The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest
The earl she loved to hate…until she stayed in his mansion!
Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village which forms part of it. But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man. After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch…
Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/veryvillage1
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. Twenty-two books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
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This was a delightfully entertaining, witty, romantic, heartwarming book and I loved every word of it. I loved these two flawed people who had endured so many hurts and now lived within an insular shell where nobody could reach them. If nobody could get past the shell, then nobody could hurt them. Neither Rafe nor Sophie could get past those past hurts and we almost missed out on our lovely HEA. Rafe’s walls were easier to break than Sophie’s because Rafe had a weakness – his brother Archie. If you won Archie over, then Rafe was soon to follow.
Rafe Peele definitely didn’t want to become an earl and surely never expected it. He had no idea whatsoever that he had a cousin who was an earl – now that cousin is dead and Rafe is left with all of those responsibilities. Rafe is a war hero – a loving brother – and all he wants is to buy some land in the middle of nowhere and raise horses. When he inherits the title, money, and estate that goes with it, he has no intention of keeping the unentailed estate and starts making arrangements to sell it to the highest bidder. Except, he visits the estate at Whittleston-On-The-Water only to be inundated by villagers who fight him at every turn – and they are led by one witch named Sophie Gilbert. She was like a General in battle and bested him at every turn.
I love that Rafe always refers to Sophie as a witch – and always refers to the village as ‘whinging Whittleston on the blasted Water’. I loved Rafe as soon as I discovered Archie, his brother. Rafe was so very loving and protective of him that I just knew immediately that he would be a wonderful husband and father.
Sophie has lived in the village for the last ten years – since she was disowned and thrown into the street by her cruel father. She lives with her aging aunt whose health is precarious. Sophie will do anything to protect her aunt – and the villagers who have all taken her in and loved her for all ten of those years. So, when it appears the upstart new earl is planning to sell their homes out from under them, she vows to do whatever it takes to protect them.
It was a delight to see Sophie and Rafe find their HEA. The only reason I didn’t give this book 5-stars is that it didn’t have an epilogue. To me, this story cried out for an epilogue and I just didn’t feel as if the story was finished without one. However, I still loved the story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.