Notable Novellas: Discover The Meaning Of Love Everlasting In "When The Marquess Falls"

29242461Title:  When The Marquess Falls
Author:  Lorraine Heath
Review Format:  eARC
Length:  128 pages
Publisher:  Avon Impulse
Rating: 5 Stars

The long-anticipated and utterly extraordinary tale of the Mad Marquess that proves love truly does last forever

The Marquess of Marsden always follows the rules. Expected from birth to adhere to decades of tradition, he plans to marry a proper young woman from a good family. But when a beautiful, and completely unsuitable, woman snags his heart, he begins to realize that to get what you want, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Linnie Connor dreams of the independence of running her very own bakery. And while she may be allowed to be a marquess’ childhood companion, the baker's daughter never ends up with the handsome nobleman. Determined to achieve at least one of her dreams, Linnie makes plans to leave her sleepy village for London, intent on purging him from her heart. And yet, when an invitation to the Marsden annual ball arrives, she can't refuse her one chance to waltz in his arms.

It will be a night that stirs the flames of forbidden desires and changes their lives forever.


See Lockeley's "happily ever after" here in this
Sneak Peek 
of 
The Viscount And The Vixen



1
Chapter 1
Havisham Hall, Devonshire
Spring 1882
Killian St. John, Viscount Locksley, strode past the silent sentinel standing in the
hallway without giving the oak inlaid clock much thought. He’d been six when he’d first
learned that the hands were
supposed to move, that the clock’s purpose was to mark the
passage of time. But with the death of Locke’s mother’s, for his father at least, time had
come to an abrupt standstill.
When a child doesn’t know any differently, he accepts what he knows as the a
bsolute
truth for how things are done. He had believed the only rooms that servants of any
household ever tidied were the ones in use. At Havisham Hall they straightened the
bedchamber in which he slept, the small dining room in which he ate, the chambers
occupied by his father, and the library in which his father sometimes worked at his desk.
The remaining rooms were mysteries shrouded behind locked doors.
2
Or they had been before the Duke of Ashebury and the Earl of Greyling, along with
their wives, were k
illed in a horrific railway accident in 1858. Shortly afterward their
young sons had been brought to Havisham Hall to become the wards of his father. With
their arrival so, too, had arrived all manner of knowledge, including the confirmation that
his fathe
r was stark raving mad.
Now Locke entered the small dining room and came to an abrupt halt at the sight of
his sire sitting at the head of the table, reading the newspaper that the butler dutifully
ironed each morning. Normally the older man took his meals
in his chambers. More
astonishing, his usually disheveled white hair had been trimmed and brushed, his face
shaven, and his clothes pressed. Locke couldn’t recall another time when his father had
taken such care with his appearance. On the rare occasion w
hen he wandered out of his
sanctuary, he more closely resembled a scraggly scarecrow.
With Locke’s arrival, the butler poured coffee into a delicate bone china cup before
departing to retrieve his plate. As customarily he was the only one to dine in this r
oom,
he kept his meals simple and small. No sideboards with assorted offerings from which to
choose. Just a plate bearing whatever fare Cook was of a mind to prepare brought up
from the kitchens.
His father had yet to notice him, but then the lord of the m
anor tended to spend much
of his day and night absorbed in his own private world where memories of happier times
flourished.
“Well, this is a pleasant surprise,” Locke said as he took his seat, striving to shake off
his lingering concerns over the estate’s
dwindling finances. His apprehensions had
rousted him before dawn and resulted in his sequestering himself in the library for more
12
older than twenty
-
five. Her clothing was well
made, in excellent condition. No fraying,
no tatters.
She lifted her arms, reaching for her hatpin, and her pert breasts l
ifted as well. They
were the perfect size to fill the palms of his hands. Those very same hands could span her
waist, close around it, draw her up against him. Why the devil was he noticing things that
had no bearing on his strategy?
She swept the hat from
her head, and his breath caught. Her hair was a fiery red that
rivaled the flames in a hearth for brilliance. The strands appeared heavy, abundant, and in
danger of tumbling down at any moment. He wondered exactly how many pins he
d have
to remove to make
it do just that. Not many
,
he
d wager. Two, three at the most.
Shifting to ease the discomfort of his body reacting as though he hadn
t been near a
woman since he
d left the classroom, he draped his arm along the back of the sofa,
striving for a nonchalan
ce he wasn
t feeling. He didn
t care about her hair, her eyes, or
her figure. Or those plump, full lips the shade of rubies. He cared about her motives. Why
would a woman as young and enticing as she was be willing to marry a man as old and
decrepit as his
father? She had to have young bucks fawning over her. She drew
attention. So what did she hope to gain here that she couldn
t gain elsewhere?
Now, my dear
his father began, leaning forward.
Here we are, m
lord!
Mrs. Barnaby sang out as she bustled in, carrying a tea
service. Her hair, more white than black, was pulled back in her usual tight bun, her black
dress pressed to perfection.
Tea and cakes, just as you requested.
After setting the tray
on the small table that rested between the two chairs, she straightened, cocked her head to
the side as she studied their guest, her brow furrowing.
She is rather young, m
lord.
13
An old woman isn
t going to give me an heir now is
she, Mrs. Barnaby?
I suppose there is that.
She gave a little curtsy, her arthritic knees creaking as she
did so.
Welcome to Havisham, Mrs. Gadstone. Shall I pour the tea?
No, I
ll see to it, thank you.
Oh.
Mrs. Barnaby
s shoulders slumped. She wa
s obviously crestfallen to be
dismissed before hearing anything
of note
she could share below stairs.
That
ll be all, Mrs. Barnaby,
his father said gently.
Heaving a huge sigh, she turned to go. Locke held out his hand.
I
ll have the keys,
Mrs. Barnaby.
She slapped her hand over the large ring dangling from her ample waist as though
he
d asked for the Crown
J
ewels and she was determined to guard them with her life.
They
re my responsibility.
I may have a need for them. I
ll return them to you later.
His need depended on
how this conversation went.
With a mulish expression, she reluctantly handed them over before marching from the
room with righteous indignation shimmering off her in waves. He didn
t know why she
clung to them so tenaciously when the
y were more ornament than use. He supposed
because they heralded her vau
n
ted position in the household, one she
d acquired because
she
d stuck around when many of the parlor maids had gone in search of greener
pastures. Or ones less haunted.
Returning his attention to Mrs. Gadstone, he watched in fascination as she slowly
peeled off a black kidskin glove as though she reveled in exposing something forbidden.
Quarter inch by frustrating quarter inch. Yet he seemed unable to look away as her
14
smo
oth unblemished hand was revealed. No scars. No calluses. No freckles. She took the
same care with
uncovering
the other
, and he fought against envisioning those small
,
perfect, silken
-
looking hands gliding leisurely over his bare
chest. With
care, she set the
gloves primly in her lap as though completely unaware of the effect her slow unveiling
could have on a man. Although he would wager half his future fortune that she knew
precisely what she was about.
Lord Marsden, how do you prefer your
tea?
Her
raspy voice shimmied down his spine, settled in his groin, damn it all. She
sounded like a recently sated woman.
An abundance of sugar, if you please.
Locke watched as she poured, added several cubes, stirred, and offered the teacup and
s
aucer along with a tender smile to the marquess, who smiled back as though grateful for
the offering when in fact he detested tea.
And how do you prefer your tea, Lord Locksley?
Surely as my mother, you should call me Locke.
Her gaze came to bear on
his, her eyes as sharp as a finely honed rapier. God, she was
willing to slice him to ribbons. He
d like to see her try.
I am not yet your mother, Lord
Locksley, am I? Have I done something to offend you?
Leaning forward, he dug his elbows into his thigh
s.
I
m simply striving to determine
why a woman as young and lovely as yourself would be willing to lie on her back so a
man as shriveled as my father can slide on top of her.
Locke!
his father bellowed.
You
ve gone too far. Get the hell out.
15
It
s q
uite all right, my lord,
she said calmly, never taking her challenging gaze from
Locke
s, not flinching, not blushing, not so much as arching a thinly shaped eyebrow at
him.
I don
t see that your father
s preferred position for coupling is really any of
your
concern. Perhaps he will take me standing while coming in at me from behind. Or on my
knees. Or upside down. But I assure you, he will not be shriveled.
Then she slowly
lowered those damned whiskey eyes to his lap, and he cursed his cock
s betrayal.
With
startling detail, images of him with her in all those positions had flown through his mind.
He
d grown so hard and aching that he couldn
t have gotten up and walked out if he
wanted.
And she bloody well knew it.
Tea. My lord.
No.
The word came out
strangled. It seemed every facet of his body was intent on
betraying him.
Her luscious lips turned up into a smug, triumphant smile. She turned to his father.
May I interest you in a tea cake, Lord Marsden?
Despite the innocence of her words, all he wan
ted to do was drag her up against him,
claim her mouth as his own, and see if it tasted as tart as it sounded.
The entire book becomes available Nov. 29.
Happy Reading!

