Review: Defying the Earl by Anabelle Bryant

Posted May 19, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 0 Comments

Defying The EarlTitle:  Defying The Earl
Series:  Regency Charms #1
Author:  Anabelle Bryant
Genre:  Regency Romance
Published:  April 30, 2015
Publisher:  Carina UK
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley

Matchmaker Wilhelmina Montgomery helps cupid’s arrow find its mark in the drawing rooms of the Ton, effortlessly pairing even the most unlikely couples for a discreet fee. Perhaps not an appropriate pursuit for a lady…but with an ailing sister to care for, it’s Whimsy’s only hope at securing their future.

Meanwhile, penniless aristocrat Valerian St. David, Earl of Dashwood is society’s favourite matchbreaker; assisting those who want to escape engagement without being sued for breach of promise. Cynical, yes…but with no intention of falling in love himself, Valerian considers himself ideally suited to the role.

And match!
When Whimsy discovers that Valerian has set out to break the very engagement she has been painstakingly arranging, she refuses to allow this mysterious saboteur have his way. Yet she didn’t expect to find the handsome Earl so distractingly alluring. And suddenly, it seems that the Ton’s last two loneliest hearts are in danger of finding their match…in the most inopportune of places.

Read on for my thoughts on Defying the Earl.  No true spoilers, promise.

Oh what a delightful Regency romp!  And to think, this is only the first novel in the Regency Charms series… I see more fun love stories in my future that’s for sure.

It’s not unusual to find members of the aristocracy in financial straits.  Some lived their entire extravagant lives while deep in debt and thought little of it – the only thought was that an advantageous marriage would solve the problem, until the next time.  And to use matchmakers to help bring about those marriages has been done long before the good folks of London did it.

For some, like Whimsy or I should say, Wilhelmina Montgomery aren’t looking for marriages for themselves – but to discreetly sell their matchmaking abilities and connections within the ton.  What other options does a Lady have when she must look after her sister, who since the accident needs medical care that Whimsy simply cannot afford.  It shouldn’t be a difficult chore.  After all, when looking upon prospective marital mates it’s so much easier to see who would suit each other well when one isn’t personally, emotionally involved.  It should be a relatively easy and safe way to get the funds needed for her sister’s care.

The Earl of Dashwood has no intention of every marrying.  Valerian is penniless for one point, and for another he just doesn’t “get” this love and ever after kind of thing.  What he does understand is that men who wish to cry off from their engagements for whatever reason risk being sued.  Why couldn’t his services be used to, shall we say, “help” a gentlemen out of his marital contract without danger of being sued by the girl’s parents – wouldn’t that be worth payment from grateful men who barely escaped the wedding noose?  Just think of Valerian as a matchbreaker, instead of the traditional matchmaker.

So there we have our hero and our heroine, each at the opposite end of the love or marriage mart shenanigans.  When Whimsy discovers that Valerian is trying to break up one of her matched couples – then life gets interesting.

I completely enjoyed Defying the Earl.  The story is involved, fun, sweet, sexy and at times a definite laugh out loud moment.  Valerian is really clueless of the damage he is doing to so many lives.  Right up to the point where Whimsy becomes important to him… then he must rethink a bit.

I have loved Historical Romance for years, and I am always looking for that amazing story or series to get totally caught up in.  I would recommend this novel for anyone who loves romance – because this is not only a novel about match making and breaking, but about two people who thought they’d never, ever get their chance at happy ever after.  Pick this one up and lose yourself in history and romance – and a darned good story too.

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

~What you, the reader, always must remember is this simple truth. Any review is just one person’s opinion. You might feel the same or totally different. The only way to know for certain if any novel is right for you – is for you to read it. This was my opinion of this particular book.~

Available on the Kindle



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