Title: Falling Into Bed with a Duke
In the first in a dazzling new series, New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath introduces the Hellions of Havisham—three charismatic rogues destined to lose their hearts . . .
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 . . . ?
LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA's prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.
Author: Lorraine Heath
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: The Last Wicked Scoundrel, The Last Wicked Scoundrel, Once More My Darling Rogue, The Duke and the Lady in Red
Series: The Hellions of Havisham #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: The Earl Takes All
Published by Avon Source: Publisher
Published: October 27th 2015
Genres: Erotic Historical Romance, Historical Romace, Romance
Pages: 384 pages
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page
Minerva is a spinster resigned to live a life where no man dictates what she does. If she never finds love, then she’ll just remain single-no problems there! She’s a strong, tough girl who you just have to root for. The Duke of Ashebury is tall, dark, broodingly handsome and knows exactly what he wants. A player. No one stands in his way, least of all a woman. But he is intrigued by Minerva.
I enjoyed this tale by Lorraine Heath. I loved how she makes you feel all warm and tingly inside. I liked how independent Minerva was but totally was taken with the adventurous Ashe. Ashe deep down is very sweet and wants to give Minerva everything. I also loved how Heath weaves in a character with Dyscalculia(a form of Dyslexia but with numbers instead of words) and how that renders one insecure. She gives you the feelings so you plainly understand the frustration one has when dealing with this disease on an everyday basis. Both hero and heroine are very likeable and that adds to the draw of this story. As with most Lorraine Heath books, characters from some of her previous books make cameo appearances in this book too-an added bonus!
Vanessa: Would you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I’m the eldest daughter of a British beauty and a Texan who served in the air force and was stationed in England shortly after WWII so I love all things Texan and British, and both of my heritages are often reflected in my stories. I graduated from the University of Texas, so you’ll find me rooting for the Longhorns on any given Saturday in the fall. I began my career writing setting my stories in Texas, but now I write Victorian-set romances.
Jacque: What books or authors have inspired your writing?
LaVyrle Spencer’s MORNING GLORY was the novel that made me fall in love with romance and inspired me to write romance. My keepers include Judith McNaught, Patricia Gaffney, Loretta Chase so they’ve served as inspiration. Not so much in my style of writing, but in my desire to continue writing. Anytime I read a romance that truly carries me away and into the story, I am reminded why I love this genre so much and why I want to write.
Deb: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to write late at night in the dark with a thunderstorm CD playing in the background.
Christina: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy going out for a glass of wine with hubby or friends.
Pansy: If you could visit any time period and location (past or future) when and where would you go?
I would like to go to 1850 London to get a real sense of the smells and feel of the time period. And maybe spend a little time with Charles Dickens.
Gaele: Where do your ideas come from? Do you set out to ‘outline’ a plot and situations, or do you let the characters take you along for the ride, and clean it up later?
I let the characters take me along for the ride. I usually envision the characters first and sometimes I might only know one of the characters or just a little bit about them. But I start writing, trusting that eventually all will be revealed.
Pansy: Can you tell us about your current work in progress, perhaps you could share a favorite fact or piece of fascinating information about it?
I’m only about 3 chapters into my current WIP. However in my current release, FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE, the Nightingale Club—where ladies can seek a night of pleasure—was very loosely based on the Parrot Club. I ran across the Parrot Club when I was reading a book on Victorian sexuality—they weren’t quite as staid as they’d have us believe. Three married ladies of the aristocracy had established the Parrot Club in a residence they leased together so they would have a place where they could meet their lovers. The piece on the club wasn’t very lengthy but apparently they would also swap lovers with each other from time to time. But one of the ladies kept acquiring new lovers. The other two decided she was simply too promiscuous and kicked her out of the club. I found it funny that they thought it acceptable to have lovers as long as one held onto that lover for a while.
Gaele: With all the characters you have created – are there any that you feel need to have another book or series to get their “story told”?
I feel like Rawley Cooper from my Texas trilogy needs his story told. I also want to finish up the Rogues and Roses series. Those characters weren’t being cooperative when the Scoundrels of St. James showed up and suggested I write their stories instead. I have a few secondary characters in stories that I think about from time to time, but overall, I’ve been able to write the stories that have called to me.
Christina: If you could speak to any one type of animal, what would it be, and what would you ask it?
I would want to talk to dogs, and I would want to ask my dog how he became a stray. When we got Jake from a shelter, he was 4 years old and housetrained. He knows all his commands, obeys. We can take him outside without a leash to get the paper or check the mail, and he doesn’t run off. So we’re baffled as to how he became lost.
Vanessa: I’m a bit of an author stalker and I love going to signings and conventions. Do you have any upcoming appearances?
I will be in Memphis November 21 for AvonBooks KissCon, co-hosted by the Booksellers at Laurelwood, 387 Perkins Extd, Memphis, TN
Then in 2016:
April 12 – 17, 2016 RT Booklovers Convention, Rio Casino and Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, April 29-May 1, 2016 Barbara Vey Readers’ Appreciation Luncheon and weekend event, Milwaulkee, WI (Ticketed Event-Tickets on sale now!)
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 5:30 – 7:30 pm: RWA Literacy for Life Signing; San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina; San Diego, CA
September 22-25, 2016 Historical Romance Retreat, Davenport Hotel, Spokane, WA (Ticketed Event-Tickets on sale now!)
I’m really looking forward to all these events and meeting readers in the areas.
About LORRAINE HEATH
LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.
