Book Review: Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle
Title: Meet the Earl at Midnight
Series: Midnight Meetings #1
Author: Gina Conkle
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Age Group: ADULT
Genre Type: Historical Romance, England, Georgian Period
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Pages: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
It's going to take a Beast to tame this Beauty
Enigma Earl. The Phantom of London. That's what the gossip pages call Lord Edward Greenwich, a mysterious nobleman who doesn't show his face in London Society. With a reputation like that, no wonder Lydia Montgomery is horrified to be dragged from bed and packed off to live with him to save her mother from penury.
While Lydia has received all of the training a lady should endure, she's decidedly un-ladylike. She despises her corset and isn't interested in marriage. She'd prefer to remain unmarried and spend her time improving her art. But if she wants a chance at happiness, she'll have to set aside her fear of the earl and discover the man hiding behind the beast.
Will Edward and Lydia's greatest discovery be each other before time runs out?
Set in Georgian England, Meet the Earl at Midnight is the first book in Gina Conkle's new Midnight Meetings series featuring a new spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast theme.
The book opens with a scene where our heroine Lydia, sleep deprive and bleary-eyed, is thrust out into the blustery night by her stepfather on a mission of utmost importance: to rescue her stepbrother at the Blue Cockerel Inn from some sort of alarming and unsavory mess. What she finds there instead is the mysterious and elusive Lord Edward waiting on her presence. Apparently her stepfather decided to strike a bargain with the Lord Edward and forgot to inform Lydia. A bargain that is about to thrust Lydia into the mysterious Lord Edward's world. You see, in exchange for Lord Edward forgetting some unsavory acts of theft and debts by her stepfather and stepbrother, Lydia has been bargained off in exchange.
The PHANTOM of London.
ENIGMA EARL. The GREENWICH RECLUSE.
I immediately found myself intrigued by this dark hero, the mysterious Lord Edward. Scarred, both physically and emotional, he has become a reclusive and avoids society. He lives a simple life on his beautiful estate, where he devotes his time to science. He has a slightly sardonic personality, and he's a bit of a brooder, yet at moments he has these slightly sexy quips he would say to Lydia that I loved. When we see him through Lydia's eyes, there's no doubt that he strikingly handsome, and the disfigurement he carries in no way detracts her from being attracted and intrigued by him. A hero who does not want to be saved, yet finds a heroine who may be the perfect one to do so.
If a WOMAN'S OLD ENOUGH TO WEAR A CORSET, SHE'S old enough to know midnight meetings spell trouble.
Yay, for a smart, sassy, and non-conventional heroine. Lydia easily wove her way into my heart as a heroine. Ever practical, this is no shy and fainting damsel. She takes matters into hand and heads straight to the problem. Namely Edward. Thrust into a situation not of her making, she's determined to make the best of it. The way she goes about winning over the mysterious Lord Edward had me smiling. There's a careful seduction on her part. She's determined to gain this damaged heroes trust and hopefully his heart as well.
The romance was definitely sensuous with high sexual tension throughout. Despite the bargain made by Lord Edward, he decides to put a waiting 'time-period' between himself and Lydia, which ends up nearly becoming his undoing. You could easily feel the attraction between these two. Accidental touches and lingering glances. Innuendos. *Sigh* Gina Conkle knows how to slowly prolong a romance to a startling crescendo. I thought these two were a perfect match for each other and enjoyed the slow brewing romance.
Like the classic Beauty and the Beast story, the author Gina Conkle comes up with her own rendition of an enchanted house and lush garden, by offering the readers and beautiful estate and a Greenhouse where Edward retreats to. Although there's no magic here, there's certainly beauty. The greenhouse holds some rare scientific studies, a horticulturists dream house. It is here that Edward's scientific studies are held, and this is the first place that Lydia decides she must invade in order to tempt Edward.
I completely enjoyed Meet the Earl at Midnight, and thought it was a wonderful new spin on the Beauty and the Beast theme. I'm looking forward to Book 2 in the Midnight series, The Lady Meets Her Match, which has a Cinderella theme to it!
My Rating: 4 Stars. I really liked it!