Tag Archives: #TheWickedEarlsClub

The Earl of Benton by Madeline Martin

Earl of Benton (Wicked Earls' Club, #9)Earl of Benton by Madeline Martin
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wicked Earls’ Club, #9

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Alistair Johnstone is the reluctant Earl of Benton, raised Scottish, he wants nothing to do with his English heritage, but when his grandfather dies, he has no choice, much to his mother’s dismay (and rage). He is attending a house party hosted by the Wicked Earl’s Club when he learns that his mother is in trouble and he needs to return to Scotland right away. While discussing his mother’s dilemma with his valet, he spies Emma hiding in a stall with his dog Beast.

Emma is running for her life, she is a month away from inheriting her father’s vast fortune and ceasing to be under her uncle’s guardianship. Her uncle has tried to force her to marry his son Conrad, but she refuses, so now it appears that her uncle has a new plan. Emma finds her maid Jenny dead and her servants urge her to go, pointing out that Jenny was wearing one of her dresses and looks like her from the back – Jenny was not the intended victim, Emma was. Emma takes off and knows they are following her, she heads for the nearby estate and lets her horse go, she hides in the stables and overheads Alistair and his valet McKenzie talking. He spots her just as her uncle arrives and he covers for her. After her uncle leaves, he says he will help her, but wants some answers.

Alistair sneaks her into the house and there is a comical scene with Emma trying on disguises, they settle on a shocking gown and will pretend that she is his lover. They leave and successfully fool her uncle before they make their escape. Once in the carriage, Emma tells Alistair to leave her in the next village – he assures her he will not hurt her and goes as far as to give her a dagger to “protect” herself. He offers to take her to Scotland and ensures that he will give her safe passage back to London. Emma agrees. They travel together and let the innkeepers assume that they are married, for the sake of her reputation (and to throw her uncle off her trail). They arrive in Scotland and he sees his cousin Hamish, Hamish sees Emma and makes a comment, but Emma tells him they are married. A statement that Alistair agrees to, but what Emma doesn’t realize is they are in Scotland and by declaring themselves married in front of witnesses – they are in fact married. Alistair decides to keep this from her and figures he will sort it out later. They share a room and finally give into the desire they have both been denying.

They travel to his castle and Alistair is dismayed when he sees that nothing has been repaired. Emma begins to have doubts about Alistair – maybe he is just after her money and all his compliments and sweet words were just a ruse to trick her into falling for him. If this revelation wasn’t bad enough, she then meets Madge, Alistair’s English-hating mother. Madge is livid that Alistair has brought Emma to her home. She spits at Emma’s feet, demands Alistair make her leave and refuses to leave her room until she is gone.

Emma has had enough and asks to be taken to her room. Alistair takes her and explains why Madge is so hateful and he says he will go talk to Madge. As he leaves, Emma realizes that she is falling in love with him. He talks to Madge and learns why the repairs haven’t’ been made, she is still angry, but it is clear she loves him and misses him, which is why she forced him to come home.

Emma spends a restless night and when she hears someone at her door, she thinks it is Alistair – but it is Madge – a raging, screaming Madge who charges at Emma. Emma grabs the dagger Alistair gave her – she is tired of being the victim and will not go down without a fight!

Alistair goes looking for Emma and finds her in the great hall with Madge – they are both drunk. Alistair helps Emma back to her room and she finally explains why she doesn’t believe Alistair’s compliments are sincere. Alistair tells her she is wrong, what she believes are flaws are what he likes best.

The next day, Alistair meets with Hamish, they are preparing to smuggle whisky to England for Madge. This was the great emergency that brought him to Scotland, she made promises to some very shady people and there was no way she could deliver the whisky. Alistair has to save her, but if he is caught smuggling Scots whisky into England, he will be tried for treason. He also doesn’t want Emma to know, because it will only further her belief that men only want her for her money. He makes the final preparations with Hamish and they enter the hall. Emma and Madge are together and Hamish addresses her as Lady Benton. Emma is embarrassed and says it was a lie, but Madge points out that because they declared themselves in front of witnesses, they are in fact married. Emma is stunned and then angry – why didn’t Alistair tell her? And when Madge mentions her fortune, she feels betrayed, she loved him and believed that he was sincere, but now she knows she was a fool.

The next day before she leaves, Madge talks to her and tells her that she thinks that Emma and Alistair can be happy and that Emma is welcome at the castle. Emma is touched, but is not sure Madge is correct about her and Alistair. When they finally set off, he tries to talk to her, but she is not having it. And when she asks about the carriage and the cart, he lies. She calls him on his lie and he finally tells her everything. She is still upset and heartbroken, but even worse – still in love with him. Alistair doesn’t want to lose her, but he has no idea how to right the wrongs he has done.

