Thursday, November 3, 2016

Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh (Wicked Quills of London #1)

9/29/2015 |12hrs and 18 minutes | Avon | The Wicked Quills of London #1

The notoriously rakish Daniel Balfour, Earl of Ashford has been desperately searching for the missing Jonathon Lawson, his best friend and  the last remaining heir to his family’s fortune. Daniel's secret search is impeded by one big problem.... The Hawke’s Eye, the local scandal rag that  keeps reporting on Daniel’s comings and goings. If society discovers what Jonathon is missing, Jonathan's name and fortune would be ruined. So, in order to stop the scandal rag from spying on him Daniel decides to distract the editor of the paper with an exclusive look at the secret world of gentry rakes courtesy of him....Yeah, this set up didn't make a  whole lot of sense to me but this is a romance novel and we need a plot so I went with it.

One meet cute later Daniel realizes the editor is a woman but Eleanor Hawke is no ordinary woman of the time. She’s game for anything and follows along with Daniel to cover his rakish revelry that includes gaming hells, phaeton racing and late night masquerades. I’m going to backtrack on the phaeton racing. My kingdom for historical romance about Regency-era underground phaeton racing called The Phaeton and Furious.

I really enjoyed this book and I like Leigh’s writing style. I can tell Leigh really got into her research about how newspapers were made because there is an entire sections for the book all about how the Hawk’s Eyes is made and maybe it’s the journalism major in me, but it was honestly kind of fascinating. As you can imagine, Leigh includes a lot of feminism. I guess Leigh is joining the list of punny named feminist regencies I associate with Tessa Dare and Sarah McLean.

Speaking of feminism, for obvious reasons this book fails the Audie Cornish Test. The journalist definitely sleeps with her source.  I knew it was coming, but it kind of bothered me because Eleanor lets her relationship with Daniel affect her stories. I wish she would have stopped writing the stories with him when they got together.

Forever Your Earl is a fun regency from debut historical romance author Eva Leigh (aka Zoe Archer) that is ballroom free and feminist AF.


This is the first regency romance I’ve read that doesn’t have a virgin heroine and the first Regency that even acknowledges the existence of black people. I mean they don’t have lines or anything but a character is mentioned as being Jamaican and they talk about a duke with a mixed race daughter. We outchea.