Title: This Earl of Mine
Author: Kate Bateman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: October 2019
Length: 336 pages
Series?: Bow Street Bachelors #1
Genre: Historical Romance
In a desperate bid to keep her fortune out of her cousin’s hands, shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed marries a condemned criminal in Newgate prison. The scoundrel’s first kiss is shockingly heated, but Georgie never expects to see her husband again. Until she spots him across a crowded ballroom. Notorious rogue Benedict Wylde never expected a wife. He was in Newgate undercover, working for Bow Street. To keep their marriage of convenience a secret, Wylde courts Georgie in public, but the more time they spend together, the more their attraction sparks. Could an heiress with the world at her feet find happiness with a penniless rake? Kate Bateman’s This Earl of Mine is a delightful start to the Bow Street Bachelors series, with witty banter, dynamic characters, and swoon-worthy romance.
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Georgiana Caversteed is the eldest, born into a wealth built on shipping. She is an attractive marriage prospect, but every man balks after reading the marriage contract. It weeds out those only interested in lining their own pockets.
To “help” Georgiana in her misfortunate single-tude, her lecherous cousin Josiah tries to force himself on her. Georgiana won’t be played like a fiddle and forced to marry her narcissistic and slimy cousin so that he can gain her father’s holdings and gamble and drink them away like he did his own finances. Instead, she decides to marry a condemned prisoner…and then become a widow the following morning.
There’s just one problem in her plan. The man from Newgate that she marries works undercover for Bow Street and the crown. Benedict Wylde is trying to help restore the family coiffures after his late father left them with many gambling debts. MANY. Clearly a conflict already, in more ways than one, because Ben certainly plans on staying alive!
Ben is well known as a rake and on the fringes of polite society, brother to the Earl of Morcott and recently returned from the Napoleonic War.
Georgiana is a headstrong and knowledgeable young woman. She is smart in finances, business, and the shipyard. When it comes to relationships, men, and love she is at a loss. While she may be a lost cause, Georgiana’s mother has high hopes of becoming high society and settles on using Georgie’s younger sister to do so.
But now Georgie is in a sticky situation. And Ben a bit too. Their marriage is valid and binding. It provides the solution that Georgie needed, but Ben has no need to be married, nor does he want a wife. It is fairly well-known the dire financial straits the Wyldes are in. In some ways, Georgie can’t outrun the curse her father has left her with.
I loved the interesting path that led Georgie and Ben to one another and the friendship they build. Of course there is attraction and chemistry and heat, and along the way they both come to terms with loving the other.