on November 29th 2016
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Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed . . . as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere.
Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print . . .and takes his father’s place!
Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
That day, when Killian, Viscount Locksley – Locke – saw his father, the Marquess of Marsden, the latter was looking especially spiffy. The Marquess nonchalantly mentions that he is waiting for his bride. The Marquess is said to be a little soft in the head since his beloved wife died thirty years ago, and Locke is afraid his father’s mental health is getting worse when the Marquess announces that he’s getting married that same afternoon. Mrs. Portia Gadstone had answered the Marquess’ advertisement, saying he was looking for a wife. Portia and the Marquess have never met but they have corresponded and have come to an agreement: he wants an heir, or rather a spare, and she needs security. When she arrives, Locke opens the door and is immediately stunned at the primal reaction he experiences in her presence; she oozes sexuality and confidence, and it rattles him to his core. Locke is rude to her, and she replies in kind; she will not be cowed by his behaviour. Locke will not let her marry his father, he doesn’t trust the likes of her, and when they find themselves alone for a moment, he kisses her and tells her he will marry her, to protect his father. His father has been pestering Locke for an heir, Locke will never let himself love, will never marry for love, so Portia is perfect. They are undeniably physically attracted to each other, and bedding her certainly won’t be a problem. Portia is sure no one will find her in Devonshire, her secret is safe; it’s an ideal solution for everyone. Until things go terribly wrong.
I had barely finished the first chapter, that I was already loving THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN with all my heart, and it only got better from there! Time stopped when Locke’s mother died, and Portia is the breath of fresh air that blows the cobwebs away from Havisham Hall. Portia is grateful to be where she is, she is a take-charge woman, and she will do her darnedest to do everything right, so that Locke does not regret taking a wife so unexpectedly, and he does not love her, he will not love her, and she doesn’t want to fall for him, and if you think you know how things will turn out, you will probably be wrong.
Portia and Locke are such finely drawn characters, so engaging, and I cared for them so very much, it was unreal. Portia and Locke’s relationship is based on sex, since that’s all they have in common at the beginning, and their sexual chemistry is so strong, that I feared for the physical integrity of my ereader! Their sole bond is the sex, and their affection for the Marquess, and they work with what they have. I think I loved the gentle, perceptive, and slightly eccentric Marquess as much as they did, he is a fabulous character.
THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN is an extremely clever twist on the marriage of convenience trope, and Lorraine Heath redefines the notion of masterful storytelling, because this is a very compelling book, and a romance novel as riveting as any thriller. The writing is outstanding: easy, flowing, and so very beautiful; not one single word is out of place. The sex scenes are breathtaking: sensual, tender, ferocious, and passionate beyond words. The dialogues are splendid: witty, harsh, honest, and so very genuine.
And when the secrets are revealed! Oh my goodness, I was so stunned, I literally gasped. Aloud! I was crushed, I was shocked, I was horrified at some historical facts, and I finished reading in tears – and I don’t cry easily, and definitely rarely so much – and I then sighed with joy in my heart. THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN was a hard book to review because it is so exceptional, it was difficult to put into words how different, extraordinary, wonderful, moving, and gripping it is. THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN is a masterpiece, and my humble review could never do it justice. If you read only one historical romance this year, make it THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.