USA Today Bestseller
American heiress Piety Grey is on the run. Suddenly in London and facing the renovation of a crumbling townhouse, she’s determined to make a new life for herself—anything is better than returning to New York City where a cruel mother and horrid betrothal await her. The last thing she needs is a dark, tempting earl inciting her at every turn…
Trevor Rheese, the Earl of Falcondale, isn’t interested in being a good neighbor. After fifteen years of familial obligation, he’s finally free. But when the disarmingly beautiful Piety bursts through his wall—and into his life—his newfound freedom is threatened…even as his curiosity is piqued.
Once Piety’s family arrives in London, Falcondale suddenly finds himself in the midst of a mock courtship to protect the seductive woman who’s turned his world upside down. It’s all for show—or at least it should be. But if Falcondale isn’t careful, he may find a very real happily ever after with the woman of his dreams…
An Avon Romance
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a wonderful debut offering from Charis Michaels
I’m just going to call The Earl Next Door what it is – a wonderful debut offering from Charis Michaels with clever characters, wondrous prose and a plot that divides into plots, all while maintaining a sense of fun and joy in the story and the process. I’m so happy to see titles that celebrate the lighter moments, using descriptions that breathe life into the characters, demanding that you just enjoy their tale.
Michaels takes her time to develop the characters and get us familiar with their voices and personalities, told in multiple POV’s, each character has a unique perspective on the world around them. From the wonderful witty responses from Piety, to the often subtle and occasionally cutting remarks from Trevor, and the narration that uses references that instantly bring an image to life, the story keeps moving forward with new moments at every corner.
A bit of a slow grower, the plot has several twists and borderline improbable elements: Piety’s family is distasteful and devious, but their lack of subtlety in the machinations to get this young woman’s money, while clever, is akin to watching a train wreck. She’s not a simple and typical female character: an American testing the waters in England. Oh she and Trevor have sparks- their banter is clever and fast paced, and Piety’s deft handling of Trevor when he’s more hedgehog with prickles than polished gentleman is a treat. She can’t help herself – she is drawn to him, and is fully aware that this introverted man who is so clever and intriguing is completely unaware of his own destiny.
An engaging secondary set of characters bring a sense of depth to the story: not everything happens in the drawing rooms, and the clever turns of phrase and description are wonderful to behold. While the pacing does pick up rather significantly in the last quarter of the story, and there are some plot elements that seem to fall away, while Piety’s family seems to have one too many encores, the story is a fun and easy read, and perfect to just hide away in, whiling away the hours. It will be interesting to see where the story moves in the next installment, I only hope to see more from Trevor and Piety as their own connection matures.
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.
Witty and engaging debut
Trevor Rheese is the reluctant new Earl of Falcondale. After years of obligations abroad he now has the freedom to pursue his long delayed dreams. All he wants is to leave behind the gloomy bitterness of England and to be alone. What Trevor wants and what he needs proves to be two completely different things.
The beautiful and effervescent American heiress Miss Peity Grey moves next door to Trevor’s London townhouse and, quite literally, comes barging into his life. Like a moth to a flame, Trevor is unable to resist Peity’s charms. Try as he might, he cannot stop himself from spending time with her, nor is she willing to forgo every opportunity to needle the curmudgeonly earl. Soon Trevor goes from begrudgingly assisting Piety with the renovations on her dilapidated new home to scheming to protect her from the unsavory machinations of her family. As Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy would say, he was in the middle before he even knew he had begun.
Neither party wants to want the other, yet they are exactly what the other needs. The rapport between the two characters leaps off the page. Even when they are disagreeing, there is a mutual admiration behind their heated words. Every scene with Trevor and Piety is well paced and interesting, whether it be a chess match or a bone-melting kiss. The intimacy between them develops naturally, first with honesty and forthright communication leading into a more physical relationship. I absolutely LOVE the conversations and banter between them.
I love a brooding, grumpy hero who is unable to resist a disarming, vivacious lady. Piety gives Trevor hope and light while he provides her with respect and undying devotion.
The various threads of the plot flow seamlessly together, with excellent pacing. Add to that the engaging and well developed characters and The Earl Next Door becomes a novel worthy of adding to the top of any To Be Read List.