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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE UNTAMED EARL by Valerie Bowman (Playful Brides #5)

The Untamed Earl
by Valerie Bowman



Lady Alexandra Hobbs, the daughter of the Duke of Huntley, has intended to marry Lord Owen Monroe since she first glimpsed him from the window of her bedchamber, back when she was just a girl. But the duke has already chosen Alex’s infamously spoiled elder sister, Lavinia, for Owen. And now there’s no turning back.

Owen has spent most of his bachelor years drinking, gambling, and skirt-chasing. He won’t see another pound from his parents, however, until he’s engaged to Lavinia. Desperate, he accepts an offer from her innocent and spirited–and absolutely beautiful–sister Alex: She will
turn him into a perfectly tamed suitor, and show him how to woo the shrew. But when Alex’s true motives come to light, will their bargain lead to recriminations–or to a romance that defies everyone’s expectations?



I had so much fun reading this book! How is it I haven’t read anything in this series (or by this author, even more shameful!) before? If I hadn’t been without Internet the entire time I read it, I would have added the rest of the series to my TBR before I was halfway through, because though this one worked fine as a standalone, you hear enough about the exploits of the heroines of books 1-4 that you have to find out their stories too…

The Untamed Earl flirts a bit with being a Taming of the Shrew story, though it’s not quite. It’s also a bit of an homage to Pygmalion, though again, not exactly. As an impressionable fifteen-year old, Alex witnessed Lord Owen Monroe going entirely against his worthless rake image and being a good guy–and fell for him on the spot. Fast forward three years–and she’s aghast to learn that her parents intend to marry her shrewish (except to call her that is doing a disservice to shrews everywhere) older sister to him. So she hatches a plan…which gets even more convoluted and complicated when Owen’s younger sister Cass ( heroine of  The Accidental Countess) and her well-meaning but excessively meddling friends get involved…

Owen’s spent more than half of his life trapped within the weight of his father’s disappointment in him, to the point where he has pretty much given up on ever making something of himself. If he’s bound to be nothing but an eternal disappointment, why even try? But Alex makes him think he just might be able to be a better person, if only to live up to the image she has of him…or is it too late to change the habits of half a lifetime?

(Of course it isn’t! But Alex has her work cut out for her, trying to get him to see it.)

So, so good. Though Alex probably should not have listened to even half of Lucy’s (heroine of The Unexpected Duchess) harebrained suggestions, they sure did make for some amusing reading. Even before Cass and her friends get involved, there were so many laugh out loud–not to mention downright swoony–moments while I read this (one of the best first kiss scenes ever! It gave me chills), I knew it was destined for the keeper shelf for sure.

And then I got to the ending! Sigh… 🙂

Did I mention how much I loved this book?

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.


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