I love love love this book! The attention to historical accuracy and detail makes it a cut above most historical romance. The Victorian mores and attitudes are captured perfectly. But instead of being dry or superficial, The Unseducible Earl is full of emotion, poignancy, and heart.
Victoria Thorne is a Nightingale nurse recently returned from the Crimea and hired by the Earl of Cheriton to nurse his brother, also a Crimea vet, back to health. As Victoria cares for Jamie, she is also able to deal with her own issues that linger from living and working in a war zone. At Cheriton Court, she expected to work hard, to help patients with her skills, and to face some opposition. She never expected the intense attraction she feels for the earl–the betrothed earl.
Robben Merrick is betrothed to a woman who is perfect for him. On paper. He doesn’t love her, but he expects affection will come. It is time for him to marry and produce an heir. He’s grateful his fiancee is willing to postpone their announcement while his brother is still battling for his life, even though he’s out of battlefield danger and safe at home at Cheriton Court. His growing feelings for his brother’s nurse are not part of his plans. And he cannot act on them, even if it feels like he is sentencing himself to a loveless marriage and a broken heart.
Humphreys is a wonderful writer. I felt every bit of Victoria and Robb’s attraction and brokenness.
There are a couple of sub-plots that added to the depth of the story and made the ending even more satisfactory.
A HERO TO HOLD by Sheri Humphreys is amazing.
Sheri is a friend and critique group member, a fellow Elnora workshop alum, and a damn good writer.
So while I may rave about this book, it’s not because I know the author. Or at least not only because I know her. This is a seriously good book.
From the back cover:
Viscountess Charlotte Haliday has lost her illusions. Scandal took her position in society and the husband she thought she loved, and his mysterious murder followed shortly thereafter. But now is the time to return to London, time to find whatever small portion of happiness remains to her.
The first step will be proving she is her own person, unafraid of the lies and deceit that came before. Then she will defy her father and all others who try to steal her independence. Never again will Charlotte have a husband or seek the perfect marriage of her best friend Jane, but perhaps she will dare the wrath of the gossip-mongers and indulge her tiniest desire. To do so will bring her face to face with a stranger in an alcove. It will lead to learning Mr. David Scott is not only a war hero soon to be awarded the Victoria Cross, but also the most formidable man she has ever met. Broken in every way except the ones that count, he just might make her believe in love. And only she can show him that he is not alone.
A HERO TO HOLD is the first book I remember reading with a physically disabled hero, confined to a wheelchair. But make no mistake, David Scott is a hero in every way. His injury and disability do not detract from his strength and charm. Lady Charlotte is strong and determined not to let scandal and widowhood define her. Together, they ignite the pages.
And to prove that while I may be prejudiced, Kirkus Reviews agrees with me:
“Humphreys’ exceptional debut utterly stuns with its professional style, natural dialogue, and extensive research.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Do yourself a favor and grab this one!
An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter.
I’m going to have to stop saying I don’t really read Historical much. I’m reading more of it and loving it!
I absolutely adored this book.
At the beginning, I wondered how the author was going to get her hero and heroine to their happily ever after, since they were so different. But she skillfully showed their growth until I (and they) knew they were perfect together.
Lady Georgina has a secret and in an attempt to keep it to herself has hatched a plan to marry well. Very well.
Unfortunately, there are only a few dukes and earls suitable. And the first two had to go and fall in love with someone else. Lady Georgina is getting desperate.
Colin McCrae is a businessman, fully aware that he is considered far beneath the peers in society, but perfectly acceptable to do business with while making them money. He’s drawn into his friends’ family drama and is thrown together with the spoiled and bratty Lady Georgina. Or so he thinks of her. Until he begins to see the young woman behind the desperate hunt for a husband.
Reading the first book in the Hawthorne House series would be helpful but not required to enjoy this one. I can hardly wait to see who’s next up in the series.
I received a free copy of this book from Baker House, in return for a honest review. I honestly loved this book!
I was privileged to be in the room when Kristi Ann Hunter won a RITA® award from Romance Writers of America® for her first novel in this series, A Noble Masquerade. It may have been the first but I predict it won’t be the last.