Tuesday, October 30, 2018

First Earl I See Tonight (Review)

Once upon a time three young ladies vowed to record their first London seasons…and to fill in the gaps of their finishing school educations. Thus began The Debutante Diaries—and London will never be the same…

“Fans of Regency romance authors Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, and Mary Jo Putney will go wild.”—Booklist

An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars, in First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett.

Recently jilted by his fiancĂ©e, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?
First Earl I See Tonight
Debutante Diaries #1
Anna Bennett
Pub Date: 10/30/18
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 5/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

The first in Anna Bennet's Debutante Diaries series is the kind of regency romance I live for! First Earl I See Tonight is the beginning of an intriguing series for the most romantic of romantics. A jilted duke, bitter and hardened toward love, is propositioned by a young woman desperate to save her younger sister from ruin. The immediate answer is a hard "no" but Fiona's talent and genuine charm may be all she needs to secure the safety of her sister's reputation.

First Earl I See Tonight moves at a balanced pace. There's enough time to get to know Fiona, her younger sister and their best friend, and the Gray. There's even a bit of intrigue as Fiona tries to determine just who has the nerve to blackmail her. A good chunk of reading time revolves around Fiona trying to convince the duke to marry her as they get to know one another. Gray's dark past sneaks to the forefront while the cast attends a house party at his country estate. The characters' depth is revealed piece by piece as the story plays out and it left me with a warm feeling. I loved Fiona's wild plan and her determination in the face of rejection. She risked much for her sister and even when her feelings toward Gray became more her compassion rose to encompass his feelings as well. I had a lot of 'aw, that's so sweet' moments reading this story and I would definitely repeat the process a couple dozen more times!

You certainly can never go wrong with a regency romance and especially not with Anna Bennett! I'm excited to read the next book in the series, The Duke is But a Dream, which sounds just as enchantingly romantic as First Earl I See Tonight!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*


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