The Earl by Katherine Ashe

The Earl by Katherine Ashe
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees?
Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is.

Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing.

Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers.

The Earl, part of the “Devil’s Duke’ series, introduces a pair more likely to become sparring partners than a romantic couple. Indeed, the circumstances they confront are far more serious than romantic: and beyond the usual scope of political intrigue as well. Emily, the self-styled “Lady Justice’ has a terribly personal reason for reaching out to the duke for help.

She’s a ‘pamphleteer’ in the early 1800’s London- struggling for the rights of women. She’s identified various members of the Falcon club (a gentlemen’s club) as thwarting her endeavors and… Colin, the just-stepping up to Dukedom, is among those on the ‘other side.’

But when her own sister goes missing somewhere in the wilds of Scotland, it is Colin she reaches out to. He might be her nemesis, but he’s no fool…and Scotland is by no means as tame as London!

The complex heroine is especially appealing. She’s firm in her beliefs but so resolute toward her goals that she’ll bend to ‘using’ someone she considers ‘against’ her. She’s smart: she keeps up with news, uses her maid to keep up with gossip, and knows all of the goings-on of the day ; but in her own, familiar city.. Scotland might be a whole other world…

And Colin is equally admirable, not because he steps in to assist a lady; but because of his own complexity. He must put aside self-doubt, as well as (to some degree) family expectation, but he becomes as firm in his resolve as she.

The Earl is incredibly engaging, primarily for its deep and determined characters, but also for its wonderful backdrop – exactly as expected, yet more. The plot is completely unpredictable. This is simply a super read.

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