"Last Night With the Earl" surprised me in all the good ways.
I went in expecting something light-hearted. Haha, rake wanders into the wrong bedroom, artist heroine, shenanigans ensue.
Which, there are shenanigans, but not quite of the fluffy sort. Eli does the redeemed rake well, and his struggles with who he was and the war and survivor's guilt is all done in such a way that I could really believe his redemption arc. Such as it was, really, because of course Eli is the somewhat misunderstood rake, not the horrible evil kind. Rose was a revelation. When she was devastated in the eyes of Society, she found a way out and in finding that way out also found ways to save others who were in the same boat. What I really appreciated, however, was that as strong as Rose was, her trauma and the aftermath was still handled realistically. She wasn't able to just throw everything off in a magical happily ever after. These two work towards their happy ending and I was cheering them on with all my heart towards the end.
Seeing these two find their way to each other through pain and past grief was lovely and I can't wait to read more from this author.
2018 RITA award-winning author!
"Where have you been all my life, Kelly Bowen? If Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean, and Lisa Kleypas were to extract their writing DNA, mix it in a blender, and have a love child, Kelly Bowen would be it." --HeroesandHeartbreakers.com
Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He's no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he's shocked to find someone already there.
Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiancé betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn't correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can't help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it's Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.
Includes a bonus novella