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One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. After her hus One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love. For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.


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One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. After her hus One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love. For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

30 review for The Earl Takes All

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine Wallflower & Dark Romance Junkie

    3.5 Agonizing Stars! She pressed a finger to his lips. He stilled, his eyes searching hers. "If you kiss me, I'll be lost," she told him. "I'll find you, lead you back." Well that was all sorts of angsty! I've been looking forward to Edward and Julia's story ever since I finished reading the first book in this series, personally I felt it was quite difficult to judge Julia, Edward and Albert from what I learned in the Falling Into Bed With a Duke book but if I'm going to be honest I would say th 3.5 Agonizing Stars! She pressed a finger to his lips. He stilled, his eyes searching hers. "If you kiss me, I'll be lost," she told him. "I'll find you, lead you back." Well that was all sorts of angsty! I've been looking forward to Edward and Julia's story ever since I finished reading the first book in this series, personally I felt it was quite difficult to judge Julia, Edward and Albert from what I learned in the Falling Into Bed With a Duke book but if I'm going to be honest I would say that Julia seemed to be quite the controlling wife, Albert was a bit of a drip and Edward was misunderstood. The Earl Takes All, starts of with Edward pretending to be his brother burying himself (yes I know quite confusing). I kinda felt bad for the guy since there was quite a bad turn out at his funeral and very few kind words to be said. Of course Edward's friends Lock and Ashe never fell for it but the rest of London did, including Julia. Like I said this was quite an angsty book, Edward constantly had to deny himself, had to live through the shame of wanting his dead brother's wife and also go through the pain of losing his brother. A brother that he loved dearly. Now before you call Julia stupid, trust me she wasn't and because I don't want to spoil I will say that she dealt with everything in the best way she could have. This is going to be a short review so if you're planning on reading this book be prepared for a well of emotions, sexual tension and angst. Bucket loads of it. "Most are lucky to be loved once. Why should I be fortunate enough to be loved twice, to have happiness twice? I'm afraid fate will snatch it away if I reach for it again." "So I'll be denied because you don't trust fate? Fate can go to the devil, Julia. Place your trust in me." Final thoughts? While Falling Into Bed With a Duke was indeed my favourite (Lord Ashe *swoons*), I did enjoy this angsty little read. I'm a sucker for forbidden love, and this book definitely made it onto my list of forbidden reads!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Be me, he'd gasped. Be me. Edward Alcott and his twin brother, Albert had always been there for each other. Orphaned at seven, they'd gone to live with the Marquess of Marsden, where they'd been raised with the marquess's son, and another boy, the future Duke of Ashebury. The four had been not just friends, but brothers. When Albert had started courting Lady Julia Kenney, Edward felt that she was stealing Albert away from him. The brothers had always been together and Edward resented the intrusion Be me, he'd gasped. Be me. Edward Alcott and his twin brother, Albert had always been there for each other. Orphaned at seven, they'd gone to live with the Marquess of Marsden, where they'd been raised with the marquess's son, and another boy, the future Duke of Ashebury. The four had been not just friends, but brothers. When Albert had started courting Lady Julia Kenney, Edward felt that she was stealing Albert away from him. The brothers had always been together and Edward resented the intrusion into their relationship. One evening Edward recklessly and stupidly kissed Julia allowing her to think he was Albert. When she realised what he had done, Julia barely tolerated Edward, and then only for the sake of Albert. Now married, and with Julia pregnant, Albert agrees to accompany Edward on one last adventure before his baby is born. But it all goes horribly wrong; Albert is killed. With his dying breath he asks Edward to take his place and pretend to be him. So Edward makes a promise to Albert, his twin to give Julia every chance to carry the baby to term. Just a few weeks of deception until the baby is born. Set in 1878, Lorraine Heath writes great sexual tension, allowing readers to see the unfolding romance between Edward and Julia. This is a difficult premise to sell to readers where the better, more likable twin, already happily married to the heroine, is killed off. Nevertheless, I think Ms Heath manages to do just that. However, given the plot, I suspect there will be a few readers who aren't going to get on board, regardless of the deft handling by Ms Heath. Some readers may resent that the 'good' twin is killed off, and the selfish, irresponsible, whoring twin becomes the hero. And we can now add deceitful and lying to the other adjectives to describe Edward. Given the major deception that Edward perpetrates against Julia, it would be easy to dismiss him for the cad he is. But he finds himself between a rock and hard place: his beloved, dying brother has asked him to deceive Julia. And given that she had previously miscarried, how could he possibly refuse? As Edward and Julia's relationship progresses - and she remains unaware that Edward has 'become' Albert - Edward realises that the Countess of Greyling is not the prim and proper lady she has always appeared to be. Julia, despite her real sadness at losing her brother-in-law (supposedly), is happy to have her 'husband' back with her safe and sound. And continues to fall even more deeply in love with him. Until it all hits the fan. You do have to suspend disbelief to imagine that Julia wouldn't recognise that her 'new' husband is not really her brother-in-law. A wife would surely be able to tell her husband from his twin, even if they are very similar. But this is romantic fiction, so I can buy it. The Epilogue is lovely. We also catch up with Ashe and Minerva from book #1 Falling Into Bed with a Duke. Next up, Viscount Locksley's story in The Viscount and the Vixen. Read the informative Author's Note at the end, where Ms Heath explains the difficulties of some of the plot issues, given the era. The Earl Takes All is an emotional read. Ms Heath takes a risk with a difficult plot, but handles it with aplomb. Steam: 3 ARC courtesy of Avon This review can also be found at http://www.romantichistoricalreviews....

