The Thief Steals Her Earl
Following the passing of his father and an unforgivable act by a family member ending in near ruin for his family, Simon Montgomery, the new Earl of Cartwright, is forced to return home without finishing his education. However, that doesn’t stop Cart from absorbing every morsel of knowledge he can.
Unfortunately, doing so and applying his every moment to restoring his family’s lost heirlooms while seeing to his sister’s upbringing and attempting to wrangle his mother’s frivolous spending habits has made him somewhat of a recluse, a man unsure of how to live life unless it’s focused around academia, order, and routine. But what happens when Cart is faced with a woman as intelligent as he but far more cunning?
Miss Judith Pengarden has lived her entire life under her eldest sister’s firm yet loving guidance. When she discovers her family is in jeopardy of losing their home, Jude decides to use her skills to help them pay off their unsettled debts. However, when Jude attempts to steal from the wrong house, she finds herself alone, locked in a dank room at the night watchman’s residence, and she vows to stop thinking so spontaneously and risking her family’s name to scandal. Unfortunately, there are some loose ends that need to be tied up before she can. Luckily for her, however, she may have just met the man who can help her family and also steal a piece of her heart.
When Jude meets Lord Cartwright at a London garden party, he seems the perfect man to solve all her problems—a recluse unfamiliar with London Society and studied in antiquities. A lord like none she has met, Jude soon realizes that Cart is more valuable to her than any painting, sculpture, or vase. But when she’s caught in possession of Cart’s long-lost family heirloom, completely unaware of what it really means, can she convince him that things are far from what they seem? That despite the deceit and subterfuge, her heart is in the right place. With her family…and with him.
The author stole my heart with this story. The heroine Judith was far from perfect; she broke the mold on the ideal historical romance heroine. Not all need to be genteel ladies, wallflowers, or rich. Matter of fact, why can’t they all be charming little thieves like this one? I think it made for a more interesting story line. It made me actually ponder out loud; how in the world is she going to redeem herself? How is she going to snag herself her hero with such baggage?
Those thoughts kept me plowing through this book, eager to see what happens. Alternating POVs keeps the reader in the know on both Judith and Simon’s thought processes.
Simon was also different than the norm. An academic with a title but with little funds. A shrewish mother and a sweet little sister, round out his character and I felt sorry for him; his family’s circumstances were not his fault. His defining traits, in my opinion, was his clumsiness and his lack of expertise in love. For his expertise in antiquities is a bond that ignites the flame between himself and Judith. Although, that flame did flicker from time to time, especially towards the end. I thought his stubbornness would be the end of him. He had to finally open up emotionally in order to be happy.
This was a sweet romance with the occasional bumps in the road. But truly a perfect love match. The pace was steady and the dialogue well written.
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*