 My Thoughts
Introduced to readers in The Viscount And The Vixen.  The Marquess of Marsden a.k.a. The Mad Marquess, is a character who is at once able to captivate, intrigue, and astound.  Whether it be his eccentricities, his love for his late wife, his dedication to his sons, both natural and adopted, or his sentimental heart.  One can never run short on things to love about this most uniquely cut "jewel of the ton."

Now, it seems that the time has come for his story to be told.  As he lived it, loved, and was forever changed by the "great love of his life.
The 128 page When the Marquess Falls, being just the right format in which to do so.

We often hear tales of people being "born to love" their mates.  It seems that in the case of one George William St. John, sixth Marquess of Marsden.  This sentiment could never have proved more true.  At least as it applies to a certain Miss Linnie Connor.  Daughter of the local baker.  George's childhood friend...and one clearly far below the blue-blood standard that one must have to attain even the slightest acknowledgement from George's high-minded mother.

But as often is the case with love.  All is conquered in a most Ciinderella-like fashion, and the bittersweet tale of love and loss is laid before readers in its full romantic splendor.  As only Lorriane Heath can...
With  nothing less than sheer perfection!



 About Lorraine 
Also writes Young Adult under Rachel Hawthorne, Jade Parker, and with her son as J.A. London)

Lorraine Heath has always had a soft spot for emotional love stories. No doubt because growing up, watching movies with her mom, she was taught that the best movies "won't half make you cry."

She is the daughter of a British beauty (her mom won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor® during which she received a kiss from Caesar Romero--Joker on the original Batman TV series) and a Texan who was stationed at Bovingdon while serving in the air force. Lorraine was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her "dual" nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan, and she enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.

When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today, Waldenbooks, and most recently, the New York Times.

See Her Socially 

 

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