Know that feeling when a moving van pulls into the neighborhood, the urge to peek from behind curtains at wha—and who—is coming out of the van and into the no-longer-vacant house? There’s an excitement that boils when the stuff coming out of that van is pretty darned cool, and hey, wait, what are the new neighbors wearing? They’re taking that in there? They have a what? No, seriously, a what? Time to brew some coffee, bake some cookies and get on over there to say hello, because this neighborhood just got a lot more interesting. The Earl Next Door, by debut author, Charis Michaels, is like that.
That’s also pretty much exactly the first scene, as American heiress, Piety Grey and her African servant, Tiny, descend upon Henrietta Place, in Mayfair, London, home to longtime resident, Lady Frinfrock, and her nurse, Jocelyn, Not only are there new arrivals, but their grand carriage careens into the perfectly proper street with unseemly speed, and they’re moving in next door to the newly-inherited, and impoverished Earl of Falcondale, who seems as eager to get out as the new neighbors are to get settled in place. Of course these two worlds must collide, and of course Lady Frinfrock sends her soon-to-be-erstwhile nurse over to investigate and report back.