The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

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The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (298 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed… as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere.

Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print… and takes his father’s place!

Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.

This novel is light on plot conflict but huge on heart, emotion and a wonderful romance.

What I mean about a light plot conflict is that there are no evil villains and nefarious intrigues, rather, The Viscount and the Vixen has a heroine who is faced with a dilemma that causes her to embark on a courageous and possible dangerous path that could be her salvation or her downfall. It’s a secret that could destroy everything she’s trying to build and the secret could rob her of the very thing she thought she’d never have – love. Ms. Heath presents readers with a strong female heroine that is absolutely perfect for the hero, even though it takes him a while to admit to it.

This is a character driven romance; it’s engaging, entertaining and simply told. The author created two people who had to grow, be nurtured and learn to trust beyond their initial impressions of each other. That journey was made even more interesting by the fact that Killian could not seem to keep his hands off of Portia. I thoroughly enjoyed the healthy and robust talk about sex that had either Killian or Portia blushing, sometimes at the same time. The fact that Killian’s father was unabashed about it as well made for many grins and giggles especially with Locke’s (a/k/a Killian) reaction to realizing his parent enjoyed a healthy bedroom romp when he was a younger man as well. In fact, as adorable as it was, it was also bittersweet. A reader will understand why that is, and why even getting to talk about it is actually very special and sweet.

Of course, the secret comes out, and although part of the reaction was typical, Ms. Heath added her own twist to solving it that was both gratifying, well written and satisfactory. Dare I say, it was even swoon-worthy.

A truly delightful part of their relationship was the seduction. Killian didn’t stand a chance. Their antics are spicy, sensual, passionate and, although the hero denied it in the beginning, loving. Of course it was adventurous too, and quite a few scenes made me smile. Portia has quite the wit, even at times you’d least expect.

My emotions really got a work out when it came to Killian’s father. He was actually a smart man who dearly loved his family. I needed a few tissues when it came to him. Even now, when I think of that scene, I sniffle and have to grab another tissue. When it comes to matters of the heart and reaching out and touching a reader’s feelings, Ms. Heath outdid herself in a beautiful way.

I have no qualms in highly recommending this novel to fellow historical romance fans. The romance story within its pages is solid, well told and progresses at a nice clip. It ended up being a feel good type of book that I am always glad to read but don’t often find. This story didn’t cause me any stress or worry, and any conflict did not plague the characters overlong. It’s well balanced and charming and the happy ever after is well rounded, complete and included everything I look for to make me satisfied. The Viscount and the Vixen made me a happy reader.

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