I have unashamedly used Lorraine Heath’s name along with a small heterogeneous group of authors in my reviews who I feel have talent that exceed even our puniest expectations. When I pick up a historical, I eagerly await the transportation to a place in time that I will never in my wildest dreams see or go. Wooed by romance, entertained with humor perhaps, but more importantly—touched by the characters and the moments shared. A little voyeuristic interlude into the life and lives an author creates for our pleasure. Ms. Heath never fails to fulfil all of my expectations and I know full well the hours spent away from sleep or work, will be well worth my time, and money spent. As An Earl Desires is no exception.
We will reunite with a few characters from Ms. Heath’s Love With A Scandalous Lord and its protagonist Rhys Rhodes the Duke of Harrington and his former fiancée Camilla. Camilla alone, will be the object of affection for our newest hero Archibald Warner. The setting is London 1879, where an unwilling, frustrated Arch has recently gained the title of seventh Earl of Sachse. A prior headmaster, who had planned to happily follow in his own father’s footsteps, is of all things now being tutored in the ways of aristocracy by his predecessors widow. The only highlight is Camilla herself. A woman of incomparable beauty, generosity and grace, one who he would gladly make his wife, if she would only concede, throw caution to the wind and reveal all the secrets he saw shadowing her lovely eyes. Her nearness was driving him to distraction, and he would do just about anything to get her in his bed.
Camilla does have secrets, and they would change the love and respect she saw blossoming in the new Earl’s eyes if he learned the truth. The one and only sure way to secure her future and protect her heart was to stick to her plan and marry higher in the peerage. As for Arch, he also must marry and produce an heir. He deserved the best. Better than she could give and she would see that he had it, and end the battle of desire that flared between them once-and-for-all. With single-minded determination she will attempt to do just that. Nevertheless, her best-laid plans will be for not, and circumstance will change the course of their lives, and deliver them both into the hands of fate.
I cannot in all honesty say that As An Earl Desires is among my very favorite Lorraine Heath books, however, as with all of her prose it will remain unforgettable. One simple scene of near perfect dialog, that enraptured and enveloped my heart. It played over-and-over in my mind during and since finishing the book and secured my solid admiration for her writing. The moment—when Arch describes the type of woman he aspires to marry. I was in love from that moment on, and of course, Camilla is just as spellbound. I have no doubt you will be too.
This is the key to Ms. Heath’s genius, and why she has again earned my “Five Rose” rating. As An Earl Desires is a slow, sensual, relaxing read without major turmoil to distract or cause a bout of nail biting. Just a lovely satisfying book and one that will keep you turning pages into the wee hours of the morning.