  3. 5 out of 5

    Warda

    [4.5 🌟] This was disgustingly romantic and it could’ve easily gone the other way since the plot is pretty wild. But Lorraine Heath weaved this story so almost perfectly, my heart was beyond happy and grieving throughout it all. I’m trying to calm down but my Amazon basket is full of Lorraine Heath’s books now, so yes, I highly recommend this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kath S

    After reading the first book I knew this was going to happen, but I wished it was just my imagination...*sighs* I'm really sad because she's killing Grey. I would have prefered she'd killed Julia and let Grey be happy with another woman. I'm so disappointed I don't think I can read this book. Sorry, but no. After reading the first book I knew this was going to happen, but I wished it was just my imagination...*sighs* I'm really sad because she's killing Grey. I would have prefered she'd killed Julia and let Grey be happy with another woman. I'm so disappointed I don't think I can read this book. Sorry, but no.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I'm sure this is going to be a "marmite" book, but I loved it and gave it an A at AAR. I’ve been desperate to read The Earl Takes All since I finished Falling Into Bed with a Duke, the first book in Lorraine Heath’s Hellions of Havisham Hall series. Even though at that point no synopsis had been published, I had an inkling of where this story might be going – which says a lot for Ms Heath’s ability to bury hints and subtext in whichever story she happens to be telling at the time – and I have I'm sure this is going to be a "marmite" book, but I loved it and gave it an A at AAR. I’ve been desperate to read The Earl Takes All since I finished Falling Into Bed with a Duke, the first book in Lorraine Heath’s Hellions of Havisham Hall series. Even though at that point no synopsis had been published, I had an inkling of where this story might be going – which says a lot for Ms Heath’s ability to bury hints and subtext in whichever story she happens to be telling at the time – and I have been really, REALLY curious as to how she was going to pull off such a difficult premise. Edward Alcott, younger – by an hour – twin brother of Albert, the Earl of Greyling, was introduced to readers in the previous book as a bit of a scoundrel. Although physically identical to his brother, Edward is completely different in temperament, and while it’s clear they share a strong bond of affection, it’s also clear that Albert is perhaps a little disappointed in his scapegrace brother. The biggest bone of contention between them, however, is that Edward just can’t get on with Albert’s wife, Julia, and in fact, makes a point of being unpleasant or outrageous whenever she is around. But now, Albert is dead, killed while he, Edward and their close friend Viscount Locksley are in Africa on safari. With his dying breath, Albert exhorts Edward to “be me” – needing him to take care of Julia, who is expecting their baby. But he asks more than that Edward should provide financially for his widow – Albert wants his brother to take his place as Julia’s husband, believing that news of his death could cause her to lose the baby they both want so desperately. Edward can do nothing other than agree, and after a long and arduous journey, he arrives back in England ready to carry out his brother’s final wishes until after his child is born. It’s not long before Edward realises the enormity of the task he has taken on. Not only does he have to take great care not to give himself away, which is difficult because he doesn’t know all that much about his brother’s relationship with Julia; he also has to take on the responsibilities of an earldom, which turn out to be far more detailed and numerous than he expected. Complicating things still further, Edward also has to contend with his long-banked desire for Julia and with Julia’s bewilderment at her husband’s strange reluctance to get physically or emotionally close to her. Edward’s intention has always been to tell Julia the truth after the birth of her baby, but as time progresses and he comes to know the witty, generous and sensual woman that she really is, he finds himself racing well past desire and headlong into love with her. When she discovers the truth, she’s going to despise him more than she ever did – but what if he doesn’t tell her? For her part, Julia has discovered things she never knew about herself during her husband’s four month absence. She missed him dreadfully of course, but also liked having her own space and being able to do what she liked when she liked. She feels she has changed somewhat since he has been away and learned to relish her independence, but Albert has changed, too. She puts some of that down to his mourning for his brother, and suggests that perhaps they have to learn how to be a couple again. Even so, there is more to the changes in her husband than those wrought by grief; he is more daring, more spontaneous, his kisses are more intoxicating than ever, and incredibly, she finds herself even more deeply in love than before. While I loved The Earl Takes All, I can see that it might be the sort of book that readers will react to strongly and will either love or hate. The fact that the hero spends half the book deceiving the heroine is difficult to get to grips with, even though Edward’s motivations are understandable and he continually questions his decisions. He is torn between duty and desire and while the situation he is in is certainly an unusual one, his emotions and inner conflict feel very real. I understand why some might find the initial premise problematic, and indeed, Lorraine Heath set herself quite the challenge. As she says in her author’s note, she had to make sure that readers didn’t fall in love with Albert before she killed him off; and also, she had to contend with the English marriage laws at the time, which did not allow a woman to marry her late husband’s brother. (This law wasn’t changed until 1921). She also has to convincingly turn Edward from the reprobate we met in the previous book into a responsible and compassionate man. Before, he was given to hard drinking, gambling and womanizing, and his relationship with Julia was a very difficult one; he seemed to resent her for taking his brother away from him, and made no bones about showing that resentment. But even then, Ms Heath managed to convey the sense that here was a man who wasn’t quite what he seemed, and also to plant the idea that there was more behind Edward’s dislike of his brother’s wife than he let on. What she does very skilfully here is to show readers the real Edward while not making him into an entirely different person. The old, roguish Edward is still there under the surface, but the ‘new’ Edward is a man who has never been tested before who rises to the challenge and discovers he’s more than up to it; and he is ultimately revealed to be a truly swoonworthy hero. Emotions run high in this book right from the first page, and again, I realise that won’t suit everyone, but for me, it’s like catnip. We watch Edward struggling with his grief for his brother and his feelings for Julia; Julia devastated by grief and guilt when she learns the truth; both of them coming to terms with what it will mean if they want to be together, and Julia coming to fully understand the magnitude of the sacrifice that Edward is willing to make for her. It’s complex, it’s messy and Ms Heath handles it all with confidence and sensitivity, never negating the truth of Julia’s feelings for one brother even as she is falling for the other. This author’s ability to explore the gamut of human emotions is what draws me to her books time and again, and I admit that I was choked up on several occasions while reading this one. My one criticism is that perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch to believe that Julia wouldn’t have known it wasn’t Albert who had returned from Africa, but that really is a minor point and isn’t something I found myself dwelling on because the story is so well set-up. The Earl Takes All is an angsty, gorgeously sensual and beautifully developed romance, the chemistry between the leads is scorching hot and the emotions are real and leap off the page. It’s definitely going onto my keeper shelf.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mei

