She Tempts the Duke - Lorraine Heath
Released February 2012
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
As I read She Tempts a Duke, I really hoped this was first in a series. Thankfully, that is the case. Lorraine Heath will follow this historical romance with two more books -- all part of the Lost Lords of Pembrook trilogy.
As children, Sebastian, Tristan and Rafe fled their home after their father's death. After being locked up in a tower by their cruel uncle who wanted them dead, it was only through the daring feat of young Lady Mary Wynne-Jones that they were able to escape. Fourteen-year-old Sebastian and Mary promise to meet up in 10 years.
At this point, if you've ever been to the Tower of London, you'll know the story of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville's sons. The boys, Edward V and Richard,disappeared from the Tower and were never seen again. It's believed they were murdered, but no one knows for certain. She Tempts the Duke definitely brought me back to the day I stood in the tower and heard that story.
Ten years later, Mary is due to marry another when Sebastian and his brother's return. Mary's beau is less than amused that Mary wants to pick up their friendship. Yet despite his orders, Mary can't hide her feelings. She's in love with Sebastian and fears he may never overcome his mental and physical scars to allow him to return her feelings.
Make no mistake, I love Lorraine Heath's novels. I still have and often re-read the Rogues in Texas series. She Tempts the Duke, however, didn't grab me as strongly. I definitely felt a connection with the characters, in fact, I can't wait to read Rafe's story because he came off as really scarred and I'd like to know exactly what happened to him during those 10 years. With Sebastian, his tortures were a little more apparent. His inner conflict just didn't seem as compelling because it was obvious it wouldn't take much for him to overcome his past. From that point on, the story almost became predictable for me.
Despite this, I am very glad I have the backstory in place because I have a feeling that my disappointment with She Tempts a Duke will be a thing of the past once Rafe and even Tristan, Sebastian's twin, find their matches.