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The Viscount and the Vixen

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Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconv Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere. Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place! Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.


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Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconv Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere. Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place! Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.

30 review for The Viscount and the Vixen

  1. 4 out of 5

    UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

    The Viscount and the Vixen is wonderful! More than a romance, it's a beautiful love story, and I can't seem to put into words how deeply it touched me. I was certain I wouldn't like her, but Portia is so much more than she appears. Even though I was shocked and appalled as her story unfolds, I often felt like my heart was being torn apart and was brought to tears for the things she endured and the choices she had to make. And Locke... what a devoted son he is! And attractive, hard working, sensu The Viscount and the Vixen is wonderful! More than a romance, it's a beautiful love story, and I can't seem to put into words how deeply it touched me. I was certain I wouldn't like her, but Portia is so much more than she appears. Even though I was shocked and appalled as her story unfolds, I often felt like my heart was being torn apart and was brought to tears for the things she endured and the choices she had to make. And Locke... what a devoted son he is! And attractive, hard working, sensual and sexy and... well, you can see, I wasn't lying when I said I'm having trouble finding the words to express what a moving tale this is. I'm thrilled to read that the man who made this series possible, the Marquess of Marsden, and the love of his life, Linnie, will have their story told in a novella called Making Merry with the Marquess. It's due out in early 2017!! An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review, though I will try to do a better job of it closer to the November 29, 2016 release day. Blurb: Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere. Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place! Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    4.5 stars. Lorraine Heath is one of those writers whose work really resonates with me. I don’t know what it is exactly, but the emotional content of her books draws me to her time and time again, and I will often finish one of her novels feeling completely wrung out and unable to pick up another book for at least twenty-four hours. Such was the case with The Viscount and the Vixen, the final full-length novel in her Hellions of Havisham Hall series. The Marquess of Marsden is a recluse, labell 4.5 stars. Lorraine Heath is one of those writers whose work really resonates with me. I don’t know what it is exactly, but the emotional content of her books draws me to her time and time again, and I will often finish one of her novels feeling completely wrung out and unable to pick up another book for at least twenty-four hours. Such was the case with The Viscount and the Vixen, the final full-length novel in her Hellions of Havisham Hall series. The Marquess of Marsden is a recluse, labelled mad by most because he is believed to have gone insane following the death of his beloved wife in childbed. Havisham Hall has been allowed to fall into disrepair over the years, and even though his son, Viscount Locksley has lived there exclusively for the past couple of years, he has made no improvements because his father dislikes change and he – Locke – doesn’t want to agitate him. So when he arrives at the breakfast table one morning to find his father freshly shaved, smartly dressed and reading the paper, it’s a bit of a shock. Marsden usually takes his meals in his room and doesn’t bother much about his appearance, but when he tells Locke that his (Marsden’s) bride will be arriving later, Locke thinks his father is delusional and must be referring to his mother. But Marsden is perfectly lucid and explains that as Locke has so far neglected to find a wife and set up his nursery, it behoves him to marry a woman young enough to provide the necessary “spare” in order to secure the succession. And in order to do that, Marsden placed an advertisement in a newspaper which was answered by a Mrs. Portia Gadstone, with whom he has been corresponding ever since. Locke is flabbergasted, but also concerned for his father and worried that he has been taken in by a fortune hunter. When Mrs. Gadstone appears, he is knocked sideways even further; she’s luscious and he’s suddenly drowning in lust the like of which he can’t remember ever experiencing before. But even so – he’s sure she’s a gold digger and is determined to protect his father at all costs. And it quickly appears there is only one way to do that, which is to marry Portia himself. Portia has been driven to the drastic step of marrying a man widely reputed to be insane because she’s in a desperate situation. She can’t deny that the prospect of marrying a wealthy man is an attractive one, but just as important as the marquess’ wealth is the fact that his title offers her the protection she seeks, and she is determined to be a good wife to him. But her first sight of Marsden’s gorgeous, green-eyed son throws her for a loop, even though he makes it perfectly clear that he distrusts her and wants to stop her marrying his father. When Locke proposes she marry him instead, Portia is almost turned from her purpose, realising that her life with him will in no way fulfil her desire for quiet, rather dull existence she had envisaged having with his father. But that doesn’t alter the fact that she has imperative reasons for marrying and living in a remote location – and the deal is made. The sexual tension between Locke and Portia is off the charts right from the start, and theirs is – to begin with - a relationship based purely on mutual lust, which suits both of them. Locke saw what his mother’s death did to his father and as a result, has no wish to experience love; and Portia doesn’t want to fall in love with a man upon whom she is practicing a serious deception. But as the story progresses, the lines between lust and affection become blurred and Portia starts to worm her way under the skin of father and son, both of whom are taken with her intelligence, wit and kindness. And for Locke, the fact that his wife is a woman whose capacity for passion matches is own is an unlooked for bonus. Lorraine Heath has penned a lovely, tender romance that progresses at the same time as Locke and Portia are setting fire to the sheets (often!), and I particularly enjoyed the way that Portia’s gradual progress in restoring Havisham Hall, opening up long-closed rooms and making them habitable and welcoming again, mirrors her gradual unlocking of her new husband’s heart and her discovery that he is a man capable – and deserving – of a great deal of love and affection. There is never any doubt that Locke and Portia are falling in love; their actions often speak louder than their words as these two people who didn’t want love come to realise that it’s found them, regardless. Portia’s backstory and her reasons for answering Marsden’s advertisement are drip fed throughout the book, and it’s a testament to the author’s skill that even though Portia has deliberately set out to deceive, the reader feels sympathy for her. At a time when women had no rights to anything, even their own bodies, she has had to make difficult choices and ended up living a life very different from the one she had envisaged. She owns her own mistakes, but when faced with an impossible choice, made the only decision she could live with, one which now looks set to ruin her life and happiness with the man she never intended to love. Locke seems to be rather a stereotypical romance hero at first glance – tall, dark, handsome, cynical and a demi-god in bed – but there’s more to him than that. Underneath the veneer of charm and wicked sensuality, he’s a compassionate man with a strong sense of duty who is quite obviously fooling himself into believing he doesn’t want love when he is so clearly ready to embrace it. His relationship with Marsden is easily one of the best things about the book; the affection in which father and son hold each other leaps off the page and possesses just the right degree of exasperated tenderness. And Marsden is far more subtly drawn here than he has been in the other books; he’s unbalanced, but clearly not insane and appears to be subject to fits of melancholy rather than mentally unhinged. When Locke discovers his wife’s dishonesty, there are, of course, some unpleasant things said, and later, Portia does perhaps forgive Locke a tad too quickly. But on balance, Locke’s willingness to listen to Portia’s story – something many men of the time would probably not have done – says much for him and about the strength of their relationship. It works in context, although I can understand that some may feel he wasn’t sufficiently remorseful and should have grovelled more. The Viscount and the Vixen contains just about everything I want from an historical romance – complex, intriguing characters, scorching sexual tension, and a strong storyline that is firmly rooted in the era in which the story is set. Ms. Heath once again delivers those things along with finely observed familial relationships and a sexy, well-developed love story. I’ve enjoyed each of the books in this series and am looking forward to whatever the author comes up with next.

  3. 4 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    I thought I could do this one because I enjoy Heath's writing but my personal dislike issues got in the way. Not a fan of secret trying to pass off as hero's baby angst, insta-lust, or first chapter starting off like this: Leaning forward, he dug his elbows into his thighs. “I’m simply striving to determine why a woman as young and lovely as yourself would be willing to lie on her back so a man as shriveled as my father can slide on top of her.” “Locke!” his father bellowed. “You’ve gone too fa I thought I could do this one because I enjoy Heath's writing but my personal dislike issues got in the way. Not a fan of secret trying to pass off as hero's baby angst, insta-lust, or first chapter starting off like this: Leaning forward, he dug his elbows into his thighs. “I’m simply striving to determine why a woman as young and lovely as yourself would be willing to lie on her back so a man as shriveled as my father can slide on top of her.” “Locke!” his father bellowed. “You’ve gone too far. Get the hell out.” “It’s quite all right, my lord,” she said calmly, never taking her challenging gaze from Locke’s, not flinching, not blushing, not so much as arching a thinly shaped eyebrow at him. “I don’t see that your father’s preferred position for coupling is really any of your concern. Perhaps he will take me standing while coming in at me from behind. Or on my knees. Or upside down. But I assure you, he will not be shriveled.” Then she slowly lowered those damned whiskey eyes to his lap, and he cursed his cock’s betrayal. With startling detail, images of him with her in all those positions had flown through his mind. He’d grown so hard and aching that he couldn’t have gotten up and walked out if he wanted. In a contemporary, would love this heroine's response, in historical, just not what I am personally looking for.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    *4.25 stars* I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath as this was my first Lorraine Heath, and, as usual, I barely read the blurb before buying it. But I really, really liked it, and I could barely put it down in the last 100 pages. Whenever I go to a book convention, I try to read as many of the attending authors as possible. Book Lovers Con is fast approaching, and Lorraine Heath was my first author to check off my to-read list. I am truly thrilled that *4.25 stars* I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath as this was my first Lorraine Heath, and, as usual, I barely read the blurb before buying it. But I really, really liked it, and I could barely put it down in the last 100 pages. Whenever I go to a book convention, I try to read as many of the attending authors as possible. Book Lovers Con is fast approaching, and Lorraine Heath was my first author to check off my to-read list. I am truly thrilled that I bought The Viscount and the Vixen in paperback because it was a delight to read. I'm happy I read this book without reading any spoilers because each moment of the book was new and surprising for me. I loved the chemistry, the sexual tension, and the way the romance went from an enemies-to-lovers-ish vibe to something intensely romantic. It was a beautiful progression, and I felt like it happened naturally. I also liked all of the secondary characters, especially Locke's father, who's love for his deceased wife brought me to tears at times. The story drew me in more and more the further I got in the story, and I didn't want to put it down by the end. Now I have to read all the other books in the series (already purchased, also in paperback). Very excited to discover Lorraine Heath's backlist now. goodreads|instagram|twitter|blog

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christine Wallflower & Dark Romance Junkie

    The Viscount and the Vixen, is the third book I've read by Lorraine Heath and I've said it once and I'll say it again. Lorraine Heath is an automatic one click author for me, her books are bundles of angst filled romance and once you start reading one, you immediately become overcome with so many feels, that by the time you're done you're just a puddle of emotion. Speaking of puddles and emotions that exactly how I feel right now. Portia and Locksley's story is one shrouded in mystery, on one han The Viscount and the Vixen, is the third book I've read by Lorraine Heath and I've said it once and I'll say it again. Lorraine Heath is an automatic one click author for me, her books are bundles of angst filled romance and once you start reading one, you immediately become overcome with so many feels, that by the time you're done you're just a puddle of emotion. Speaking of puddles and emotions that exactly how I feel right now. Portia and Locksley's story is one shrouded in mystery, on one hand you have Portia who is obviously hiding something and while it's somewhat obvious the details of her secret are what really got me as the reader. Then there's Locksley, once an adventurer but because of the unpredictability of his father's health and his finances, he has decided to stay closer to home and play a more active role in his families mine. When Portia arrives on Locksley's doorstep ready to marry his father, he is immediately weary of what his sees as a gold digging woman but something else that catches him unaware, is his strong attraction to her while she seems completely unaffected. Portia's plans are ruined when Locksley offers to marry her instead of his father, but refusing is out of the question. Her marriage to a lord guarantees the safety and security she so badly needs. With her head nestled in the nook of his shoulder, she relished the beat of his heart, wondering if it were possible that he might unlock it just a little bit. Ladies and gentleman, Heath has proved that just because it's an historical romance does not mean the heroine is a virgin, better yet even if she isn't a virgin does not mean that she has never had an orgasm. Yes the myth has been shattered. Please carry on! Portia and Locksley's relationship literally blew up the pages, apart from the scorching hot sex scenes, the chemistry between them is what sold this couple for me. Yes there were times I felt that the forgiveness came too easily and would've preferred more grovelling but overall this story gripped me from the very start and I'm so happy that this isn't the end of the series. "Every time I think I can love you no more than I do, you say or do something that proves me wrong-and I find myself loving a little more deeply."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Madge

    DNF @ 84%. Here's me the entire time: Because, no. Please don't read this book, I beg you. If you don't, you'll have several hours to plot world domination, or think up a way to end world hunger, or nap. You'll be a happier, healthier person. Really. TIME FOR THE SPOILERY RANT. YE'VE BEEN WARNED, MATIES. If you do read The Viscount and the Vixen, you'll read a depressing tale of an emotionally damaged guy, aka Viscount Locksley aka Locke, being forced into marriage by his mentally unstable fathe DNF @ 84%. Here's me the entire time: Because, no. Please don't read this book, I beg you. If you don't, you'll have several hours to plot world domination, or think up a way to end world hunger, or nap. You'll be a happier, healthier person. Really. TIME FOR THE SPOILERY RANT. YE'VE BEEN WARNED, MATIES. If you do read The Viscount and the Vixen, you'll read a depressing tale of an emotionally damaged guy, aka Viscount Locksley aka Locke, being forced into marriage by his mentally unstable father, the Marquess of Marsden. The woman Locke marries is a duplicitous sociopath of a prostitute, aka Portia, who is knocked up with another guy's kid. She hides the pregnancy, planning to pass the kid off as legit, even after she and Locke supposedly - after lots of clinical sex but no romantic courting of any kind - have developed feelings for each other. Locke learns about the pregnancy from the guy who did the knocking up, near the end of the book; on my Kindle it was roughly at 84%, which is when I stopped reading and cleaned my Kindle with bleach to get the stink off. There's also a downbeat, Poldark rip-off sub-plot concerning Locke's failing mines and imminent financial insolvency. Whee! Fun times! I've read the previous two books in the Hellions of Haversham series, and was looking forward to Locke's tale. Expecting a Dickensian, Gothic romance from the prior books' set-up of a mad marquess and his heir living in a crumbling manse named Havisham Hall on the northern, remote moors, it was like running into a brick wall as I immediately discovered Heath ejected that entire premise to write an awful book about an awful woman exploiting two emotionally damaged men. Portia is beyond crass; her first conversation with Locke and his father, the Marquess of Marsden, has her discussing giving the father oral (and various other) sex. Locke is financially desperate, emotionally closed off, and forced into a loveless union. This is not a romance novel. Locke and Portia never grow together; Locke begins to form an attachment to her, and at the point when she should confess her predicament so a romance could (maybe?) form between them, she doesn't. She just carries on being a lying liar who lies, justifying her action in her own mind, being awful. I hated her to the point of I've written my own Gothic version of Locke's story which has Portia dying in childbirth, and Locke escaping his circumstances by meeting a feisty, fiery American heiress who melts his cold existence and sad past with a caring, take-no-prisoners love. If anyone deserves that kind of romance ending in Romancelandia, it's Locke. So, yeah, don't read this book. Pet your dog or cat, go for a run, start another book instead.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    .. ** Contains mature themes ** This is the third book in series entitled: 'A Hellions of Havisham' featuring Viscount Locksley and Portia Gadstone. This series contains such unique storylines that they cannot fail to impress unless of course the reader is entirely opposed to the sensual content. Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled .. ** Contains mature themes ** This is the third book in series entitled: 'A Hellions of Havisham' featuring Viscount Locksley and Portia Gadstone. This series contains such unique storylines that they cannot fail to impress unless of course the reader is entirely opposed to the sensual content. Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed . . . as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere. Lorraine Heath is a very accomplish storyteller. The storyline in the first book of 'The Hellions of Havisham' provided a very entertaining read. This story started out very oddly, but soon proves with patience, faith, and love - you really can conquer more than you can ever imagine. These compassionate individuals are living proof. Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print . . . and takes his father’s place! Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love. 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. ..

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*

    It is wonderful books like this that have made Lorraine Heath one of my top favourite authors. Her beautifully written and deeply emotional love stories keep me coming back for more. After his mother died giving birth to him, Viscount Locksley (Locke) watched his father, the Marquess of Marsden, slowly driven mad with grief over the loss of his beloved wife. Locke intends to marry eventually, but it will never be for love having seen first-hand the devastation such an emotion can cause. He choose It is wonderful books like this that have made Lorraine Heath one of my top favourite authors. Her beautifully written and deeply emotional love stories keep me coming back for more. After his mother died giving birth to him, Viscount Locksley (Locke) watched his father, the Marquess of Marsden, slowly driven mad with grief over the loss of his beloved wife. Locke intends to marry eventually, but it will never be for love having seen first-hand the devastation such an emotion can cause. He chooses to bury himself in working alongside his men in the mines and managing the estates. Concerned that Locke shows no signs of marrying soon and determined that his title and estates will not pass into the hands of his greedy cousin or his cousin’s son, the marquess plans to marry and acquire a “spare”. When he meets the prospective bride, Portia Gadstone, Locke is immediately suspicious of her motives and convinced she is nothing more than a social climbing, fortune hunter. He will do anything possible to protect his father from her clutches, even marrying her himself. In fact, she could prove the perfect wife for him. Locke slid his gaze over to Portia Gadstone and, for the first time, clearly saw her for what she truly was. A mercenary, a title chaser, someone wanting to rise so badly above her station she would use any means necessary to accomplish her goal, including taking advantage of an aging gentleman. The sort of woman he could never grow to care for, could never love, could never give his heart to. She was bloody perfect. Locke is right about Portia in one respect – she will do anything to achieve her goal but not for the reasons he thinks. Penniless, homeless and with a secret she must hide at all costs, marriage to the marquess will provide the safety and security she so desperately needs. What she hasn’t bargained for is the Marquess of Marsden’s son thwarting her plans! She could have charmed the elderly marquess but the handsome, virile, arrogant Locke is a very different proposition. Ms Heath builds the romance between Locke and Portia beautifully, showing the gradual changes in their relationship. The scene where they first meet is full of barbed, witty exchanges and I enjoyed watching Portia getting a rise out of Locke in every sense of the word! Neither is looking for love but they are not averse to enjoying a physical relationship, leading to some steamy sex scenes. I enjoyed watching Locke reluctantly accepting that his initial opinions of Portia are wrong. He sees how soft hearted she is when his father is talking about his beloved wife; she has no desire for “constant compliments, numerous baubles, and his undivided attention” like every other woman he has known; she makes him laugh and he finds that he wants to spend time with her as much out of the bedroom as in it. I like Portia’s boldness in standing up to Locke and expressing her own views. She sees how deeply he cares for his father, his estates and his men and it is heart-warming to see how she brings light, joy and music back to the once dreary Havisham Hall. She draws the marquess out of his reclusiveness and is the catalyst for Locke discovering so much about his mother he never knew. It is obvious that Locke and Portia are falling in love – Coming to know her husband filled her with a sense of satisfaction as well as a measure of dread, because she feared he had the power to shatter what remained of her fragile heart. ♥♥♥ “It didn’t help matters that it always caused this odd sense of swelling in his chest that made it difficult to breathe for a few seconds whenever she flashed a smile. but I knew any future happiness would soon be tested when Portia’s secret is finally revealed. The scene where she tells him of her deception is so heart-breaking and, although I understood Locke’s initial reaction, I very much sympathised with Portia and the choices she was forced to make. I like how Ms Heath always brings an element of social commentary to her books; in this case, the lack of women’s rights in the late Victorian era which forces Portia to take such drastic action to protect all she loves. Despite Locke’s cruel words, once he learns Portia’s full story and accepts his true feelings for her, I love how he confronts her sanctimonious father and moves heaven and earth to find her. I especially adored the marquess who is kind, gentle and perceptive, such as when he tells Locke – “Your mother’s beauty was all inside. Portia has a good bit in there as well. Don’t forget to look there”. I like how he cleverly tricks Locke into marrying Portia. Perhaps he’s not as mad as everyone believes. Although tinged with a little sadness, the Epilogue left me with a warm glow and a desire to read the forthcoming WHEN THE MARQUESS FALLS , the love story of the Marquess of Marsden and his beloved wife, Linnie. MY VERDICT: Another captivating and beautiful love story with characters that will touch your heart. Highly recommended! The Hellions of Havisham series so far (click on the book covers for more details): When the Marquess Falls - March 14th 2017 **I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in return for an honest review.** This review is also posted on my Rakes and Rascals blog: https://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    this series is fantastic and a must-read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mei

    What a wonderful conclusion for Hellions!!! Portia is such a good match for Locke!!! He needed for somebody to shake him up! To pull him by his hair from a depression that had accompanied him all his life! And Portia was just perfect for that role! I loved how she lied, but didn't lie completly! Every lie had some truth in it! Also, sometime she didn't lie at all, but said the truth in such way that Locke could interpret it however he wished... and often wrongly! LOL I loved how she and the Marques What a wonderful conclusion for Hellions!!! Portia is such a good match for Locke!!! He needed for somebody to shake him up! To pull him by his hair from a depression that had accompanied him all his life! And Portia was just perfect for that role! I loved how she lied, but didn't lie completly! Every lie had some truth in it! Also, sometime she didn't lie at all, but said the truth in such way that Locke could interpret it however he wished... and often wrongly! LOL I loved how she and the Marquess were in synchrony! It was almost uncanny! Love their conversation! And loved how Ms. Heath extracted bit by bit information about his loved wife! And also how that helped Locke understand better his father and his love of his wife and his suffering after loosing her. Locke was a bit arrogant at the beginning, but his love for his father endeared him to me! What starts a a bad case of lust, slowly becomes love! It was masterfully done: bit by bit! I don't know if I want to read the Marquess' story... I already know how it ends: badly! And I don't want to cry buckets from the very beginning!!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    sng

    Too sad I can't get a refund There's so much I did not like about this book. And I llik some books by this author so I pre-ordered the book. For that reason it can't be returned. Warning spoilers ahead..... Just a few things that I dislike: They fall into lust at first sight. On a time where showing your hands was almost a sexual act, we have the h talking about sexual positions during one of the earlier conversations. Not credible unless she was a courtesan. Supposedly she was a widow. Also, A se Too sad I can't get a refund There's so much I did not like about this book. And I llik some books by this author so I pre-ordered the book. For that reason it can't be returned. Warning spoilers ahead..... Just a few things that I dislike: They fall into lust at first sight. On a time where showing your hands was almost a sexual act, we have the h talking about sexual positions during one of the earlier conversations. Not credible unless she was a courtesan. Supposedly she was a widow. Also, A sexual encounter on a book can be great but in this case it went on down for pages and it's to the point you are bored with it. The h marries after answering a paper add, because she's pregnant by a guy that deceive her. Up to that point it's all good. Where it goes very wrong is when after falling in love with him, she goes ahead with her plan. It's so sad how happy he is when he finds out she's pregnant. I find such a hateful act to allow the guy to believe the kid she carries is his. What make the whole thing totally wrong Is that is not until after he discovered the deceiving, that she tries to do the noble thing and offer to divorce the guy. Of course by then he loves her so much he's willing to take her kid and all. Too late to convince us of how a great person she is. I read this kind of book knowing is entertainment and I do not expect to be historically correct or be totally credible. But you need some redeeming to make the story likable. Maybe the story makes no sense with a guy who leaves a castle untouched after his wife died giving birth, but at least give the reader a likable heroine! I have purchased books for .99 that make more sense than this one. I hardly ever leave a bad review, but when you pre-ordered a 7 dollars book you expect a bit more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    Great emotional romance. This was a little different love story than I usually like to read. But seeing the authors name I knew it would be a great story....and it was.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    This was not among my favorite Heath books. There were two more major things working against it. 1. Because one of the main characters is the hero’s elderly father, the narration was much more difficult to listen to than the previous stories. The voice used for him was raspy and scratchy and not easy on the ears. 2. The “big secret” the heroine has was apparent from the very beginning to me. Heath stories tend to have some amount of big reveal, a measure of alarm. Much of the time this works in t This was not among my favorite Heath books. There were two more major things working against it. 1. Because one of the main characters is the hero’s elderly father, the narration was much more difficult to listen to than the previous stories. The voice used for him was raspy and scratchy and not easy on the ears. 2. The “big secret” the heroine has was apparent from the very beginning to me. Heath stories tend to have some amount of big reveal, a measure of alarm. Much of the time this works in the story’s favor, adding a sense of excitement or drama, but it felt wrong here to me. The understanding and acceptance of the hero of the secret felt too quick as a result.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bubu

    2.5 stars I'm sorry in advance but I won't go into the plot because it's late and I'm feeling lazy and there are so many reviews that cover it anyway. Finally finished this. And nope, nopdety, nope, nope, nope. Lorraine Heath's story telling isn't working for me. I really do appreciate the different and difficult tropes she uses. At least, she comes up with aspects of 19th century moral codes that leaves her main characters in almost impossible situations. Her stories are far from being formulaic. No 2.5 stars I'm sorry in advance but I won't go into the plot because it's late and I'm feeling lazy and there are so many reviews that cover it anyway. Finally finished this. And nope, nopdety, nope, nope, nope. Lorraine Heath's story telling isn't working for me. I really do appreciate the different and difficult tropes she uses. At least, she comes up with aspects of 19th century moral codes that leaves her main characters in almost impossible situations. Her stories are far from being formulaic. Nor do I judge Portia's actions. (view spoiler)[Pregnant by another man, she is willing to do anything to protect her unborn child, and marry first the Marquess, but ends up marrying his son, Locke, instead. All this without telling either that she's with child. (hide spoiler)] I can't and I won't apply my 21st century sensibilities on situations that were completely different back then, especially as a woman. That being said, the tropes she uses could/would have me bawling, if not for her story telling. As I was reading this, I constantly thought of Courtney Milan's The Heiress Effect. While completely different in terms of set-up and situation, the main problem - life as a woman in the 19th century, and the limited possibilities women had - was the same, or at least similar. The Heiress Effect is one of the very, very few books where I cried my eyes out (and I really do cry very rarely when reading a book, as hard as it tries to pull at my heartstrings). The Viscount and the Vixen - considering the trope - could have had the same effect on me, alas it left me utterly cold and detached. It's readable, and I'm sure that many will love it, and already do. I, however, didn't/couldn't connect to Portia and Locke. Although, steamier than most of the books I've read so far by LH, the transition from sexual attraction to love felt forced and clinical. And I think it's her story telling. Or maybe how her characters interact. That could be another reason. I'm still not sure what it is. My comparison to The Heiress Effect is based on the differences in story telling, and it may seem unfair that I'm doing it. But here's the thing: While one book creates a similar atmosphere of need for desperate measures, it's still able to go beyond the tragic circumstances and creates a growing intimacy between the main characters that had me laughing and crying at the same time. And all this with minimal physical contact for the bigger part of the story. The other, The Viscount and the Vixen, is pressing me into feeling sorry for the characters - or that's how I perceived it - while Portia and Locke get all hot and bothered with each other, and I kept wondering what else there was apart from the sexual attraction. I love my books steamy, but it's not a main criteria at all. I want to understand why two people fall in love. I want to understand the reasons what makes one particular person so much more special to the other than anyone else. Sadly, Lorraine Heath's books always leave me in the same dilemma. The writing is superb, but her stories don't touch me, considering the themes she's using.

  15. 5 out of 5

    kris

    Killian St. John, Viscount Locksley, aka Locke, knows that love = madness. So when his so-called mad father comes down to breakfast and announces his engagement to his pen pal Portia Gadstone, Locke does the completely sane thing and marries her in his sire's place. Obviously, Portia has secrets and Locke has miles to go before his boner is sated. Will their lust ever lift long enough for actual emotions to take root? 1. Honestly, the lusting was a bit much. And not in a good way. It was just so Killian St. John, Viscount Locksley, aka Locke, knows that love = madness. So when his so-called mad father comes down to breakfast and announces his engagement to his pen pal Portia Gadstone, Locke does the completely sane thing and marries her in his sire's place. Obviously, Portia has secrets and Locke has miles to go before his boner is sated. Will their lust ever lift long enough for actual emotions to take root? 1. Honestly, the lusting was a bit much. And not in a good way. It was just so overwhelmingly thick, entendre NOT intended thank-you-very-much. And the over-reliance on Portia's sexy/sultry lady routine was extremely off-putting. First, because it was presented as a "not like those prudish virgin girls!!!" thing, which: stop. Stop pitting women against one another. Stop presenting females as a one-size-fits-all sack that is only overcome by your oh-so-special heroine. It's gross. Second, because it's eventually revealed that Portia picked up many of those habits from an unhealthy and potentially emotionally abusive relationship. Reveling in the fact that your partner is using sex to distract and placate you is not great. How about taking a moment to examine the shitty societal constraints that ended up with a woman getting trapped in a situation where she had no agency and no escape? 2. Upside down? Really? 3. Locke was--whatever. Portia was slightly better. The father was a creep. If my father-in-law decided to make comments about his son's sexual performance, I would be O-U-T. That is not charming. That is not disarmingly upfront. That's weird and predatory and no thank you, I would not want to hear about how you had sex with your deceased wife in all sorts of ways and in all sorts of places. 4. This was fine. I think it needed a cooling off period before publication because it was definitely not well edited, and the looming lust / sex talk choked out the good emotional development. And this is me, lady-boner-advocator speaking. LADY BONERS FOR EVERYONE. 5. EDITED TO ADD: I'm half way through another Heath book at this very moment and it made me remember the misuse of the word 'dew' in this book. As in, Heath uses it to describe the heroine's excitement for the sex, and then uses it like half a paragraph later to describe the hero kissing the heroine's neck. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Book Wonderland

    *4.5 stars This book was a great ending for the series. The story was great and also surprising in the end, but I really enjoyed it. I loved Locksley and Portia just like the other couples (Ashe and Minerva and Edward and Julia). Here's my ranking for all 3 books: 1) Falling Into Bed with a Duke 2) The Viscount and the Vixen 3) The Earl Takes All *4.5 stars This book was a great ending for the series. The story was great and also surprising in the end, but I really enjoyed it. I loved Locksley and Portia just like the other couples (Ashe and Minerva and Edward and Julia). Here's my ranking for all 3 books: 1) Falling Into Bed with a Duke 2) The Viscount and the Vixen 3) The Earl Takes All

  17. 4 out of 5

    Secretly Reading

    I am very conflicted about this book. I adored 75% of it: the set-up was humorous, the heroine unusual in her self determination, the prickly hero, and their intense but emotional romance. This was well on its way to being a 5 star read...and then...the hero learns something about the heroine and he says some unforgivable things. Yet, he suddenly has a grand epiphany and the heroine takes him back with NO discussion on what he said. I am LIVID at this, like LIVID! He said cutting things that com I am very conflicted about this book. I adored 75% of it: the set-up was humorous, the heroine unusual in her self determination, the prickly hero, and their intense but emotional romance. This was well on its way to being a 5 star read...and then...the hero learns something about the heroine and he says some unforgivable things. Yet, he suddenly has a grand epiphany and the heroine takes him back with NO discussion on what he said. I am LIVID at this, like LIVID! He said cutting things that compounded what the heroine already feels and he did it merely to hurt her. And then suddenly! I don't really think that, I hope she'll take me back. AND SHE DOES! With no discussion about what he said. To be fair, the epilogue was lovely as readers get to see them as an established couple but it wasn't enough for me to forgive the hero for what he said. I'm angry at this book for ruining itself for me!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janine Ballard

    DNF. Of all three of the full-length Hellions of Havisham novels, this one had the most absurd premise. Viscount Locksley’s supposedly lunatic father, the Marquess of Marsden, advertises for a wife. His three criteria are that she be strong, healthy and fertile, because he needs an heir, or rather, a spare. He hopes that his son (Locke), whom he has been badgering to give him that second heir for years, will be so aghast at his father’s decision to remarry that he’ll marry Portia Gadstone himself DNF. Of all three of the full-length Hellions of Havisham novels, this one had the most absurd premise. Viscount Locksley’s supposedly lunatic father, the Marquess of Marsden, advertises for a wife. His three criteria are that she be strong, healthy and fertile, because he needs an heir, or rather, a spare. He hopes that his son (Locke), whom he has been badgering to give him that second heir for years, will be so aghast at his father’s decision to remarry that he’ll marry Portia Gadstone himself instead. Locke is determined never to fall in love. After all, his father was driven mad by the loss of Locke’s mother; Marsden has let half their country house languish and claims to have seen his late wife’s ghost. But Portia Gadstone, his father’s chosen bride, is clearly an opportunistic social climber, a selfish, shallow woman. Locke is certain that he could never fall in love with such a creature so to spare his father he decides to marry her (so as to provide his father with another heir) almost on the spot. That he thinks she’s hot is a bonus. What neither Marsden nor Locke know is that Portia isn’t the widow she claims to be, but a pregnant unmarried woman with an enemy, and that she fears for the safety of her baby and is entering the marriage to protect the child. She could never fall in love with Locke either, she thinks, which is just as well since she already feels guilty enough for conning him and his father. (I feel that although Portia is desperate to protect her unborn child, what she does is still horrible, since when she marries Locke she knows that all he and his kindly father want from her is an heir.) Here’s a list of the ridiculousness in this book: When Marsden advertises for a wife Portia, a commoner, is the only woman who replies to the ad. Come on! Only one commoner wants to marry a marquess? Mad or not, older or not, there would be more takers than that. Mary Balogh has a couple of books that begin with the hero advertising for a wife but at least in those books the heroes want inappropriate wives. That’s not the case here. Marsden wants an heir. Would any aristocrat in 1882 really not care about the birth of his wife when her child will eventually inherit his title? It would be one thing if he was in love with a commoner and threw caution the wind to marry her but that’s not the case here. There are many more absurd things. Marsden and Locke are so poor that they initially have only three servants (a cook, a housekeeper and a footman) and and Locke works in his mine alongside the miners. I honestly doubt they’d have been able to keep their estate and titles from reverting to the crown under those circumstances. But wait, there’s more—Portia, now a viscountess, cleans and dusts alongside the servants. The servants accept her easily as their mistress despite no one knowing her birth. Half the house has not been seen to in years; it’s all dusty and abandoned. Marsden is a little bit off and supposedly wants it that way but why hasn’t Locke ever tried to restore it / keep it up / talk his father out of this home neglect? (view spoiler)[Locke doesn’t question Portia about her background. When he asks her, she evades, and he, though he knows she’s evading, doesn’t pursue it. Setting aside the question of social class, if he’s falling for her, shouldn’t he be more curious? I kept reading for a while because I wanted to see what would happen once Portia’s pregnancy was revealed and because Locke and Portia had good chemistry and the sex was hot. But by the time I quit, over halfway through, Portia still had not had any pregnancy symptoms and no one suspected anything. The only conflicts are that we know it and Locke’s angst about falling in love when he doesn’t want to. The motive for that last, as I’ve stated before, is that Marsden’s grief for Locke’s mother supposedly drove him “mad.” Except that Marsden isn’t mad. At worst he’s a bit frail, nostalgic, and distracted. He does believe that his wife’s ghost is haunting the house and its environs (I’m sure this has a rational explanation I would have found out about if I had kept reading) but he is perfectly level-headed otherwise. (hide spoiler)] Eventually, the hot sex got old despite the chemistry and the book got more and more outlandish the longer I read. I stopped at the 58% point.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beanbag Love

    One of my most hated tropes. The secret that goes on for the vast majority of the book. Lorraine Heath is better than this. I loved the setup with the Mad Marquess and his handsome son, Viscount Locksly. Portia, Locke's young wife, is an interesting character too, but she's the one with the secret. There are multiple problems with this trope. First is the coy hinting that there's a big secret. Well, these weren't even hints, it was a constant refrain of, "when he learned the truth he'd hate her. One of my most hated tropes. The secret that goes on for the vast majority of the book. Lorraine Heath is better than this. I loved the setup with the Mad Marquess and his handsome son, Viscount Locksly. Portia, Locke's young wife, is an interesting character too, but she's the one with the secret. There are multiple problems with this trope. First is the coy hinting that there's a big secret. Well, these weren't even hints, it was a constant refrain of, "when he learned the truth he'd hate her." Ugh. Enough already. Just bust it out and see what happens. The second problem is that the couple isn't really, truly getting to know each other because one of them is lying or withholding information. So how can their feelings for each other be true? And the third problem with this trope is that it invites endless, repetitive inner monologuing. I skimmed pages and pages. Probably a third of the book. And, even skimming, I could tell that there were paragraphs of inner monologues that were remarkably similar to many I'd already read. It's a very popular trend in romance - the Big Secret. It's sort of taken over the Big Misunderstanding for the go to for romance authors, particularly in the historical genre. Heath has been playing in that sandbox a lot in the past few years and that really sucks, because it's very hard to pull off successfully and I'm so tired of these kinds of disappointments from my favorite authors. :(

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    My referenece as to why I do not wish to read it: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... My referenece as to why I do not wish to read it: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jultri

    *spoiler alert* It pains me to give a book by Lorraine Heath such a low rating, but the self-serving deception by the heroine is unforgivable. I was not crash hot on the fact that she openly and shamelessly bragged about her sexual confidence and abilities to the hero and his father at their first meeting. I guessed her secret early on and hoped against hope that her eventual remorse and big soap story will redeem her later on. Instead of her background tale being a victim of emotional/physical *spoiler alert* It pains me to give a book by Lorraine Heath such a low rating, but the self-serving deception by the heroine is unforgivable. I was not crash hot on the fact that she openly and shamelessly bragged about her sexual confidence and abilities to the hero and his father at their first meeting. I guessed her secret early on and hoped against hope that her eventual remorse and big soap story will redeem her later on. Instead of her background tale being a victim of emotional/physical abuse and innocence lost, her lover turned out not quite so mean and evil, and in fact loved her but just not enough, and she was just silly for hanging on for 2 years on the basis of empty promises. The lover never threatened her nor the baby. He merely suggested a solution to an "inconvenient" problem for him, a distasteful solution but not uncommon for men in his situation, and she could have just walked away and refused. There was never any suggestion of coercion between them. She was there free-willingly from the start and she could have left any time of her free will. None of this justified her devious and deliberate trickery. She never expressed any remorse throughout, only fear of discovery. Never once did she consider the devastating hurt it would cause the hero and his father. Even after his discovery of her secret, she remained defiant and defensive, slapping him for speaking nothing but the truth, when he called her a whore. Did she not sell herself first to his father, then to him, in exchange for security? This book was elevated above one star purely on the basis of Locke, a responsible and caring man, whose affectionate and respectful treatment of his father spoke volumes of his decency.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    2.5 - 3 stars Excellent audiobook with a talented narrator. However, this was my least favorite book in this series. Locke's mad father sends an advertisment in the paper in search of a wife. Portia is the only one who answers and shows up at the mannor for the marriage. She is a widow in search of protection and stability.To protect his father, Locke decides to marry her instead. They are both jadded people who don't believe in love and there's is a marriage of convenience. What I didn't like: - t 2.5 - 3 stars Excellent audiobook with a talented narrator. However, this was my least favorite book in this series. Locke's mad father sends an advertisment in the paper in search of a wife. Portia is the only one who answers and shows up at the mannor for the marriage. She is a widow in search of protection and stability.To protect his father, Locke decides to marry her instead. They are both jadded people who don't believe in love and there's is a marriage of convenience. What I didn't like: - the instant attraction between the main characters was overdone. Locke kisses Portia 5 minutes after meeting her, when she is still bethroded to his father. The whole relationship is mostly based on sex. - the overly dramatic tone at times Again, the story was overdone. I didn't find the relationship very believable at times. Inspite of this, the book was fun to read on audio. I don't know if I would have had the patience otherwise. I almost dnf-ed it after the first 10%. And as always with her books, Lorraine Heath insert commentary on the woman's condition in the 1800s, the inequality between men and women and between being a mistress and a wife, the shame of being out of wedlock and baby farming (a cruel practice to get rid of children born out of wedlock).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lesa Divine

