Waking Up With the Duke by Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon / HarperCollins
Length: Full (271 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewd by Camellia
The Duke of Ainsley, known for his talents in the bedchamber, is stunned when his long-time friend, the Marquess of Walfort, asks him to get his wife with child. During a night of debauchery with Ainsley, Walfort was paralyzed in an accident. His wife, Jayne, has never forgiven Ainsley for his role in the debacle that robbed her husband of feeling from the waist down and robbed her of the opportunity to have a child.
Ainsley owes his friend--and more--his friend’s wife. After much reluctance, Jayne agrees to spend one month with Ainsley, in hopes of getting her with child, but she has terms: he is never to kiss her, she will take no pleasure from the act, and she will do nothing to bring him pleasure, other than what is necessary for him to fulfill his obligations.
But as the days and nights follow, she discovers a man with the ability to make her feel alive as she never did, a man who can make her dream again, make her feel young again. In his arms, she will come to realize a love far greater than any she has ever known.
An awakening of the senses to the many joys of life, along with the sexual and emotional ones, creates a sensual, happy experience that rises out of broken lives like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Jayne blooms with the companionship, generosity, and pampering that the Duke of Anisley lavishes on her (in spite of herself).
Jayne, marchioness of Walfort, knows her husband married her for her large dowry, but she cares for him and considers her marriage vows sacrosanct. She never dreamed the crippled Walfort would ask her to be with another man to conceive a child. More than that, he wants the man to be the Duke of Anisley, Walfort’s cousin and best friend. He's also the man Jayne blames for her husband being crippled.
Only after Walfort threatens to procure services of another man does Anisley agree to the arrangement, even though he fears he will destroy himself to give Jayne the child she longs for and Walfort an heir. Jayne agrees in order to appease her husband and tells herself Anisley will be doing his “duty” because he seeks redemption for the terrible wrong he did her husband.
Thus begins a month at Blackmoor Cottage that is a time of courting, loving, sharing. A time that a romance reader should not miss. WOW!
The secrets Anisley helps Walfort keep and his long-denied feelings for Jayne almost crush him at times, but he suffers it all to protect Jayne. While he is sure he has hidden his love for her well, his scandalous mother Tess and her lover Leo see it shining clear and true. These two add a sub-plot that makes the story even better. Theirs is an awesome love.
The secondary characters, which some readers may have met in another novel about the Seymours, are an interesting mix of those who are supportive, those who are gossipers, and others who are greedy and malicious. They all dim in the light of Anisley and Jayne who rise above all to gain a full appreciation of their precious love that is refined by the fires of pain, grief, deceit, gossip, and guilt.
Lorriane Heath does a masterful job of showing how Jayne wakes up with the Duke in so many ways. Ms. Heath’s beautiful distinction between the art of making love and the act of having sex is memorable. She also creates a hero that nurtures and enjoys the total person that the heroine is—he is a dream come true. The little twists and the foreshadowing she slips in keeps the reader turning pages. Totally enjoyable.