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The Earl: A Devil's Duke Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 25, 2016
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“The Earl is an enormously satisfying read on many levels. An exciting adventure and a sizzling romance all wrapped up in astute observation and social comment, this is historical romance at its best and it’s gone straight on to my keeper shelf.” (All About Romance)
“A smart hero, an even smarter heroine, and a fast-paced plot all keep the reader rushing through this excellent historical romance. […] A book that both stands alone and enhances her Devil’s Duke series. A dashing Regency romance that proves smarts are the sexiest attribute of all.” (Kirkus Reviews on The Earl)
“[...] humorous sparring and contentious courtship keep the plot on point and readers thoroughly mesmerized. A wealth of fascinating historical detail, elegant prose, and well-drawn, complex protagonists blend in a lively romantic adventure that will please the most persnickety of romance fans.” (Library Journal)
“Fast-paced and fun with a poignant storyline threaded in, this second installment in the Devil’s Duke series is certain to please historical romance readers.” (BookPage ("Top Pick"))
About the Author
Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the 10 Best Books of the Year in Romance, and My Lady, My Lord and How to Marry a Highlander, 2015 and 2014 finalists for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America. Her books are recommended by Publishers Weekly, Women’s World Magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and translated into languages across the world.
Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about Katharine’s books, please visit her website or write to her at PO Box 51702, Durham, NC 27717.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first few pages had me awestruck as Ashe gives a glimpse into Colin's childhood. When the present day story begins, however, I confess to being somewhat confused by Colin's apparent roughness when he and Lady Justice first meet in person. He doesn't realize who Lady Justice is because she's veiled, but the thorns on the rose? That didn't seem to be part and parcel of Colin's persona.
As the story proceeds, we learn that Colin and Emily have been betrothed since they were children - a plan set in motion by their parents. What isn't understood through most of the story is that, although Colin and Emily were the best of friends during their childhood years, when Colin is 13 years of age and Emily would have been 8 years old I suppose, since she was 5 years younger than Colin, circumstances or a decision by Colin results in their friendship going completely awry.
Although the above is eventually explained, I felt the explanation didn't really make as much sense as my "wrap up all the details" mind enjoyed. I would not take away any stars, however, because the book is simply too delicious. Suffice it to say, Colin and Emily are very complex, unique characters. These two are not your run-of-the-mill hero/heroine characters and Ashe allows us a close-up look inside vital elements of their hearts and souls.
Although the storyline features Colin and Emily on the run in Scotland from people who would string them up due to mistaken identities - a scenario which I didn't particularly care for - it does give the reader an opportunity to see them interact at close quarters with one another for much of the book. The time together also enables the author to reveal the characters' past perceptions, misunderstandings and insecurities which are well fleshed out over the course of time.
It's rare that I feel the press to write a review these days, but I could no longer let this one get past my typing fingers than I could refuse to eat my lunch. In fact, I'm now motivated to go back and read all the Falcon Club books and in fact, any book that featured Emily. She has always been one of my favorite characters in these books, although we were only given occasional glimpses of her except in When a Scot Loves a Lady: A Falcon Club Novel (The Falcon Club) in which Wyn Yale and Emily had some awesome scenes. Actually, before Wyn's book came out, How a Lady Weds a Rogue: A Falcon Club Novel (The Falcon Club), I had hopes that Emily and Yale would get together but it was not to be.
At the end of the day, Peregrine and Lady Justice prevail and we are given a lot of background to chew and digest. There are some surprises when the identities of their outlaw counterparts are revealed. The absolute best part of the book is the dialogue, the writings of Lady Justice and toward the ending, Colin makes a grand speech. Brilliant writing!
Lady Justice writes political pamplets about reforms for the lower social classes. Peregrine , is the head of the Falcon club, whose mission is to find missing persons.
Lady Justice is also Emily Vale, who calls herself Zenobia now. She's at times a bit snobby but has a heart of gold. Peregrine's real identity is Colin Gray, the Earl of Egremoor. He is arrogant like every man from his social class, doesn't agree with one word Lady Justice writes but he's also honorable and dutydriven.
And oh Irony, she needs his help badly since her sister Amarantha went missing. He agrees on 1 condition: she has to meet him.
After the meeting she receives a lettre from Scotland stating that her sister is in trouble. She decides to follow the lead with her French companion and she "dismisses" him. He, being Peregrine, can't leave it and decides to go look.
Emily and Colin meet in an inn in Scotland and are mistaken for 2 highwayrobbers. They have to flee and there, their personal journey begins. During this yourney they have to learn to trust each other. I have to say that I re-read several passges in the book because they were so well written, full of life, ….
This is not an average romance book. Nothing plain about it. It is a very strong, powerful, turbulent story. It is a love turned hate turned love story. Emily was betrothed by birth to Colin. For 9 years he was her hero and then he broke her very young heart. Colin feels akward around her.
Colin: A man in my position-a man mustn't ever lose control of himself
The dialogues between H&H were sometimes too raw, too honest and defintely shattering. At a certain moment there is a real catharsis point where you think ' oh, no, this is not going well'. I think my heart broke for them at that moment. I felt gutted.
Emily: You haven't understood a thing I have said, have you? Still, after all of this, you cannot see the truth.
Both of them believe so strongly in their cause and refuse to back down.
Emily: I was someone else's voice. Your voice. When you no longer needed me to speak for you, I found people who did.
Colin: …impossible. Men of wealth and power must guide those who haven't the wisdom or experience to rule themselves.
But then Colin steps up, or should I say, steps out of his shell. He becomes the man he should have been, making a final grand gesture. No longer a broken, scared boy, locking his feelings away due to being raised by a ruthless, cold father. Sigh, what a hero..
Colin: “Someone said to me recently that a great man is not measured by the strength of his privilege, but by the depth of his
heart.” Colin smiled. “She was right.”
And Emily? Emily becomes Emily again, no more hiding behind names of great historical woman. She's become a woman of her own.
Emily: In remaining anonymous, I am also a hypocrite. For how can I claim that women’s voices are worthy of being heard when I
have hidden my own so effectively behind this crusade
Again Ms Ashe doesn't write for the faint of hearted. Like I said before, this is not a flimsy, silly story. It's well written, honest, raw, soul searching, passionate, larger than life story. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I'm awaiting anxiously for the next one :-)
I received an ARC for an honest review AND I also bought the book because it is that good!
I especially loved the hero from this story...Colin is shown as a conflicted hero. He wants to be (and is raised to be) a strong leader within his domain and for his country, but still suffers from a period in his life when he was seen to be "weak" and not up to par for an aristocrat's son. His journey through the story involves lots of soul-searching and discovery, not only for himself but also about how he views the heroine. Emily is a politically opinionated daughter of an earl who also learns to expose her own "true self" during the course of the story (also with the help of her childhood friend Colin).
I have always especially enjoyed stories that involve personal growth that you can "see" and that is not just "inferred". The conversations between Colin and Emily are visceral and real, emotional and funny...and everything I love to read in a book. Neither hero nor heroine are perfect. They are headstrong and clash with each other's opinions quite often. But they are human and fallible. We see ALL sides of them, the good and the bad, as they strive to become their own authentic selves.
I am very stingy with my 5-star ratings...I don't give them out very often. A book really has to touch me personally, reach out and grab me, if you will, to rate those stars from me...this one was a no-brainer 5-stars, hands down.
Thank you Katharine Ashe for a beautifully written story.
I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sexual Content: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content: None
Violent Content: Minimal
Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor...Read more