Megan Frampton brings readers an “emotional and powerfully erotic tale of love and redemption.” Vicar’s daughter Mary Smith finds herself drugged, abused and for sale in a dingy pub, thanks to her vile half-brother. Alasdair Thornham, Lord Datchworth, is slowly killing himself with alcohol and drugs. Addicted to opium to dull his memories of the war, and his guilt, he manages to rouse himself enough to come to Mary’s rescue. Thrown together, on their way to Scotland to get married, and running from not only her half-brother but his cousin (who is trying to have Alasdair committed so he can inherit his title), Mary starts to see the tortured man beneath Alasdair’s handsome façade. And in return for saving her, she plans to help him save himself. Can Mary prove to Alasdair that life is worth living again?
Hero of My Heart is a raw and sensuous story. I enjoyed it immensely, although I think that Alasdair’s opium addiction was resolved a little too quickly. After meeting Mary, he replaces his addiction for the drug with an addiction to her, realizing that he doesn’t crave the drug’s oblivion when he’s with her. But, while it fits nicely with the flow of the story, I would have liked to have seen more withdrawal problems from him. More importantly, I’m not sure that the issues which caused his emotional need for drugs were fully resolved. It worked when I didn’t over-think the drug addiction part of the story and just accepted that he has addictive behaviors that are switched from opium to Mary, which is one of the main issues she has with their relationship. At its heart, it is just a story of two strangers falling in love who have a range of obstacles to overcome.
That being said, the book was very entertaining. The characters were delightful and I enjoyed the sparring between the two. Their flight to Scotland and back to London, running from both his family and hers, was a thrill ride. And quite a fiery and passionate one, too. Their love affair gave off enough heat to almost sizzle the pages, so keep that glass of chilled wine handy. As is typical, they misunderstood things said and/or done by the other, which caused some assumptions to be made that were incorrect. But they had just met and there was a lot stacked against them – his addiction, the difference in their stations, why they had to get married, and their beliefs about themselves and each other – which colored their relationship from the beginning.
I’m still trying to decide how I feel about how it was all resolved. On one hand the ending seemed to be too fast, like there should have been more involved in their getting to their HEA, but on the other it flowed well with the rest of their relationship and the characters as they had been portrayed. I’m still on the fence. But it is definitely worth the time, so give it a chance and let me know what you think.