and spoiled her till now would reject the very idea of the child growing within her.

John Anderson’s, Rebecca’s father’s solution is to get her married to Jake and thus avoid the scandal that would follow if his daughter were to give birth out of wedlock. Jake proposes marriage to Rebecca on his own terms and Rebecca knowing that there wouldn’t be any other man around whom she would feel comfortable with as Jake accepts his proposal and decides to leave with Jake to Texas to make a life of their own which drives John into a fit of anger and disown her the very next day after they get married.

Marriage to Rebecca is a bittersweet experience for Jake who wants nothing more in life than to keep a smile on Rebecca’s face forever. The partnership that forges between the couple and the friendship that grows between them is heartwarming and at times filled my eyes with unshed tears.

As the story slowly unfolds, Rebecca begins to learn of the true feelings her husband holds for her but never being able to return the feelings because she still holds the handsome Brett close to her heart. With Ethan hellbent on vengeance and getting back the land he believes is rightfully his, life on the ranch that Jake and Rebecca build from the grounds up is not one without hardships.

Through the birth of their child Jacob and all the patience and love that Jake bestows on Rebecca, intimacy of another kind starts to unfold between the two, and Jake finally starts to feel happy in his life when Brett comes along and proclaims that he wants Rebecca back in his life. Everything Jake has worked for seems to crash and burn right in front of his eyes when he sees the desolation in his wife’s eyes and the distance that seems to crop up between the two.

It literally broke my heart into pieces to read about how Jake lets Rebecca and their son Jacob that he had come to love and adore leave so that Rebecca would find true happiness with the man she loves. I felt like howling when the pages seeped with the pain and anguish in Jake’s heart at his immense sacrifice.

However, once Rebecca leaves to start a life with Brett, she starts to realize that even though she doesn’t know it, she has come to love her brown eyed husband who stirs a slow simmering fire deep within her every time they come together. I was prepared to hate Rebecca for the pain she causes Jake when she readily leaves with Brett but the pain and loneliness that she goes through during the separation and the fact that she refuses to give her body to Brett until her divorce from Jake is final redeemed her in front of my eyes.

This book brings a whole new meaning to the saying, if you love something let it go and if it comes back its yours. I don’t think I would be able to put into words just how wonderful a book this has been and if you really want a romance that can play with your emotions and make you cry and laugh this is a must read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Parting Gifts by Lorraine Heath

Format: E-bookpartinggifts
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Homespun, #30
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Jesse Lawson
Heroine: Maddie Sherwood
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publication: December 1994
Started On: June 29, 2010
Finished On: June 30, 2010

Even as I write this review, I still feel the remnants of the kaleidoscope of emotions that coursed through me as I finished this book. With a degree in psychology in hand, Lorraine Heath creates the most beautiful and realistic characters that have such depth that you can’t help but feel for them and relate with them. Though this is the first time I am reviewing a book by the author, I have previously read a lot of books by her and loved each story as it worked is magic over me.

This story is no different and right from the very start, Maddie Sherwood, who is at the very end of her wits as to what to do for survival finally succumbs to offering her body in return for shelter and food clutches at your heart. Rescue from the fate to which she had resigned herself to comes in the form of Charles Lawson who bids a hopping 1000 dollars to be the man who would initiate her & take her virginity.

However Maddie soon realizes that ravishing her is the furthest thing on Charles mind and before she knows it, she has agreed to marry him and care for his three children Taylor, Hannah and Aaron who settle deep within your heart from the very first encounter. And when Maddie first tumbles into the arms of Jesse Lawson, Charles’s older brother, Maddie realizes just how much she has agreed to sacrifice and forgo in the marriage of convenience to which she has entered with Charles.

From the very first moment Jesse looks into Maddie’s whiskey brown eyes he is a goner. Though he tries to fight the immense awareness he feels for someone he should not, you truly understand the meaning of the term “the heart wants what it wants regardless of the consequences” when you feel the cascading emotions that passes between Jesse and Maddie as the story progresses. While Maddie too yearns for the strength of Jesse’s embrace, she knows that deep within her heart she could never be disloyal to the man who had given her his family and affection.

What Maddie has no inkling of is the fact that Charles is a man who is near death, and the fact that he wanted his motherless children to know the warm and loving embrace of a mother was the reason why he had married Maddie in the first place. And Maddie holds close to her heart a secret which could destroy what she has come to love and hold dear to her heart.

Its hard to put into words how reading this story made me feel. Jesse’s loyalty towards his brother and towards doing what’s right made me admire him and fall in love with him along with Maddie. And Maddie’s courage in resisting the temptation of embracing the man she loved with every fiber of her being and being faithful to her husband made me realize the strength in her which Charles saw the night he rescued her from a life of prostitution. And Charles, the man who was insightful enough to know what his brother wanted and needed more than anything in the world and being man enough to leave Maddie to him made my throat tighten with emotion.

This is a book that packs an intense wallop of emotion and a page turner at that. I would advice to keep a box of tissues ready because towards the ending, its all you can do to keep from crying at turns with sadness, hope, happiness and ultimate joy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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