When the Earl Met His Match by Stacy Reid
Series: Wedded by Scandal #4
Also in this series: Accidentally Compromising the Duke
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date: September 14, 2020
Genres: Historical Romance
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When Hugh Winthrop, the future Earl of Albury, decides to advertise for a wife in the London paper, he never expected an anonymous response from a woman who matches him wit for wit. Their back-and-forth letters on the true nature of love, something they disagree on wholeheartedly, leave him shocked—and intrigued. But then the woman he’s been corresponding with shows up on his doorstep, enticingly beautiful and offering a marriage of convenience in exchange for his protection…
Lady Phoebe Maitland expected to marry for love and nothing else, until the man she gave her trust betrayed her. The more intrigued she becomes by the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Hugh, however, the more she realizes he’s holding back from opening his heart due to long-held secrets she struggles to understand. As passion flares wickedly between them, their marriage bed is quick to heat up. But when Phoebe’s past threatens to destroy the fragile bond they’ve formed, even a budding belief in love might not be enough to save them.
Lady Phoebe, a duke’s daughter, is in love with a man who doesn’t live up to her lofty father’s expectations. He’s a commoner, and that just won’t do. When Phoebe is betrayed by her love, she’s devastated, but makes a plan to resolve her issues.
Hugh is an Earl and has written an advertisement for a wife. He describes what he’s looking for and he is quite succinct in the ad that this marriage will have nothing to do with love. Phoebe is outraged and write’s this anonymous man to tell him her feelings about his ad. They start a correspondence that while still vaguely about the ad, becomes a bit of a friendship and they both look forward to the letters.
After her love’s betrayal (and other reasons) Phoebe heads to Hugh’s and offers a marriage of convenience. He’s shocked that this woman has shown up to be his wife, as he hadn’t made a decision about who he would pick of the women who had answered the ad. Hugh is honest with himself that he’s not totally mad/sad that Phoebe is there as he has enjoyed her letters immensely. They also each have issues that are not necessarily accepted in society and Hugh decides to go through with it. Phoebe is shocked when she realizes that Hugh is mute, but quickly decides it doesn’t matter.
Despite getting married, Hugh is determined to nip love in the bud before it can begin. His mother took off with her lover when Hugh was young and he doesn’t want his heart on the line if Phoebe decides to leave as well. Can Phoebe get him to see that love is something they should strive for rather than avoid?
I enjoyed this book. One of the reasons was Hugh and his wonderful attitude towards life. He accepted Phoebe for who she was, and all her issues. He didn’t let the fact that he was mute stop him from living and I loved that. He was so good to Phoebe for the most part and I really enjoyed them together. I also really liked Phoebe and her determination to live her life the way she wanted to, and not the way her parents and brother thought she should live it.
Phoebe was the other reason this book was good. She made some mistakes in her life but for the most part she had such a good heart. I loved her vibrancy! At one point in the book she takes a poor woman and her children into the carriage and takes them home because it’s raining. How many women of the nobility would do that?? Not only that but she gives her jewelry she can sell to buy food. Hugh then goes a step further and tells her that money and help finding a job will be available to her the next day. Good people!
That said, I have a bit of an issue with one aspect of Reid’s heroes (and this happened in all of the Reid books I’ve read). It seems that the heroes, at some point, are angry at the heroines or trying to push them away because they’re trying to deny that they love the women. When this happens, they are purposely cruel to the heroines and say some of the rudest, meanest things to them! I hate that! Surely their feelings can be expressed without being cruel. Anyway, that’s a pet peeve I have with Reid’s heroes. They can be amazing, but they can also be complete bastards.
Anyway, despite my love of Hugh and Phoebe the story dragged in a few places, which was disappointing. Still a good book, but it brought my rating down a bit. I still recommend this book, as I definitely think it one that needs to be read.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5