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Book CoverC2’s review of To Wed a Wicked Earl by Olivia Parker
Historical romance, released 25 August 2009 by Avon

The earls of Rothbury have long been known for decadence, rakishness and all manner of things that made them dangerous to the young misses of the ton and Adam Faramond, current Earl of Rothbury, is no exception.  Maybe.  Why, then, has his attention been snagged by a shy, sometimes stuttering, wallflower of a lady?  And it isn’t a passing interest – oh not at all! – for six years he has watched over Miss Charlotte Greene from afar.  Rothbury knows he isn’t the right sort of man for her.  Still, watching her pine for his best friend, Lord Tristan Devine, has not been easy.

Charlotte Greene knows she is not one of the most sought after young ladies.  She is quiet, sometimes painfully shy, and watched over by a very strict mother.  Charlotte has been in love with Lord Tristan since he rescued her and her mother from an overturned carriage.  When she is chosen as a participant in the Bride Hunt Ball, it seems her feelings might be returned – alas Lord Tristan proposes to another.  Charlotte is devastated but before she embarrasses herself by running out of the ballroom, Rothbury intercepts her and forces her to dance with him.  She understands that he is saving her from humiliating herself in front of the other guests and even begins to enjoy the dance.

After his kind gesture, Charlotte decides that she and Rothbury are friends. And friends help each other, right? So she offers to help Rothbury win the supposed object of his affection, her friend and neighbor, Lady Rosalind Devine. In return, Charlotte wants Rothbury to help her make Lord Tristan jealous and sorry he didn’t choose her and find a suitor to marry since this will be her last season and she doesn’t want to marry a friend of her elderly parents.

As it turns out, Rothbury does need her help – not to win Lady Rosalind but to keep his grandmother from selling the one solvent (but unentailed) property the family owns. His grandmother is not quite in touch with reality and has told Rothbury she will sell the estate if he doesn’t marry quickly. Rothbury invites Charlotte and her mother to visit the estate and tells his grandmother that Charlotte is his betrothed – in French…the only language his grandmother will speak and a language Charlotte does not speak. Maybe. During the visit, his grandmother begs Rothbury and Charlotte to have a pretend ceremony in the same spot she married his grandfather. To make grandmama happy, they agree. Oh, faithful reader, I’m sure you see where this is going.

I so enjoyed this book! I thought the prequel was a remarkably good debut and impatiently waited for the next book. And I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Watching Rothbury yearn for Charlotte – knowing he isn’t good for her and trying to stay away from her but completely unable to be mean or refuse to help her whenever she needed him – while she is completely oblivious because she would never imagine a man like him being interested in someone like her.

There are some interesting twists and turns along the road to their HEA. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, there is a twist that sends things off in a different direction. If you’re in the mood for a fun, sweet read you can’t go wrong with this one.

CSquareds C2 IconGrade: A

He’s on the hunt for a bride . . .
Adam Faramond, Earl of Rothbury, needs to find a wife—immediately!—or his beloved grandmother will leave him penniless. But Adam, an unrepentant rake, would reform for only one woman, the woman he’s lusted after—and loved—for years. It’s rather unfortunate, then, that Miss Charlotte Greene would never consent to be the blushing bride of a rogue . . . or so he thinks.
Charlotte believes that the earl, the only man whose touch leaves her trembling, would never want a woman like her. Weary of her wallflower ways, Charlotte decides that a friendship with the earl just might give her the excitement she desires. Keeping their true feelings hidden, she and Adam plan a sham ceremony to placate the dowager. But when the “marriage of convenience” takes an unexpected turn, will Charlotte and her wicked earl finally reveal their irresistible, unforgettable love—and delight in a lifetime of passion?

Read an excerpt!

If you want to be completely up on the backstory (or just want to read another fun, sweet book), read At the Bride Hunt Ball. It isn’t completely necessary, though. To Wed a Wicked Earl stands alone quite well.

Other books in the series:
Book Cover