Good Earl Gone BadTitle:  Good Earl Gone Bad
Series:  Lords of Anarchy #2
Author:  Manda Collins
Genre:  Regency Romance
Published:  October 6, 2015
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

TEMPTING FATE

Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice—wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?

RISKING ROMANCE

All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune—and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

Read on for my thoughts on Good Earl Gone Bad.  No true spoilers, promise.

Lady Hermione is passionate about her horses and her ability to drive them as well as any male.  When she becomes an unorthodox member of the Lords of Anarchy driving club she is understandably ecstatic, finally a female has proven that she has skills beyond simpering in a drawing room.

When her father, who is addicted to a game of cards loses her team of excellent driving horses to another member of the Lords of Anarchy club, Hermione is furious and heartbroken.  Unfortunately her display of emotions was seen publicly and when the new owner of her team turns up murdered – the eyes of the ton turn to Hermione as the culprit.

Hermione’s devastation is not yet complete though.  Once again her father gets in too deep at the tables, and gambles away her hand in marriage.  Although she may not realize it yet, it was fortunate for Hermione that Jasper, Earl of Mainwaring was the man to win that particular hand of cards.

Now this unlikely couple must solve a mystery and find a way to make their unconventional marriage work.  With passions flaring between them one task might be easier than the other.

Good Earl Gone Bad was an excellent adventure.  While attempting to clear Hermione’s name, she and Jasper take the time to get to know and understand each other in spite of their sudden marriage.  A tentative friendship will eventually blossom into a love that neither expected to find.  Yes, there is passion between them that quite heats up the page, yet for me is was the slower unfolding of vulnerabilities and understanding why each acted as they did that was the true romance in this story.

A richly detailed story, Good Earl Gone Bad will slowly, layer by layer unfold an intense, intriguing and satisfying story of two people caught up in circumstances neither one asked for – yet found a lasting love despite how it all began.  I would highly recommend this novel for any Historical Romance reader or even anyone who truly loves a well put together, complex love story.

*I received an e-ARC of Good Earl Gone Bad from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Available in paperback and for the Kindle