I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath
Series: The Lost Lords of Pembrook #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2012-01-31
Reviewed by Miranda
Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick—returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man—cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is now betrothed to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution and fight for a love that could once again set him free.
The Lost Lords of Pembrook disappeared twelve years ago after fleeing their dastardly uncle in the middle of the night. If it weren’t for the help of their good friend Mary, Sebastian, Tristan and Rafe would have been killed for the dukedom just like their father. Now they have come back to claim the title that is rightfully theirs.
Sebastian Easton has been forced to make some very hard decisions in his life. After the death of his father and the attempt on him and his brothers, Sebastian took on the role of protector and avenger. He has worked tirelessly to get to a place where he can claim the Duke of Keswick title and get his revenge on his uncle. His life has left little time for thoughts of love and since his stint as a soldier left him horribly disfigured Sebastian does not entertain thoughts of finding love. There is however, a young woman that makes him burn with desire but it is not meant to be.
Lady Mary Wynne-Jones never stopped thinking about her best friend Sebastian or his brothers. It is thought among London society that The Lost Lords of Pembrook are long dead but Mary has always held hope they will one day return. That day arrives shortly after Lady Mary becomes betrothed. Mary cannot stop the feelings that come raging back at the sight of Sebastian. His disfigurement means nothing to her and Mary is determined to make sure society welcomes the brothers back and honors their rightful place within. However, her sensitivity to the brothers’ plight does not sit well with her betrothed.
Will Sebastian and Mary be able to deny the fire burning brightly between them?
Lorraine Heath’s She Tempts the Duke is one temptation you will be ecstatic to have indulged in. The story starts off with intrigue and builds on inextinguishable passion. Sebastian and Mary are now one of my favorite couples! I cannot get enough of these two. Sebastian is a driven man who has had one goal his entire life: claiming his dukedom. Unseating his uncle and returning to Pembrook has been his concentration for years. When Mary enters the equation, Sebastian is thrown off guard because of his feelings for her and because of his own doubts surrounding his disfigurement. He feels that it is not possible for a woman to love him the way he looks. Mary is forced to deal with her dual feelings of responsibility and possible love. She is betrothed to another but she cannot deny the blossoming romantic feelings for Sebastian or her fierce loyalty to her childhood friends. She has a responsibility to her betrothed and he wants her to have nothing to do with the Duke of Keswick. Mary deals with this impossible situation with poise. I like the fact that Mary follows her own path. She doesn’t cave completely to the whims of others. I love it when she stands up to Sebastian.
I find myself comparing Mary and Sebastian to beauty and the beast. She is very much his beauty and he thinks himself a beast, while Mary only sees the good in Sebastian. Mary handles his feels toward his disfigurement with grace. I love the way these two come together and adore what happens after. Ms. Heath gives her reader a thoroughly stunning story. The scenes that occur once Sebastian returns to Pembrook are full of heady emotions and they really explore the depth of hurt he has experienced and how his one track mind affects everything. There is one scene that truly surprised me with tears.
The brother’s relationship is complex and fills me with curiosity. There are lots of hurt feelings and resentment among them because of their past. I cannot wait to find out what happens next to the Lost Lords of Pembrook. She Tempts the Duke is a standout in the historical genre! You do not want to miss it!