Eva Leigh's irresistible new series introduces the Wicked Quills of London: a group of bold, brilliant female writers whose spirited allure is beyond seductive . . .
Eleanor Hawke loves a good scandal. And readers of her successful gossip rag live for the exploits of her favorite subject: Daniel Balfour, the notorious Earl of Ashford. So when the earl himself marches into her office and invites her to experience his illicit pursuits firsthand, Eleanor is stunned. Gambling hells, phaeton races, masquerades . . . What more could a scandal writer want than a secret look into the life of this devilishly handsome rake?
Daniel has secrets, and if The Hawk's Eye gets wind of them, a man's life could be at stake. And what better way to distract a gossip than by feeding her the scandal she desperately craves? But Daniel never expected the sharp mind and biting wit of the beautiful writer, and their desire for each other threatens even his best-laid plans.
But when Eleanor learns the truth of his deception, Daniel will do anything to prove a romance between a commoner and an earl could really last forever.
Leigh's Wicked Quills of London series launch, set in class-conscious 1816 London, confidently pairs an accomplished commoner and a playboy aristocrat as wonderfully appealing soul mates. Eleanor Hawke is a brilliant writer and a savvy entrepreneur who overcame a difficult childhood to become publisher of a gossipy tabloid, the Hawk's Eye. One of her paper's favorite subjects, the notorious womanizer Daniel Balfour, Earl of Ashford, proposes that Eleanor accompany him around town to prove that not everything reported about him is true. After a visit to a gambling den, a steamy masquerade ball, and a wildly thrilling carriage race, the two are in love, despite the problem of their different classes. Eleanor realizes that Daniel is not just another idle aristocrat and that her life has lacked excitement; Daniel discovers that Eleanor inspires him. Smart women, clever repartee, an inventive strip limerick game, and searing love scenes make this historical simply irresistible. Leigh, who also writes as Zo Archer (the Nemesis, Unlimited series), will win readers' hearts and minds with this opposites-attract tale that sets up a very promising series.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Excellent excellent excellent! Will anticipate future historical regencies from this author!
Fresh and unique, this is a story that is hard to put down
The first in a new regency series, Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh is a wonderful start to a new series with clever and driven heroines and the upper-crust males who are baffled, befuddled and bemused by them.
Eleanor has worked her bustle off to make a life for herself of her own design. Now the owner / operator and jack of all trades for her own thrice weekly tabloid, her paper focuses on the foibles and excesses of the most notorious members of society. Small in circulation, but gaining popularity, her paper has caught the eye of Lord Ashford, who is not happy with the intrusion and never-ending eyes on his activities.
Daniel, Lord Ashford is burdened by guilt, the responsibilities of his title, and the loss of his best friends. As the only heir to the title, he was unable to consider a commission in the military, a regret that he holds to this day. His best friend Jonathan went off to fight Napoleon. On his return, he slowly retreated from friends and family, and has been missing. Daniel has been quietly searching and scouring the less desirable areas of London trying to find his friend, and doesn’t want the scrutiny from Eleanor’s paper to discover the fact, fearing Jonathan will go deeper into hiding, if he is, in fact, still alive.
To lure Eleanor off the trail, Daniel heads to the offices of the Hawk’s Eye to make a deal. Open access to his activities, as he hopes the opportunity will allow him to continue the search for Jonathan without exposure. This sets up a series of outings where Daniel provides entrée into the world of a ‘rake’, offering a bird’s eye view of the dubious behaviors of the ton.
Fast paced, clever characters and wonderful moments of dialog that are both pointed and funny, this story was an absolute delight to read. Eleanor and Daniel are wonderful characters: both have their own preconceived notions which are slowly realigned and readjusted as they truly come to know one another. Plenty of humor and some truly massacred metaphors showed Daniel’s enjoyment of their banter, and you can almost hear Eleanor’s pained groan.
“That apple,” Ashford said, “didn’t fall close to the tree. In fact, it threw itself off the tree’s branches, rolled down a hill, and straight into the nearest theater box, where is surrounded itself with a variety of strawberries of dubious repute.”
Fresh and unique, this read never failed to surprise in a trope that, admittedly, could become trite. Add in the search for Jonathan and the slow build of dependence and reliance on the connection between Eleanor and Daniel, and this is a story that is hard to put down. Secondary characters fil out the story with actions and personalities from depraved to delightful, keeping our couple in the ‘feel’ of the time, even with two who are very different from the norm we are familiar with. I can’t wait for the next in the series!
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.