Redeeming the Reclusive Earl
His heart is a fortress…
And she’s trespassing!
After losing all he holds dear in a horrific fire, Max Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall, shuns the world—until he catches Effie Nithercott digging holes on his estate!
He banishes the intrepid archaeologist and the unsettled feelings she rouses within him. But she returns even more determined and infuriatingly desirable than before! He wonders just how deep she’s prepared to dig—so far she’ll reach the man beneath his scars?
Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Normally, I pay little, if any, attention to book covers, but I have to say this cover is absolutely perfect for Maximillian (Max) Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall. Max is in a really dark place and he just wants to be left alone. He has suffered a debilitating series of losses – one after the other. There is no future for him – nothing left but endless, relentless days of despair and unhappiness. In an act of heroism, he managed to save his crew from a fiery death at sea – but – that nearly cost him his life. He was left scarred, and his fiancée begged off their betrothal. In a matter of just a few short months, he was horribly injured and scarred, lost his career, lost his ship, lost his crew, lost his father and lost his fiancée. He wants nothing more than to exist on his estate – alone. No visitors, no friends, no interactions with anyone except his staff. Until… Who is that muddy boy who is digging on his property? Only, is it a boy?
Euphemia (Effie) Nithercott is quite accustomed to people shying away from her. Oh, they approach her and compliment her on how lovely she is. At least they do until they spend a few minutes around her. Then they see how odd she is, how smart she is, how unconventional she is. Effie is also accustomed to her solitary life. She doesn’t like it, she’d like something more, but she is resigned to it. She has no family and no friends. Her sole joy is in the antiquities she is unearthing on the neighboring estate. She is uncovering some very rare, never seen before, kinds of things. Things that may very well rewrite England’s early history. Her one desire is to have the papers she’s written about the discoveries published in Archaeologia, but since she is female, they won’t even read her papers much less publish them.
I absolutely adored the romance between these two misfits. They were delightful characters to whom you’ll quickly relate. It was wonderful to watch the indomitable, irrepressible Effie totally flummox the grumpy, curmudgeonly Max. I love that the transformation didn’t happen overnight – it built up over months – and was so entirely believable. I was immediately sucked into the story and found it impossible to put the book down.
The humor is deliciously pleasing all through the book. For instance, Max rarely calls Effie Miss Nithercott. He calls her things like Miss Nuisance, Miss Nitwit, Miss Nocturnal, Miss Not-at-all-usual, Miss No-common-sense-whatsoever, Miss Nit-Picker, Miss Not-above-knavery-to-get-her-own-way, etc. Then, of course, there were the comments about Effie’s big brain – I kept giggling and picturing that cartoon character – Megamind.
It is a delightful story and you absolutely cannot go wrong by reading it
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About The Author
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.