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Monday, August 24, 2015

REVIEW: "You're the Earl That I Want" by Kelly Bowen


You're the Earl That I Want (The Lords of Worth, #3)
You're the Earl That I Want by Kelly Bowen
(Lords of Worth #3)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Forever -- Published on August 25, 2015
eARC, 384 pages
Read in August 2015
Received from Netgalley

RATING: 4.25 STARS

THEMES/TROPES
Brainy Heroine, Unrequited Love, Childhood Friends

SUMMARY
THE EARL DOTH PROTEST . . .

For businessman Heath Hextall, inheriting an earldom has been a damnable nuisance. The answer: find a well-bred, biddable woman to keep his life in order and observe the required social niceties. But it's always been clear that Lady Josephine Somerhall is not that woman. Once a shy slip of a girl, Joss is now brilliant, beautiful chaos in a ball gown.

. . . BUT THE LADY KNOWS BEST

In her heart, Joss has always loved Heath, the one person she's always been able to count on. That doesn't mean she wants to marry him though. Without a husband, Joss can do as she pleases—and now, it pleases her to solve the mystery of an encoded file given to Heath by a dying man. It's put Heath in peril once, and Joss won't let that happen again. She'll do what she must to ensure the earl's safety. And to remind him that what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in passion.


FIRST LINE
"I need a wife."

MY THOUGHTS
I received a free copy of this book from Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have read two other stories in the Lords of Worth series and really enjoyed them.  Kelly Bowen has a subtle writing style and an adept hand at characterization which appeals to me.  So I had decent expectations for the final book in the series which allows the sexy Earl of Boden to finally get his happy ending.

Heath Hextall, Lord Boden, has been a side character for most of the series.  His family started a profitable soapmaking business yet they have always been looked down on due to their involvement in trade.  Then Heath's father inherits an earldom from a distant cousin and, when Heath takes over, he realizes that it is in dire straits.  As a child, Heath is described as being adventurous and full of life, but the responsibilities of the title take a real toll on him.  He feels like it is his duty to find a proper wife, but just can't get his best friend's sister out of his head.

Lady Josephine Somerhall "Joss" is the little sister of the Duke of Worth whose story was told in A Good Rogue is Hard to Find.  She has been spending the past few years traveling on various adventures after being sent to Italy as a child.  Her travels have helped her become a master at languages and puzzles.  And she has been in love with Heath since she was little.  Now she has returned to England and is trying to maneuver through society which is harder than she thought.

I really liked both of these characters. They are good, decent people who make mature decisions and aren't melodramatic about things going wrong.  I admired Heath's devotion to duty and how it contrasted to his childhood desire to travel the world.  I thought it was interesting how Kelly Bowen used Heath's shipping interests to showcase that aspect of his personality.  And Joss was my favorite character in the entire book.  She is an "unconventional lady" which is a common character type in romance, but I liked that she wasn't over-the-top about it.  I also liked the fact that she wanted to help solve the big mystery, but wasn't stupid enough to go around town by herself at night.

Heath and Joss's romance was very sweet.  They grew up together and had a nice bond that was easy to see in the flashbacks.  Their reunion brought back all the fond memories with some physical attraction thrown in which was entertaining.  These two worked well together on the mystery and it was obvious that they respected each other.  I was not the biggest fan of Heath courting another women for some time, but it was (thankfully) taken care of and handled in a decent way.

Besides the romance, You're the Earl That I Want had a mystery subplot that was both outrageous and fun.  It involved possible treasure, the mysterious Templar knights, corrupt officials, and, of course, Napoleon!  While it was suspenseful and the characters found themselves in real danger at times, I felt like the author knew it was a bit over-the-top and just embraced it.  I had a good time with it and that's all I ask out of subplots.

I thought this book tied up the series nicely and it made me want to go back read book one right away.  The couples from the previous two full-length books made an appearance or two, but didn't take away the spotlight from the main couple.  I especially enjoyed the ending and how it seemed to connect to events of the first book without spoiling everything.  You're the Earl That I Want is an engrossing and well-written historical romance that I had a lot of fun with.  I can't wait to see what Kelly Bowen does next!

FAVORITE QUOTE
Joss smiled up at him, her eyes dancing, and Heath's breath caught in his throat.  How was it this easy?  When had Josephine Somerhall's presence become something he required to find...happiness?  Since when did he need to be in her company to find the burden of responsibility temporarily banished, the long-forgotten laughter, and carefree joy of living reinstated with a single smile?

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm
2. A Good Rogue is Hard to Find
2.5. A Lady's Guide to Skirting Scandal
3. You're the Earl That I Want

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- Author Website

WHERE TO GET IT
Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance

4 comments:

  1. Lovely review. I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. And I agree, the heroine was one of my favorite things about this book. This is probably my favorite book so far from this author.

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  2. I'm in the middle of the first book in this series, and I've liked what I've seen so far. :D

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  3. I really, really want to read this series. I think the covers are just so pretty, too. Sometimes I get a little tired of the unconventional heroine in historical romance, so I'm glad to hear it isn't over the top here.

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  4. Thank you so much for hosting and such a lovely review! And thank you, everyone, for your comments! I really had a lot of fun writing Joss's character. And I fully admit to loving off-the-wall plots! :)

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