Lady Alexandra Hobbs, the daughter of the Duke of Huntley, has intended to marry Lord Owen Monroe since she first glimpsed him from the window of her bedchamber, back when she was just a girl. But the duke has already chosen Alex’s infamously spoiled elder sister, Lavinia, for Owen. And now there’s no turning back.
Owen has spent most of his bachelor years drinking, gambling, and skirt-chasing. He won’t see another pound from his parents, however, until he’s engaged to Lavinia. Desperate, he accepts an offer from her innocent and spirited—and absolutely beautiful—sister Alex: She will turn him into a perfectly tamed suitor, and show him how to woo the shrew. But when Alex’s true motives come to light, will their bargain lead to recriminations—or to a romance that defies everyone’s expectations?
Follow this link to read chapter one in full: http://us.macmillan.com/excerpt?isbn=9781250072580
VALERIE BOWMAN was an RT Reviewers Choice Award nominee for Best Historical Novel 2013 in the category of Love and Laughter for SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE, and in the category of Best First Historical in 2012 for SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT! She has been featured as a bride on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, and in guest posts for USA Today’s Happily Ever After and Publishers Weekly’s Beyond Her Blog. She’s received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist while also becoming a top pick for Romance Reviews Today, Fresh Fiction, and BN.com (Bookseller Best Picks) with SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE. Valerie has recently been nominated for the 2014 Kirkus Prize with THE UNEXPECTED DUCHESS.
REVIEW: Lady Alexandra Hobbs was only fifteen years old when she first set eyes on Owen Monroe, an earl’s son with a reputation for gambling, drinking and womanizing. In this instance, though, he acted the hero toward her younger brother, who was being bullied by two older men. Alex’s young heart fell in love, and she wrote in her journal that she would marry Owen one day. Three years later, and Alex has made her social debut, but it was a flop, and she has yet to encounter Owen again.
Meanwhile, Owen’s father, the Earl of Moreland, has finally reached the end of his patience with Owen’s scoundrelly ways. He has arranged a marriage between Owen and Alex’s older sister, Lavinia. Owen has one month to court Lavinia and convince her to accept his marriage proposal, or his allowance stops. Though not wanting to marry, Owen decides to give in, and then just continue on with his roguish lifestyle after the wedding.
Owen first sees Lavinia and Alex together at a ball, and he finds he’s very attracted to Alex, unfortunately, the wrong sister. Alex, not willing to give up without a fight, proposes a bargain with Owen – she’ll give him tips (erroneous ones) on how to win Lavinia, and he will dance with and pay attention to her and teach her how to flirt, so she can be more of a success.
Lavinia is beautiful, spoiled, and a truly despicable person. She wants nothing to do with Owen, as she feels that he’s beneath her. Of course you can guess that things change when she starts to see him falling for her plainer young sister.
Owen and Alex begin to fall in love in this seemingly hopeless situation. They are so good together, and bring out the best in each other. Alex begins to bloom, and Owen begins to want to make something of his life. Yet, both sets of parents are determined to see Owen wed Lavinia.
Owen is a charming rascal, and Alex is a delightful fibber and eavesdropper. I couldn’t help but like them both and root for them to find their way to happy ever after. This light hearted romance was in turn amusing, sad, sexy, and hopeful. I enjoyed this read very much, and am happy to recommend THE UNTAMED EARL for your reading pleasure.