Oh, I am so going to love this series!
Book: Earls Just Want To Have Fun
Author: Shana Galen
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance
His heart may be the last thing she ever steals…
Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London’s Seven Dials. It’s a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she’s alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.
Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.
She yanked her arm out of his grip. “After I eat, I’m leaving. Just try and stop me.”
“Madam, I will lead the parade to the door.”
The banter! The chemistry! The waltz! (Oh, the waltz…<fans self>)
Marlowe was such a fish-out-of-water in Dane’s world, and it lead to more laugh out loud moments than I could possibly count. Her talk of “bubbies” and “noodles” had me giggling more than was probably healthy. One of my favorite parts was that she had no idea what was going on with her body when she was attracted to Dane, in spite of all her street smarts and experience.
“May I kiss you?” One of his thumbs extended, brushing over her hard point. “Here?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Good,” he said. “I think I might have died if you’d said no.” He lowered his lips and brushed them against the swells of her flesh. Her skin tingled, and she felt a shot of heat in her lower belly. With his tongue, he traced a path to the other side and gave her tiny, torturous kisses. At some point she’d grabbed his arms, and she dug her fingers in now, using his strength to keep herself upright. Her legs felt wobbly. Judging by her list of symptoms, she probably had the plague.
Hee hee hee–the plague! Loved it 🙂
The side characters were almost as fun as the hero and heroine–Susanna, Dane’s younger sister who helps him in his attempt to make Marlowe ton-ready (and loans her several outfits) and Gideon, Marlowe’s fellow cub who’s been carrying an unrequited torch for her for years were two of my favorites. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of them in future books in the series.
The one thing that confused me a bit was Brook’s disappearance. Not that I minded Dane and Marlowe having so much alone time–it was definitely a blast to read, and of course necessary to the plot–but what was he doing all that time between when he dropped (almost literally) Marlowe off at his brother’s and when Gideon arrived at his office to recruit his assistance for their scheme? Dare I hope we’ll find out in a later book?
I definitely haven’t read enough of Shana Galen’s books–no idea why–but after this one, I’ll be reading her backlist ASAP and be counting the days until book two in the series comes out. I’d already downloaded the prequel novella (Viscount of Vice) before I was even halfway through this book. Characters who are so much fun to root for, witty dialogue, off-the-charts chemistry, and fantastic romance–I loved every minute, and look forward to more!
(And Gideon’s book is next, right? I need Gideon’s book soon!)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
“While I do not usually object to a woman in this position,” Dane said quietly, “I must confess something about the dagger between your lips is less than romantic.”
Marlowe reached for the dagger, but he was faster, grasping her hands and pinning them at her side. She lost her balance and settled on top of him, and he pushed her down so that she would fall forward if she tried to swing her legs out from under her.
“What, exactly, are you doing?”
She couldn’t answer, not with the dagger in her mouth, and she shook her head, shaking her arms to indicate she wanted to be freed from his hold.
“What’s the matter? Can’t speak with a knife between your lips? Hazard of your profession, I assume.” He began to rise, sliding her along his body, as he did so. Even beneath the layers of bedclothes, she could feel the strength and power of him. His hands, remarkably strong, held hers at her sides. Nothing she did would free them. He was far too strong. It was times like this she hated being a woman. Gideon would have freed himself easily. He was also tall enough that he wouldn’t have needed to climb onto the bed.
When the swell was sitting, with Marlowe conveniently in his lap, he leaned forward so his face was inches from hers. “Drop the knife.”
She wanted to tell him it was a dagger, a subtle but important distinction, but she couldn’t speak and hold on to her weapon. And she couldn’t think very well with her body pressed against his. Something about their positions made her skin tingle and her belly flutter. She should want to pull away. Instead, she fought the urge to push closer, to rock against him. What the bloody hell was wrong with her?
“Drop the knife or I’ll take it.”
She laughed. Just let him try.
To her surprise, he leaned closer, his lips moving so near to hers she could smell his breath. Like the rest of him, it smelled clean. She was so intent upon smelling his breath, so intent upon the heat of his body pulsing against hers, she forgot to move her head back, and she jolted in shock when his lips touched hers. What was he doing? Kissing her?
But then his teeth flashed and closed on the dagger’s blade, and she reacted too slowly. He yanked it from her mouth, and she had no choice but to let it go or risk the blade cutting the corners of her sensitive flesh.
“Bastard!” she yelled. He released her hands then, allowing the dagger to drop into one of his. She swung at him, and her fist collided with a satisfying thunk against his cheek. But her satisfaction was short-lived as he recovered easily and flipped her over. Suddenly, she was beneath him on the bed, and all the warmth from the bedclothes and his body were covering her. She bucked immediately, trying to throw him off, but he was solid and heavy, and when his hands grasped her wrists and pinned them to the pillow, she knew she was trapped.
Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Bookreviews calls her books ” lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter. Visit her website at www.shanagalen.com
Social Networking Links