The Earl’s Betrothal by Karen Tuft

The Earl’s Betrothal by Karen TuftThe Earl’s Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Small Publisher on May 1, 2016
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars      two-flames

I’m always on the prowl for a new to me historical romance book to grab me and this one did.  Not because it was sensational or melodramatic, but because it had an authentic and understated quality to it that paired well with the smoldering attraction of the romantic pair in this story of class issues, post-war stress and guilt, grief, and a little mystery.

The story opens with the arrival home and ‘back from the dead’ of war torn Anthony Hargreaves, the new heir to his father after the tragic death of his older brother, Alexander, Earl of Halford.  Anthony wants a quiet time of peace after the horrors he saw and experiences at Badajoz, but his father has different intentions.  The Marquess has had a scare when he thought his family line was ended with the deaths of two sons.  One is back and that one will get busy and make a match and give the Marquess an heir.  The pressure is hard on Anthony, but he will do his duty even if his eye keeps straying to the serene and lovely Miss Amelia Clarke, his mother’s paid companion.

Amelia lost her beloved parents and home all at once.  She was desperate and still grieving when an old family friend gets her a position as companion to dear Lady Ashworth.  She is there through Lord and Lady Ashworth’s deep grief at losing their sons, one in a riding accident and one at war and then when Lord Ashworth’s health deteriorates.  They are like family to her now even if her status is now woefully below theirs.  She wants to rejoice when the rumors of one son’s death are false, but Anthony unsettles her.  She is attracted and he is never to be hers.  Amelia watches as Anthony has all the eligible ladies paraded before him, but it is the desolate sadness in his eyes that makes her reach out to offer comfort.  Amelia knows about grief and loss though his nightmares, terrible memories, and struggles can be a little frightening.

An accidental compromise changes everything for both of them.  They might muddle through to something good if the situation hadn’t created a strong and powerful enemy.

As I said earlier, I loved the feel of this story.  The author blends a feel for the style of classic authors in this Regency era historical with some slightly spicy romance.  I might be stretching it, but I could sense a blend a few authors and famous classics of the past namely Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

The class differences and the mystery of Amelia’s past are the source of most of the conflict for the pair.  They are surrounded by an array of social climbers, well-meaning family, and a couple of greedy enemies.

I was taken with this story and it was definitely a case of right time and right book.  I will be watching out for more from this author.  I would recommend this one to those who enjoy slightly spicy Regency Romance.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #290 HR
New to Me #116 author

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oh I love the sounds of the writing, Sophia! The cover caught my eye first, though. lol I’m such a floozy when it comes to covers. Glad the insides were good as well!

    • I think we should have t-shirts made ‘I’m a book cover floozy’ b/c I am as tempted by the covers as you are though yes, the writing was definitely on par with the cover.

      • LOL one day I might have to make that happen 😉

        • They should give them out at book cons so you could have the cover models and cover artists sign them like at rock concerts. LOL