Wating for an Earl Like You (Masters of Seduction #3)
St. Martin's Press / January 3, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital
The Earl of Kempthorn—Thorn to family and friends—at their mother’s request tries to track down his identical twin brother, Gideon, missing from the gala put together in the latter’s honor, marking his return home after an absence of several years. Thorn finds Gideon in a sailboat on the lake with their longtime neighbor and family friend, Olivia Lydall. During an exchange highlighted by the brothers arguing and not noticing Olivia’s precarious position within the boat, all three end up in the lake. The parade of the three wet and bedraggled individuals making their way into the house causes quite a stir, including, for Olivia, a confrontation with the woman likely to become her stepmother.
Despite being saved from further humiliation by Thorn and Gideon’s mother, the unfortunate incident serves as a prelude for trying and tempestuous times ahead for Olivia. Thorn feels Gideon and Olivia may be getting too close, a concern which leads to Thorn deciding to engage in the childhood prank of pretending to be his brother. Thorn tells himself his actions are for Olivia’s own good, but he comes to realize he may well have another reason altogether.
Alexandra Hawkins provides a close look into the mind and motivations of Thorn, the male protagonist, a not-so-typical approach in the genre. This technique serves to give the reader a better understanding of his character in general, and of his actions in particular. Though he seems resistant to the process initially, Thorn does engage in self-reflection as deep and thorough as any female protagonist.
Although he refused to admit it to himself, Olivia Lydall had always been a temptation.
While everyone around him yielded to his title and family, she had never been impressed. Gideon had been her friend, and he could have been hers, as well, but in his youthful arrogance he had turned away. He was Lord Felstead’s heir. She had seen only the boy, the one who had come in second to her Gideon.
The wild reckless girl had wounded his felings but not acknowledged his importance, so he had shunned and mocked her. Thorn had quietly resented her friendship with his twin. He had tried to control everything and everyone in his life. His grip had been so fierce and uncompromising. Gideon had slipped free and abandoned him. Olivia had learned to avoid him. he had managed his lovers and his passions with a ruthless efficiency, feeling nothing when he ended his affairs. Over the years, he had even kept his friends at a distance.
Though a lot of the narrative focuses on Thorn’s perspective, Olivia gets her fair share of attention, as well. Some of Thorn’s fears about Olivia prove true (that she is a fresh-faced innocent about a lot she encounters in society), she ably demonstrates she can hold her own when she needs to.
Historical romance fans should enjoy the entertaining Waiting for an Earl Like You.
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A reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol also serves as the Director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, and in 2013 co-authored The Jane Yellowrock World Companion with Faith Hunter. When not reading, reviewing, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.