Saturday, April 23, 2016

ARC Review of The Earl Takes all by Lorraine Heath

Let me first say that I have read all of Lorraine's books and love her writing.  She has the ability to bring out intense emotions in her readers.  This is an unusual plot that I wasn't sure that I would like.

This is book two in The Hellions of Havisham.  Albert and Edward are twins...Albert is the good responsible Earl and Edward is the second son who is irresponsible and a rogue at heart.  Edward has a restless soul and loves to go on adventures and wants his brother to go with him.  Edward has feelings for Albert's wife which he tries to forget with other woman and wild adventures.  After Albert is married to Julia, Edward talks him into going on a safari to Africa.  Julia is with child and urges Albert to go.

This is where the story takes a decidedly bizarre turn.  Albert is killed by a gorilla in a truly horrifying death.  As he lays dying he makes his brother promise to be him and not tell Julia that he is really Edward until she safely delivers the baby.  Julia has miscarried twice before.

I give Lorraine credit for the courage to write this storyline.  I almost stopped reading the book, but since I really loved her previous books, I was determined to finish it.  I am glad I did.  The range of emotions I felt while reading this book were many.  Grief that Albert had died such a horrible death,  Dislike of Julia and sympathy for Edward.  As the story progresses you feel for Edward who is doing as his brother asked him and his growing feeling for Julia.  I admit that I cried a few times while reading this book.  It will tug at your heart strings and make your heart sing too.

This is just the beginning of the story.  Edward's and Julia's story is an emotional roller coaster that will keep you reading til the surprising end.  The Epilogue is wonderful!!!

Received a complimentary copy from Avon for an honest review.

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