Hero of My Heart by Megan Frampton
ORDER A COPY: Hero of My Heart: A Loveswept Historical Romance
Publishing Date: April 8, 2013
eBook: 264 pages
Rating: 4 stars
When Mary Smith’s corrupt, debt-ridden brother drags her to a seedy pub to sell her virtue to the highest bidder, Alasdair Thornham leaps to the rescue. Of course the marquess is far from perfect husband material. Although he is exceedingly handsome, with a perfect, strong body, chiseled jaw, and piercing green eyes, Alasdair is also too fond of opium, preferring delirium to reality. Still, he has come to Mary’s aid, and now she intends to return the favor. She will show him that he is not evil, just troubled.
Mary was a damsel in need of a hero, but Alasdair’s plan is shortsighted. He never foresaw her desire to save him from himself. Alasdair is quite at home in his private torment, until this angel proves that a heart still beats in his broken soul. The devil may have kept her from hell, but will Mary’s good intentions lead them back to the brink—or to heaven in each other’s arms?
It didn’t take an addict of Alasdair’s caliber to recognize that the young lady on the table before him was drugged into an almost stupor, and he is not so far to gone to think that the young lady has any desire to have her virginity sold to the highest bidder in this seedy little tavern.
Alasdair is hoping that if he saves this young woman, maybe it will make up in some small way for all the ill he has wrought over the years. In fact, if he marries this unfortunate woman, make her a Lady and give her all his wealth, saving her from her situation, then he can disappear from the world and live peacefully in his own drug-induced stupor with no more cares, no more worries, and no more tormenting memories.
Yet it might not be as simple as crossing the border into Scotland for a quick elopement. His cousin is hot on his trail, ready to declare the opiate-addicted Alasdair incompetent to hold the title of Marquis of Datchworth and a new bride will definitely hinder his plans. Especially when he can see that pretty little Mary is finally giving Alastair a reason to stay sober.
First Alastair and Mary have to make a mad dash for Scotland before they try to beat Hugh to London.
This was an enjoyable story. My only issue…and keep in mind that I do get all my drug knowledge from shows like the Sopranos, CSI, ER, etc…is that Alasdair’s drug addiction seemed awkward. What I mean is this — for a man at his level of his supposed opiate-addiction, someone who wanted to drift away from the world on an opium high, he could sometimes go pretty long periods without and he also got over his withdrawals really quickly. After taking the drugs, he would only be “out of it” for as long as the story needed him to be so whenever we needed to see Mary take charge. There were also times he would take the pills and be in a stupor and other where he would be lucid and making decisions rather quickly. The story does make a comment that the pill version of the opiates that Alasdair took wasn’t as bad as those guys who smoked the opiates, but I am not sure if this equates his pill opiates with a level of a valium vs. shooting heroin.
Poor Alastair just needed a hug and a shoulder to cry on from his war traumas rather than a pill.
I liked Alastair and Mary but the addiction seemed to very plot appropriate and not very realistic.
Received a review copy courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
She sat down on the edge of the bed beside him and stilled his hand with hers, sliding her finger onto his wrist to feel his pulse. It was beating rapidly, a steady, strong thump, thump, thump that was almost twice as fast as her own.
“Did the doctor treat you with anything, my Lord?”
His lips twisted into a grimace. “I thought we agreed you’d call me Alasdair.’ He harrumphed, rolling onto his side and almost knocking her off the bed. He slid his left arm around her waist and pulled her closer. “I’m so tired. Come lie down with me and sleep.” His voice was seductive and caressing. It tugged at Mary’s heart, making her want to do nothing more than settle into his arms and drift off to dream of a place where there were no relatives, no family worries, nothing but them and their—no, she couldn’t allow herself that kind of luxury.
She wiggled her hips further away from him. Someone had to stay in their right mind, and clearly it wasn’t going to be him. “Alasdair, now is not the time for sleep.” His eyes had closed, and she panicked, wondering if he had already nodded off.
“Such a nag. I am not certain I am up to other things,” he replied with a gently mocking tone. She heaved a sigh of relief that he was awake enough to respond to her. Even if he was mentioning what had nearly happened earlier.
She rose and glanced around the room. The far corner held the rest of his clothing. She walked over to it and gathered it up in her arms. She couldn’t resist lifting it to her nose and sniffing it—after all, he wouldn’t notice, not in the state he was in, and he smelled heavenly. Or devilish. Like warmth, and touch, and leather, and spice.
She returned to him and dumped the clothing on his body. “Get up. Get dressed.” She stepped back a few paces and crossed her arms over her chest.
He opened his eyes and then smiled as his eyes grazed her bosom. “You really have the most magnificent—“
Mary jumped back to him and put her hand over his mouth. She could feel her entire face turning pink. “That’s enough of that, my lord,” she said in a stern voice, one she hoped would quash his intended words. The warmth of his lips under her hand made her warm, also, although she told herself it was just the embarrassment.
He clamped his hand over hers and slid her fingers over his cheek, forcing her to tough the rough stubble of his beard, his sharp, elegant cheekbones.
Mary yanked her hand away and gestured toward the clothing. “We must get you out of here. Get dressed!” This time, she accompanied her words with a stamp of her foot, and she saw his eyes twinkle in lazy recognition.
“You are feisty, love,” he said softly. “Usually I despise feisty, but you”—he smiled; a slow, sensual lift of his lips that made her light-headed—“you are spectacular.”
“So you’ll get dressed?” she pleaded in desperation
“I’d rather get undressed,” he said, yanking her down to the bed.