The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #5
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Genres: Historical Romance
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She’s looking for a nobleman to wed…
Though born out of wedlock, Fancy Trewlove is determined to fulfill her mother’s wish that she marry into nobility. Fancy’s keen intellect and finishing school manners make her the perfect wife for any gentleman—if he’s willing to overlook her scandalous lineage. But Fancy’s plans are thrown into chaos when an intriguing commoner begins visiting her bookshop—and she finds herself unable to stop thinking about him.
He’s looking to escape his title…
Widowed just a year ago, the reclusive Matthew Sommersby, Earl of Rosemont, has been besieged by women hoping to become his next wife. Desperate for anonymity, he sheds Society life to search for the peace that eludes him. Fancy’s shop is his one refuge, until the night their passion erupts into a kiss that nearly leads to her ruin—and leaves both longing for much more.
Together, they discover an unlikely love…
As Fancy finds herself torn between her family’s expectations and her growing feelings for Matthew, secrets are exposed—secrets that force Fancy to question if she can trust her heart’s desire...
Matthew Sommersby, the Earl of Rosemont wants to kill his dead wife. Ok, she’s already dead, but he’s just that mad at her. Matthew wakes one morning to find a letter from his dead wife in the paper. It’s written to all of the women seeking husbands and it says what a kind man he is and that he was an awesome husband. It tells of all the wonderful things he did during their marriage and that if any single woman would like that in their lives, then they should call on him. After all, she’s dead and he’s grieved for her long enough – he needs to be happy now. Wow.
There are two reasons that Matthew would like to throttle his deceased spouse. First, for writing and having someone publish the letter which brings droves of women to his home which he hates. Second, the rubbish she put into the letter didn’t happen at all. Their marriage was on the rocks from practically day one and none of what she printed was true. In order to escape the hoards of women and marriage-minded mamas, he seeks out a simpler life in a part of London that no one will thing to look for him. This location happens to be right next to Fancy Trewlove’s bookstore, so of course he must check it out.
Fancy and Matthew become friends and they each have a tendre for the other, but Fancy is about to make her debut in London. She’s been told her entire life that she is to marry a man of the aristocracy and this is what she believes she should do. Except…then there’s Matthew and she truly cares about him. Too bad he’s not a Lord. She truly doesn’t care if she marries a Lord, but she wants to make her family happy and do what they want her to do.
This story was a complete surprise to me. I knew from previous books in the series that Fancy had been spoiled by her siblings, as she was the youngest of them. This went as far as her brother building her a bookstore and outfitting it for her. Yes, she ran her own shop, but we’re given to believe that she’s not really romance book material. Wrong. Though cosseted by her family, she is just as strong as her sister and mother, which is saying something. Her kindness and love for her fellow human beings knows no bounds. She was truly a joy to read and I’m so glad I didn’t skip her book.
Fancy knows what she wants, to stay with her books forever, but she also loves her family beyond reason and doesn’t want to upset them, even thought it might make her unhappy. She goes along with their wishes and has a coming out ball, but her heart is with her new friend Matthew. Their romance was both sweet and touching. I loved them, both individually and as a couple. Their love of books stole my heart as well.
One of the conflicts in the story was about Matthew and the revelation of his true identity. Yes, I can see how this would upset Fancy, but if it wasn’t for the deception and his dead wife writing that letter, would they have ever met? Who’s to say?
There was also another part that had to do with Fancy and the truth about who her father was. There’s the truth and then there’s the story that her mother told her. My heart broke for Fancy when she found out the truth, but I can say she handled it so well – like the lady she was.
I really liked this book a lot and definitely recommend you read it. If you had any reservations about Fancy, just put them aside, I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did.
Rating: 4 out of 5