Forever Your Earl
This is the first of The Wicked Quills of London, a Regency series about female writers in an era when such unladylike conduct was disapproved. Eleanor Hawke, owner and publisher of a newspaper devoted to the scandalous doings of the aristocracy, is understandably surprised (and suspicious) when a favorite target arrives in her offices and invites her to accompany him on his wild activities and write about them. Her instincts are correct, but the Earl of Ashford’s motives are commendable: he is trying to help a deeply troubled friend. Predictably they fall in love: she is not only pretty, but possessed of wit and an independent spirit, and he is… an impressive male. She, however, is a commoner, he a lord, and the class gulf is wide. Can they bridge it? Should they?
Her need for disguise and the intermingling of their two separate worlds allow the author to explore such interesting topics as fashionable clothing, theatre, gambling, and publishing in more detail than is common. The lovers’ preoccupation with each other is rather drawn out. Recommended, nonetheless.