    Such a sweet, if slightly unbelievable, romance! You can read the synopsis says, so I'll not repeat what it says, but the slightly unbelievable part was exactly the premise: Edward pretending to be Albert in order to preserve the health of Julia and her unborn baby and his hope that that baby be a boy and the heir. As we can understand since the very beginning, it's not just a noble act since Edward has been in love with Julia since he first kissed her. And even then he was pretending being Albert Such a sweet, if slightly unbelievable, romance! You can read the synopsis says, so I'll not repeat what it says, but the slightly unbelievable part was exactly the premise: Edward pretending to be Albert in order to preserve the health of Julia and her unborn baby and his hope that that baby be a boy and the heir. As we can understand since the very beginning, it's not just a noble act since Edward has been in love with Julia since he first kissed her. And even then he was pretending being Albert! But, Edward's love is such a beautiful thing to read! He pretended one thing or the other for most of his life that nobody really knows the real Edward! He was a rake, a rude, grumpy person, a devil-may-care, a womanizer... All in order for Julia and Albert never to discover his real feelings, because he deeply loved not only Julia, but also his twin! So he's now in a very precarious situation: if he confess Julia could loose the baby and he will fail the promise to his brother - if he doesn't confess Julia will hate him when she finds out! He feels doomed... poor guy... Julia is also an interesting woman: she love her husband deeply and is happy with how he changed during the trip to Africa. He's different. He's more passionate, more indulgent, more free and she loves him more than ever. But he's also strange in some ways, but she think it is due to the death of his dear twin brother. His friends (almost brothers) are aware of his deceit since the beginning and are pressing Edward to confess, but when he explains they'll help him, but not forever. This burden is added to Edward's too... poor guy (I repeat)... The time until Julia finds out is wonderfully described and full of tender and passionate moments from both Julia and Edward's POV. I loved it! Obviously, when Julia descover that all hell comes loose! She's furious, she's overwhelmed by grief, she feels cheated, she feels betrayed... And she reacts accordingly. But when Edward accepts everything she throw at him as his due, she starts thinking about thier time together and slowly sees that it was not all his fault and that he did it also because of love. For her and for his brother. This is a beautiful, romantic story for all of us how love true romance! Very recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    Well done, Heath. Well done. I would say that this is a rounding up situation, as the narrator is not 5-star worthy, but I do believe the story is, and I prefer to give credit to the author. This was just so very well plotted. It is very rare, in my experience, where I feel that some part of the story was not rushed, was not fully explored as it NEEDED to be. This one did a very good job at giving the story time to breathe and progress as needed. The pacing was spot-on. I was very happy when the Well done, Heath. Well done. I would say that this is a rounding up situation, as the narrator is not 5-star worthy, but I do believe the story is, and I prefer to give credit to the author. This was just so very well plotted. It is very rare, in my experience, where I feel that some part of the story was not rushed, was not fully explored as it NEEDED to be. This one did a very good job at giving the story time to breathe and progress as needed. The pacing was spot-on. I was very happy when they seemed to have arrived at a solution to their quandary of being together, and Heath continued the story to explore the ramifications of that seemingly best-fit solution (turns out it wasn't). So many authors would have just left it there. Finally, kudos to Heath for writing a story that was surely discouraged. The premise was off-putting that I wasn't thrilled with the thought of reading/listening to it, but it was very much worth it. In terms of romance, the hero and heroine were a couple I was certainly rooting for. They were likable and seemed perfect for each other, but since central to the story was the preceding death of a beloved brother and husband, there was plenty of grief and guilt involved. It would not be the story to turn to if you are looking for a happy escape romance read. It still had romance, especially later in the novel, but it did take some time to get there. All in all, I am just enormously pleased with the way this was plotted, with tidbits mentioned early on coming to play later, with answering all of my burning questions, that this story deserves the five-star rating.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Cook

    This was DELICIOUS. So much angst!!! And longing, and passion. Ohmyheck I died and went to romance reader heaven.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    ** Contains mature themes ** This is the second book in series entitled: 'A Hellions of Havisham' featuring Lord Edward Alcott and Lady Julia Kenney Alcott in another twist of fate based in the historical Regency era. This series contains such unique storylines that they cannot fail to impress unless of course the reader is entirely opposed to the sensual content. One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs wi ** Contains mature themes ** This is the second book in series entitled: 'A Hellions of Havisham' featuring Lord Edward Alcott and Lady Julia Kenney Alcott in another twist of fate based in the historical Regency era. This series contains such unique storylines that they cannot fail to impress unless of course the reader is entirely opposed to the sensual content. One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. Lorraine Heath is a very accomplish storyteller. The storyline in the first book of 'The Hellions of Havisham' became increasingly enticing poignant scenes that made it difficult to put it down. Inside this story you will find passion, deception, and acceptance in the cards life dealt these individuals. Each book in the series is a stand-alone and deliver unique and unexpected H.E.A.'s. After her husband returns from a four-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love. For Edward, the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all. This is NOT a clean series. Although not clean and wholesome, the sexual scenes are not as descriptive as some other books out there. Those who actually prefer steamy to clean and sweet might not view it as flawed. So if you like a sex-free book this is not it. If you enjoy their inclusion in your reads, jump into this book.  If you prefer clean and sweet reads, avoid this book. It is not fair to an author when readers provide bad reviews about steamy scenes if they know they are included in advance. I have been guilty of this offense myself. It takes a lot of time and effort for an author to research and write each book. And there are readers who prefer the material included in this one to a clean and wholesome read. However, I actually prefer the latter. However, due to this aspect, I recommend it with reservations. ..

