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Love with a Scandalous Lord (Daughters of Fortune) Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 2003
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*Starred Review* Grayson Rhodes, bastard son of a duke and an actress, was first introduced in A Rogue in Texas (1999). Fourteen years have passed since his exile to Fortune, Texas, and now he's been called back to his father's ancestral home to be at his deathbed. With the duke's oldest legitimate son dead, Rhys, the second son, stands to inherit the title. Grayson's 20-year-old stepdaughter, Lydia, is quite taken with Rhys. She's pretty sure she can snag him, too, because she's brought her trusted guidebook, Blunders in Behavior Corrected, to help her deal with the many rules of London society. Rhys is stunned by the wit and beauty of his brother's stepdaughter, but the former "Gentleman Seducer" feels as though his lurid, scandalous past holds too many terrible secrets for him to pursue a relationship with her. He selflessly sponsors Lydia for a season on London's marriage market, but she keeps her sights on the man she loves. In Heath's exceptionally written novel of nineteenth-century England, a very stubborn American pursues a nobleman who's much better than he thinks he is. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.
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Though the welcome when they arrived was less than warm, Lydia could not but be impressed upon meeting the Marquess of Blackhurst, Rhys Rhoades. Though he projected the cool and imperturbable commanding stance of the upper class nobility, the beautiful young American more than stunned Rhys. Her innocence was palatable and though he desperately yearned to possess her he knew his sins would forever prevent him from having the thing he yearned for most - the love of this innocent young woman. He would do his best, while dying inside to see that she had her hearts desire of a season in London, even if it meant making a `pact with the devil' to ensure her success thus keeping her from him forever.
I must agree with the statement, `this author will steal your heart' and this particular story will cement that thought in your mind as you read Rhys and Lydia's powerful love story. Lydia's innocence, her strength and fortitude, and her blind faith in Rhys and in knowing her own heart would be instrumental to heal the pain and anguish that tormented Rhys. Expect the most beautiful imagery and prose, and oh yes, be prepared to shed some tears in this divine love story - sit back and enjoy! Positively sensual and oh so sweet!
Rhys Rhodes summons his illegitimate half-brother, Grayson Rhodes, who is currently living in Texas with his wife, children and stepchildren, back to England. Grayson and Rhys' older brother has died, and their father is now on his deathbed, leaving Rhys to inherit the title. Accompanying Grayson on the trip to England includes his eldest stepchild, twenty-year-old Lydia. Lydia is enamored with English society, and determined to fulfill her dream of having a Season in London where she may just find a nobleman to love.
Immediately, Rhys and Lydia are drawn to each other, but Rhys resists the attraction due to Lydia being his step-niece, the fact that she is 10 years younger than he, and her innocence combined with his jaded worldview.
As the story progresses, Lydia realizes she is in love with the cynical Rhys, and begins to pursue him. Rhys tries to avoid forming a relationship because of his dark and scandalous past as a male escort among the ladies of society, as well as the fact that he slept with his now-deceased brother's wife, who later committed suicide. Rhys blames himself for his brother's wife's death, and his self-loathing and bitterness haunts him. Lydia's honest, no-nonsense approach combined with her vulnerability and innocence forces Rhys to confront all of his demons.
As Lydia quickly realizes, the Society that she so wanted to be a part of can be very cruel. When told by Rhys and her friends to publicly cut him at a ball in order to save her own reputation which was at risk, she refuses to do so and instead walks to Rhys and curtsies in the crowded ballroom amongst hushed spectators, thereby destroying any further hopes of being accepted by the nobility.
While trying to spare Lydia from being tainted from his dark past, Rhys ends up being saved by the innocent woman he strove to protect. They marry, and begin the process of restoring Rhys to "polite" society.
Awesome, wonderful story.
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