Format: .epub (Library book)
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Renowned for his bedchamber prowess,Ransom Seymour, the Duke of Ainsley,owes a debt to a friend. But the payment expected is most shocking, even to an unrepentant rake—for he's being asked to provide his friend's exquisite wife with what she most dearly covets: a child.
Lady Jayne Seymour, Marchioness of Walfort,is furious that such a scandalous agreement would be made. If she acquiesces, there must be rules: no kissing . . . and, certainly,no pleasure.
But unexpected things occur with the surprisingly tender duke—especially once Lady Jayne discovers the rogue can make her dream again . . . and Ransom realizes he's found the one woman he truly cannot live without.
I thought I was through with love triangles but apparently Lorraine Heath can effortlessly draw me into a story of lies, love and guilt between three people.
An accident three years ago robbed the Marquess of Walfort of the use of his legs but it is really his wife who suffers the most. Jayne blames Ransom Seymour, the Duke of Ainsley for what happened to her husband but the true details have never been fully clear to her. All she knows is that she’s destined to spend the rest of her husband’s life taking care of him with no children of her own.
Fueled by immense guilt over the truth of the accident Walfort appeals to Ainsley for help, he wants Ainsley to get his wife pregnant, to give her the child she wants so badly. Unknown to Walfort Ainsley has had feelings for Jayne since he first saw her years ago. It wouldn’t take much to have him falling in love with her so at first he declines but with Walfort persisting, the three of them enter into an agreement that changes their lives drastically.
This was such a good story; I can’t even explain how much I enjoyed it! There’s so much emotional turmoil between the three characters, each one suffering from some sort of guilt that the story itself seemed to take on a redemption theme instead of a romance. Not to say that there wasn’t any romance, it just took a while to grow and develop which worked well with the guilt everyone was dealing with.
I’ve also never been so wrong about a character before either! I saw Walfort as a tragic figure who had to have such a terrible accident in order to realize how lucky he was to have a wife like Jayne but at the last minute the truth of the accident is revealed and Walfort’s actions since then show he was nothing more than a selfish, inconsiderate man. However, of the three of them: Walfort, Ainsley and Jayne, it was Jayne who paid the highest price. Her life was turned upside down and she was left powerless in the situation that was caused by two foolish men. I loved her quiet strength and dignity as well as her intelligence and loyalty. It tore her up having to decide between the child she desperately wanted and remaining faithful to her husband. Giving characters’ inner turmoil like this makes for a much more interesting read in my opinion. The guilt didn’t go over the top into soap opera land but it was a dominant emotion within the book.
Ainsley, for all his womanizing in the past was such a perfect candidate for Jayne. He was thoughtful, considerate and so hopeless in his love for her and that just made him so attractive to me. His true nature was so terrible romantic that I was head over heels in love with him myself! Lucky Jayne!
What is it with me that I’m now reading series after series out of order? I never used to be that way but I say it’s books like Waking Up with the Duke that make it difficult to wait until I’ve collected or have access to the entire series at once *grumbles about local library not having previous books*
My only complaint is that I felt the ending was a bit rushed, considering that Jayne, Walfort and Ainsley’s plans were discovered by… Well, mostly everyone. It was a little too neat if you ask me but the rest of the story? Beautiful.
Final Verdict: Despite the rushed ending, I loved all the emotion that Waking Up with the Duke had. It was more than just three people caught in an almost impossible situation, it was three people who had to learn from their mistakes before they could find peace in their lives.