Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

4 out of 5

Synopsis
A reunion in Rome…

Sparks an affair to remember!

Part of Secrets of a Victorian Household. Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair, what will happen once she returns home?

Review
After a lifetime of commitments to her family, Lilian is finally free to follow her heart. And a handsome Italian Duke might just be the answer.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book in the Victorian Household series that I've read. Despite there being 3 other books before it, this story worked well as a stand-alone.

Now that her children are all grown and married, with babies on the way, and careers in place; the family dynamics are changing. For the first time in her life, Lilian finds herself surplus to requirements. Having never been completely free, Lilian joins her cousin Alexandra, to spend summer in Italy.
What she doesn't know, is that she is going to be a guest in the home of Pietro, the Italian Duke she kissed last winter.

This was a surprisingly sweet story, as Lilian rediscovers herself, and her love for art and architecture. With the help of her friends, and encouragement of her family, she shrugs off her old persona of a dowdy widow devoted to her children, to find the person she wants to be.

Pietro hasn't had the easiest life, when he was a young man, he had to chose duty over any chance of love. Now, he keeps women at a distance, and works tirelessly at expanding his fortune and collecting art for discerning buyers.
With Lilian so close, he has to confront his demons, before he loses her.

Compared to the other books I've read by Virginia Heath, this one only focussed on the romance, and I was missing the exciting plots she can weave into her stories. Instead, the focus was shifted to a background of Italian art and architecture. This was good, and well-researched; but as it's not an area of interest for me, I wasn't overly invested.

Overall, this was a really sweet book, and it is nice to see main characters that are middle-aged take centre stage. 

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