Friday, 31 January 2020

New Release Spotlight & Review: Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath

A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!
Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

I had no idea before reading this delightful novel that it's the fourth book of the multi-author series; Secrets of a Victorian Household. Written by a favourite author of mine, Virginia Health, we follow widow Lilian Fairclough during an unexpected Italian adventure.

Lilian keeps herself busy but has somehow lost her way since the death of her dear husband. Without a defined role and conscious of getting older she reluctant to accept an invitation to go overseas. However, with some persuasion, she travels to Rome to stay with the family of her companion. Only, the head of the household is a man she's met previously during a flirty exchange…! 

Pietro Venturi, Duca della Torizia can't believe the English woman he kissed whilst sharing a carriage with her during his last trip to England is staying as a guest in his house. With a mutual interest in art, he uses his knowledge to seduce Lilian, only he underestimates the attraction between them.

Much of the charm within this narrative is how it relates to my own memories of Rome. Ms Heath brings the city alive, describing the sights us travellers have visited or crave to see. The attention to detail is palpable as we learn about Pietro's work as an art dealer. Additionally, the heroine is a mature woman with a grown-up family. A widow, it's her children who encourage her to travel and it's a refreshing change to read about protagonists closer to my age! It's heart-warming to read about a forty-five-year-old, struggling to find a purpose who ends up falling-in-love with someone to share her life with, in a way she never thought possible.

To sum up, this is standalone with enough back-story to familiarise readers with the other notable characters whose stories have already been told in previous novels. Ultimately, it's a sexy romance full of intrigue and promise set against a stunning backdrop.

4 stars

***arc generously received courtesy of Harlequin Historical***

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of Lilian and the Irresistible Duke (Open INT)
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