Passions of a Wicked Earl is the first in a new series by Lorraine Heath—and if this book is any inclination, then I think we're in for one wild ride from these brothers! I especially look forward to reading the next novel, which tells the story of Stephen, the young rogue of the family; after all, nothing makes for a better romance novel than a reformed rogue, right?
Claire Lyons was but a young girl when her father set up an arranged marriage with the Earl of Westcliffe. Without even a Season under her belt, she suddenly found herself married to a man that she barely knew, but one that she knew about. Gossip in London told of his prowess, his countless sexual encounters with various ladies of the town.
Innocent and a bit afraid to face her husband on their wedding night, she goes to his younger brother, Stephen. Claire had been friends with Stephen during their youth, and when she voiced her concerns to him about her impending wedding night, he told her not to worry, he had everything figured out. All she had to do was prepare for bed like she would any other night, and wait for him.
Stephen, knowing his brother would take the anger out on him rather than Claire, figured this rouse would make Morgan wait to bed his new wife and therefore give her a bit of time to adjust first. Little did either of them foresee the problems that this one fake night would lead to: Claire banished to the country estate for years, while Morgan philanders around London, losing himself in the empty pleasure of numerous lovers. Whether they want to admit it or not, both will be hurt by this encounter, and only love can undo the damage. But can Morgan let love into his heart or will he continue to push it away?
I loved this book—it had its sweet, romantic moments and its more steamy, passionate ones, mixed together to create the perfect balance of true love and lust. I'm a sucker for the reformed rogue theme in historical romances, along with the idea of the estranged marriage made perfect once more, and this book delivers on both accounts. I do, however, wish that after the long build up to their first...encounter, the scene had been a bit more steamy, a bit more drawn out.
Other then that, I had very little to complain about, except for perhaps making it a bit longer; I felt like the ending was a bit of a quick wrap up, rather than a time for reflection and reconciliation on both Claire and Morgan's part.
4.5 STARS! A nice romantic novel that shows love can overcome any conflict. Sweet moments and witty banter between the hero and heroine only added to the overall romance, while the addition of relationship problems and a jealous lover added a bit of spice to the otherwise average storyline. A quick read for any romance lover, Heath has proven that her new series is one full of intrigue and passion... It will take a fiery woman to tame each of these rogues, and the journey to get them to HEA will leave you breathless from the battle between joy and tears.
Known throughout the city for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, 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 entirely to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.
Claire Lyons was an innocent, frightened girl of 17 on her wedding day, seeking chaste comfort from a childhood friend. Now three years later, she has blossomed magnificently. Still innocent, she 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 now she has but one Season to win back the heart of the rogue she betrayed.