Can Alistair convince Emma he loves her? What about her uncle? And the whisky? Is there anyway for these two to overcome the hurt and betrayal? You’ll just have to read the book to find out!!

This was a well written, fully fleshed out novella, it has amusing moments, steamy love scenes, lies, betrayals, crazy mothers and evil relatives, a sweet dog and very hard won HEA.

This is the ninth installment of the Wicked Earls’ Club, but like the previous books, it is a stand alone title. I highly recommend this book and the entire series!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the author*

The Earl of Davenport by Maggie Dallen

Earl of Davenport (Wicked Earls' Club, #7)Earl of Davenport by Maggie Dallen
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wicked Earls Club, #7

Release Date: February 20, 2018

For a debut into Historical Romance, this was a very good book, the author clearly took the time to learn the period and with the exception of a couple of very minor mistakes, it was spot on!

Anne Cleveland is in a bind and she is hoping her childhood friend and neighbor, Fredrick Belford, the Earl of Davenport can help her.

Her brother Jed has reduced the family to ruin and if Anne’s plan doesn’t work, they stand to lose everything. She has heard that Davenport is looking for a wife and while she doesn’t consider herself acceptable as she is most likely illegitimate, she believes her sister Claire is the perfect wife for him! Anne fondly remembers Davenport as the boy that always defended her from the unkind remarks made about her birth. She knows the ton calls him the Devil and that he is not a saint, but to her, he is a hero.

She goes to his home with her companion and when he arrives, he acts like he doesn’t know how she is. But once she realizes he is teasing her, she gets down to business. She asks him to marry Claire and save her family. He tells her he will consider it and leaves the room.

There is no way Davenport is going to marry Claire – she is dull and prim and he will crush her within a week, no, he needs a strong woman, someone who can stand up to him, someone a little bit scandalous, someone like… Anne. Once that thought takes root, that is it, Davenport decides that Anne is the woman for him and no other will do.

He visits the next day and asks for her hand, she is shocked, but accepts. He then insists that they marry immediately. He gives her an hour to get ready and then they will head to Scotland.

This was a very sweet story of two people who don’t see their own worth, but see it in each other. Davenport has cultivated a reputation to protect himself and Anne has accepted that she has less worth than others because of her birth. The book was short, but I had no problem believing they were in love, Ms. Dallen gives the reader an established history between them, so it wasn’t hard to believe that they fell in love so quickly. Their road to HEA is not without bumps, but nothing dragged out very long and they were honest and open with each other. There are a couple of passionate kisses and one warmish love scene as well as a very sweet declaration scene.

I would be happy to recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more by this author!

*I am voluntarily reviewing an eARC that was provided to me by the author*

The Earl of Basingstoke by Aileen Fish

Earl of Basingstoke: Wicked Regency Romance (Wicked Earls' Club)Earl of Basingstoke: Wicked Regency Romance by Aileen Fish
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Wicked Earls’ Club, #5

Release Date: February 6, 2018

I really enjoyed this installment of the Wicked Earls’ Club and for a relatively short novella, there is quite a bit going on!!

Lady Phoebe Woodson, she has been infatuated with Nathan Curruthers, Earl of Basingstoke since she met him three years ago, too bad he doesn’t remember her… She writes fantasy “on dit” about the two of them in her journal and has been warned by more than one person to get over her infatuation of him and find a nice man. But Phoebe still holds out hope that Nathan will finally “see” her and they will fall in love and live happily ever after.

Nathan has been thinking of finding a wife, the ton believes him to be wicked and that he fathered an illegitimate son, but he longs for a simple life and at 29 he believes it is time. So he begins his search, he arrives at Almacks (thankfully his mother is friends with Lady Sefton!) to begin his “hunt”. He spots Phoebe and is immediately interested, he begs for an introduction and is promptly mortified to learn that they had already been introduced. He asks her to dance. Phoebe is floored, she must be dreaming because the man of her dreams has just asked her to dance and seems interested in her. But all too soon her mother drags her away.

Nathan calls on Phoebe, he is smitten, she is everything he never knew he wanted and he wonders how long he will have to wait before he can ask for her hand. But not everyone is happy with his interest in her, her parents are dead set against a match, but her mother allows her to spend time with him, thinking she will see his true colors and find a better man.

