Intended for one man…
All her life, everyone assumed Paget Ellsworth, the vicar’s daughter, would marry the Earl of Winningham’s youngest son. And when he left for war with his older brother, Jamie, words and promises were not necessary. She would wait.
But destined for another…
Four years pass, and the death of his father forces Jamie home to take up the reins as the new earl, leaving his brother fighting on the front lines a world away. Maddening, infuriating, sexy Jamie makes Paget question her feelings. One glimpse, one word from him awakens desire in her heart. When a simple kiss spirals out of control at the annual Valentine’s Day ball, she realizes the man she never wanted is the man she needs…but will Paget cast aside all she’s ever thought to be true to win the man of her dreams?
For its short word count, The Earl In My Bed feels like a much longer story. The characters are fully fleshed-out amidst a highly emotional storyline where childhood feelings morph into more adult thoughts and a better understanding of what true love is. It's a heartwarming story, and though part of a series, it's not necessary to have read the other installments to have found much to enjoy about this story.
Paget has always hung around brothers Owen and Bran making them The Three Musketeers, with James always being left out. Their group always found him overly serious and snobbish so they went out of their way to ignore him. They planned out their futures together, but death and war has torn their group apart and Paget is now on her own and very lonely. People expect her to marry Owen once he returns home from war but Paget knows they won't find happiness with each other as absence has made the heart smarter and their connection was always one of a sibling nature. Being a mature woman she now wants passion in any marriage she makes and surprisingly finds it with James, the new Earl of Winningham. She no longer finds him cold and arrogant but rather hot and able to make her heart race. What ensues is a battle of wills to admit what they truly feel. With as outspoken as Paget is it's frustrating that she's hold back in telling James how she feels for so long. Seeing them together you realize how perfectly matched they are in both temperament and their strong-willed natures. Their romantic interludes show mutual longing and sexul tension just waiting to explode.
James always felt alone as a child, as if he didn't exist and held no importance. He knows he's never been well thought of and doesn't relish becoming the new Earl. He's always wanted Paget as he admired her feistiness and wanted to bring her joy to his unhappiness. He's never seen himself as worthy though and fights his attraction to her as he thinks she's meant for his brother. I felt such sympathy for him and his loneliness among so many people and love seeing him finally go after what he wants in such a blatantly seductive way.
These characters are delightful apart and even more so together. Their outspoken natures lead to some very sexy encounters and an unexpectedly romantic epilogue with a jaw-dropping ending. This story is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon with its brisk pace and memorable interactions between the main characters. Fans of Regency romances with find this short story long on entertainment.
My rating for this is an A.
*I received this book from Avon Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
BUY LINKS: AMAZON | BN
Sophie Jordan, a former high school English teacher, resides in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she divides her time between inventing what she likes to call culinary masterpieces -- her husband won’t always agree -- and visiting her family’s pecan ranch in the scenic Texas Hill Country.
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