Author: Gina Conkle
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian Era)
Formats Available: Mass-Market Paperback, E-Book
Release Date: May 5, 2014
How I Read It: Mass-Market Arc from Publisher
Rating: 5 Crown –A Royal Read
The Phantom of London. Enigma Earl. The Greenwich Recluse.
Half of his face, shadowed by gold and brown whiskers, showed male perfection, but the other half, a bizarre pattern of scar lines and puckered flesh. Truly, staring at his face was akin to seeing a painting of two men, split down the middle. Lydia recoiled as much from the hot anger flashing in his eyes as from astonishment.
HE’S A MYSTERIOUS RECLUSE
Lord Greenwich is notoriously elusive. His tendency to hide his face in public and refusal to appear in London Society have even earned him some choice monikers, including “the Phantom of London.” Is he disfigured? Mad? Hiding something? With a reputation like that, no woman wants to get near the dark earl. And no one is more surprised than Miss Lydia Montgomery when she is betrothed to the earl in order to save her family from penury. But if Lydia wants a chance at happiness, she’ll have to set aside her fear of Lord Greenwich and discover the man hiding behind the beastly reputation… (taken from the Publishers website)
When Miss Lydia Montgomery accompanied her stepfather to the Blue Cockerel to help her brother out of yet another jam, she never realized that the meeting was with Lord Sanford, Earl of Greenwich, the reclusive man known as the Phantom of London. Nor did she realize that she was to be the currency that would be used to pay her brother and stepfather’s debt.
Edward Sanford, Earl of Greenwich, may have resorted to idle threats to get Lydia to agree to marry him, but he needs an heir and he has a timeframe in which this must be achieve. Her stepfather may have thrown a spanner in the works by not telling Lydia why she was brought to the Blue Cockerel, but the only thing that matters is that she agreed and he has no intentions of letting her go.
Lydia may be drawn to Edward but first she must tame the beast.
I absolutely loved this Georgian retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was drawn in from the start and held spellbound until the very last page.
Lydia is a very determined woman. More so concerned with keeping her mother safe than saving her stepfather and brother, she enters into this bargain with only one request, that she be able to peruse her art. Although she has heard tales of the beastly Earl of Greenwich, she’s not afraid of the man hiding behind his scars.
She’s a likeable character. She gives as well as she gets, but she still has a vulnerable side. She’s passionate about her art and determined that no one will sway her from her course.
Edward would be content to stay locked up in his greenhouse seeing to his plants and learning what he can from them. Although there is the pressing need for an heir and he has a limited time to achieve this. The scars on his face have put off women and he’s tired of searching, so this bargain that he enters into with Lydia works for him. Never one for society, he now uses his scarred face as a reason to stay locked up both physically and emotionally.
He was an exceedingly interesting character. I found that I liked him from the start. Snarky and irresistible, you definitely want to know this man.
The romance had a nice slow build up, which I loved. It allowed the reader to learn about the characters while the characters learned about each other, so it didn’t feel forced.
The plot was full of twists and turns and evenly paced.
Meet The Earl at Midnight should definitely be on your TBR list.
I have 1 paperback copy of Meet The Earl at Midnight to giveaway.
Per Publishers instructions, giveaway is open to residents of U.S. and Canada only.
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Contest Ends: Midnight Eastern Time on May 18, 2014
Winner will be announced and contacted on May 19, 2014
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