Romance Annotation - Beyond Scandal & Desire by Lorraine Heath
First book of A Sin For All Seasons series
Mick Trewlove was born in sin, the bastard of a duke, and given away, seemingly never to be heard from again. However, Mick has fashioned himself into a man to be reckoned with—a highly successful businessman who members of the ton scramble to invest in. All of this power is a means to an end: revenge on the man who sired him. He intends to destroy the duke’s legitimate son, taking his income and stealing away his intended.
However, Mick didn’t plan on Lady Aslyn Hastings. She’s beautiful, kind-hearted, and adventurous, and Mick can’t help but be drawn in by the women he is supposed to seduce. And Aslyn feels the same; despite her betrothal, she can’t help but keep meeting Mick and falling in love with him. But when the truth comes out, will their relationship withstand the beating?
Characteristics of romance:
- Easily identifiable types: Mick is a confident, capable, strong, self-made man. Aslyn is good, beautiful, independent (or becomes independent in the course of the book), and intelligent. These types recur often in romance.
- Misunderstanding or outside circumstances that force the protagonists apart: Aslyn doesn’t know about Mick’s plan, and doesn’t find out about it directly from him. This leads to their separation, and though she supports his wish to be recognized by his father, she doesn’t approve of his methods or secrecy.
- Details of time and place: Much of the story relies on the treatment of illegitimate children at the time that the story takes place—it was commonplace for nobles to give their children to women who would “take care” of them (most often starving them)—and the complete lack of standing for a bastard in society. Mick views himself as Aslyn’s inferior because of his birth, and most of society won’t recognize him and his talents because of it as well.
- Character-driven storyline: Though many general things happen, the story revolves around the meetings of Aslyn and Mick and how their relationship is molded by their time together. There is a twist near the end, but the book explores how the characters have changed because of one another more than overall repercussions of the twist.
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