But Phoebe and Nathan are clearly meant to be and things progress between them and it seems like a HEA is inevitable. But then a nasty rumor is printed in the gossip pages saying Phoebe was seen leaving Nathan’s house in the middle of the night and her father forbids her to associate with him. Phoebe is still not ready to give up, she meets with him in private and they make plans to see each other at upcoming events, but Nathan doesn’t show. Days later, she sees him while visiting the menagerie with friends and he is not alone, he has a young boy who must be his son with him. The gentleman she is with makes cruel remarks and Nathan leaves, angry that Phoebe is not the woman he believed her to be. But when he returns later and she is still there, she apologizes for the man and strikes up a conversation with Ben. Nathan knows he judged her too harshly and they reconcile.

Nathan is planning on asking for her hand and is excited for a future with her. But when his friend shows him her journal and the gossip pages are almost an exact match, Nathan believes he has been played. He heads to the newspaper to find out if his suspicions are true but gets no answers. As he is returning, he runs in to Phoebe, she is heading towards the paper and he assumes the worst and without letting her speak, ends things with her.

Phoebe is heartbroken, she has no idea what happened to turn Nathan away from her and can’t figure out a way to make things right. Nathan is equally unhappy and hopes in time his heart will heal enough for him to try and find love again.

It seems like all hope for a happy ending is lost, until one very determined Duchess gets involved and sets Nathan straight. But is it too late? And will the secrets he has been keeping prevent them from having their hearts desire?

This was a very well written, fast moving novella. There are no love scenes, save a kiss at the end, but there is quite a bit of angst and heartache, a fair number of misunderstandings, a hero who needs a smack up side the head and finally a HEA.

** This review is for the UPDATED edition of the novella released on 2/6/18

The Earl of Wainthorpe by Collette Cameron

Earl of Wainthorpe (Wicked Earls' Club, #3)Earl of Wainthorpe by Collette Cameron

Series: Wicked Earls’ Club, #3

Release Date: January 23, 2018

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Pierce Chamberlain, the Earl of Wainthorpe is definitely the star of this book, I loved him. Underneath the carefully constructed façade of a unrepentant rake beats a loving and caring heart.

Pierce has a mission in life, that is to destroy Bertram Normand, the newly minted Baron Fairfax. Pierce holds Fairfax responsible for the death of his mother twenty years ago in India. After careful planning, he finally has Fairfax in position to ruin him. He has purchased all his vowels and debts and is currently engaged in card game that will finally break him. Fairfax is sure that his luck is about to change and wagers not only his unentailed estate but his ward too!

Pierce is taken aback, he was not aware Fairfax had a ward, nor did he expect to be intrigued by the lovely young woman. He knows that if he does not accept the wager, she will most likely be sold to someone else. Wanting to protect her, he agrees to the wager and makes Fairfax write up a note giving Pierce full guardianship of his ward, Bianca Salisbury.

Bianca is mortified, orphaned at a young age, she lived with her aging aunt and uncle at Elmsford manor until Fairfax inherited the estate. She accompanied him to London, hoping to find work, but she never anticipated that Bertram would stoop so low as to sell her! She tries to reason with him and when that fails, she flees to the ladies retiring room. There she meets three women and when they learn of her fate and their brother’s part in it – come to her rescue.

Pierce is awoken the next morning by the “trio” and they blindside him with demands to know what he was thinking wagering for Bianca. He asks where Bianca is, because he spent the better part of the night looking for her. He is relieved to learn that she is safe with his sister Nora and then is shocked when she walks into his bedroom.

Pierce demands the ladies leave and promises to answer all their questions. He tells them to return to Nora’s house and he will meet them there. But first he needs to find out if he really is Bianca’s guardian and what he can do to protect her from Fairfax.

He arrives at Nora’s and tells his sisters what he has learned. He must apply to the court to be named her guardian and asks Nora if her husband would be willing to take guardianship if the courts deem Pierce as unsuitable. Nora suggests Pierce marry her and he finds he is not at all opposed to that idea. As they are waiting for Bianca to join them, Pierce spies her leaving and chases after her. Bianca overheard part of the conversation and assumes that Pierce means to dump her on his sister – she refuses to be a burden to anyone and takes off.

When Pierce catches up with her, she realizes how ungrateful she is behaving. She knows he is only trying to help her and agrees to go to Halverstone (his hunting lodge/country estate) and give him time to sort everything out. She is overcome by everything that has happened and begins to cry. Pierce comforts he and they share a kiss. When she comes to her senses, she slaps him and tells him she will not be one of his strumpets and there will be no more kissing! Pierce is delighted by her and tells her she will beg for his kisses. They make a bet – one month if she has not begged for his kiss, he will give her Elmsford manor and leave her in peace.

