Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath (Sins for All Seasons #1)
Released: January 30, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
First of a new series, and I always love to try out new series but I might not continue with this one. Beyond Scandal and Desire has a great set-up, but it fell flat for me.
In the prologue, we have a gut wrenching seen as our hero takes his newborn son, born to his mistress, away in the middle of the night to a common woman who for a small payment, who will raise him in a good home. Or as good enough as she can provide. This woman takes in several children this way, supporting herself with the money the rich pay her when they hand over their unwanted children.
Thirty-one years later, Mick, that unwanted baby, is an adult, and a pretty wealthy one at that. He rose up from being dirt poor, to opening up businesses and investing in real estate. When he was just eight years old, he found the blanket with the Hedley ducal seal buried in the backyard. He knows this seal comes from his birth father and from this day on, he wants acknowledgement from his birth father, the duke. He sends him letters, and never gets a reply. When he is an adult, with money, he decides to go a new route. To get close to the duke’s legitimate son, Kip, and steal away the woman he loves as revenge.
Lady Aslyn Hastings parents died when she was young, and she was taken in by the Hedley’s (Mick’s birth parents) and has grown up with Kip. Everyone just assumes the two of them will wed, since they ‘ve been fond of each other for most of their lives. But Aslyn wants adventure in her life. Kip on the surface is very prim and proper, not even trying to kiss her once during their courtship. She is extremely protected by her guardians. And then she meets Mick. As he is “stalking” Kip, and as those two men start to get closer, Aslyn can’t keep Mick out of her mind. He is the danger and the naughtiness that she wants to experience. When Kip’s gambling obsession becomes known and continues to grow out of control, Aslyn turns to Mick for help and an eventual romance.
I like that Mick knows who is real father is, and that he has built this life for himself of riches and he is very close with his other “adopted” siblings. I wanted him to be fierce and ready to burn down London for his father to acknowledge him. But I waited and waited and his personality just didn’t come through. It was like he was played too safe. He couldn’t decide if he was going to be a gentleman or a hell raiser. I wanted some passion out of him – instead he fell flat.
Aslyn too just didn’t have a lot to offer. She isn’t in love with Kip, although in a relationship with him for at least half the book. She desires something a little more dangerous – and Mick is supposed to provide that. But this want didn’t transfer to any type of passionate romance. Too slow for me.