August 19, 2012

Book Review: She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath

At First Sight: Following the sudden death of their dotting father, who happened to be the Duke of Keswick, the Easton brothers - Sebastian, Tristan and Rafe - find themselves prisoners in their own state, Pembrook, at the mercy of their uncle and sure they are about to be murdered.

They are rescued by Sebastian's best friend, Lady Mary, but the reprieve is short lived as the boys aren't sure who to trust and Sebastian decides they need to split up and return when they are older and stronger and able to take on their uncle, and the boys reluctantly split up, promising they'll return in 10 years to claim whats theirs.

For Sebastian - the oldest and rightful Duke - returning to Pembrook has been the obsession that has kept him going through the horrors of war in Crimea and helped him survive wounds that took almost half his face. Upon returning though, he realizes that things will never be easy.

His brothers are loyal to him, but their lives haven't been easy and part of them does resent Sebastian for the decision he made, he has few allies among his peers and his Uncle might still be out to kill him. 

For her part, Mary paid dearly for helping the boys, but has finally managed to get her life back on track and is getting ready to marry a young viscount. She's also one of the few people who welcomes the Easton Brothers back, and she will do anything she can to help them out, even if it goes against the wishes of her father and her fiancĂ©. 

For her hear has always belonged to Sebastian - at least, to the boy she once knew... 

Second Glance: I had very high expectations for She Tempts The Duke. I have read a few books by Lorraine Heath before and I have quite loved them. Ms. Heath has an uncanny talent to make me cry with her stories and I sort of expected that from this book. 

However, I think the emotional punch of the story was a bit lost among the set up for the series. I managed to connect with Mary, to like her and feel for her, but the guys - particularly Sebastian - didn't have the same effect on me. 

Rafe and Tristan are still a bit of a mystery and I'm waiting for their books to make a decision on them, but I didn't like Sebastian all that much. I grew tired of his inner monologue about how he didn't have a choice but to leave his brothers behind, and no he doesn't think he did anything wrong and he isn't good for Mary. He said it OVER AND OVER AND OVER. He even used the same words. 

Bottom Line: Aside from the fact that I think the book went around in circles quite a bit, it wasn't bad. The story was decent and I liked some characters. I just had trouble with Sebastian, but I'm still planning on reading at least the next book of the series. 

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