Date published: January 31, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
On the eve of their father’s burial Sebastian, Tristan and Rafe are locked away in the tower of their ancestral home by their uncle. Despite his pretense of protecting the boys they know their Uncle David has done so for one reason and one reason alone—and it doesn’t bode well for the boys. Before David can carry out his horrific plot the boys are rescued from a surprising quarter—their friend Mary Wynne-Jones. Mary is greatly worried about the boys after hearing their uncle tell an unknown that they are to die. The boys along with Mary flee the house. Leaving Mary behind Sebastian heads to the army, Tristan to sea and Rafe to a workhouse.
Twelve years later the Pembrook Lords return to regain their birthright. But that is easier said than done. The preceding twelve years haven’t been kind to the lords. Each is scarred in his own way. As the eldest it falls to Sebastian to lead the way back into society and to claim his rightful place. Once again Mary—now not only grown up but a beautiful woman—rushes to his aid. But Sebastian’s scars are more than skin deep. With a killer determined to end his life can he see past his own darkness to be with the woman he loves?
I haven’t read a Lorraine Heath romance in far too long. I’ve mainly read her westerns because they are my first love in reading romance. Her SHE TEMPTS THE DUKE has gotten me hooked on her other historicals. From the very beginning where the young lords are rescued by their friend Mary I was hooked on this story. Each character is unique and, except for Uncle David, are likeable in their own way. Even the naïve young ladies hunting on the marriage mart have something to recommend them as characters. They are products of their time and well portrayed as such.
At times I felt a little bad for Fitzwilliam—even though he could be a pompous jerk. In his own way he was a likeable jerk and deserved his own brand of happy ending.
The “Beauty and the Beast” theme is far from new but Ms. Heath gives it a wonderful telling with Sebastian and Mary’s story.
SHE TEMPS THE DUKE can be read and enjoyed as a straight forward historical romance or with an eye toward deeper musings on just what constitutes beauty. I’m looking forward to book 2 of this series, LORD OF TEMPTATION.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.