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*

    Once again, Lorraine Heath enchanted me with this beautifully written and deeply emotional love story. It takes an exceptional writer to make such a challenging and potentially unpopular plot line work and, although I know some readers will disagree, I think she does this brilliantly. “Do you know what I think, Allie? I think the weasel— who is supposed to be the villain of our tale— may just turn out to be the hero.” For me, the success of this book hinged on Ms Heath’s ability to make me see Once again, Lorraine Heath enchanted me with this beautifully written and deeply emotional love story. It takes an exceptional writer to make such a challenging and potentially unpopular plot line work and, although I know some readers will disagree, I think she does this brilliantly. “Do you know what I think, Allie? I think the weasel— who is supposed to be the villain of our tale— may just turn out to be the hero.” For me, the success of this book hinged on Ms Heath’s ability to make me see Edward as a worthy hero and Julia’s words to her daughter echo my thoughts precisely (the weasel reference makes sense when you read the book). Edward has always accepted his place as the second son without ever being envious or jealous of Albert. He is happy receiving an allowance and living a life free of responsibility. Early on, we learn that Edward has had feelings for Julia ever since they first met, but he loved his brother too much to do anything to hurt him. So he was willing to cultivate a disreputable reputation in order to protect Albert and Julia from any potential gossip. I felt so much sympathy for Edward. He is caught between a rock and a hard place. He must fulfil the promise he made to his brother knowing just how devastating it will be when he has to admit the truth to Julia. In manner, thought, and deed, he had to become the Earl of Greyling. At least until Julia delivered the heir. Then he would be obliged to do what he did best: give her another reason to hate him by revealing the truth, breaking her heart, and shattering her world. Constantly thrown into intimate situations with Julia, Edward struggles to keep his passion for her in check. I could feel his torment…to know that everything Julia did, said or felt wasn’t for him but for the man she thought he was. Edward shows his true colours in so many ways. He has never wanted responsibility, but he steps up to oversee the running of his late brother’s estate, even before he officially becomes the Earl of Greyling. He shows his care and compassion when he personally looks after Mrs Lark and her family even at risk to himself. Who could not fail to love a man who is so gentle and tender with his little niece. Nanny was sitting in a chair with a lamp burning low and a book in her hands. Not Alberta. She wasn’t holding Alberta. Edward was. Lying on Nanny’s bed, his eyes closed, Alberta on his chest, her knees tucked beneath her so her tiny bum was sticking up in the air. Pillows formed a barrier on either side of his body so if she rolled she wouldn’t roll far. Not that Julia thought she was likely to move at all. One of his large hands was splayed over her back, holding her in place. Julia see changes in her husband and puts these down to the effects of travelling with his friends. He has become more forceful, more determined and more attentive, all of which makes him more appealing and she finds herself falling more madly in love with him. His touches came more frequently, his interest in her more intense. He seemed to care about every aspect of her. She thought she’d loved him as much as it was possible to love any man. Strange to realize that she loved him a little bit more each day. Although she missed Albert, in his absence Julia has changed becoming more independent, more confident and making her own decisions. I love that she is not as prim and proper as she appears. She has always wanted to be sexually imaginative but feared her rather upright husband would be appalled. I was just waiting for the moment that Julia discovers Edward’s deception and, when she does, I could feel all her pain and the subsequent scene in the mausoleum is so heart-breaking. At this point, it was impossible to imagine how their relationship could ever be salvaged but Ms Heath gradually brings them back together again. There is still one apparently insurmountable obstacle to overcome, but I found that Ms Heath’s note at the end of the book, in which she highlights her research into this particular aspect, not only provides some interesting historical background but also a believable path to Edward and Julia’s Happy Ever After. I love the idea of Julia’s whimsical creatures and I also enjoyed seeing Ashe, Minerva and Locke. For those of you who love Epilogues, there is a lovely heart-warming one MY VERDICT: Lorraine Heath weaves a complex, captivating and beautiful love story. Highly recommended! REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS The Hellions of Havisham series so far (click on the book covers for more details): This review is also posted on my Rakes and Rascals blog: https://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com...

  11. 4 out of 5

    sraxe

    So, the good, decent twin is killed off and the deflowering, manwhore twin gets to survive and have an HEA? No, thanks. (And this is the brother who posed as his twin and kissed the h, Julia, without her consent when she was being courted by his twin. Ugh.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aly is so frigging bored

