Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden

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. 

What I really loved about this novella was the ripe sexual tension between Margaret and Rhys.  I mean, it sprang from the page and hit you in the face.  There's just something about a woman who claims to hate a man, yet cannot stop thinking about him.

Margaret's brother, Francis, came into his title when he unexpectedly inherits.  She had been content to be a spinster for the rest of her life.  When Francis lists Margaret's dowry as 40,000 pounds, she knows only the fortune hunters will be after her.  The first time she meets Rhys Corwen, she gives him the "wherefore" about his assumed reason for plying her with favor.  The problem of this is that Rhys seeks Margaret out and manages to corner her at every ton event.    And like a splinter, he burrows under her skin so deep, she doesn't want him to ignore her.

That's not to say Rhys is annoying or unattractive, oh no.  Margaret thinks he's very fine, and once she sees the remains of his entitlement, she's able to let herself go and love him fully and completely.

I Love the Earl is a prequel of sorts for One Night in London, though I cannot figure out if Francis is the dying Duke of Durham or not.  That seems premature, given that Margaret discovers Francis's heart has been broken in I Love the Earl, yet we do not learn any further information, so I'm glad One Night in London is waiting for me on my e-reader to solve the mystery my mind has created. 

(A very special thank you to Avon, Harper Collins and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of I Love the Earl.)

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