I’ve never made a secret of the fact that Lorraine Heath is on my short auto-buy list. Her books have made me cry, they’ve left me sighing and usually I finish with a smile on my face. But for some reason, I just could not get into The Viscount and the Vixen. I kept picking it up and then putting it back down. If you’ll notice I am writing this review well past the publication date, mainly because I had to force myself to finish.
This is the third book in The Hellions of Havisham series. To say I was excited to finally be getting to Locke’s story would be an understatement. This man who has been denied a normal childhood and home life because of his father’s mental state. The idea that someone would be so destroyed over the loss of a beloved wife that he would claim to be visited by her ghost nightly, and that he would try to preserve the moment of her death by basically halting any changes to the house seems like it would be romantic, but mostly I just felt sad. For Locke, for his father, and for the three other small boys forced to grow up in such depressing, strange circumstances. Naturally, I wondered what type of woman would bewitch Locke enough to make him fall in love despite his desire never to do so.
Portia travels to Havisham with the understanding that she will be marrying Locke’s father, the Marquess. Desperate circumstances leave her no choice but to find a man willing to marry her as soon as possible, hopefully asking no questions about her past. She needs a loveless marriage of convenience that will offer stability and safety. Unfortunately, Locke’s father never really had any intention of marrying her, his goal all along was for his son to step in and wed her in his place, which means finally settling into marriage and working to provide an heir. Which of course Locke does.
Portia and Locke circle each other warily. He wants to stay detached emotionally, but is quite eager at the prospect of taking her to bed. Portia knows keeping Locke interested sexually is in her best interest. Normally this type of set up would interest me, but for some reason with these two it just felt so cold and detached. Which I guess is normal, but for some reason I never warmed up to either of them. Oh, the sex scenes were passionate to be sure, but outside of those sex scenes I never felt them really connect emotionally. I won’t get into the big reason why Portia felt she had to marry in haste, I’m sure there are quite a few other reviews who have already shared, but I will say that I didn’t like how long the deception went on. Then the last 20% is a big rush of secrets coming out, hurt feelings, Locke lashing out with hateful, hurtful words, Portia on the run, Locke realizing his mistake and going after her and then…. BAM, all is forgiven in like three pages. Okay, I might be exaggerating about the three pages, but just a little bit.
Although, Ms. Heath’s epilogues are always lovely and this one was no different. Thank goodness for epilogues!
This is probably my least favorite of Ms. Heath’s historical romances. Regardless, I still love this author and am looking forward to her next release. Final grade- C-/D+
The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath
November 29th 2016 by Avon
GoodReads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * KOBO * Audible