The Viscount and the Vixen (Hellions of Havisham #3)
Avon / November 29, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital
Lorraine Heath is the master at building chemistry, and The Viscount and the Vixen is another example of how a couple can start off with all the odds stacked against them, yet come to a place of complete bliss. Killian St. John, Viscount Locksley is not ready for marriage. And when he does marry, it definitely won’t be for love. Not after witnessing his father, the Marquess of Marsden, go mad after losing the love of his life, Locke’s mother.
So when the Marquess decides to marry in order to have a spare—since Locksley sure wasn’t winning any races for securing an heir—Locksley realizes something is amiss. Portia Gadstone is beautiful and conniving. She must be, in order to answer an advertisement that requests a woman to be his Marchioness and secure a spare. Locksley sees her for what she is, a fortune hunter who only cares about titles and status.
Only Portia is much more than that, but her secret is too damning. All she needs to do is marry the Marquess of Marsden and produce a spare. Then, she’ll have security. That’s all she craves. Except she didn’t anticipate Locke trying to block the union. He is far too suspicious of her, as he should be. Even more deleterious, he’s too good-looking and too domineering. And the feelings he elicits with just a small touch scares her more than she cares to admit.
Unfolding his arms, he stepped forward and touched his thumb to her lips, before very slowly outlining them, his gaze homed in on her mouth. Heat slammed her. While he was only caressing the edges, it felt as though he was tracing his thumb along the very essence of her.
Here’s where Ms. Heath excels. Most of the book takes place at Havisham, yet, as the two become thrust together, I am immersed in their story.
“I have to confess, Mrs. Gadstone, that I’m going to have a very difficult time viewing you as my mother.”
“You promised to behave.” Sounding breathless, her voice raspy, every aspect of her body attuned to his, she cursed him for his ability to stir to life what she was striving so hard to keep banked.
“So I did. But you are not yet wed. It seems like we should at least have a taste of each other before you are.”
He moved in. Her hand shot up to the center of his chest, his firm hard chest. Beneath her fingers she could feel the steady thudding of his heart, the tension riffling through him. “No.”
Once Locke realizes the only way to protect his father from this fortune hunter is to marry the woman himself, he resigns to the fact that he will never love her. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy the physical aspects of his new wife, her attraction easing the burden of their union.
She suspected he never had doubts, never questioned himself. She was drawn to that self-assurance like a moth to a bright flickering flame. He could destroy her so easily if she wasn’t careful. But without him she hadn’t even a glimmer of hope for survival.
She’d already lost her advantage. He wasn’t going to step aside and allow her to marry Marsden. And she couldn’t risk leaving here with nothing. He was suddenly her only hope.
Yet, as they fall for one another, Portia remains tight-lipped about her secret. The longer she keeps it, the more difficult it will be to tell Locke. And the more assured she is that he will never forgive her. But she’ll do whatever she can to protect her secret. As a reader, I’m dying to know what motivated her to answer the advertisement. We know it has something to do with her past and needing protection. Her backstory finally unfolds when Locke takes Portia to London. Once Locke knows all the gory details, does he stay by her side or leave? Will their love be able to weather this storm? Of course it will! Though the ride is tumultuous, the ending is a perfect moonlit night.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of The Viscount and Vixen by Lorraine Heath, available November 29, 2016:
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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance, dabbles in Happily Ever Afters under the pen name of Lily Kay, and teaches sociology part-time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu, @AuthorLilyKay, or on facebook.com/Authorlilykay.