by Lorraine Heath
Published on January 30, 2018 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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.
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I was hesitant going into this book. There were elements of the synopsis that caught my eye, such as the fact that the leading gentleman, Mick, isn’t nobility in full and therefore his place in the world is not the prim and proper London ton which is usually the case. There’s also the fact that the heroine, Lady Aslyn, is also a bit atypical as an orphan. And both characters worked but the beginning of Beyond Scandal and Desire turned me off a bit.
Mick wants revenge for his noble father not recognizing him as a legitimate son. It has consumed his life and he’s worked to make a name for himself in the world but it’s not enough. And he’s willing to ruin the life of a young woman just to get his revenge. I really wasn’t a fan of that particular point. I like a good revenge story, don’t get me wrong, but ruining the woman engaged to your half (legitimate) brother seems like it’s taking things too far. Mick’s entire revenge plot is a bit over the top to begin with but I didn’t mind the rest.
The book did get better, I have to say. Thankfully Heath doesn’t make the majority of the book about Mick winning Aslyn over and ruining her before realizing the error of his ways (which was what I was expecting). Seeing Mick’s conflict over what he valued more — his new affection for Aslyn or his father’s recognition — added the depth to his personality that I enjoy reading.
And though I’ve talked a lot about Mick so far, it certainly doesn’t mean that I dislike Aslyn. She was almost too sheltered for my tastes since it seemed to be more of a plot device to give the author a chance to explain things but she was sweet and had that bit of fire that made her entertaining from a reader’s perspective. I wouldn’t call Aslyn a standout character but I didn’t dislike her by any means.
The writing was also decent, pretty standard in my opinion, and Heath kept the plot moving at a good pace. And other than the initial part where Mick only pursues Aslyn for revenge, I liked the story quite a bit. It’s not often historical romances follow characters who aren’t a part of the ton (when it comes to those set in London, at least) and I liked seeing another class of character with business and trade rather than balls and formal dinners.
I wasn’t blown away by this book but I did finish it in one sitting and will definitely be keeping an eye out for the sequel. Heath is a new-to-me author so I may also check out her other work down the road! As for Beyond Scandal and Desire, this is a great read for fans of the genre and I can’t wait to see whose story comes next!