A SCOUNDREL IN HER BED by Lorraine Heath

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Sins for All Seasons, Book 3

From the publisher:

The bastard son of a nobleman, Finn Trewlove was a shameful secret raised by a stranger. As Finn came of age, he had secrets, too—the clandestine nights spent with an earl’s daughter. But her promise of forever ended in betrayal.

Driven by a past that haunts her, Lady Lavinia Kent seeks redemption in London’s underworld, engaged in a daring cause inspired by the young man to whom she gave her innocence, and who then proved himself a scoundrel by abandoning her.

When their paths cross again, they can’t deny the yearning and desire that still burns. As they discover the truth behind the deceptions that tore them apart, Finn and Lavinia must fight to reclaim what they’ve lost, no matter how dangerous—because love is worth the risk . . .

I was so proud of myself; I have been reading this series in order.  But this book sort of threw me. It is the third book in the series but it moves back and forth in time for a while, making it sort of a prequel at times and then a sequel. It was an interesting was to create a third book in a series, leaving enough bread crumbs for first time series readers to find their way back to the beginning without feeling lost. Yet this book can stand alone as well, if that makes sense? We’ll just call it good writing because Heath, who has been writing romance for a long while, really knows what she is doing.

The series centers around a family headed by Ettie Trewlove, a baby farmer. Baby farmers were women that took in babies or children that were born on the “wrong side of the blanket.” They were paid to take the illegitimate offspring of wealthy men and women. For Ettie, a poor widow, it was an ideal way to have the family she always wanted. But many baby farmers were just in it for the money. In fact, there were many that abused the children, starved them, worked them to death, or even just outright killed them. It was not a good time to be illegitimate in England.

Fortunately for the family at the center of this series, Ettie was a kind and loving mother. I originally thought that none of the children she took in were related by blood, even as close as they all seem to be. But it turns out that two of them are half brothers, born weeks apart to two different mothers but sired by the same father. Ah, the English aristocracy. So debauched.

Lavinia is an interesting character. You do know, from the beginning, what happens to her and why she has left her Duke at the altar, and why she is set on rescuing children from baby farmers. But as the story moves on, it gets darker and more emotionally gripping.

Aidan is also an intriguing character. You can’t help but root for them to get together, especially as the horrors of their lives apart unfold. This was a really good romance, and the major plot about the baby farmers was eye opening and so disheartening. There has been mention of this sort of thing in other historical romances I’ve read, but this really delves into it. I am assuming that Heath did her homework as it really feels like she did.

Another excellent romance from one of my favorites. Can’t wait for the next book in this series! Oh, and the ending hints at who will be at the center of that one.

4/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

A SCOUNDREL IN HER BED by Lorraine Heath. Sourcebooks Casablanca (July 31, 2018).  ISBN 978-1492663355. 352p.



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