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.