ABOUT THE BOOK
Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he's not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony's dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly send Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother's stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.
But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?
The Earl's Betrothal is going on my favorite's shelf with my other well-loved regencies. Not only is it well-written and compelling, but I fell in love with the characters immediately. Anthony and Amelia are the kind of characters that I thoroughly enjoy reading about. Anthony arrives home from the war in Spain to discover that his older brother, the heir to the Marquess of Ashworth, has been killed in an accident and he is now the Earl of Halford. But haunted by his experiences in Spain, he struggles with nightmares and feeling worthy of his new position and the responsibilities it entails.
Amelia, the untitled daughter of a vicar, works as Lady Ashworth's companion. Her kind temperament, yet educated mind intrigue Anthony from the moment they meet. The attraction between the two is clear from the beginning, but the obstacles between them are legion. Amelia works for the Ashworth's for one thing and little is known about her background and family. Anthony promises his father he will marry quickly in order to carry on the family line, but is reluctant to burden any woman with his past. But a moment of temptation leads to the two becoming betrothed. But opposition and scandal as well as the pair's own past experiences threaten to derail the relationship.
I found this book a quick read but also a story to relish. For those who enjoy clean regency romances, I can highly recommend this one. The plot has more than enough twists and turns to be satisfying along with plenty of romance.
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