Having regained his fortune, Lucas, Earl of Ravenstone, has to marry in order to keep it. Luckily, he won’t have to search for a wife—he’s known her name since their marriage was arranged in their youth. To fulfill his duty, he travels far from London Society to claim a fiancée who would no doubt be thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to use his name and become his countess.
Penelope Maitland has already been using Lucas’s name—to fend off her stepfamily’s creditors. After wasting decades waiting for him, she reckons it’s only fair she gets something out of her long-standing betrothal before she hears Lucas has married someone else.
When they accidentally meet in a coaching inn, she finds herself fighting dangerous girlhood fantasies about marrying the man of her dreams who broke her heart with his apparent lack of interest. And Lucas finds that in order to keep his fortune, he will have to lose his heart to a woman who is tired of waiting for him.
Publisher and Release Date: Crimson Romance, October 2013
Time and Setting: London 1824
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Sabrina
Nineteen years ago, Penelope Maitland learned she was betrothed to Lucas Anthony Drake, fourth Earl of Ravenstone, yet she hasn’t heard from him once during all that time. She has long since given up hope that he will ever come to claim her, but has been inventive enough to use this engagement to her advantage. There are financial problems with her step-family and so she decides that since she will never see the Earl it is alright for her to use his name in order to keep the creditors at bay.
She feels cruelly used when out of the blue, her fiancé comes to claim her. Where has he been and what is he going to say when he finds out she’s been using his family name?
Penelope (Penny) tries to fight her pull to Lucas as she doesn’t trust him and is hesitant to put her life in his hands. He is quite handsome though, and is beginning to fulfill all of the youthful fantasies she had dreamed about him.
Lucas does have a secret, but he’s not willing to divulge it. His only focus is in getting Penny to accept his suit. Lucas’s reason for finally seeking out Penny is eventually revealed to her and naturally throws turmoil into their relationship. While our couple struggles through this time I found this to be the most engaging part of the book. Lucas’s reactions are quite entertaining and in one scene, I found myself thoroughly enjoying their method of arguing in a crowded room! At the same time, I felt their anguish and wished the two of them would just hug each other and work everything out.
How to Wed an Earl is an enjoyable, quick read that had me quite anxious for the central couple to finally reach their HEA.