Girls Before Earls

Anna Bennett. St. Martin’s, $8.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-79391-1
Bennett (the Debutant Diaries series) launches her Rogues to Lovers series with an irresistibly angsty Regency romance between an earl and a schoolteacher. Twenty-eight-year-old Hazel Lively, headmistress of Bellehaven Academy of Deportment, is determined to make a success of the fledgling school for girls. When Blade, Earl of Bladenton, attempts to dump his 15-year-old niece and ward, Kitty Beckett, on the school’s doorstep, Hazel agrees to take her in on the condition that Blade visits Kitty every two weeks, sensing that their relationship is in need of repair. Kitty has been expelled from her two previous schools, and Blade is anxious to have her out of his hair so he can continue his courtship of one Lady Penelope in London, but he reluctantly agrees to Hazel’s terms. And soon he finds that it is Hazel, not Penelope, who consumes his mind. But for their happy ending to work, romantic Hazel must convince the businesslike Blade to open his heart—efforts that are complicated by the persistent Lady Penelope. Bennett’s enticing characters come complete with believable flaws and nuanced emotional baggage, and the slow-burning romance between them creates an undeniable sense of attraction, even in the face of steep obstacles. The well-drawn emotional ups and downs will keep historical romance fans hooked. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/30/2021
Release date: 12/28/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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