Hello sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for this new historical romance/adventure; This Earl Of Mine by Kate Bateman, not only will I be sharing my review of this intriguing and original story, I also have an exclusive excerpt to share with you all, which I am sure you will love. So take a seat, grab that cuppa and enjoy.
The first book in a new Regency romance series, an heiress and a rogue accidentally end up in a secret marriage of convenience.
In a desperate bid to keep her fortune out of her cousin’s hands, shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed marries a condemned criminal in Newgate prison. The scoundrel’s first kiss is shockingly heated, but Georgie never expects to see her husband again. Until she spots him across a crowded ballroom. Notorious rogue Benedict Wylde never expected a wife. He was in Newgate undercover, working for Bow Street. To keep their marriage of convenience a secret, Wylde courts Georgie in public, but the more time they spend together, the more their attraction sparks. Could an heiress with the world at her feet find happiness with a penniless rake?
Kate Bateman’s This Earl of Mine is a delightful start to the Bow Street Bachelors series, with witty banter, dynamic characters, and swoon-worthy romance.
London, March 1816.
There were worse places to find a husband than Newgate Prison.
Of course there were.
It was just that, at present, Georgie couldn’t think of any.
“Georgiana Caversteed, this is a terrible idea.” Georgie frowned at her burly companion, Pieter Smit,
as the nondescript carriage he’d summoned to convey them to London’s most notorious jail rocked to a halt on the cobbled street. The salt-weathered Dutchman always used her full name whenever he disapproved of some- thing she was doing. Which was often.
“Your father would turn in his watery grave if he knew what you were about.”
That was undoubtedly true. Until three days ago, en- listing a husband from amongst the ranks of London’s most dangerous criminals had not featured prominently on her list of life goals. But desperate times called for des- perate measures. Or, in this case, for a desperate felon about to be hanged. A felon she would marry before the night was through.
Georgie peered out into the rain-drizzled street, then up, up the near-windowless walls. They rose into the mist, five stories high, a vast expanse of brickwork, bleak and unpromising. A church bell tolled somewhere in the darkness, a forlorn clang like a death knell. Her stomach knotted with a grim sense of foreboding.
Was she really going to go through with this? It had seemed a good plan, in the safety of Grosvenor Square. The perfect way to thwart Cousin Josiah once and for all. She stepped from the carriage, ducked her head against the rain, and followed Pieter under a vast arched gate. Her heart hammered at the audacity of what she planned. They’d taken the same route as condemned prisoners on the way to Tyburn tree, only in reverse. West to east, from the rarefied social strata of Mayfair through gradu- ally rougher and bleaker neighborhoods, Holborn and St. Giles, to this miserable place where the dregs of humanity had been incarcerated. Georgie felt as if she
were nearing her own execution.
She shook off the pervasive aura of doom and straight- ened her spine. This was her choice. However unpalat- able the next few minutes might be, the alternative was far worse. Better a temporary marriage to a murderous, unwashed criminal than a lifetime of misery with Josiah. They crossed the deserted outer courtyard, and Georgie cleared her throat, trying not to inhale the foul-smelling air that seeped from the very pores of the building. “You
have it all arranged? They are expecting us?”
Pieter nodded. “Aye. I’ve greased the wheels with yer blunt, my girl. The proctor and the ordinary are both bent as copper shillings. Used to having their palms greased, those two, the greedy bastards.”
Her father’s right-hand man had never minced words in front of her, and Georgie appreciated his bluntness. So few people in the ton ever said what they really meant. Pieter’s honesty was refreshing. He’d been her father’s man for twenty years before she’d even been born. A case of mumps had prevented him from accompanying Wil- liam Caversteed on his last, fateful voyage, and Georgie had often thought that if Pieter had been with her father, maybe he’d still be alive. Little things like squalls, ship- wrecks, and attacks from Barbary pirates would be mere inconveniences to a man like Pieter Smit.
In the five years since Papa’s death, Pieter’s steadfast loyalty had been dedicated to William’s daughters, and Georgie loved the gruff, hulking manservant like a second father. He would see her through this madcap scheme— even if he disapproved.
She tugged the hood of her cloak down to stave off the drizzle. This place was filled with murderers, highway- men, forgers, and thieves. Poor wretches slated to die, or those “lucky” few whose sentences had been commuted to transportation. Yet in her own way, she was equally desperate.
“You are sure that this man is to be hanged tomorrow?” Pieter nodded grimly as he rapped on a wooden door.
“I am. A low sort he is, by all accounts.”
She shouldn’t ask, didn’t want to know too much about the man whose name she was purchasing. A man whose death would spell her own freedom. She would be wed and widowed within twenty-four hours.
*** From This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman. Copyright © 2019 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Publishing Group. ***
I hate to admit that I haven’t read as many of Kate’s books as I should have, as I have only read one of hers previously; The Devil To Pay which is amazing and it got me hooked with her work, yet you all know how it when you have a toppling tbr and not enough hours in the day. As soon as I read then blurb of this one I knew that it was right up my street I was fascinated by the premise of it, it sounded so different to other historical’s and I was looking forward to diving into Kate Bateman’s writing again, I wasn’t disappointed This Earl of mine is the first book to this whole new series; The Bow Street Bachelors and it’s a great start to what I think is going to be a wonderful series, one that I know is going to get better and better the deeper we delve in.
It really is an interesting tale, complete fantasy there isn’t a lot of realism but I really enjoyed diving into the unique and exaggerated story or Georgie and Ben. Heiress to a shipping company Georgina Caversteed, this is the only flaw with the whole set up, Georgie is in her early twenties she has apparently been groomed from a very young age by her father to essentially run the business but there is a lot of talk about how she may lose the company to a husband and how she wants up befree to run as she wishes, but you don’t actually get a glimpse of her really doing anything else. I would have liked to have seen her do something, instead of moan and talk about her freedom, that’s just my personal view and it takes nothing away from the overall story, I just found her a little irritating and bit manipulative.
Georgie knows that once she comes into her inheritance that she will be hounded by would-be husbands she also knows that to marry all of the company and her money would pass over to her husband, that is unless her husband is dead then it would be hers, so she comes up with a rather bizarre plan to marry a convict who is on death row – I said it was a little odd – only her would-be husband dies before she says I do making her settle for second best a man who is condemned for transportation.
Benedict Wylde is currently working under cover for the bow street runners to smoke out a group of smugglers which is when Georgie find him in Newgate prison, he didn’t want a wife he doesn’t want to marry he just want s to do his job and be left alone but when the beautiful heiress turns up brandishing money and practically begging for a husband he marries her.
She thinks that he is safely on his transportation ship to Australia and can brief a sigh of relief that she is free to do as she pleases, that is until she sees the husband she never wanted and who she thought was gone from England’s shore looking dazzling and hale at a ball.
The start was a little slow and a bit on the odd side I will admit, it was nothing I have read before I enjoyed it but it is once she realises who he is and when they then must traverse the turbulent waters between then that the story really picks up apace. The romance between them is smoking, there is a sexy undercurrent that shimmers around them. The banter is brilliant its fun and fiery and will definitely keep you entertained.
If you like your historical’s that are a bit more on the unique side that has an edge then this is the book for you, I think it is one of those that the more you read the more you see within the story.
About the Author
Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, including her RITA® nominated Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, and the novels in the Secrets & Spies series To Steal a Heart, A Raven’s Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart. When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss, Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England. Follow her on Twitter to learn more.