For a lighthearted read, I picked up Eva Leigh’s Forever Your Earl when it was a Kindle Deal of the Day not too long ago. I love trying out new authors for super cheap. Earl tells the story of Daniel, the rakish and handsome young Earl of Ashford and his unusual decision to request the editor of a scandal sheet to follow him about town on his escapades to cover his interesting and gossip-worthy activities. Little does he know that E. Hawke of “The Hawk’s Eye” is Eleanor, a beautiful blonde with a charming wit.
Eleanor Hawke is well aware the Earl of Ashford is probably hiding something, especially the real reason he’s proposed their agreement. But as a woman running her own newspaper, she feels like its success is paramount. So, she agrees to Ashford’s proposition; it also doesn’t hurt that he’s incredibly handsome and actually kind of funny and interesting.
What I did enjoy about this book is how different this relationship was to many of the historical romances I’ve read thus far. It’s rare that you find a working woman in any of the novels I’ve read, but this one covers two of them. Eleanor’s friend Maggie is a famous playwright and I imagine we’ll be getting to her story in a different novel of Leigh’s series. In any case, with this particular Earl doesn’t seem to have an issue with Eleanor working. In fact, he envies her the drive and passion of creating something all her own. Having longed to fight for his country or contribute something and being forced to just maintain his own estate (as a first-born and only son), he feels he has no passions and seems lost. Eleanor is the representation of everything he wants in his own life, all tied up in a beautiful package. Eleanor is pleasantly surprised to find Daniel is actually not as rakish as he may seem, and has a lot of interesting things to say, and their repartee and flirting excites her in spite of all the obvious drawbacks to forming attachments to a gentleman.
The subplot concerning the real reason for Daniel’s proposition involves his best friend’s disappearance, and I found it interesting enough but mostly a distraction from the budding romance. It brings an interestingly modern issue to the table (PTSD), but is sort of rammed in here and there so I think it will be more interesting if the friend becomes the hero of a different tale. Overall this was a fun read from an author I hadn’t encountered yet. I’ll check out some of her other “Wicked Quills” books some time in the future.