    This was me while I was reading it :D This was me while I was reading it :D

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bubu

    Edward and his twin brother Albert Alcott, Earl of Greyling, are on an expedition in Africa when tragedy strikes. Albert is attacked by a gorilla and while he lies dying, he makes Edward promise to protect his wife Julia and their unborn child by assuming his identity. Julia has been through three miscarriages already, and there is the fear that any further grief may cause another miscarriage. Edward, grief stricken himself and full of guilt because he caused the gorilla to charge and kill Alber Edward and his twin brother Albert Alcott, Earl of Greyling, are on an expedition in Africa when tragedy strikes. Albert is attacked by a gorilla and while he lies dying, he makes Edward promise to protect his wife Julia and their unborn child by assuming his identity. Julia has been through three miscarriages already, and there is the fear that any further grief may cause another miscarriage. Edward, grief stricken himself and full of guilt because he caused the gorilla to charge and kill Albert, accepts. Julia and Edward have a difficult history. When she was engaged to his brother, Edward and Julia shared a passionate kiss at a ball, with Julia assuming it was her betrothed Albert. Right after the kiss, Edward lets her know that she kissed him and not Albert, which causes bad blood between these two. They don't bicker openly but it's generally known that there's no love lost between them; Albert certainly knows about the animosity between them but not the reason. Years pass, Albert dies, and Edward, now having assumed his brother's identity, returns with Albert's body. Julia, seven months pregnant, is over the moon to see her 'husband' back sound and safe. Thankfully, the author decided for Julia and Albert to have a happy marriage, by the way. Over the course of time, she sees little changes here and there, finds his behaviour odd and becomes more and more insecure. Edward is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's a total mess, really. He's had - repressed - feelings for Julia ever since the kiss and now has to make sure that nothing upsets Julia that may cause a miscarriage, and in order to do so he has to not only assume the role of the earl, but also resume - at least to a certain degree - his duties as a husband. At least until the baby is born. That's when he's going to tell Julia the truth about Albert. Let the drama unfold. Obviously, these two have a strong attraction for each other; Edward constantly trying to do right by her and his brother; Julia finding the changes in 'Albert' appealing, etc. What happens when he tells Julia what really happened? How will he explain her all the lies he's told her? How will she take it? Are her feelings for Albert or for Edward? And then, of course, the fact that even if there's a slight chance that Julia might reciprocate Edward's feelings, once the truth is out, he can't marry his brother's widow under English law. (Yay! I actually managed to write a plot summary for a change. More or less, anyway) Caz said (she wrote a brilliant review. Go, read it!), in one of my status updates, that Lorraine Heath does a wonderful job in pulling off this premise and the resulting complications, and she's right. The author doesn't take short cuts or an easy way out. Not that I could see any possible short cuts in the first place with such a complex plot. The author gives her characters - or at least one of them - plenty of space to explore their feelings for each other and their situation. There's quite a bit of angst involved. Death, grief, guilt, the birth of a child, illness. She also creates a vivid picture of the time. There's no 21st century modernism in her story. And when I was finished with the book, I thought that the issues Edward and Julia faced, were satisfactorily resolved. (Just a tiny side note here: Ms Heath can write beautiful epilogues.) And yet, I was in a bit of dilemma right from the first page: I don't like fake identity stories, which is why it took me so long to pick up this book. In my opinion, this particular trope always takes the balance between the main characters out of the equation, thus creating one weak - or weaker - character. And in this case, I found it completely unnecessary because the second set up of the book is brilliant already. To give this story a broader scope: Henry VIII, in pursuit of an heir, broke with Rome and changed a whole country's religion based on one little passage in the Bible saying God would punish those who marry their sister/brother-in-law. That's the loophole he used to get his marriage of over 20 years to Katherine of Aragon who had been briefly married to his brother, declared null and void. Sorry for my extremely shortened version here. It took almost another 400 years before Parliament lifted the ban on marriages between in-laws. This is the situation Edward and Julia find themselves in, once they acknowledge their feelings, and I loved how the author picked up an issue that I had not come across yet in a Historical Romance. Ms Heath explains in her Author's Note how it used to be before the law changed and how she tackled the problem. The implications are heavy. Not only do Edward and Julia have to deal with the issue of a dead brother/husband who was loved by them both and the overwhelming feeling of betrayal both carry. There's also the certain social fallout that a couple had to face under such circumstances. Now, one would assume that this setup alone is enough to create a compelling story line. Not in this case, though. Sadly, Ms Heath decided to throw the fake identity trope into the mix. In the first half, Julia thinks it's her husband Albert who's back from the expedition. Despite the slight changes she notices in his personality, she's completely unaware she's dealing with his brother. The whole focus in the first half of the book is on Edward impersonating Albert and the problems that come along with it; how he deals with his guilt and his love for Julia. Additionally, we see Edward's constant self-flagellation, not only because he lusts after his brother's widow, but also because of the dissolute life he used to live and what a sad impression he has left, as everybody assumes him to be dead. All this takes a huge chunk out of Julia's character development, though. Everything is about Edward and his strange behaviour. Julia was not really present to me in the first half. Yes, she was all understanding, nice, warm, welcoming. That still didn't mean I understood why Edward was in love with her in the first place. I simply couldn't see it. I understand instantaneous attraction, but falling in love believably is a process, in my opinion, that needs a solid character foundation which I couldn't see in Julia. And there, I haven't even mentioned the usual problems I always have with Lorraine Heath's books: *The constant comparison of the heroine to the women of the hero's past. *The endless repetitions of creamy skins, slender necks, etc. but the almost non-existent mentioning of character traits that set the heroine apart. *The sometimes sterile development of the romance between the main characters with almost cringe-worthy purple prose in some places. I'm talking some dialogues here that didn't feel natural at all. But let's get back to the fake identity. What this trope did do is create drama once Julia accidentally learns the truth. Of course it is then heartbreaking when she finds out that the husband she so deeply loved has been dead for months. Of course it causes a huge conflict between her and Edward. Of course Edward was made to grovel for another third of the book. But it felt so forced, so unnecessary. Why not take that initial kiss, kill off her husband and let their already existing attraction for each other develop without the pretence? Once Albert and Julia are married, any relationship between Edward and Julia is - supposedly - doomed anyway. The fact that under English law they couldn't get married would have caused enough heartbreak for a whole book. If Ms Heath wanted to write a more dramatic story, the drama was already there. Why make Edward pretend to be his dead brother and waste half of the book with him trying to conceal his deceit and come to terms with it, thus almost marginalising Julia? Luckily, the story picks up after Julia finds out the truth. It's then that I saw Julia develop as a character. A strong woman with a backbone who takes her time to heal and reflect. It's then that both Edward and Julia look at what can or cannot be done. It's then that I actually started to believe in their romance. The last 20% were particularly well done and redeemed the story somewhat. I will read the next instalment, purely because I still believe - despite my reservations - Lorraine Heath writes interesting stories. It didn't come as a surprise that, although I was struggling with the first half, I still felt compelled to continue reading. I wanted to know how Ms Heath would make this plot line, that I thoroughly dislike, work. Funny enough, before I started writing this review, I went through my review of the previous book of this series. And hello! I had completely forgotten that Falling Into Bed with a Duke had another take of the fake identity trope, just that in that case it was the heroine masking herself. And I didn't like it there either. Let's hope that the next one will not have it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    5+ swoony stars for this amazing historical. I hardly ever swoon for book characters but oh, boy! Edward is definitely swoon worthy. What Lorraine Heath wrote is an extremely romantic and tasteful forbidden love story between a widow and her brother in law. Edward and Albert are twins but Albert inherits the family title as he is born first. Both of them fall in love with the same woman, Julia, but Albert is the one who marries her. Julia and Albert have a love filled marriage. There is no love los 5+ swoony stars for this amazing historical. I hardly ever swoon for book characters but oh, boy! Edward is definitely swoon worthy. What Lorraine Heath wrote is an extremely romantic and tasteful forbidden love story between a widow and her brother in law. Edward and Albert are twins but Albert inherits the family title as he is born first. Both of them fall in love with the same woman, Julia, but Albert is the one who marries her. Julia and Albert have a love filled marriage. There is no love lost between them. Albert is a great husband and brother and Julia is a great wife to him. Edward buries his love and pines for Julia in silence for years, treating her poorly. When Albert dies in an unfortunate accident during an expedition, he asks Edward to take his identity in order to protect Julia who is pregnant and had a lot of miscarriages in the past. Edward comes back home heartbroken but decided to honor his brother's wishes. His relationship with Julia is beautiful. Edward struggles with his role as Albert. He tries to stay away from Julia and doesn't want to cause her any harm. Ever so slowly, Edward unravels his true self. He is caring, selfless, smart, helpful. He is such an amazing character. His connection with Julia is soul deep and the sexual tension is so well done. This is a very steamy book. Edward knows that if his true identity was revealed, he would lose Julia and she and her child would lose their standing in society. What an impossibly beautiful love story. I just couldn't put it down! And the audiobook was very good, I highly recommend it! ***Thank you to The Book Refuge for the recommendation***

