LIVE Review of The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine Heath
Upcoming Release Date: August 20, 2019
This is my first love review of a book. I’ll be posting my thoughts as I read it, in the hopes of giving you a goodpreview of what’s to come.
Before I start, I just want to say, as I’m sure you all already know, sometimes books are an emotional roller coaster and opinions change as you read. So keep that in mind as I go along. I won’t give it a star rating until the very end.
I’ll put the book blurb in the comments, along with the Goodreads link. And I’ll put page numbers where I’m at with each update, in case comments end up out of order.
I received this ARC from Edelweiss+ with the expectation that I would review it. Nevertheless, my opinion will be genuinely mine.
P.S. I know it’s Mother’s Day weekend and many people will probably be busy. I rarely have time to read and I do this weekend, so here I go!
First off, can I remark on how great this cover is? It’s hot and I hope the book is as hot as this cover implies. And the model for the hero, what a face! 😍
Prologue – Starts on page 12
Well, the heroes biological father is a total psychopath. I won’t go into details. But woah. Psycho.
Before I jump in, let me set the stage here. Aiden, our hero, runs what’s basically a gaming hell for women, complete with all the vices men would go looking for. His aim is to make women feel wanted and pampered and to give them an outlet for the same kind of freedom men enjoy. I already like him, because who wouldn’t like a hero like that?
Yes, it does sound like his true goal is to earn money and he’s not in fact just doing it out of the goodness of his own heart. But that’s ok. At least he values women enough to treat them as equal.
Lena, our heroine, is a Duchess. She knows of Aiden because of rumors surrounding his family. I’ve vowed not to put spoilers in here that might ruin the book, so I’m not going to go into those details here. But suffice it to say that she’s come to Aiden’s establishment hoping to get something from him.
Right off the bat, I’m happy with how this book started. Lena is already stalking Aiden at his ladies club. I like when I feel like a book starts on page one. I usually struggle with the first 20-30 pages before the main characters meet. But 3 pages in to the first chapter and they’re together. Lovely!
I’m feeling like the insta-lust is being laid on a little thick at this point. There’s already an air of possessiveness about the hero that seems rather preposterous since we’re still in the first few minutes of their first meeting. He’s having thoughts like “the tug he felt to protect this lady was far greater than anything he’d ever experienced before”. I generally like insta-lust and they get all hot and bothered for each other. But possessiveness, in my opinion, should come later with some level of developed feelings. So it seems a bit out of place here.
There’s been some talk up to this point about stuff that’s happened in previous books. This is book 4 in the series. I do feel a little like I’m missing something and I’m wondering if that’s the reason the insta-lust seems out of place. Not sure if they’d developed something previous to this book. Feels a bit like a chapter was lopped off somewhere. That said, it’s not so obtrusive that it’s getting in the way.
Well, I now know what Lena has come to his establishment for. Not that anyone couldn’t guess. 😜
So far a lot of their inner dialogue has been about how they’re behaving in ways they wouldn’t normally behave. Obviously because they’re inexplicably drawn to each other. Or at least that’s the message. I never like this tactic in books. It feels a bit like a contrived way to make the plot work. But if the plot requires bold characters, why not just make the characters bold? Or if the point is to show them change, then show them change.
So, off to a bit of a rocky start, but I’m going with the assumption that there’s more than meets the eye here. That she’s setting up for some deeper development that she wants to spend time on later. At least I hope so. Plus, I have a feeling this book is going to be steamy and we all know how I feel about that.
“I’m going to kiss you until your knees grow weak.” 😍 here’s hoping he finds his own knees weak.
Aiden is becoming more interesting at this point. Heath is making some nice connections between who he is deep down and his ultimate motivations for creating this club for women. She hasn’t said it explicitly. But my gut is he feels similarly powerless in society, despite the fact that he’s outwardly in complete control. Similar to the way a Duchess might feel.
His knees didn’t get weak. 😭
Aiden and Lena have now had their first kiss. See, I wasn’t kidding when I said it was moving fast. A bit of a spoiler here because I don’t think I can talk about this book without it. Although, I think it’s rather obvious anyway. She’s propositioned him. I have some guesses as to why. But he’s decided he’s not going to take her to bed until she’s dying for it. That gives me hope that there will be some good build up before we get to that point.
As to the first kiss…some ok feels. Not the best first kiss I’ve ever read. There was something alluring about them being strangers and I think if Lorraine Heath had focused on that a bit more, it would have felt more…more. I do love a good seduction story. I’m hoping it’s going to get all wrapped up in their unexpected feelings and won’t be sex without emotion.
Nothing super special happening here. I’ve learned more about Lena’s motivations. I think it was rather obvious what’s going on. I was hoping I was wrong. I wasn’t. But I’ll leave it open for you all to interpret on your own.
I’m not loving the book so far. It’s only ok. Aiden is pretty interesting. So far a lot of dynamic qualities about him have been revealed. Some of his inner demons. Some of his secrets. A lot about his past. Nothing so deep on Lena yet. She’s been sexually deprived and she’s in a bad situation. But not too much else about her yet.
Going to pause for now. Will be back tomorrow.
