The Dark Earl
Virginia Henley

Publisher: Penguin Group
Line: NAL Trade
Release Date: Sep 6, 2011
Pages: 416
Retail Price: $ 15.00

Heat Level: Sensual

Is it about the man...or the manor?

It's love at first sight for Lady Harriet Hamilton--love with Thomas Anson's ancestral home, that is. Thomas's father, the Earl of Lichfield, has gambled away the family's honor, and now it's cost them everything at Shugborough Hall. The estate sale is shameful enough for Thomas without some precocious young female sneaking around his property, but vivacious Harry has caught him sneaking around as well...

When they meet again years later, neither Harry nor Viscount Anson has forgotten their encounter. While Thomas has grown into the exact opposite of his reprobate father, Harry is outspoken, audacious, and now, Thomas must admit, quite a beauty. But he's committed to restoring the family holdings, not chasing after a wife. If only she wasn't hurling herself against his principles--and haviong such a good time doing it...

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1.Too Wicked To Wed
2. Because You're Mine
3. Season For Temptation
4. His Mistress by Christmas
5. The Sinner
6. Unclaimed
7. What a Duke Wants
8. Scandalous Desires
9. Mistress by Marriage
10. The Dark Earl


The Dark Earl by Virginia Henley is a sweeping novel full of fun character and a fantastic romance.

Lady Harriet “Harry” Hamilton wants to marry for love. In fact, it is the only reason she will marry. After growing up in a loving household with happily married parents she can’t imagine it being any other way. She is drawn to several young men, but none more than Viscount Thomas. He is everything she thinks that she wants in a man, but she must know that he loves her before she will agree to marry him.

Viscount Thomas must marry for money, but doesn’t want to. He knows a loveless marriage is no way to live. When his father demands he marry a wealthy woman or be disinherited, Thomas still refuses.  His father’s gambling ways have left the family in financial straits and Thomas is working toward reclaiming all of the family’s belongings that have been sold to cover losses and wants to do so without the help of a rich wife. He has a tremendous sense of family, legacy, and morality.

Thomas and Harry met as children and even in their youth, there was a connection between them. The connection is still there when the meet as adults. I love the exchanges between Thomas and Harry and how their relationship changes as the fall in love.

There was one exchange that I particularly loved as it called back to their childhood encounter.

“Marry Me.”

“Perhaps.” Green eyes looked into silver. “But first I want proof that you love me.”

“Why the hellfire would I saddle myself with an outrageous baggage who flies in the face of all my principles if I didn’t love you?”

Harry gave him back his own words: “Perhaps because I am the daughter of wealthy nobility…and I am the most attractive, maddening female in London.”

“And perhaps, just perhaps, it’s because I love you.”

Harry shook her head thoughtfully. “It may not be love. The attraction between us may be the challenge we symbolize to each other. You want to tame me…and I want to make you wild!”

“You once told me that if I laid a finger on you, Abercorn would have me thrashed within an inch of my miserable life.” Thomas covered her breasts and retied the ribbon on her chemise. The he buttoned the bodice of her riding dress. He donned his jacket and held out his hand. “We are at an impasse.”

She took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. Her eyes sparkled with audacity.

“A duke’s daughter trumps an earl’s son any day of the year.”

“I am about to make another declaration. You will marry me, Lady Harriet.”

These two characters are definitely a case of opposite’s attraction. They have only a few things in common and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Thomas is serious and staid; while Harry is wild and impulsive (she gets a tattoo!). But even with their differences, they complement each other perfectly.

Historical romance lovers will laugh and sigh while reading The Dark Earl.

Reviewed by Carrie


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