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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Passions of a Wicked Earl by Lorraine Heath

Passions of a Wicked Earl by Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon – Harper Collins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Known throughout for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, the 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 to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.

Claire Lyons was an innocent, frightened girl on her wedding day, seeking chaste comfort from a childhood friend. Now, years later, she has blossomed magnificently and 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 she has but one Season to win back the heart of the rogue she betrayed.

They are masters of seduction, London's greatest lovers. Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one . . . until love takes them by surprise.

Emotional energy, like electric current, makes Passions of a Wicked Earl hum with life. When the energy surges, it creates a firestorm that threatens to destroy all in its wake. It sparks sexual energy and puts all the senses on alert. The Earl and his “traitorous wife” Claire keep the energy at high pitch as they each strive toward goals that do not seem compatible.

Pride, lack of love, naïveté, fear, and bad judgment got seventeen-year-old Claire sent away from London to the Earl’s country home, Lyons Place, on their wedding night before the marriage was consummated.

The Earl’s long-standing feeling of being unloved and his feeling that something essential is lacking in him set him on two courses. One made him wealthy; the other made him a gossiped-about womanizer in the next three years.

Ah! In that three years, Claire matures and is now respected by the people of Lyons Place. She learned how to handle difficult people and situations with resounding success. She returns to London unannounced, risking public embarrassment and her husband’s wrath, but she is determined to give her young sister a Season to find a husband of her choice rather than marry a forty-year-old man of their father’s choice. Claire had not had a Season, never had suitor send her flowers or come calling. She had married the Earl of Westcliffe to honor a marriage contact made by their two fathers before Claire was born.

The antagonist’s actions escalate as the story progresses and his family’s meddling swirls around the Earl and Claire as they as they give the sister Beth her Season with the Earl declaring that at the end of the Season he would start divorce proceedings. As Claire weaves her way into his life and his residence, the crushing clashes and the earth-shattering love scenes make Passions of a Wicked Earl sensational reading.

Lorraine Heath uses all the trappings of Regency English society, but it is only background for a mesmerizing love story that grows out of what seems like an unredeemable situation. She makes the story sparkle, shimmer, and shine with so much more than just physical love. The caring and protective love that comes to life along with the joy of being together satisfies the heart.

So glad I picked up this one. Now I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, The Pleasures of A Notorious Gentleman. It will have to really sparkle to outshine Passions of a Wicked Earl.