They spend the next few weeks getting to know each other and Pierce begins to woo her. He is weakening her resolve and she knows she is falling in love with him. But Bianca knows first hand what happens to women that give into men, she is scared that she will end up like her mother, alone and ruined. So when Pierce suggests they marry, Bianca turns him down, quite cruelly. Deeply hurt, Pierce starts to walk away, but tells her she is welcome to Elmsford, but he will not let her go until he is sure Fairfax is no longer a threat to her. He then tells her why he hates Fairfax. Then he walks away. But he looks back and sees her reaction and hope blooms in his heart.

Bianca knows she loves him and has pushed him away to protect herself, but now she wonders if love is worth the risk and if her cruel comments have ruined any chance she has for happiness.

I really loved Pierce, he was the perfect hero in my mind and when Bianca hurt him, I hated her. She does redeem herself, but I didn’t forgive as quickly as Pierce. The book was well written, had an interesting story, delightful secondary characters, a couple of warmish love scenes, a villain that gets his due and a very touching declaration scene. It is the third book in the Wicked Earls Club series, but could easily be read as a stand alone title.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the author*

The Wicked Earls’ Club and Earl of Sussex by Tammy Anderson

This post is actually for two books, the first is a short story that serves as an introduction to the series and the second is for my review for the first book. Barbara and I will be reviewing the entire series as the books are released – from what I understand each book is already available for preorder on most major formats at a special introductory price of $0.99! There are 12 novellas by 12 authors in the series, which share a common theme, but are all stand alone titles.

The Wicked Earls Club: Regency Romance (Wicked Earls' Club, #0.5)The Wicked Earls Club: Regency Romance by Tammy Andresen

Series: The Wicked Earls’ Club, # 0.5

Release Date: December 29, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cute little intro to the series – it is super short and doesn’t really delve into any “Earl” in particular. But, it is informative and gives the reader a little background on the club before jumping into the series.

At the time of this posting, this title was available on Amazon for free!

Earl of Sussex (Wicked Earls' Club, #1)Earl of Sussex by Tammy Andresen

Series: The Wicked Earls’ Club, #1

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Luke Bentley, Earl of Sussex is an unrepentant rake, but his days of living wild and free are about to come to an end, his parents have decided that is time for him to settle down and start a family and they have the perfect woman in mind for him -Lady Tabitha Riley, the Duke of Waverly’s daughter.

Luke is convinced that Tabitha aka Tabbie (if my sister Tabitha is reading this – I am so sorry – that is how the author spelled it!) is a boring wallflower and has no desire to marry her. His friends disagree and tell him to meet her before he makes any decisions.

Tabbie is a wallflower – by choice! She is incredibly bright and is a natural born schemer, so when her father tells her about the possible match, she immediately begins to think of ways to avoid being married to Luke. Oh, Luke is handsome and charming, but he is a rake and her previous interactions with him have convinced her that he is not husband material.

When they meet, Tabbie cuts to the heart of the matter immediately, they don’t want to marry, so they must find a way to end this farce without causing a scandal. Luke is taken aback – this shy wallflower is not what he expected – she is lovely, smart and witty. He is even more shocked when he realizes that he desires her. When Tabbie suggests they meet later to discuss their plan, Luke knows it is a bad idea, but he also knows he will being going anyway!

When they meet later, Tabbie tells him her plan, he will be caught with another woman and Tabbie will be free. Luke points out the flaws in her plan and then he kisses her. Luke is shaken down to his toes by the kiss and quickly tells Tabbie he will find a woman and set their plan in motion.

After leaving the estate to return to London, Luke begins to change, he hasn’t had a drink in days and with his mind clear, he sees the man he is and doesn’t really like it. He follows through with his promise and returns to the house party with a woman in tow. But the more he thinks about it, the less he wants to go through with the plan.

Tabbie meets with him and the woman and finds herself a little jealous, but it is for the best, Luke would only break her heart. She leaves to find her father, so they can “catch” Luke in the act with another woman, thus releasing her from having to marry him. But when they enter the room, Luke is alone. When Tabbie manages to get Luke alone, she asks why he blew the plan and he is honest. He says he wants her and would like a chance to get to know her. He asks for time to prove that he can be the man she needs and surprises her by sharing his views on marriage and commitment.

Tabbie agrees to give him time, but she is still sure that there is no such thing as a reformed rake and he will eventually tire of her and move onto the next woman.

These two really are well matched and Luke is much kinder and more understanding with Tabbie than I would have expected. Tabbie will struggle with her feelings and trust issues, but will she be willing to risk all to gain the love of a lifetime?

The story is very well written, flows nicely and is very fleshed out for a novella. There is witty banter, somewhat steamy love scenes, wonderful characters and enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting.

This is the first book in the Wicked Earls Club collaboration series and Ms. Anderson has set the bar high for her fellow authors. While the story was not technically perfect, I enjoyed it and would be happy to recommend it.

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