LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS – Lorraine Heath
Lost Lords of Pembrook , Book 3 of 3
When Lord Rafe Easton was ten, his father was murdered by his uncle, who then planned to get rid of Rafe and his brothers so he would inherit the Keswick dukedom and all that comes with it. The boys escaped and separated for safety. The plot was completely foiled eventually, but not until the lost lords suffered years of hardships. Sebastian, the eldest and now Duke of Keswick, and his twin Lord Tristan returned from abroad and have now settled into Society. Rafe, on the other hand, never left England and shuns that world and has little to do with his brothers who left him behind. Now twenty five, Rafe has battled to the top of his own world as the owner of the wildly successful Rakehell Club where the so-called elite come to gamble.
Evelyn Chambers is the love child of the Earl of Wortham and his mistress. After her mother's death, her father took her into his home where he doted on her and protected her. On his death bed, the earl exacts a promise from his heir to look after his half sister. The new earl thinks to settle his heavy debt load by “taking care” of Evelyn in his own way. After only a week, he orders her to wear the purple dress and come downstairs to entertain his friends. Evelyn thinks it bad taste while in mourning, but believes he means her to meet prospective husbands; she longs for a home and children.
Rafe attends Wortham's party for reasons of his own, but is stunned by the innocent beauty of the earl's sister and appalled at the crudeness of the “gentlemen” come to bid for possession of her. Such is his power that he intimidates the others and demands Evelyn as settlement for Wortham's huge gambling debt. A bewildered Evelyn goes with Rafe as ordered…
Rafe believes he has no heart left after being abandoned by his brothers and the hammering of his harsh life. He thinks himself worthless as a human, but he's better than he knows. His honor is not totally lost; can Eve—as Rafe calls her—resurrect it?
LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS is complex with its varied characters and plot lines. While focusing on the turbulent and sensual relationship between Rafe and Evelyn, it also explores Rafe's resentments toward his brothers and the choices made so long ago and those he was forced to make to survive in the London slums. The tale is rich in characters, from the highest and lowest, servants and served…and enemies made. This—and the whole trilogy—is of the sort where you can't wait for the climax, but hate to have it end.
If you haven't already, you might want to read Sebastian's story in SHE TEMPTS THE DUKE (February 2012) and Tristan's tale in LORD OF TEMPTATION (October 2012). You'll find their reviews by searching by author from RRT's home page.