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Lillian and the Irresistible Duke (Secrets of a Victorian Household #4) by Virginia Heath

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A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!

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?


It has always been hard for me to finish a Virginia Heath book considering she completely immerses you in her soulful characters and exquisite story line longing for them to go on forever. 

“People had to follow their own path. Listen to their own heart. If the calls from his weren’t loud enough, then that was that.”

Lillian and Pietro are two mature people who are free to choose what they want in life. Lillian’s children have married, have lives of their own, and they are running the foundation in London that Lillian and her deceased husband started many years ago to help people less fortunate.  Now is her time to enjoy the beautiful city of Rome full of rich art and architecture that Pietro is most happy to show her.  The affair was not what she expected. Will she be able to say goodbye when she returned to London? It was better to not settle for less than what she shared with her late husband. What happens in Rome, stays in Rome.

Pietro owns his own successful and lucrative gallery in Rome and lives a solitary life that he unexpectedly finds lacking when Lillian appears in his life for the second time after a brief, but passionate, kiss during his visit to London the previous year. Can he overcome his misgivings about his past failed relationships and open his heart to another? But she left without saying goodbye.

I adore Lillian and Pietro’s story with their deep understanding of art and a truly remarkable friendship as two people of a certain age would have. Their secret affair is a bonus to all of the in-depth and fascinating discussions they have about Michelangelo’s works. In fact, Pietro would be my number one pick for a tour guide in Rome.

Thank you to Ms. Heath once again for giving me the opportunity read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Virginia HeathWhen Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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