This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman
Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed?
Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be . . . widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?
Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?
Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, including her RITA® nominated Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, and the novels in the Secrets & Spies series To Steal a Heart, A Raven’s Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart. When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss, Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England. Follow her on Twitter to learn more.
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Bow Street Bachelors #1
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Miss Georgiana “Georgie” Caversteed needs a husband – NOW – her cousin Josiah has been getting more aggressive in his attempts to force her into marriage and she is worried if she doesn’t marry a man of her own choosing, Josiah will compromise her and she will be forced to marry him. Georgie is a considerable heiress, her father left her his shipping business and with the help of her man of business, Georgie has continued to build on her father’s success. She has had several offers for marriage – but all of them were in love with her money and not her, so she had decided to take matters into her own hands and will marry a condemned man and live happily ever after as a widow. But her plan hit a snag when the man she planned to marry died and the only other option is a man that is being transported. Not ideal, but it is better than marrying Josiah!
Benedict “Ben” Wylde, brother to the Earl of Morcott is in Newgate undercover – he is working for Bow Street trying to uncover a plot to try and rescue Napoleon from exile again – When the guard demands that he marry Georgiana, his first reaction is to refuse, but refusal is not an option. He thinks that they will marry and then they can easily dissolve it later. So he signs her contract stating that he will never lay claim to her fortune and they marry. When the ceremony is over he teases a kiss out of her before she leaves.
Days later, Georgie is shocked to see her “husband” in Lady Langton’s ballroom. They dance and she demands answers, he tells her to meet him at his club and they will be able to talk in private. She hears rumors and thinks that Ben tricked her, but logic takes over and she knows there is no way he planned to marry her. Ben is broke, his father bankrupt the earldom and he and his brother John are working hard to restore it. Ben was in the army and when he sold his commission, he used the money to invest in a gaming hell with his friends Lord Alexander Harland, the Duke of Southwick’s younger son and Sebastian Wolff, the Duke of Winwick’s illegitimate son. Alex and Seb don’t need the money, but they like the adventure, which is why they also do jobs for Bow Street. The Tricorn Club is beginning to take off, but as of now it isn’t making Ben rich.
When they meet, they realize that there is no easy way to end their marriage and decide to make the best of it. Since she has told people she married a sailor, “he” will have to die and Ben will court her and they will marry again. They will stay together long enough for gossip to die down and then go their own ways. It is the perfect plan! But as they say, the best laid plans…
I loved this story, it was fresh, fun and entertaining. I really loved Georgie and Ben, they have such great chemistry between them and neither is quick to believe the worst of the other. The secondary characters including his friends Alex and Seb are great additions to the story without stealing the limelight and her sister Juliet and her love Simeon are wonderful and provide comic relief. If I had any complaint it would be that Josiah got off too easy, but even that didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. So if you are looking for a light-hearted, fun story with steamy love scenes, a decent mystery and great characters, look no further, this is that book.
This is the first book in a new series and it is a lighter style than this author’s K.C. Bateman offerings, but it is a delightful read and I am happy to recommend it.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*