by Lorraine Heath
Series: The Hellions of Havisham #2
Genres: Historical Romance
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One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love. For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.
The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath is the second novel in the Hellions of Havisham. Heath made me weep, had me giggling aloud, pulling my hair out in frustration and swooning. The Earl Takes All offered a unique twist, delightful characters, humor, tears and a swoon-worthy romance.
Albert and Julia were wedded, Albert went off on an African adventure with his twin brother and one of them did not return. A promise made, and a promise kept. Eek gads, when I read the synopsis I knew what was happening but dang it I cried anyway.
ONLY in historical romance would this switched twin scenario work. Heath did an excellent job of selling it and I quickly slipped into the story. Albert, the Earl of Greying returns with Edward’s body and the house goes into mourning. Julia senses her husband has changed, but is quick to dismiss those changes believing the lost of his twin and the African adventure changed him.
Only Albert is Edward, the rogue younger twin brother (by mere minutes). Edward has long-held affection for Julia but aside from a stolen kiss, he wished his brother happy. Now, he must pretend to be Albert and see that Julia delivers her baby safely and that both their futures are secure.
The banter, awkward situations, and stolen kisses were delicious. Julia reveals things to her husband and the more she does the harder Edward falls. He fears when he reveals the truth after the birth that Julia will hate him. Meanwhile he surprisingly slips into the role of Earl quite easily and finds he enjoys the role.
I had such fun with these characters. We had some naughty times no scratch that we had some seriously hot foreplay. I loved the shockingly playful moments. Julia is quite feisty and a circumstance involving hearing sent me into fits of giggles.
Heath is an excellent storyteller and I loved how she gave me a full range of emotions. The characters and their situation became very real for me as the reader.
All is revealed, and all goes to hell…but these two love each other and despite a few rough patches I am holding out for an HEA. I feared how things would end up, but during this setback, Heath allowed us to learn more about the characters and they in turn learned more about themselves. Edward turns out to be quite the gallant hero. He takes care of those below him socially, runs his estate with a firm but fair hand and is adorable with the babe. I seriously swooned for the man.
It seems during the Regency era English law had some notion about incest and a man could not marry his brother’s wife. Therefore, our couple faced many obstacles. All of this had me holding my breath and flipping the pages. Both Edward and Julia were such noble characters and I needed them to have it all. The last portion of their story was filled with twists but ultimately I was thrilled with the outcome.
I devoured The Earl Takes It All on a Sunday Afternoon and it left me it a happy place with a book hangover.Check out Caffeinated's review of The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath #Fiesty #humor #tears Click To Tweet