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lover of Romance

    This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance Summary Many years ago, Edward and Julia shared a passionate kiss in a garden once upon a time, but despite the passion they felt...it went no where when Julia married his brother and twin, the Earl of Greyling. For years, both Edward and Julia have been avoiding the truth and acting like they hate each other when in reality that is far from the truth. But when Edward and his brother go on a trip, his brother dies tryin This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance Summary Many years ago, Edward and Julia shared a passionate kiss in a garden once upon a time, but despite the passion they felt...it went no where when Julia married his brother and twin, the Earl of Greyling. For years, both Edward and Julia have been avoiding the truth and acting like they hate each other when in reality that is far from the truth. But when Edward and his brother go on a trip, his brother dies trying to save his life and asks one final request: Be the Earl of Greyling, until Julia gives birth. At first, Edward is resistant to the idea of keeping such a secret from Julia, but he won't risk her losing her child. But as Edward tries to act the part of a loving and dutiful husband, he can't deny what changes between them. But will Julia despise Edward when the truth is revealed? The Hero Edward, has always had to act the wild and crazy of the brothers to hide his true feelings from Julia. He would never betray his brother by attempting anything, and even though Edward hid it well over the years, his brother saw right through him and always attempted to make him feel welcome no matter the circumstance. Edward is the type of person that does what it takes and is willing to suffer the consequences. He is loyal, strong and committed. It was quite interesting to see such a "bad boy" type end up being so honorable in the end. It definitely wasn't an aspect I was expecting but thoroughly enjoyed. The Heroine Julia is a character that I truly enjoyed seeing through the story. I did admire so many things about her. She is kind and gracious and affectionate. I love how true she was to herself and her commitments in life. She hasn't had a easy time of it, but she is quite loyal to her husband. And yeah when the truth is revealed, we see a different side to Julia. Fiery and passionate and very angry. Which is quite understandable, but we see how she handles grief, and wow I felt like I could relate with her on many levels. Because she isn't miss perfect, as she appears to be in the beginning of the story. We see her vulnerabilities and her strengths. The author really balanced that out. Plot and Story Line I have no idea why it took me so long to read this, mostly due to the set up of the story with our hero posing as our heroines dead husband. It really threw me off from picking it up even though Heath is one of my favorites, I honestly didn't know what to expect from this. So thank goodness for library books---hooyah. I had a blast of a time with this book and was so different from anything else I have read from this author. Not exactly in a positive or negative way--just very different. I definitely had to keep an open mind while reading this book. We see the way these two handle the situation they find themselves in. I honestly don't blame the hero in the beginning...at all. Because we see how tormented he is by agreeing with his brothers dying wish. I can understand the reasons behind it. What I didn't agree with, was seeing how he kept lying to her...long after she has her baby. It was quite interesting to see the way that these two handled their differences and even though for a little while...its pretty tense while they work through their issues but once they resolve it---their relationship just grows in such a beautiful way and I was cheering for both of them. It was heartbreaking at times, lighthearted and freeing in others and simply a well balanced romance that has me eager for more. The Cover What a beautiful cover...I just ADORE her dress. You rarely see black in romance covers, and it fits the theme of the story so well. And FYI I just had to share the stepback. So gorgeous and what a tender sexy pose. It has such a solemn but vibrant feel to it. Overall View The Earl Takes All is a creative romance that will take you down a different route...a tale of sacrifice, devotion and love. Click On Image For Buy Link [foogallery id="23147"]

  16. 5 out of 5

    Book Wonderland

    *4.5 stars The first book raised the bar really high, but this one was really great too. The plot was interesting and Edward is amazing, but he can't top Ashe. *4.5 stars The first book raised the bar really high, but this one was really great too. The plot was interesting and Edward is amazing, but he can't top Ashe.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bj

