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    Between the Devil and Desire by Lorraine Heath
  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 26th, 2008

heath_devilreview.jpgReviewed by Gannon Carr
Publisher: Avon
4.75 stars

Lorraine Heath returns to her Scoundrels of St. James series with the story of Jack Dodger, the consummate rake, and Olivia Stanford, the widowed duchess, who has the pleasure—oh, yes!—of reforming him.  Oh, how I envied her!  Jack is a wealthy, devilish scoundrel who inspires a great deal of sighing and swooning.

Jack Dodger, formerly known as the Artful Dodger, has left the filth and danger of the London rookeries behind and is now the wealthy owner of one of London’s most exclusive gentlemen’s clubs.   Because of his poverty-stricken childhood, making money is the most important thing to Jack.  The ladies of the ton love to gossip about the deliciously wicked Mr. Dodger and his den of iniquity.  Of course, they would never dream of associating with him, but one of these paragons of virtue is about to get up close and very personal with this scoundrel.

Olivia Stanford, the recently widowed Duchess of Lovingdon, is shocked to discover that her late husband has named Jack Dodger as the guardian of their 4 year-old son, Henry, who is now the Duke of Lovingdon.  Jack has also inherited all non-entailed assets, including the London residence where Olivia resides.  Suddenly, she is forced to share her favorite home with this wicked rogue, but she refuses to be won over by his charm and good-looks.   They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when dealing with devilish Jack Dodger, Olivia has a long road!

Olivia has always been obedient and dutiful, first to her father and then to her husband.  After she provided him with an heir, Lovingdon never sought her bed again, and Olivia felt unwanted and unattractive.  When Jack Dodger enters her life, they are at odds with how she feels he should behave as Henry’s guardian.  Jack doesn’t give a damn for propriety, and much to her dismay she finds herself attracted to him.  Over time, she craves his attention, and as he charms her with smoldering looks and passionate kisses, she finds herself longing for him to take her to his bed, propriety be damned.

Jack is a rogue in every sense of the word, but is more than worthy of the title of hero.  At first, when he becomes Henry’s guardian, Jack is more concerned about the assets he has gained and how to increase them.  But beneath his wicked façade, is a loving, loyal man who is willing to teach Henry how to have fun and also grow to be an honorable man.  Despite Jack’s immoral past—and present—he is the perfect guardian for Henry.  Jack is devoted to his friends (former mates from Feagan’s gang) and his employees.  He takes care of those he loves and Henry is no exception.  Seeing this loving, fatherly side is an unexpected pleasure.  Of course, Jack has no qualms about seducing Olivia—and he does this very well—but he does not expect to fall in love with her and want to make her his wife.  But when the truth of Jack’s parentage is brought to light, he and Olivia face danger, scorn and the possible end of their dreams of a happy life together.

Ms. Heath has given her readers another fascinating tale with this second book of her Scoundrels of St. James series.  I love her “twist” on Dickens’ Oliver Twist and what may have happened to the children of Feagan’s gang as they grew up.  Jack is indeed devilishly attractive and Olivia is helpless to resist his charm and passion, not to mention his nimble fingers.  After all, as the infamous pickpocket once known as The Artful Dodger, Jack is very good with his hands!   The sexual tension between Jack and Olivia is so hot and palpable, that I was almost ready to scream, “Hurry up!” by the time they made it to bed!  Between the Devil and Desire is a delicious read that will have you turning the pages as fast as you can.  I was so sorry to see the book end, that I wanted to start it all over again.  I hope that Ms. Heath will give her readers another charming story soon.  After all, there are a few more of Feagan’s “kids” who have a story to tell.  If you’re looking for a sizzling romance to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night, get caught Between the Devil and Desire.  It’s a very satisfying place to be!

Between the Devil and Desire will be released December 30, 2008.

8 Responses to “Between the Devil and Desire by Lorraine Heath”

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  1. LisaK
    on Dec 26th, 2008
    @ 8:04 am

    Gannon, wonderful review!

    After having read the first installment in this series, “In Bed With The Devil”, I immediately pre-ordered “Between The Devil And Desire” because I absolutely fell in love with Fegan’s lads and Ms Heath’s writing style and now I’m eager to know how the story moves on. I’ll devour this books as soon as it arrives.


  2. Elyssa Papa
    on Dec 26th, 2008
    @ 2:03 pm

    The Artful Dodger is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. I cannot express how much love I have for how well-crafted he was in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. I enjoyed IN BED WITH THE DEVIL telling “Oliver’s” story with Lucien . . . I’m so going to have to read this one after reading your review, Gannon. Because I was hesitant about reading a story with a character I loved so well and seeing him in another’s hands, but I do love the sound of this story. Off to pre-order!


  3. Gannon
    on Dec 26th, 2008
    @ 5:34 pm

    Lisa and Ely, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!


  4. Kara
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 9:15 am

    I’m with Lisa and Elyssa – I very much enjoyed In Bed With the Devil and I’m looking forward to reading Between the Devil and Desire. It has all the elements I usually love; the reformed rake and the widow who blossoms under the tutelage of said rake. I love how Ms. Heath has crafted this series around Fegan’s lads and put a new twist on Twist.


  5. Marisa
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 10:49 am

    Gannon, I’ve been waiting for this one, and I’m so glad you liked it. I too love a reformed rake and the element of his being involved with a mother and child makes it all the more appealing. I particularly love when the heroine is all about propriety and hero is all about breaking the rules, the clash is something I enjoy reading.


  6. Andrea
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 12:02 pm

    Great review, Gannon! Looking forward to this one!


  7. Buffie
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 1:39 pm

    I am soooo looking forward to this book. Fabulous review Gannon!! Makes me wish I had the book in my hands now!


  8. Deborah
    on Dec 27th, 2008
    @ 8:47 pm

    I am so looking forward to this story. Lorraine is a wonderful story teller. Each of her books draws you deeper and deeper into fan-dome with her talent.

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