Jan 24 2014 4:10pm

First Look: Manda Collins’s Why Earls Fall in Love (January 28, 2014)

Why Earls Fall in Love by Manda CollinsManda Collins 
Why Earls Fall in Love
St. Martin's Press / January 28, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

Young widowed Georgina Mowbray is settling into her role as Lady Russell's companion quite well—until the lady's nephew Dominic, the Earl of Coniston, arrives in Bath for a visit. Georgie's always found him shallow and too smooth, and trusts him as much as she trusts most men...which is to say, not at all. But Con turns out to be more intriguing than she remembers—and completely irresistible...  

Pretty, practical Georgie is nothing like the women Con usually woos—especially since she seems blind to his charms. But his elderly aunt is so fond of her that Con is determined at least to be sociable...with the occasional flirtation thrown in just for fun. But things take a serious turn when a dangerous figure from Georgie's unhappy past appears and threatens to bring her harm. Con will do whatever it takes to keep Georgie safe. And if he can show her that all men are not menaces, he might be able to keep her in his arms and never let go...

In Manda Collins's Why Earls Fall in Love, “Con,” the Earl of Coniston, is used to charming every lady he meets, so he is kind of put out that his aunt's new companion, Georgina Mowbray, has taken an obvious dislike to him.

“Have I done something to offend you, Mrs. Mowbray?” the earl asked, his usually good-natured expression clouded with concern. “Because for the life of me I cannot remember anything which might have put us at loggerheards.”. . .
“There is no problem with you, per se,” she explained, willing her attention back to the matter at hand. “I am simply not all that comfortable around…” She paused searching for a word. “Gentlemen,” she forced herself to say aloud.

Georgina has good reason to be wary around men—her husband was abusive. And, as she and Con become better acquainted, she confesses as much to him.

“The truth of the matter, my lord,” she said, her voice strong despite her obvious nerves, “is that my husband was a brute. He had a temper and he didn't mind venting his spleen using his fists or his belt or anything that came in handy. It didn't much matter what I did to annoy him, he dispensed punishment for small infractions with as much force as for large ones. Though I was never quite sure what would set him off from day to day.”
Though he'd suspected something along these lines, Con couldn't help but grind his teeth at her words. He knew that such men existed. He doubtless played cards with them at Whites or fought with them at Jackson's. But he found it difficult to believe that someone as measured as Georgina would fall prey to one.

As Con begins to fall for the prickly Georgina, he tries to discover her feelings about marrying again and they are, as you might imagine, quite strong.

“You are misreading why most women marry,” Georgina said with a sad smile. “It's not for romantic reasons. It's because an unmarried woman of no means with no family to take her in is likely to be destitute. If marriage is one's only respectable means of getting a roof over her heard, then a woman will marry. . . .You've never found yourself in the position of needing to rely on someone else for your independence,” Georgina said. “You have your independence whether you are married or not. It's different for us. . . . A wife is no more than another possession under English law.”

Con will have his work cut out for him in order to convince this once-bitten, twice-shy woman that he is worth the risk to her body, heart, and soul. But it is a fight in which Con is more than ready to engage.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Why Earls Fall in Love by Manda Collins, available on January 28, 2014:

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Cheryl Sneed reviews for

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