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Waking Up With the Duke by Lorraine Heath
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Jul 29, 11

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Lorraine Heath knows how to bring on the emotions when writing her stories. One of the main reasons I enjoyed the first two books in this series so much was Heath did a wonderful job of making me apart of Westcliff and Stephen's worlds. She made me care about them as people and she did a bang up job of making me come to love them as well. She does that once again with Ainsley's story.

Heath sure knows how to pull at my heart strings with the whole unrequited love thing and I felt Ainsley's guilt and his longing for Jayne as if it were happening to me. We don't get to know Ainsley much in both Westcliff and Stephen's books, in those books he was the younger brother that acted like he was the oldest brother. He was the brother that was forever getting his brothers out of trouble and he's pretty hot dang close to being perfect. In this book, we find out why he is the way that he is.

Of course something happened. Three years ago, Ainsley got the good news that his best friend's wife was pregnant with his heir and they went off to celebrate the happy news. At the end of the night, Ainsley and Walfort get into what would be a modern day drunk driving accident and Walfort is forever changed.

Walfort becomes paralyzed and Ainsley holds the guilt of all of that close to his heart because he was the one that was driving. Walfort can't walk anymore and he can't bed his wife anymore. After the accident, Jayne's (the wife) grief becomes more than she can bear and she loses the baby and with Walfort out of commission, any hopes Jayne had of raising her own family die with the baby.

Of course she blames Ainsley for this. He was driving and he was reckless and he walked away with barely a scratch while her husband can't walk anymore and their lives are forever changed. In an effort to support her husband, Jayne gives up pretty much everything. She gives up hunting, even though she used to love it, she gives up dancing which again, she used to love and she gives up all of these things in the name of love.

Jayne is really loyal to her husband and while that is all fine and dandy, as the story progresses and we realize that Walfort isn't the angel or even the doting husband that he should, her loyalty starts getting on my nerves.

Walfort comes up with this insane idea that Ainsley owes him for the accident and he wants Ainsley to get his wife with child so that he can have his heir and so his wife will have something to live for again. He wants to see her happy again and he thinks a child will do the trick so he asks Ainsley to do this for him.

Ainsley is totally against the stupid plan because it's crazy and because he wants Jayne too much. Ainsley has wanted Jayne from the jump but his friend beat him to the punch. He's longed for Jayne from afar all this time and understands why she hates him even though he wishes she didn't. Watching him battle against his desire for Jayne and his desire to make all of this right made for a good story.

I didn't know how I was going to feel about the whole married woman thing but Heath did a good job of making me okay with the whole story line. I'm not one for cheating but the circumstances with which this story came about made it easier to digest. This is one complicated story and while I went into the story not sure how the heck I was going to like it all, I still enjoyed the story as a whole.

Ainsley was a fabulous hero. He's everything that we knew he'd be from reading the other books and yet, he's so much more. My one gripe with him was that he wasn't honest Jayne when he started falling in love with her about everything that she should have known about. He takes that bros before hoes thing very seriously.

Jayne was a good heroine but there were more than a few times when I wanted to smack some dang sense into her. The whole loyalty to Walfort thing had me gritting my teeth because of everything that we find out. Yes, I understood that he was her husband but the way that she was so sure she didn't want to hurt him made me roll my eyes down the street a few times but heck, I enjoyed the story anyway.

Overall, this book is good and it'll pull at your heartstrings. If you're a fan of the series then you should read this one to continue the series and if you're a fan of Heath's work then I'm sure you'll enjoy this one as well.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Rowena.

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