In just a few pages I’ve learned some more about Lena now. Some details about her dead husband. He and Lena never had a very close physical relationship and Lena seems to be pretty clueless about sex. She seems to have no knowledge whatsoever that it can be enjoyable. 😭 Poor Lena. She doesn’t even seem to know that her nipples would be sensitive. I find this somewhat preposterous. Has she never accidentally touched them?
Ok, so nipples aren’t mentioned specifically, but she seems shocked. SHOCKED. That there might be a reason to remove her clothes to have sex. And now I’m wondering about her friends and if they’d never told her anything.
There hasn’t been too much about her husband so far but there’s clearly a deeper reason for the distance that was between them.
So, the biggest issue I’m having with this book at the moment is that the feelings Aiden is having towards Lena simply make no sense. They fall under that category I mentioned earlier in this thread, where he just feels different for no particular reason except it’s different. He’s possessive…for no reason. He wants more…for no reason. He’s dreaming about her…for no reason. They’ve not had enough happen between them for him to feel that way and I don’t think simply saying “well, this is different” is enough to get my heart involved with this book.
At least not yet. I’m hoping it turns a corner. If there’d been more build up in the beginning I’d probably be buying into this big time. As it is, it’s reading a bit like a novella. That rushed feeling. But it’s a full length novel, so I’m not sure why it’s rushed. I still feel like I’ve accidentally missed a few chapters where they got to know each other better.
There’s been a lot of alluding to passion and fire, but I’m just not getting that between them at all. Virtually nothing has happened between them. Two conversations and a kiss. So, what passion are they talking about? I do not know.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I think what this book is missing is all the physical responses to each other. There’s a lot of inner dialogue. A lot of wondering why they’re feeling this way or that. A lot of it that doesn’t make sense yet. But what would totally work at this point is if I were getting some more about how they’re bodies are reacting. Are there goose bumps? Butterflies? Sparks? Are they aroused? Are they reacting? My guess is probably…but it’s not spelled out in anyway, which is a shame. I usually want a good combination of both emotional and physical feelings. Not getting much of either yet. Just a lot of questioning themselves about how different they’re reacting to the other than they usually would.
Well, they’ve finally connected on a bit more of an emotional level. It wasn’t a very deep conversation, but it was something. I have hope that this is going to turn around.
We shall see tomorrow. I’m going to bed.
I’m through the first “love” scene. 10 pages. No butterflies. Not even a flutter. There’s no sexual tension. No build up. No anticipation. It’s not exciting. They don’t know each other at all and I have no reason to care whether they’re doing this or not.
So far it all feels like a big build up for a big let down. There’s all this talk about Aiden seducing her instead of taking her to bed. But he hasn’t seduced her at all. He said he could seduce her while playing a game of billiards. But he doesn’t. Then when they finally fool around he goes straight to it. Kiss. Nipple sucking. Oral. Over. I don’t know. I still feel like I’m missing the first half of their story.
So, I’m bored. Nothing is happening. No romance is developing. I’ve learned precious little more about the main characters at this point. At nearly 40% in the two have met, had a conversation, kissed and parted. They met a second time, played billiards and talked, had oral sex and parted. And that is it.
I’m always confused by romance novels like this. I don’t know where the romance is.
Back to this after a week’s break. I was hoping I was maybe just in a mood so I stepped away. I am just so bored. The last two chapters were almost entirely about Lena’s dead husband and some more awkward “bonding” between her and Aiden. I don’t feel any chemistry between them. And this far in, all their positive feelings about each other are still based on the “this is so weird that I feel this way with you when I barely know you” plot line.
“When her breasts were freed, he felt as though they were old friends returning to visit.”
Well, I wanted to read through the first sex scene. It was ok. Would have been a lot better if I felt some connection between them. But I kind of just didn’t care at this point. It was weirdly both very explicit and rather vague. I could go into more detail but I think I’m done reading this. It’s been a struggle to get through and I’m just not interested in reading more.
Ok. So I lied. A weird thing happened. I picked up my kindle to read something else and the page I’d left this on was still “open” and I read a paragraph and then just kept reading. I can’t say it’s done a complete about face, but it’s…better. There’ve been some parts where they’ve interacted with each other’s families at this point and those I skimmed through. I still found that boring. But the interactions when they’re alone have dramatically improved. There’s much more feeling between them and it doesn’t feel so forced or contrived anymore. I read another love scene and there were some good feels in it and it was pretty hot.
But, there are some annoying things. The heroine keeps crying. She’s cried during every love scene. They’re in love with each other at this point. Both came to the realization at the same time basically. But they’ve still only known each other for 5 days, which is an extremely hard sell for me.
She also keeps using the word “striving”, or some variant of it, on nearly every page it feels like. Ok, maybe not EVERY page. But she uses it 29 times through out the book and I keep noticing it now lol.
Even though I’m sure I will not recommend this book to anyone, I am glad I kept reading, because I think I might have been scared off of Lorraine Heath otherwise. At least for a while. It’s improved enough to remind me of the great butterflies I got from When the Duke Was Wicked, so I’m sure I’ll read her again.