    4 "A Death Wish" Stars. Quick Take-Aways Review: A very difficult premise to portray but generally well accomplished by Ms. Heath. Strangely, the one kind of extraneous factor that bothered me slightly was the way alcohol was used/portrayed in this novel. The hero almost had a bit of an alcoholic feel to him. Other than this "noise", I enjoyed the interactions between the H/He, particularly the fact that the hero's more laid back and understanding nature seemed to bring out the more edgier and re 4 "A Death Wish" Stars. Quick Take-Aways Review: A very difficult premise to portray but generally well accomplished by Ms. Heath. Strangely, the one kind of extraneous factor that bothered me slightly was the way alcohol was used/portrayed in this novel. The hero almost had a bit of an alcoholic feel to him. Other than this "noise", I enjoyed the interactions between the H/He, particularly the fact that the hero's more laid back and understanding nature seemed to bring out the more edgier and real side of the heroine. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Heath's works in the future!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    I have no doubt that Lorraine Heath wrote a beautiful story in this book. But I am afraid to read it. She has the damnest plot sometimes. Masquerading as a twin, albeit with a good reason, seems a far-fetched idea and I am not sure I could suspend belief for such a plot. And I read Lisa Kleypas's Stranger in my arms, which also had a twin pretending to be his twin. I did not like it. Sigh, I am putting this on the to read shelf and it will probably sit there for quite some time. I have no doubt that Lorraine Heath wrote a beautiful story in this book. But I am afraid to read it. She has the damnest plot sometimes. Masquerading as a twin, albeit with a good reason, seems a far-fetched idea and I am not sure I could suspend belief for such a plot. And I read Lisa Kleypas's Stranger in my arms, which also had a twin pretending to be his twin. I did not like it. Sigh, I am putting this on the to read shelf and it will probably sit there for quite some time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I've been waiting for this story. I'm a sucker for the forbidden love theme. When I read the blurb it immediately made me think of Lisa Kleypas's "Stranger in my Arms"--which I loved. Nope, it was not at all like Stranger in my Arms, lol. This one was way more complex, to the point I wondered if Heath was even going to be able to pull it off. It did however make me dig out my old copy of LK's book which I'll have to re-read this weekend. Looking forward to that! Anyway, back to the tale....... I've been waiting for this story. I'm a sucker for the forbidden love theme. When I read the blurb it immediately made me think of Lisa Kleypas's "Stranger in my Arms"--which I loved. Nope, it was not at all like Stranger in my Arms, lol. This one was way more complex, to the point I wondered if Heath was even going to be able to pull it off. It did however make me dig out my old copy of LK's book which I'll have to re-read this weekend. Looking forward to that! Anyway, back to the tale........so, you have a heroine, Julia, who is madly in love with Albert and he with her. Albert is the epitome of a gentleman and Julia is a true lady. Then toss in his identical twin brother, Edward. Edward, Edward, Edward. He is a selfish rogue, a drinker and a playboy who secretly harbors an attraction to his brother's wife. I'll be honest, initially I didn't like him one bit. This is going to be the hero of the book? The heroine could never possibly fall for this guy. Albert is killed and Edward must take the place of his brother to save Julia from possibly miscarrying should she find out her husband is dead. How the heck is this going to work? Midway through the book, I had to put it down and seriously think back. WTH? Heath completely made me fall in love with Edward. I was so dead set on not even giving him a chance from chapter one. I still don't know the exact point, but Heath pulled it off so well that I found myself wondering how I could have ever not loved him, he was so perfect for Julia! This story is complex, heartbreaking and romantic. Julia was a wonderful heroine whose inner turmoil I cannot even begin to imagine. And Edward. Yes, I definitely adored Edward :)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath is a 2016 Avon publication. I as provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Sometimes you know from the start things are going to end badly. Yet, despite everything, I had to look, had to listen, had to know, even if my heart was on the line, knowing full well I would need a super-size box of tissues to get through it. The setup is wrong on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps at the begi The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath is a 2016 Avon publication. I as provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Sometimes you know from the start things are going to end badly. Yet, despite everything, I had to look, had to listen, had to know, even if my heart was on the line, knowing full well I would need a super-size box of tissues to get through it. The setup is wrong on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps at the beginning? Julia and Edward share a kiss that rocks both their worlds and leaves a long lasting impression. But, Julia believed she was kissing Albert, Edward’s identical twin, and is furious at him for taking advantage of her. Not a great way to start a relationship with your future sister-in-law. But, the die was cast, and the awkwardness remained until Edward was killed. Only Edward didn’t die, it was Albert. Albert’s dying wish is for Edward to pretend to be him until Julia gives birth to their child. It would only be for a short time and then he would tell her the truth. This set-up is obviously pretty tricky, but you must keep an open mind because the author did a spectacular job of walking across a tightrope without a net. You have to trust me on this one, and believe me when I say she never took one misstep or lost her balance from start to finish. Forbidden love, a heartbreaking deception, cruel and downright strange British laws, all team up against the power of love and wins a few significant battles along the way, but of course true love will win the war… eventually. Wow! This story is tense, daring, emotionally charged, and may be the most sensual story I’ve read in a long time. Albert is most certainly an honorable and noble man who loved Julia with all his heart, and only wanted her to be happy. So, his demise is going to be hard to comprehend, and you may be tempted to close your minds and hearts right then and there. But, I beg you to reconsider, because in no way is the love shared between Julia and Albert diminished or dishonored. Edward and Julia’s love story is nothing short of epic. The feelings they have for each other transcends boundaries and all obstacles, refusing to be contained for anyone. The characters are human and real, caught in a trap they have no way of escaping- a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. They can live a lie, cheat Albert’s memory, hide the truth from his daughter, allow Edward’s reputation to remain mired in scandal, or they tell the truth and lose any and all chance of happiness. Love brings out the best in us, but also the worst. The consuming desire to finally be with the one person you have always loved, the only one you will ever love, or having a second chance at real happiness, could be a temptation impossible to deny. If you have ever been in love, you know what a powerful drug it is, which can have you rationalizing your decisions, even if you know deep down it's not the right thing to do. I realize the plot may be hard for some to wrap their heads around, and there were some moments where I thought a line was blurred, but once all was said and done, it came together beautifully, with every character able to hold their heads up high, with their reputations intact, blazing new trails, and paying tribute to those who left us too soon, by making sure their memory was honored. I rarely gush over a book, but this one is worth it. Kudos to the author for daring to challenge us, for keeping the genre fresh by adding in a dash of true scandal, and a bit of controversy, but mostly for writing a moving story, with depth and feeling, that really touched my heart and left tears standing in my eyes. 5 stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    This book was an emotional steamroller right from the start, but honestly it was the epilogue that did me in - I need a new box of tissues and a big glass of rose. I'm not sure I'm able to talk about it, so no review for now. But, guys - this story is so worthwhile your time, I highly recommend it. This book was an emotional steamroller right from the start, but honestly it was the epilogue that did me in - I need a new box of tissues and a big glass of rose. I'm not sure I'm able to talk about it, so no review for now. But, guys - this story is so worthwhile your time, I highly recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rowena

    This book made me cry. The impossible feelings, the taboo romance but holy cow, the feelings were all there. Edward and Julia's romance was hard but it was completely real. I can't wait for Locke's story. This book made me cry. The impossible feelings, the taboo romance but holy cow, the feelings were all there. Edward and Julia's romance was hard but it was completely real. I can't wait for Locke's story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill R

    When I started the book I hated the premise but these two brought me around and I ended up really enjoying the book

  24. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    You know how characters can sometimes make or break a story? Well, Edward Alcott makes it. I liked him in the first book even though the author didn't depict him in a very good light. But most of us love a character in need of redemption anyway so there's that. Not that he needed it that much. The author made sure we don't love Albert that much, but she also didn't make him some kind of villain. Albert was a wonderful character. The prologue broke my heart and as far as Edward goes, the whole boo You know how characters can sometimes make or break a story? Well, Edward Alcott makes it. I liked him in the first book even though the author didn't depict him in a very good light. But most of us love a character in need of redemption anyway so there's that. Not that he needed it that much. The author made sure we don't love Albert that much, but she also didn't make him some kind of villain. Albert was a wonderful character. The prologue broke my heart and as far as Edward goes, the whole book kept that tone. I knew it would be a heartbreaking story before starting it. After all, what his late brother wished him to do was hard. Every time I thought I couldn't love him any more, he went and did something lovely, wonderful, unselfish, you name it. Even with the deception he was forced into, he managed to stay as honest as possible under the circumstances. Julia, on the other hand, almost broke it. I couldn't stand her at times. I had to remind myself of her own situation so as not to despise her. The only time she showed she isn't a spoiled, selfish, pampered special character, who honestly doesn't know how beautiful she is, was near the end. She sees that Edward deserves all the praise in life (even that had to be forced upon her by the gossipy ton). The resolution was neat. I bought it. It worked. Plus the author's note about her research of that particular topic didn't hurt one bit. The epilogue was cheesy and sappy. The book didn't need it at all. Overall, it's a nice story. Edward was enough for me to like it. He gets all the stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yomi M.

