I Love the Earl

Caroline Linden
I Love the Earl
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Release Date
August 2011
Historical Romance

A single lady in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a suitor

Margaret de Lacey has accepted her unmarried state with dignity, if not delight. She had no suitors when she was young and starry-eyed, though regrettably poor, and it's unlikely any man will court her now that she's older, wiser, and still just as penniless. Until, that is, her brother unexpectedly inherits the dukedom of Durham and settles an enormous dowry on her, making her the most eligible heiress in town.

No gentleman in London is more in need of a wealthy bride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives an introduction to Margaret because of her dowry, but she swiftly sets him right: no fortune hunter will win her heart or her hand. Far from put off, Rhys is intrigued. Interested. Entranced. And soon the only thing he needs more than Margaret's fortune…is her love.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jul 16, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
200 people found the following review helpful
A person could read a lot of books and come away unmoved. But if she's lucky, a book will drop into her lap--a totally unexpected one--to touch her heart in totally unexpected ways. I was lucky: In two short weeks, I came across two such books, and I LOVE THE EARL is one of them.

I LOVE THE EARL is an engaging and deeply romantic book that I have the pleasure of reading. I laughed and cried, and I was so engrossed that I read this book in one sitting (who needs sleep?). My expectations of the book were set by the publisher's blurb, and Ms Linden delivered that and so much more! Don't you just love when an author does that? The story left me with a warm and satisfying feeling, and a smile on my face. How I wish it didn't have to end! This is going on my keeper shelf and it's staying there.

Margaret de Lacey, a spinster of modest circumstance, finds her situation changed when her brother inherited a dukedom. Because she'd always wanted to marry, her brother settled the great sum of forty thousand pounds as her dowry. As she expected, fortune hunters came a-calling, men who wouldn't have given her the time of day in her youth. One of them is Rhys, Earl of Dowling, whose estate was crumbling down about him and needed an heiress to bring his properties back on their financial feet. After being slashed by Margaret's tongue, he was intrigued to know her more. But how could he ever convince Margaret he loved her more than he needed her money?

The story captivated me from the start, as we get to know Maggie and realize how lonely she is, that beneath what she says (that she's contented with what she has), she has hopes and dreams and she longs for so much more--a man to love and who'll love her and give her a family. Rhys saw all that from the second moment they met, and I love how fast it was for him to decide that Maggie is the one for him. Aside from her, he'll have no other. He's got to be the most romantic hero I've ever met! Both characters are painted with bold strokes that fired my imagination.

The story was paced just right, with no boring moments. Even Rhys' friend Clyve was funny and Miss Cuthbert became endearing as you get used to her. Ms Linden's writing is easy to get into, and I have to admit she employed tension most effectively as she kept me turning the pages.

I love the twist near the end. I did see that coming, but once again, Ms Linden exceeded my expectations in her handling of that part of the plot. She didn't disappoint. I also like the way our intrepid hero and heroine dealt with it. Ms Linden really put Rhys and Maggie through the wringer (and I love it!), but her characterization of them are also on-spot; there was no way each could've chosen differently.

This is romance at its best! I love, love, love this novella, and to think, it almost didn't get written! I'm so glad Maggie came alive in the pages of book 2 in The Truth about the Duke series and allowed Ms Linden to write her story. Oh, yes, I'm so happy that I LOVE THE EARL is a prequel to the series, and we'll be seeing more of Maggie in future books. I hope Rhys will make an appearance too, and any brood of theirs. Suffice it to say, I'll be checking out this series and Ms Linden's backlist!
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