I picked this book out of one of my many TBR piles because I was in the mood for a story about times when the social structures were a little more rigid and the focus on repartee more than body parts. Well, I both got what I wanted and a lot more.
Sure, there is sex in the book (much more than I was expecting), but there’s tart tongues and women refusing the place society has consigned for them as well. What made this book a powerful read, though, was the twin themes of sordid mystery and innocent characters.
Now anyone who has read this book would laugh at the idea of Gideon laying claim to innocence of any form, and the life Jessica lived before crossing figurative swords with Gideon would put a widow to blush. And yet, they are both innocent not necessarily in the ways of the world, but neither has any experience to speak of where the heart is concerned.
As they work together to solve the past that haunts them both, they learn more about love of friends, family, and most especially each other. But don’t think for a minute their journey is simple. The past they fight has its coils wrapped around more than just the dead, threatening those they seek to protect and even more.
It’s a multi-layered story filled with complex characters who have been through a lot, yet keep an admirable integrity and a sense of humor that makes for brilliant moments. Some characters might seem there only for comic relief at times, but all but one get a serious moment to enhance their roles, the one having been delayed to later books…or so I expect.
While not exactly what I was looking for when I grabbed it, What an Earl Wants handily filled my reading time with enjoyable characters, a compelling story, and moments of humor to keep me smiling.