Lord Jonathan Cromford, Earl of Lindsey, is not surprised by his cold-hearted late father’s will and the numerous conditions for claiming his inheritance. But requiring that the rogue first produce an heir is beyond the pale. Still, there was nothing for it but to sacrifice his desires for the sake of his well-being. Temporarily, at least. Yet when Lindsey accidentally meets Lady Caroline Nicholson, he finds that his life is suddenly full of the unexpected…
Recently returned to London from Italy, Caroline won’t allow the questionable circumstances of her family’s hasty departure to overshadow her desire to marry well. With the help of her society-savvy cousins, she intends to be engaged before the season ends. But even her best-laid plans do not prevent her from becoming tongue-tied upon meeting legendary rakehell, the Earl of Lindsey. She can only hope their instant attraction won’t devastate her future, much less her reputation. Still, as chemistry and fate throw them together, both Caroline and Lindsey may have to choose between comfort and pleasure, fear and truth, security, and risk.
Title: London’s Most Elusive Earl
Series: Midnight Secrets #4
Author: Anabelle Bryant
Genre: Historical/Regency Romance
Published: October 13, 2020
Publisher: Kensington Books
My Rating: 4.5 stars
London’s Most Elusive Earl is the fourth book in the Midnight Secrets series, and what a delightful romance it turns out to be with all the twists involved as Jonathan and Caroline work their way toward falling in love and a future worth fighting for.
Jonathan’s abusive arse of a father had set forth certain outlandish requirements for his son to gain his inheritance. Recover stolen art that belonged to the estate… oh, and produce an heir before you can access any of your inherited wealth. Even beyond the grave, Jonathan’s father continues to be a tyrant, abusive, and simply cruel in his intention toward his remaining family. As he sets out to accomplish at least one part of that cruel list, finding the artwork and returning it to the estate (in other words, stealing it back) was something he could do. That marry and produce an heir part was going to be nearly impossible as Jonathan has strong memories of a loveless, abusive marriage between his parents and had vowed to never face the same fate as his mother had. He knows he must but for now, he’s set that aside… until one chance encounter, and then another will open his eyes and perhaps his heart to another option, actually finding a woman to love enough to take the risks marriage involves.
Caroline’s family had fled Italy under… well, circumstances that she’d rather not think about nor talk about. Her goal was to find a well-established, strong, respectable man with a solid marriage in their futures. And she’s been warned away from men like Jonathan by her cousins who know London’s ton far better than she does. Funny, isn’t it, how the mind knows one thing but the heart will pull a person in a different direction. Caroline’s chance encounters with Jonathan doesn’t at first seem like a match made in heaven for them… but Jonathan and Caroline share a love of art, even with his current unreasonable quest before him. And slowly, through chance encounters and beyond this couple will find that what’s on the surface often hides deep convictions, pain, and a need to be accepted exactly as they are without question. Watching them work their way through obstacles, and often times, themselves toward that happy ending was an emotional journey often filled with laughter and definitely steam between these two.
I enjoyed my time with Caroline and Jonathan in London’s Most Elusive Earl. When they allowed themselves to really ‘see’ each other beyond assumptions and the gossip of the ton, they found in each other someone to accept them as they are and love them in spite of circumstances. There are threads that weren’t completely tied up which leaves me to think there may be more to come in this series… I guess time will tell. If you enjoy a well-told tale, some obstacles to overcome, definitely chemistry and steamy moments, and a love story that can touch your heart then you’d enjoy this story and series.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Kensington Books via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in paperback and for your favorite e-reader. Mine is the Kindle and that link is below.