You’re the Earl That I Want

Written by Kelly Bowen
Review by Waheed Rabbani

In 1818 London, Heath Hextall, having inherited an earldom, is in want of a wife. At the Baustenburys’ Ball, he indicates his desire to the Duke of Worth, stating he is desolate. Worth suggests a “well trained broodmare.” Heath meets ladies introduced by Worth and is reacquainted with Josephine Somerhall. She has just returned from a long stay in Europe. That night Heath is handed some documents by a dying messenger. Josephine comes by and becomes embroiled with Heath in a conspiracy involving secret societies, Templars, Napoleon’s supporters, and others.

Kelly Bowen’s introduction of a mystery in the plot has added an interesting element to the historical romance. While some aspects of the enigma require a suspension of disbelief, such as the revolutionary obsessives’ involvement in Napoleonic intrigues and seeking hidden treasure, it is entertaining nonetheless. Josephine is an unusual lady for her time. She is well- presented as having a mind of her own, and not inclined to marry to merely produce an heir and a spare. While Josephine’s ideas conflict with Heath’s, who desires an unpretentious consort, they are nevertheless attracted to each other. Their romance and the clandestine events keep us engrossed to the ending.