Title: Falling Into Bed with a Duke
Series: The Hellions of Havisham, Book 1
Author: Lorraine Heath
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: October 27, 2015 by Avon
After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady's desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.
A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime's pleasure?
Reviewed by: J9
In a Nutshell: Must read for historical romance fans.
Why I Read This Book: I really enjoy this author’s books.
What I Liked: I adored both Minerva and Ashe. Minerva has a self-awareness that is rare in historical romance and she’s not physically perfect. Yes, she has some self-esteem issues because of how men treat her, but she’s not letting it define her or her life choices. This is shown by how she takes charge in experiencing sexual pleasure—how she meets Ashe. I was prepared to dislike womanizer Ashe but his total focus on Minerva, as well as his hidden vulnerabilities, humanized him and made him the perfect match for Minerva. Very early in the book readers can see that Minerva is different for Ashe, I won’t spoil how, but this sexy and emotional scene laid the foundation for the mutual respect, attraction, and eventually love these two characters have for each other.
This book is a compelling twist on the mistaken identity trope. Since the synopsis says it, I’m not spoiling it by saying Ashe figures out Minerva’s identity fairly early on in the book. This allows him to get to know her as a person, and learn to love her, in a way most mistaken identity romance don’t. I loved how confounded he was by both her sexuality and her mind, like when he walks in on her having a conversation about a business venture in Texas just after an erotic interlude.
I will say that the ending was what I expected. I won’t spoil the plot but Minerva is tired of being wanted only for her dowry so I expect what happened to happen. It allowed for good emotional denouement on Ashe’s part and shows Minerva his love but it’s nothing that will surprise readers.
What I Didn’t Like: I’m a series reader so I would have read Ashe’s friends’ romances. But what I detest is heavy-handed emotional manipulation of readers and that’s what happened in this book to set up book two. Two of Ashe’s best friends are twins: the steady twin is married to a loving wife who secretly kissed the reckless twin…yeah, you know where this is going, right? Author’s going to kill off the nice twin allowing for the romance of the widow and the reckless twin who always secretly loved her. READER MANIPULATION! Will I read it anyway? Sigh…I’m weak…probably.
IMO: This emotional and sexy historical is a near-perfect read with its stellar characters so long as you can overlook the blatant series set up.