Praise for FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE
“Heath’s first Hellions of Havisham Victorian romance is wonderfully entertaining….Heath adeptly juggles numerous new and familiar characters as she sweeps fans of her Regency novels into the Victorian era.”—Publishers Weekly
“With her usual flair for richly nuanced characters and elegant writing, RITA® Award-winning Heath launches her new Hellions of Havisham historical series with a tale that simply sizzles with sensuality.”—Booklist
“She dazzles with fascinating characters and a naughty plotline, but most of all she mesmerizes with the depth of emotion in this highly sensual story.”—RT Book Reviews, **4.5 Stars, Top Pick!**
“Falling into Bed with a Duke is a great start to Lorraine Heath’s new series, and book two can’t appear fast enough.” –All About Romance, Desert Island Keeper Review
“FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE is a passionate Victorian romance that leaves the reader sighing in happiness…” –Fresh Fiction
Where to buy FALLING INTO BED WITH A DUKE
The Duke of Ashebury was on the hunt for a pair of long, shapely legs. Standing casually with a shoulder pressed to a wall in the front parlor of the Nightingale Club, he observed with a jaundiced eye those who entered. The ladies wore flowing silk that caressed their skin as a lover might before the night was done. The shimmering fabric seductively outlined the body, hinted at dips and swells. Arms were bared. Necklines were low, the silk gathering just below a tasteful showing of cleavage designed to entice. People murmured and sipped their champagne, while exchanging heavy-lidded gazes and come-hither smiles.
The flirtation that occurred within these walls was very different from that found in a ballroom. No one here was searching for a dance partner. Rather, they wanted a bedding partner. He appreciated the honesty on display, which was the reason that he often stopped by when he was in London. No pretense, no ruses, no duplicity.
He had already claimed a bedchamber, the key nestled in his jacket pocket, as he wanted no one to disturb what he had so painstakingly set up. His needs were unique, and he knew that within these walls, they would be kept secret. People did not discuss what occurred at the Nightingale Club. For most of London, its existence was something spoken about in longing whispers by those who knew it only as myth. But for those familiar with it, it served as a sanctuary, liberator, confidant. It was whatever one needed it to be.
For him, it was salvation, bringing him back from the brink of darkness. Twenty years had gone by since his parents’ deaths, yet still he dreamed of mangled and charred remains. Still, he heard his mother’s terrorized screams and his father’s fruitless cries. Still, his behavior when he’d last seen them taunted him. Had he known that he’d never look upon them again—
With resolve, he shook off the haunting musings that sent a chill down his spine. Here, he could forget, at least for a few hours. Here, the regrets didn’t gnaw unmercifully at him. Here, he could become lost striving for perfection, for the ultimate in pleasure.
He had merely to determine which lady would best suit his purposes, which would be willing to concede to his unusual request without protest. It bothered him not at all that the ladies wore domino masks. He cared little for their faces, understood their need for anonymity. Their concealment worked to his advantage as he’d discovered that ladies were more comfortable with his request when they were assured it would remain their secret—and his not knowing their identity made them bolder than they might have been otherwise. They liked being a little naughty as long as they weren’t caught. He couldn’t catch them if he didn’t know who they were.
Still, he had one cardinal rule he always observed: never the same lady twice.
The ladies brought their own masks, seldom changed them, as the façade became their calling cards, as effective at identifying them as the ones handed over to butlers in the early afternoon when they were making proper visits. The woman in the black mask decorated with peacock feathers had a scar just above her left knee from a tumble she’d taken from a pony as a child. The blue mask, black feathers had two delightful dimples in the small of her back. The green mask outlined in yellow lace possessed bony hips that had proven a challenge, but he’d been pleased with the results when their time together was finished. But then he’d always embraced the challenge of discovering the perfection in imperfection.
The three glasses of scotch that he’d enjoyed were thrumming through his veins. The din of intimacy was calming. The muscles that had been so tense earlier were relaxed. He was in his element here, or he would be in short order. As soon as he found that for which he was searching. He wouldn’t settle for less than what he wanted; he never did. If one sure thing could be said about the Duke of Ashebury, it was that he knew his own mind. That he was stubborn when it came to acquiring what he needed—or wanted. Tonight’s endeavors straddled the line of both what he needed and what he wanted. All needs would be met before dawn. Then, perhaps, he could be glad to be back in London.
Lifting his glass for another sip, he watched a woman wearing draping white silk and a white mask with short white feathers walk hesitantly into the room as though she expected the floor to drop out from beneath her at any moment. She wasn’t particularly tall, but based on the way the silk moved over her flesh with each graceful step, it was obvious that she possessed long, slender legs. He wondered if she was meeting someone, already had an arranged assignation. Some ladies did—it was one of the reasons that the men didn’t wear masks. So they were easily identifiable if their paramours wanted to meet them here. Another reason was that men simply didn’t bloody well care if anyone knew that they were in the mood for a good tupping. Even the married ones were brazen with their presence.
The woman in white appeared to have dark hair, gathered up in an elaborate style that no doubt required an abundance of pins. He couldn’t be absolutely certain of the exact shade because the lighting in the room—only flickering candles—enhanced the mood of secrecy as well as creating an ambiance for intimacy while providing a gossamer disguise for some distinguishing characteristics that were easily identifiable by color: hair, eyes, even the fairness of skin. Perhaps she moved slowly because her eyes were adjusting to the dimness. Gentlemen not yet spoken for did not swarm to her side. But then that was the rule here. Seduction happened slowly. Ladies needed to hint at an interest.
But then, if this was her first time, she might not be aware of the subtle rules. He was fairly certain he’d never seen her before. A connoisseur of the body, he would have remembered the elegance of her movements, the way the cloth glided over her skin, outlining her form. Slender legs, but meat where it counted. No bony hips there.
With one long swallow, he finished off his scotch, relishing the realization that the hunt was over. He’d thought he wanted a tall woman. He’d been mistaken.
He wanted her.