Monday, January 4, 2016

REVIEW: "A Wicked Way to Win an Earl" by Anna Bradley

A Wicked Way to Win an Earl (Sutherland Scandals, #1)
(Sutherland Scandals #1)

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

Berkley -- Published on November 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Read in December 2015
Borrowed from Library


Alpha Hero, Class Differences, House Party

Delia Somerset despises the privileged ton, but her young sister, Lily, is desperate to escape their family’s scandalous past and join high society. Unwilling to upset her sister, Delia reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the Sutherland estate—and avoid the gossip at all costs.

Alec Sutherland is known as a hot-headed scoundrel, but nothing gets a rise out of him as much as the news that his brother desires Delia’s hand in marriage. She is, after all, the daughter of the London belle who soiled their family name. He’s determined to ruin her reputation as well, in the most delicious way possible. It’s only a matter of time before he can woo her with his irresistible advances.

As Delia devilishly plays along in Alec’s game, determined to prove the joke is on him, they inch ever closer to repeating history. And in this game of seductive glances, scandalous whispers, and old debts, the outcome might be much more than either of them anticipated…

"Hurry, Caroline!"

A Wicked Way to Win an Earl is the debut novel for Anna Bradley and, while not the most original in terms of plot, was an entertaining way to spend a few afternoons.  The story focuses on two families that were connected years ago when a debutante chose a commoner over an earl and caused quite a stir.  Now, Alec Sutherland, the new Earl of Carlisle, is dealing with the fact that his wild younger brother seems to be courting Delia Somerset, the oldest daughter of the late scandalous debutante and her commoner husband.  He will do anything to make sure the match doesn't occur, but what he doesn't count on is falling for the lady himself.

Alec is a decent enough hero.  He has a well-earned reputation as a scoundrel, but, ever since inheriting, he has been dealing with the responsibilities associated with his title.  I didn't care much for him at first due to his mistrust of Delia, but, as I learned more about him, I came to understand where he was coming from.  He is someone that reacts badly in situations where he is not in control and falling in love definitely caused him to lose control.  Plus he is so devoted to making sure his family is taken care of that he often overdoes it when it comes to protecting their reputation and position.

I really liked Delia.  She is distrustful of Society due to their treatment of her parents, but is realistic to know that this isn't the case for everyone in her family.  So, she tags along with her sister, Lily, to the Sutherland's house party in order to develop some connections.  Delia's genuine nature and honest approach to life helped attract Alec to her side...though he was not aware until much later in the book.  I especially enjoyed her ability to keep Alec on his toes both with her snappy comebacks and her kindness.

The relationship between Alec and Delia is definitely an example of the enemies-to-lovers trope.  The blurb above mentions that Alec tries to seduce Delia as revenge, but I think that is misrepresenting the storyline.  There are a few times where I thought that was where the story was going yet it diverted into something different which I appreciated since I rarely like those types of plots.  Anyway, basically, Alec spends his time trying to prevent his brother from courting Delia and, through their interactions, begins to find a connection with her.  There is plenty of banter (which I enjoyed) though I could have done without the plethora of communication issues which were primarily Alec's fault.

A Wicked Way to Win an Earl was not a bad way to keep myself entertained during my holiday break from work.  The characters were decently developed and they showed signs of growth especially Alec.  I did think the plot was a little predictable towards the end and would have liked to have seen some better pacing.  That being said, I think Anna Bradley has definite potential in historical romance so I am willing to give her next book a chance.

If a wicked rake doesn’t kiss a young lady when they’re alone in a moonlit rose garden, might it mean he doesn’t intend to? There were rules about such things. Weren’t they written down somewhere? If not, then they should be. A Treatise on Rakes, written for Susceptible Young Ladies, by a Lady of Distinction.

1. A Wicked Way to Win an Earl
2. A Season of Ruin (Coming 2016)

Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance


  1. I'm glad this was generally a solid read. I do really like the cover for some reason. And I'm glad he doesn't try to seduce her for revenge. I hate those plotlines too. That was one of my major issues with What I Did for a Duke.

  2. I need to get to this one. I had is a review consideration and so meant to get to it but time. Blasted time! got away from me. lol Sounds like a decent start for a new author :)


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