Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Lorraine Heath - Falling Into Bed with a Duke

In the first in a dazzling new series, New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath introduces the Hellions of Havisham—three charismatic rogues destined to lose their hearts . . .
After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady's desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.
A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime's pleasure . . . ?

Comment: This is the first book in the Hellions of Havisham trilogy by author Lorraine Heath. I have read several of her books by now and although her style is unique and constantly appealing to me, I must say this one wasn't as great as I hoped for.

In this book we have the story of Minerva Dodger and the duke of Ashebury. 
He is a hellion, so-called by society for he and three friends have been raised by a "madman" in the aftermath of their parents' deaths. Now adults, they travel and give the ton plenty fodder for thought, especially because of their status. Ashe likes his freedom but he learns his estates aren't doing as well and he knows many depend on him. While trying to come up with a plan, he meets a mysterious lady at an exclusive night club, where ladies wear masks so thy aren't identified. Somehow, he and Minerva seem to be a good match but what will happen when he finds out who she really is?

I should say this trilogy is a spin off of other series by the author. As usual, things and plot make sense independently of having read those others, but since there are many references and one or two cameos of previous protagonists, I think this one is best savored by having had information from those other books.

The premise of this book is simple: Minerva has been raised by loving parents and has been surrounded by loving couples, both friends and friends of her parents and despite her considerable dowry, she has yet to find someone to marry. The reason is that she wants to marry for love and al men who have approached her only see her money first. She, therefore, devises a plan, to attend one of the parties at a night club where it is said ladies can be anonymous. She wants to feel desire, even if for only night.

That is where the duke of Ashebury is that same night and somehow their paths cross but even though there seems to be an attraction and connection between them, she keeps her mask and nothing sexual happens but Minerva is certainly intrigued. They carry on thinking about one another, Ashe tries to find out who she is - against the rules of the nightclub - and at one event he believes he has found her. But one thing is to keep things a mystery, another is to say it surrounded by the ton, so of course they are both careful... 

I mean, sure, this can be seen as original but let me confess I truly disliked this tactic for them to met one another. I find no fun nor romance in characters who only think about the physical and conveniently find love in the process. I prefer other plots, other methods... it is true the author manages to find a way for all this to make sense for these protagonists but to me, personally, it was something to endure. I finished the book not believing they were in love. That they like each other, that they respect the fact what makes them unique is special for their identity as a couple, sure. But their path to love didn't feel romantic to me, at all.

What I liked best was really their personalities, how Minerva is clever and assertive and has a head fr numbers and Ashe is loyal and caring if he wants and likes photography which gives him a certain sense of what can be seen between the lines... them as a couple was something good but I wasn't fond of the road they took. The author also made things in a way that it does feel they are meant to complement each other.

All things considered, this wasn't a bad book in general, but to me and comparing with all the others I've read already, this has to be one of the weakest, in my perspective.
Grade: 5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment