Lorraine Heath: Beyond Scandal and Desire

At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . .

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

Sometimes I wonder if historical romance couldn’t have more creative names in the genre. All the books seem to pull from the same pool of generic British Aristocracy. However, now I see how terrible the alternative is:  Trewlove, Kipwick, TITTLEFITZ. What even IS that last one? I found the names so distracting that it was hard to focus on the actual story.

The plot itself had an interesting, albeit sad, base. Beyond Scandal and Desire is set around baby farming, or the practice of getting rid of bastards via widows who would, at the very least horribly mistreat the children…and at the most, kill them. It’s not something you would normally associate with a romance novel, and it was certainly deep. I found Mick, the hero, to be quite a strongly written character–mostly due to the backstory we got on this subject.

Unfortunately…I found the rest of the characters to be rather shallow. As much as I loved Mick, everyone else was rather predictable–maybe accepting the duchess, but she was a very minor character in the background. I didn’t get the kick of chemistry between Aslyn and Mick–mostly I was just bored. This just wasn’t a winner for me.

Avon Books provided a copy of this book for unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

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