Woah! Just WOAH! This will be a short review because…I really love this book! Lorraine Heath proves to be a masterful storyteller once again!
The Duke and the Lady in Red is a heart-wrenching tale of love and redemption that brought me to tears. Although it was a slow start to me, the story picked up a few chapters later!
His dark eyes never left hers. She was acutely aware of his blatantly assessing her. Every strand of hair, every eyelash, every blush. Which was only fair as she was assessing him. Not a strand of his dark brown hair was out of place. Sometimes when the light hit it just so, she thought she detected shades of red in it, but mostly the dark had its way. She suspected it dominated all aspects of his life.
Nothing about him seemed light or carefree. Everything was intense. While others conversed and smiled at their partners, he merely studied every line and curve. She could tell that he preferred the curves. She was accustomed to that when it came to men. Her bosom was her finest asset, and she took great pains to show it off. She’d long ago shed the mantle of timidity.
His face was comprised of hard lines and harsh angles. He would never be considered beautiful, and yet there was beauty in the ruggedness of his features. Handsome, manly. Appealing. He appealed to her in ways no other man ever had.
That made him very dangerous indeed. She kept a wall between herself and men. They were to be used, then discarded. She didn’t think this man would be easily tossed aside. She needed to escape his company as quickly as possible, while she could. She was far too attracted to him. That would not suit her purposes at all. He would not suit.
The final strains of the waltz drifted into silence.
“That was lovely,” she said. “Thank you. I shall leave you to enjoy the remainder of your evening now.”
His eyes narrowed. “I thought we had agreed to two dances.”
“I don’t wish to dominate your time.”
“There is no one else I would rather dominate it. Is someone expecting your company?”
She should say yes. But then he would no doubt keep an eye on her to discern who was of interest to her. She didn’t want him observing her. Best to give him a bit more time tonight and then move on. “No.”
“Then it seems another dance is in order.”
The music began. Another waltz. Did the orchestra know naught but waltzes? Did her skin have to welcome the press of his hands? Did she have to feel his touch cascading through her entire being? She was not usually so affected. It was at once disconcerting and exciting to have these reactions to his nearness. What was it about him that affected her so? It was more than his handsome features, something deep within him that was calling to something in her, something that had been dormant, that was awakening. She needed a distraction from these unsettling thoughts.
“Where is your estate?” she asked.
Yes, she could see that. His being part of the rugged coast. Perhaps he was even descended from pirates. She could well imagine thievery and plundering in his heritage.
“You’re not one for conversing, are you?” she asked.
“Not with words, no. I prefer other means of communication, especially when a lady is involved.”
She was losing her edge with him. She didn’t know how to get it back. “That sort of communication deals only with the surface. There is no depth to a relationship of that nature.”
“I care for only one sort of depth.” His eyes smoldered with his innuendo and she nearly stumbled.
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