The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath (The Hellions of Havisham #2)

The Earl Takes All by Lorraine HeathAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love. For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

This book is full of emotions and the reader is put through a range between heartache and love. After reading the first book, I knew there was something different about the relationship between Julia and Albert and I although I was weary, the author does a great job of letting the reader make the tough decision between mourning one brother and loving another.

Julia Kenney fell in love with Albert and married him several years ago, they have a deep affection for each other and now she is about to have his child. Albert and Edward lost their parents in a tragic accident, causing Albert to become the Earl of Greyling at a young age. The two, along with a family friend Ashbury, were raised by a reclusive man along with his son, Locksley and they shared an interesting childhood. When Julia and Albert were married, it put a stop to many of the adventures the twins had together causing Edward to have some jealous feelings toward Albert and Julia.

When the Edward finally talks Albert into going on one last adventure to Africa, tragedy strikes and only one comes back. Edward does not want to, but to fulfill the dying wish of Albert, Edward masquerades as his brother until Julia’s child is born, but when Julia finds out her emotions are confused.

Edward was born just a few minutes later than his brother, relegating him to the second son status, in which he excelled. Albert had to bail him out of many scrapes over the years as he was a scoundrel and not well liked in society. Edward was hard to like in the first book, he was a hellion and very jealous of Julia and I was not sure he could be redeemed enough for me but the author pulled out all the stops and I enjoyed getting to know this somber man who is mourning his brother and falling in love with his sister-in-law. The torture he goes through is heartbreaking.

Often in trilogies, I am looking forward to the upcoming stories, the first book introduces us to the characters and I am happy when I like the hero and heroine, with the hope that I am intrigued enough to read and enjoy the second and third book. When I read the blurb on this one I was torn, this is not my favorite trope and I was worried about liking Edward when Albert was such a wonderful person. I almost skipped this one knowing I am looking forward to the third book about Locksley, and the angst I knew this one would bring, but I am so glad I read it. Although an emotional roller-coaster, Ms. Heath takes a difficult situation and makes it well worth the read.

I give The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath 4 stars!

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