    Rating Clarification: 4.5 stars It definitely was a long night. I loved this so much!! Edward was the star of the book, he was amazing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I have been reading Lorraine Heath books for a long time and I don't know how she keeps coming up with fresh ideas and wonderful stories. I love this book! Albert, Earl of Greyling, and Edward are twins whose parents died at an early age and left the boys to be raised by the reclusive Marquess of Marsden along with his son, Locke (Viscount Locksley) and Ashe (Duke of Ashebury). Edward gives Lady Julia Kenney, his brother's fiancée, her first kiss much to her dismay when he teases she can't tell I have been reading Lorraine Heath books for a long time and I don't know how she keeps coming up with fresh ideas and wonderful stories. I love this book! Albert, Earl of Greyling, and Edward are twins whose parents died at an early age and left the boys to be raised by the reclusive Marquess of Marsden along with his son, Locke (Viscount Locksley) and Ashe (Duke of Ashebury). Edward gives Lady Julia Kenney, his brother's fiancée, her first kiss much to her dismay when he teases she can't tell them apart. Several years later, Albert and Edward go on a trip to Africa leaving a pregnant Julia at home. Albert is killed and Edward pretends to be him as not to shock Julia into losing her child, the possible heir. Locke and Ashe, who can tell the twins apart, agree as long as Edward confesses after the birth. Edward always desired Julia and falls more in love as he spends time with her knowing she will hate him when he confesses the truth. When the child is a girl Edward has to confess as he is now the earl though he knows it will devastate Julia. Julia has never hated Edward as much as she pretended. While anger separates them for awhile, reading Albert's journals and seeing Edward with his niece eases her hurt and guilt for desiring Edward. I do not want to spoil the details of this book. I know some FB comments found Edward's behavior horrible but he was following his brother's wishes and he did love her. She also had feelings for him. I remind you that this is not set in 2016 so it's not fair to put current values on historicals. I highly recommend it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ania

    I blame all the wonderful, well written books that I have read lately, for this poor rating. I really wanted to love this book but that certainly didn't happen. I didn't much care for Julia and I found that Edward lost all his personality when transformed into his brother. I understand that that was supposed to happen, with the whole "being his twin Albert" thing but still, didn't care for that. I also didn't get the siblings supposed loving relationship. I don't doubt they loved each other but I blame all the wonderful, well written books that I have read lately, for this poor rating. I really wanted to love this book but that certainly didn't happen. I didn't much care for Julia and I found that Edward lost all his personality when transformed into his brother. I understand that that was supposed to happen, with the whole "being his twin Albert" thing but still, didn't care for that. I also didn't get the siblings supposed loving relationship. I don't doubt they loved each other but it wasn't a very close relationship. I also felt that having Edward and Julia hate each other in the beginning was just "lazy". Their whole dynamic felt too forced, in my opinion. I don't understand why and how the hero fell in love with the heroine and her with him. Again, maybe I'm being too harsh, being completely biased by all the great books I've been lucky to read recently, but even taking that into consideration, I think it lacked depth and character development. Their love scenes were a bit lame. I know most love scenes are supposed to be corny but they just didn't do it for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenn (The Book Refuge)

    Wow.. I knew when I read the premise of this novel that I had to read it. Its actually the reason that I read Falling into Bed With a Duke, because it was the first one in the series and I wanted to read The Hellions of Havisham in order. I did not know what I would make of this couple after reading the first novel and seeing them interact with each other. But wow, was I wrong. Even as you see the inevitable cliff they are about to fling off, I was rooting for them. I wanted them to get everythi Wow.. I knew when I read the premise of this novel that I had to read it. Its actually the reason that I read Falling into Bed With a Duke, because it was the first one in the series and I wanted to read The Hellions of Havisham in order. I did not know what I would make of this couple after reading the first novel and seeing them interact with each other. But wow, was I wrong. Even as you see the inevitable cliff they are about to fling off, I was rooting for them. I wanted them to get everything they wanted. Julia and Albert may have had such a sweet life together, calm and perfect and... happy. But Julia and Edward, they are destined for sparks and sexiness and passion. I really loved seeing how it all played out, even though it got right to the last few pages and I had no idea what was going to happen. The slow burn and build up were freaking intense! Lorraine Heath pulled out the HEA in the clutch!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lorka

    Well this book started off as a 5-star for me, I was really interested to see how the heroine would react to finding out the hero was indeed not her husband. Up until that point, the only thing that really annoyed me was the constant rehashing of his feelings on why he needed to keep his identity a secret. I felt that once the secret was revealed, it would have then been great to watch them return to their original feelings of dislike for each other and slowly watch them fall in love. That would Well this book started off as a 5-star for me, I was really interested to see how the heroine would react to finding out the hero was indeed not her husband. Up until that point, the only thing that really annoyed me was the constant rehashing of his feelings on why he needed to keep his identity a secret. I felt that once the secret was revealed, it would have then been great to watch them return to their original feelings of dislike for each other and slowly watch them fall in love. That would have been sweet. But instead they seem to just immediately declare love for each other and the rest of the book was just angsty moaning and groaning about how or if they should remain together. I also felt the heroine suddenly became bitchy and annoying after the secret was revealed...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    I really enjoyed this one too! It dealt with a difficult set of cards because we have Edward who lied to Julia about his identity and then we have the whole issue of the public figuring out this lie and ruining the rest of the family. I also loved how Lorraine takes these books to another heat level compared to other historical romance authors!! Definitely worth the read for the drama, the characters, and heat!

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