Title: Good Earl Gone Bad (Lords of Anarchy, book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Manda Collins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Oct. 6, 2015 (Preorder available)
Source: free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice–wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses? All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune–and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?
I do like my romance with some suspense and mystery and this book delivers on all three. Jasper is the hunky Earl that is also intelligent, fearless and kind. The combination that all romance readers love. Hermione is a bit of a tom-boy for her time and likes to drive her phaeton with her beautiful matched grey horses. That is until her father loses the horses in a card game. There is something amiss when the winner of the horses is found….well, I will let you find out for yourselves.
Manda Collins has given us a well-constructed mystery with some delicious sensuality and perfectly nuanced characters. I turned pages anxiously to find out who was behind the mystery. I was rewarded by a I-never-saw-that-coming surprise which was most satisfying and made sense. Hermione and Jasper had a friends to lovers romance, even though Jasper used his personal skill to ensure that he won her hand.
This is the second book in The Lords of Anarchy series, but it is a standalone novel with side characters from book #1, A Good Rake is Hard to Find, playing important roles in this story.