Love those scarred and tortured heroes

She Tempts the Duke - Lorraine Heath

Opening Line: “Tonight was the night they would die”


Sebastian Easton has spent the last 12 years striving towards one goal, to take back his rightful title as the 8th Duke of Keswick, stolen from him by his murderous and power hungry uncle. Upon the death of their father he and his two brothers had been locked in a tower awaiting certain death until his friend Mary daringly set them free.

The three boys then ran for their lives, spending the next decade apart, with one of the brothers going to sea and another forced to a life on the streets. Sebastian became a soldier and went to war eventually earning enough to buy his commission but not before becoming wounded in battle. All three of the “lost lords of Pembrook” have returned to London hardened and changed men but Sebastian's scars mark him the greatest. He is of single minded focus to reclaim his title and avenge their stolen youth.

This was another solid story from Lorraine Heath. It wasn’t my favourite but still a fantastic read. I particularity liked the back story and set up for this trilogy and she has done a great job of showing (teasing) us with just enough of the remaining two brothers (Rafe & Tristian) to hook me into continuing on. I am very intrigued.

I will admit that once the fascinating backstory was put into place the actually story & romance part ended up being just okay. It seemed to stall out a bit for me in the middle and took ages for out H/h to get together. Ultimately it was also quite predictable with the bad guy uncle.

I do have a real weakness for the scarred and tortured heroes though and Sebastian suffers as much emotionally as he does from his battle wounds. He bears the blame for not being able to protect his bothers and for their rough orphan upbringings. And (because this is a historical romance) he also believes himself to be a monster, unworthy of love due to how he looks. (Missing eye and scars down his face, neck, chest)

This brings us to Mary, who of course sees past his scars. Loyal, fiery and at the time of Sebastian's return, also betrothed to another. This proves to be somewhat of an issue because they are finding it difficult to stay apart which in turn threatens to destroy Mary's reputation and engagement. Even after they fall for each other Sebastian remains closed off emotionally, obsessed with righting Pembrook and refusing to see what is right in front of Cheers