I’m always a sucker for a second chance romance, so when I read the blurb for The Earl in My Bed it didn’t take me long to hit the button to request for review.
For years, Daphne Wentworth, Countess Carrington has loved her powerful, enigmatic husband, despite the fact that they married under less than ideal circumstances. But no more. Finally at her breaking point, Daphne intends to create a scandal so big, her austere husband will have no choice but to divorce her. Except everything goes awry when he surprises her with the last thing she expected.
Sylvester Wentworth, Earl of Carrington, has returned to London for one reason—to seduce his wife. After a near-death experience, he is in need of an heir and means to make his marriage a real one. To his shock, though, his wicked, beautiful countess wants the exact opposite, and he must now do everything possible to entice his countess to stay forever.
What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that the “less than ideal circumstances” are pretty less than ideal. It involves blackmailing, an out-of-wedlock pregnancy and a man protecting his family. I’m not giving much away because all of this plays out in the first chapter. It’s dirty and incredibly sad and I already felt sad for both the heroine and hero before the author even fast forwarded six years in the future to show their cold, loveless marriage.
Six years later Daphne is done with being estranged from her husband and ready to do anything to acquire a divorce. Which is just about the time Sylvester decides it’s about time to return to England and set about getting to know his wife and producing an heir. He’s a few months removed from a near death experience that scared him enough to come home and try to change his life. Daphne is set on a separation and Sylvester is set on wooing his wife, so they come to an agreement. Two months of getting to know you, touchy/feely, alone time for Sylvester to work his charm, but if Daphne still wants a divorce at the end Sylvester will grant her what she wishes.
The Earl in My Bed isn’t a long book, less than 200 pages. It’s a fast, lovely read about two people finally deciding to set aside the past and find happiness in the future. I enjoyed this couple and even though at times I was alternately frustrated with each of them, I completely understood where they were both coming from emotionally. What a terrible way to begin a marriage.
This book covers several months of time, so there are quite a few time jumps between events and lots of telling, not showing. It really didn’t bother me because the author manages to develop this couple’s relationship rather well. There are lots of nicely done steamy scenes mixed in with a whole lot of conversations and trips out and about town.
There is a subplot involving the hero and his political involvement trying to pass laws ending slavery in all British territories which I would have liked to have dived deeper into. There is a villain (one of several), a kidnapping and some talk of Sylvester having a past that gives him the knowledge on ways to overpower multiple assailants and enter in a knife fight in order to protect his countess. I don’t think Sylvester’s backstory was fleshed out very well because I felt a bit lost when ever he eluded to things that happened during his time away from England. I’m not really sure what the near death experience was now that I’m thinking about it. This may be because I didn’t read the first book in the series, I don’t know.
The romance itself was lovely. This is my first book by this author, but I enjoyed her voice immensely and will be hitting up Amazon later to look into her backlist. Final Grade-C+/B-
“Whatever are you doing?”
He smiled, but entirely without humor. “I am wooing my wife.”