Captivating the Cynical Earl
The cool, aloof earl
And the enchanting lady
For Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden, emotional entanglements are the path to pain. But when his brother brings his new wife and her best friend to his country home, everything changes. Lady Cecily Thornhill is both vibrant and beautiful, and Jack finds himself increasingly captivated by her sunny nature. Yet he must resist her charms, for in a month she’ll be gone—unless his frozen heart thaws before then…
Catherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021.
She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog and can be reached at her website ,on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
When Augustus Henry John “Jack” Beresford, the Earl of Hawkenden learned that his younger brother Thomas married a woman he had known for only a month, he was furious and convinced that his brother had been trapped by Miss Eleanor “Nell” Godwin and decides to confront her and demand she leave his brother. But the woman he confronts is not his new sister-in-law, no, it is her best friend Lady Cecily Thornhill, the daughter of the late Earl of Kingswood and ward of the current earl.
Misunderstanding Jack’s purpose, Cecily is appalled by his demands and tells him in no uncertain terms that she will not be complying with his decrees. She doesn’t mention the details of the conversation, but the misunderstanding is pretty quickly worked out after the brothers argue and each refuses to change their plans to visit the earl’s hunting lodge.
Slowly Jack begins to accept that Tom does love Nell, and he feels lost since Tom was the last person Jack felt a bond with and he now thinks that is gone. His experience with love has left him jaded and cynical and as the house party continues and he gets to know Cecily, he has to fight the feelings she is invoking, because he knows love only leads to pain. But when a tragedy leads to a life accounting, he realizes that love is worth the possibility of pain, but will he be able to make amends?
This was a good story, although a little bland, and the author changed her writing style, this book definitely had more of an “Austen” feel than her previous works, and in my opinion, it was not an improvement. I thought the book was interesting and I thought the author did a very good job of believably changing Jack’s POV, she added a bit of humor, heartache, misunderstanding, a stubborn hero, kissing only love scenes, and finally, a HEA that neatly tied up everything. This is a standalone title, but if you are familiar with this author’s backlist, you will recognize Cecily from The Earl’s Runaway Governess.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*