    Lorraine Heath will be an auto historical romance buy for me. I enjoy her writing her characters. She doesn't have her characters being like other historical romance characters where there's always an wallflower or an rake. Characters with knowledge of the bedroom. But with Locke father going mad and his father saying he'll be getting married again to a woman he been writing with. When Locke sees his father's future wife Locke ends up falling for her. But when there's an contract Locke finds himself Lorraine Heath will be an auto historical romance buy for me. I enjoy her writing her characters. She doesn't have her characters being like other historical romance characters where there's always an wallflower or an rake. Characters with knowledge of the bedroom. But with Locke father going mad and his father saying he'll be getting married again to a woman he been writing with. When Locke sees his father's future wife Locke ends up falling for her. But when there's an contract Locke finds himself marrying the mysterious Portia. She's running from her past but what is it? Locke has his own secrets too. Enjoyed their relationship.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Barnes

    Another enticing read from Lorraine Heath. Having spent his entire life witnessing the pain love has caused his father, Viscount Locksley knows that he will never allow himself to feel such deep emotion for any woman. So when his father announces that he is contractually bound to marry a woman who answered an advert he placed in the newspaper, Locke offers to save him from further heartache and from the fortune huntress his bride appears to be, by marrying her himself. After all, there's no chanc Another enticing read from Lorraine Heath. Having spent his entire life witnessing the pain love has caused his father, Viscount Locksley knows that he will never allow himself to feel such deep emotion for any woman. So when his father announces that he is contractually bound to marry a woman who answered an advert he placed in the newspaper, Locke offers to save him from further heartache and from the fortune huntress his bride appears to be, by marrying her himself. After all, there's no chance he'll ever become emotionally attached to a woman who meant to take advantage of an old man, so his heart ought to be safe. What there is, however, right from the start, is a passion so overwhelming that Locke knows producing an heir will be no hardship at all. Determined to save herself from a tragic life, Portia has fled from London with the intention of marrying the Marquess of Marsden - a man who supposedly went mad after the death of his wife thirty years earlier. He will offer Portia security in exchange for companionship with neither needing more from the other. But when she arrives at his estate, she encounters his son - a man intent on ruining her plans by marrying her himself. And since the terms of her contract with Marsden do not specify who she should marry, but only that she must, she is faced with no other option than to marry a man who will surely despise her if he ever discovers the truth about her past. Once again Lorraine Heath made it possible to sympathize and root for characters who initially seemed cold and self serving. And just as with the previous book in this wonderful series, there was a moment when their happily ever after seemed impossible. I loved the way in which Heath resolved their conflict. She has proved yet again that she is an exceptional story teller.

  25. 5 out of 5

    DemetraP

    I was very angry at the heroine in this book. She did something very deceptive. SPOIELR SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER S P O I L E R S...................When heroine arrives to marry the hero's father, she's already pregnant with another man's child. She knows she is pregnant. She lies to the hero and tells him the child is his. Hero is so happy. Then he runs into the heroine's former protector/lover who tells him she was his mistress for two years. Hero I was very angry at the heroine in this book. She did something very deceptive. SPOIELR SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER S P O I L E R S...................When heroine arrives to marry the hero's father, she's already pregnant with another man's child. She knows she is pregnant. She lies to the hero and tells him the child is his. Hero is so happy. Then he runs into the heroine's former protector/lover who tells him she was his mistress for two years. Hero is devastated. Heroine runs away. She tells hero she's been hoping the child would be a girl because she didn't want his heir to be from another man's bloodline. Of course, hero forgives her. He runs after her and tells her he considers the child to be his because he loves her. Heroine says she was afraid her child would be killed by a "baby farm" and would do anything to protect her child. I just didn't like the heroine any more after all of this came to light. Her behavior was so hurtful. It's a shame because I was liking the marriage of convenience plotline and how they grew to fall in love with each other.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    2.5 Locksley was introduced in the first book and I really wanted him to have a great story. The love between the protagonists and its development is one of the things that saves this story. It seems I'm going to love only one heroine in this series. Minerva from the first book is a great character and I hated Julia from the second. Portia is somewhere in between these two. I understand her reasoning and bravery. What I don't understand, no, what I don't want to understand and it doesn't deserve 2.5 Locksley was introduced in the first book and I really wanted him to have a great story. The love between the protagonists and its development is one of the things that saves this story. It seems I'm going to love only one heroine in this series. Minerva from the first book is a great character and I hated Julia from the second. Portia is somewhere in between these two. I understand her reasoning and bravery. What I don't understand, no, what I don't want to understand and it doesn't deserve it, is how far she let things go. It took the worst possible way for him to find out whatever was bothering her. So, you could definitely say she inches closer to Julia when I think about that. The way everyone talks about sex doesn't help when it comes to suspending my disbelief. Everyone has something to say about it and it doesn't matter who is around. The reason the book isn't bad is the same thing that makes me not like it, if that makes any sense. I can't fault Portia for her decision. I still think it's brave. I can, however, fault her for letting things go that far without telling him anything. Locksley deserved something better. I liked the ending.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Quirky Omega

    Oh Lord. So many tears. Mostly happiness and a little twinge of sadness. But that's okay. As long as the H and h get to live our their HEA in grand style. I could have hated it. Lorraine wrote scenes where I could have just flipped off the book and stormed off. Bless her heart for not letting that happen. Even though the characters made decisions that I as a third person did not agree with, I couldn't fault them for it. As a person in their situation, it was so darn easy to sympathise, empathise Oh Lord. So many tears. Mostly happiness and a little twinge of sadness. But that's okay. As long as the H and h get to live our their HEA in grand style. I could have hated it. Lorraine wrote scenes where I could have just flipped off the book and stormed off. Bless her heart for not letting that happen. Even though the characters made decisions that I as a third person did not agree with, I couldn't fault them for it. As a person in their situation, it was so darn easy to sympathise, empathise. Of course, the characters maybe a little forward for their times, especially in the *cough*bedroom*cough*, but I wouldn't a Read a historical chick lit if it followed historical accuracy to the t. Some of the repartee was genuinely hysterical, especially because it wasn't meant to be funny. Just a normal situation, loaded with innuendos, sometimes blatant and sometimes not so much. Oh blast it, go and read it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jen Davis

