Tuesday, January 31, 2012

She Tempts The Duke by Lorraine Heath

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 claim 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.

1st book in The Lost Lords of Pembrook Trilogy
Hero -- Sebastian Easton - The Duke of Keswick
Heroine -- Mary Wynne- Jones- Daughter of the Earl of Winslow
We first meet the 3 Easton boys the day of their father's funeral. Their uncle has locked them in a tower and they are scared, hungry and worried. They hear footsteps, a key turning in the lock, when the door opens it their neighbor's daughter Mary who has overheard their uncle talking to someone to kill the boys so he could become the next duke. The boys escape with Mary's help and on their way to freedom Sebastian stops and pulls out a hankie and fills it Pembrook dirt, he then asks Mary for her hair ribbon and ties the hankie with her ribbon. The brothers then disappeared for 10 years and appear on the day that their uncle is holding a ball to announce that he will be the next Duke of Keswick. Imagine the surprise on everyone's face when the three brothers are announced.
Sebastian -- his face horribly disfigured and who wears an eye patch
Tristian his twin brother who is a captain of his own ship
Rafe the youngest who is a very successful casino owner.
Mary is at the ball and is shocked to see the brothers. She would know Sebastian anywhere and comes to their defense.
The story continues with Sebastian plotting revenge against his uncle and Mary not being able to stay away from Sebastian even though she is engaged to be married.
This is a wonderfully written story, our hero a hardened and revengeful man and Mary who never stopped caring and loving Sebastian. The ending of this story is so filled with emotion and packs a punch when Sebastian realizes that it wasn't the dirt that carried him through all the hardships he endured but his love for Mary.
We also get a glimpse of the kind of life Tristian and Rafe had. The hardest thing Sebastian ever did was sell Tristian to a ship's captain and leave Rafe at a work house. This haunts Sebastian because he knew he couldn't care for his two brothers.
I'm so looking forward to reading Tristian and Rafe's story.
Received this book from Net Galley for an honest review.