I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Earl of Weston
Edward Hunter, confirmed bachelor, comes home from an assignment with the Crown to find his brother killed, and his father dead from grief. He is now the Earl of Weston, a position he never wanted. While searching for leads to his brother’s murder, he finds himself forced to attend ton entertainments he normally would have avoided.
Hattie Longbottom is an aging, sheltered spinster who spent her bloom caring for her invalid parent. With the death of her mother, she is forced to leave her home. Because she refuses to separate from her beloved parrot, Archie, her only option is to travel to Eynsham and live with her brother and his family. The journey to his estate wakes Hattie up to the harsh realities of life outside of her little village.
In less than a day, and with the help of her vociferous bird, an unfortunate series of mishaps threatens to ruin Hattie. Can a reluctant earl revenge his brother’s murder and save a spinster in the process?
New romance author Anna St. Claire delivers in the Earl of Weston. Her writing style is fluid and the addition of the co-author did not detract in the reading. Both molded perfectly and the story came out as a fun reading experience.
I really wasn’t sure what to think about Hattie’s character in the beginning. She is slightly standoffish and brittle, but she totally grew on me as the story progressed. She grew enough as a character where she didn’t lose who she was but she did soften in her demeanor. Hattie’s personality was slowly revealed and I found myself liking her with each turn of the page.
I love an author who puts her characters through the ringer. Hattie has all sorts of things happen to her in the first couple chapters alone! Poor Hattie, but oh, it was so much fun to read. It really gets interesting when she meets Edward and his friend.
I don’t think I remember the last time I truly laughed out loud reading a Historical Romance. The one character that really made this story was Archie the parrot. With his penchant for repeating everything he hears (swearwords being his favorite) he tortures anyone within his vicinity with his presence. Well, maybe torture is too harsh of a word? Nah.
“Bugger. Whoremongers! Bugger. Whoremongers!” ~Archie the parrot.
I also appreciated that there wasn’t insta-love/attraction. With Hattie being not your run of the mill histrom heroine, Edward wasn’t just thinking about sex. His thought process was basically “what the heck was that? and she’s crazy.” (not his words but mine, hehe). Their first meeting was so funny that even he couldn’t stop thinking about her. So it wasn’t all about looks and attraction, but the uniqueness of her character and her little winged friend. Archie, the ever lovable matchmaker.
Along with the humorous aspects there were equal parts suspense and intrigue. Weeks later, I’m still thinking about this book. It’s a short and quick read, but quite unforgettable due to the characters themselves, but also because the authors knew what they were doing. Overall, I really look forward to reading more from this author.