Title: An Affair With A Notorious Heiress
Series: (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4)
Author: Lorriane Heath
Lenth: 384 pages
Review Format: eARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The son of a duke and an infamous mother, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton, fought his way to respectability. Now, the most eligible bachelor in London, marriage-shy Rexton will take only a wife with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets. But when he strikes a deal to be seen “courting” a sweet young debutante whose notorious older sister has blemished her chances for marriage, Rexton is unexpectedly drawn to the highly inappropriate, calamitous Tillie, Lady Landsdowne herself.
After a scandalous incident that sent shockwaves throughout society and disgraced her, Tillie refuses to cower in the face of the ton. Instead, she will hold her head high as she serves as chaperone for her younger sister, but Tillie is convinced Rexton’s courtship is shrouded with secrets—ones she vows to uncover. However, doing so requires getting dangerously close to the devilishly handsome and forbidden marquess…
She was out of her league with him. He would not be easily manipulated. But something inside her yearned to accept the challenge. Things had become too easy of late. She was bored. She hadn’t realized it until that moment. There was no life, no excitement in her anymore. She simply existed. But he brought a spark to her. He interested her. She thought he might have secrets as dark as her own. Drawing them from him would be a challenge, might prove to be to her advantage.
“You offend me with your insinuation,” she said.
“If that were true, you would have slapped me by now. You’re a widow, not an innocent miss. The other ladies here interest me not in the least, because they are naive. I prefer a woman who is seasoned.”
“And you judge me to be seasoned?”
“You intrigue me, Rosalind.”
“You’re taking liberties with your informality.”
“I believe your protests are false. You want me to take liberties. It’s the reason you haven’t left in a huff.” He narrowed his eyes. “No, you are not one to huff about. I think you would make me pay in other ways.”
Oh, yes, he had the right of it. She most certainly would make him pay in other ways. Might still do so. But for now they were merely taking measure of each other.
Well damn! It appears those irrepressible Americans have struck again. This time in the form of one indomitable, and equally irresistible young divorcee, Mathilda Paget, Countess of Landsdowne.
While her notoriety and the reasoning for it may be a blame laid completely at the feet of her less than faithful husband of three years. It seems that the scandal, and the widespread societal snubbing that has resulted are all hers to bear.
Well, not quite. You see, there is the matter of her very eligible and very innocent young sister. One Miss Virginia Hammersley.
What the enterprising elder Hammersley or Lord Rexston have no way of knowing is, that their bargain will have gains of the heart that no one involved would ever dare to dream.
As both Alistair and Tillie learn that things and people have the tendency of both being and meaning so much more than what is superficially evident.
This fourth offering in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series, introduces readers to a woman who is marked by the curse of "if only.
A man who is willing to break that curse. All in the name of "just because".
His whole reason for indulging young Miss Hammersley's cause does hinge upon his desire to breed a horse after all.
Though this reasoning proves a little lack luster for the spawning of a love affair the likes of which this story promises. It does however serve to get things moving. Albeit in a very roundabout direction. All things considered. Before the story reaches the point where leading man and leading lady throw caution to the wind, and set their sights on each other. Not fully, of course. But just enough that clothes come off and wild coupling ensues.
Once things do heat up between Alistair and Tillie, they remain joyously aflame until the end of the tale. Although the same cannot be said for the beautiful Miss Hammersley. Whose romantic fate is left to languish until the next book.
The afore mentioned issues aside. This is another example of Historical Romance made for the contemporary woman. With a strong female lead, who is more than willing to stand her ground, protect her family, and love with her whole heart.
A leading man who can understand and foster that independence with love and respect.
Reviewer's Note: This is the fourth novel in a companion series. As such, it may be read as part of its intended series. Or, enjoyed as a stand alone.
LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.