Redeeming the Reclusive Earl (Harlequin Historical)

Written by Virginia Heath
Review by Ray Thompson

His face and body marred by burns during naval action, and embittered by people’s revulsion at the sight of his wounds—including his betrothed—Max releases her from their engagement and withdraws to the estate he has recently inherited as Earl of Rivenhall; only to find someone digging on the property where he seeks refuge. Anger turns to outrage when he discovers the interloper is not a he, but a she. Also, uncommonly pretty.

Euphemia Nithercott is the daughter of a Cambridge professor, but her remarkable intelligence, photographic memory, and outspoken comments have frightened off potential suitors. Resigned to spinsterhood, Effie has taken up archeology with her customary enthusiasm and is unwilling to be dissuaded by an unreasonable landowner when her discoveries are so important. Even if he has an impressive physique despite his scars. They turn out to be well suited, but can they overcome their own feelings of insecurity and risk commitment?

Heath has created two delightful and admirable characters, whose struggles against social prejudice and their own insecurities win our sympathies. Effie’s wry sense of humor and self-honesty are a particular joy. A Regency romance to relish. Highly recommended.