    I enjoyed this third installment in the Hellions of Havisham series where we finally go inside the home of the Mad Marquess of Marsden. This is his son, Locke’s story, but Marsden plays a pivotal part. The old Marquess arranged a marriage for himself with a total stranger. The only way his son can get him out of it is to take his place. Portia is a woman with a secret. We know that from the very beginning, but the particulars take time to unfold. She answered the Marquess’s ad because it was the I enjoyed this third installment in the Hellions of Havisham series where we finally go inside the home of the Mad Marquess of Marsden. This is his son, Locke’s story, but Marsden plays a pivotal part. The old Marquess arranged a marriage for himself with a total stranger. The only way his son can get him out of it is to take his place. Portia is a woman with a secret. We know that from the very beginning, but the particulars take time to unfold. She answered the Marquess’s ad because it was the only way to protect herself from her past. She didn’t reveal everything about herself, but she tried to be honest when she could, and she really did plan to be a good wife to the old man. At least he wouldn’t beat her like her father did, or repeat the experience she had with the last man in her life. He couldn’t break her heart if she never fell in love with him. Locke destroyed her plan, but she still needed marriage to a titled gentleman, so she had little choice but to accept. And that’s where the magic begins. There’s an attraction between Portia and Locke from the very beginning. One of the things I loved about this book is that neither of them ever denied that or fought it. So even before they really knew each other –or began to like each other– there was a connection and a heat that flared night after night. Locke watched his father lose his mind over the death of his mother, so he swore he’d never fall in love. Of course, heroes who try to build a wall around their hearts give me the most satisfaction because it’s so awesome to watch those walls come tumbling down. Portia is determined to protect her heart as well. But with both her and with Locke, the old Marquess is the key. Locke has loved him from the start, and Portia quickly grows to care for broken man. It gives them common ground. Between that and their scorching sex lives, they have a foundation to build something more. Portia’s secret is actually quite a big one. (Sometimes in historical romance, the big reveal is not all that devastating, but this one kind of is.) But it’s easy to understand why she did what she did. I liked her. I liked that she refused to roll over and give up on her situation. I liked that she could be at home with the nobility and the servants. And more than anything, I liked how she brought the Havisham house back to life. Locke is a solid hero. He does stumble a bit during the big reveal, but I have sympathy for him in that. He’s a good man and the sexy-times with him definitely satisfy. There’s a bittersweet thread here that’s unavoidable with the Marquess, but there is a great Epilogue. And I was very happy with how it all worked out. This is part of a series, but can work as a standalone. Would recommend this one. Rating: B+ *ARC provided by publisher

  29. 4 out of 5

    Smitten

    Originally posted here on Smitten by Books Review site 4.5 Stars * Top Pick Portia Gadstone is desperate to marry…really almost anyone of rank. As I read The Viscount and the Viscount, my question was why. Your question will be why too. Portia is so desperate in fact, she’s willing to marry an aged marquess, whom most people think is crazy. Which is how she’s introduced to his heir and only child, Killian St. John, Viscount Locksley. The physical attraction between the two is immediate and visc Originally posted here on Smitten by Books Review site 4.5 Stars * Top Pick Portia Gadstone is desperate to marry…really almost anyone of rank. As I read The Viscount and the Viscount, my question was why. Your question will be why too. Portia is so desperate in fact, she’s willing to marry an aged marquess, whom most people think is crazy. Which is how she’s introduced to his heir and only child, Killian St. John, Viscount Locksley. The physical attraction between the two is immediate and visceral. Plans change and the next thing Portia knows, she’s marrying her intended’s heir, and what she learns is that she should always read the fine print in any contract she signs. But there are worst things than being married to a young, handsome heir to a marquessate, especially one who is extremely gifted in the arena of the marital bed. It should work out perfect for her. Neither she nor Killion are looking for love, so this marriage is of mutual convenience (sexual and otherwise) without the baggage of emotional ties. What could be better? Yes, what could be better? Love of course, but that’s fairly obvious. What I was dying to know was why? Why the rush to marry? We learn that Portia was married before and lost a child in childbirth. That still didn’t explain her need (or desire?) to marry now. While that question gnawed away at me, I thoroughly enjoyed the how their romance unfolded. Can I tell you how much I loved that their first love scene didn’t drag out into infinity? How utterly refreshing. And so hot. Killion is one of those wispy sigh heroes. And the way he makes Portia feel…is the way she doesn’t want to feel about him. Certainly not if she wants to survive their marriage with her emotional faculties intact. Undisturbed. But no worries, it’s a very good fight they both fight to not fall in love. Since Killion is one of the infamous Hellions of Havisham, we are reacquainted with Edward and Julia of The Earl Takes All, and Ashe and Minerva of Falling Into Bed With a Duke, and their children. Have no fears if you haven’t read the previous books, this book and these charming characters stand on their own. Curiosity and an overwhelming desire to know every twist and turn in their romances will drive your need to read both books. Now about Portia. I enjoyed her throughout the book but it wasn’t until the latter quarter that I fully understood her. Truly empathized with her and appreciated the kind of heroine she was. Yes, my burning question was finally answered. And it made me love her and Killion all that much more. It was at that point I said, Now this is love. When you read it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Sigh. ~ Beverley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Grogan

    The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath This book literally kept me awake at night trying to finish it because it was so good! Viscount Locksley swore to never marry a woman he could grow to love after growing up with a father driven mad by his wife's death. When Locke first meets Portia Gadstone and assumes her to be a fortune and title hunter bent on taking advantage of his father, he decides he could never love her and marries her instead. Portia only agreed to marry Locke's father out The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath This book literally kept me awake at night trying to finish it because it was so good! Viscount Locksley swore to never marry a woman he could grow to love after growing up with a father driven mad by his wife's death. When Locke first meets Portia Gadstone and assumes her to be a fortune and title hunter bent on taking advantage of his father, he decides he could never love her and marries her instead. Portia only agreed to marry Locke's father out of desperation thinking his title could offer her the protection she needed. She is horrified, however, to be marrying Locke instead. Until she realizes she could never grow to love a man like him. As they spend more and more time together, however, they realize that love is always worth taking a risk for. I will admit I was annoyed at first at what I thought was insta-lust for both Locke and Portia. And I was quite convinced that this book would be like the previous one with the hero and heroine doing little more than groping each other. I was wrong, however. While there WAS insta-lust, it is followed by a slow and moving love story. Locke and Portia get to truly know each other and grow as a couple. I loved Portia with her optimism despite the hand life had dealt her. And she felt just enough guilt for what she was doing to make me sympathetic towards her. And I thought Locke was a great guy. He was arrogant in many things but was always so gentle with his father and took excellent care of those around him even while grumbling about it. This was a great almost end to a overall great series. I can't wait to read Locke's parents' story and Ms. Heath's next title, An Affair with a Notorious Heiress!

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