Review: Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Reviewed by Jen

One of my favorite tropes in romance is with a lower class hero/higher class heroine… especially when the lady in question isn’t a snob. That was one of the reasons I was so excited to pick up this first installment in Lorraine Heath’s new Sins for All Seasons series.

Mick Trewlowe is a successful businessman who built his own fortune from the ground up. He’s also a bastard. His father, a duke, gave him to a poor widow at birth, and though Mick knows who the man is, the duke refuses to acknowledge him. So Mick comes up with a plan to ruin Kip, his father’s heir. He’ll force his father to claim him, lest his other son fall into ruin.

The heroine, Aslyn, is a ward of the duke. More importantly, she is supposed to marry Kip. Seducing her is just another facet of Mick’s plan. The only thing he didn’t expect was falling for her himself.

In many ways, Mick is a hard man. He’s faced so much adversity, not to mention believing that his father wanted him dead. But while he plots his own brother’s downfall ruthlessly, it’s clear he is not a bad man. He takes care of the woman who raised him and is devoted to his adopted brothers and sisters. He cares about orphans. I had no trouble reconciling his plans with the man Asyln falls in love with. Kip was far more unlikeable, with his selfish and irresponsible nature.

Though she didn’t have a ton of backstory, Asyln is a character who really comes into her own. She is very sheltered at the beginning of the story, but as she is exposed to things she has always been protected from, she impressed me by thinking on her own and going after what she wanted.

There is some good sexual tension here, thanks to Asyln’s initial attempts to stay true to Kip, and I enjoyed the payoff immensely. (This isn’t a cheater story, BTW. I didn’t feel like Aslyn tried to have the best of both worlds, but once Kip showed his true colors, it was obvious what she needed to do.)

As for Mick’s parents, especially his mother, I figured out the “who” early on, but the “why” was poignant surprise. One that cast everything in a different light. Kudos to the author for that. It’s not too often I’m surprised these days.

Overall, an enjoyable read and I will continue with the series.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

Beyond Scandal and Desire
by Lorraine Heath
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Avon

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