Undercover with the Earl by Robyn DeHart (Review)

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An appetite-whetting first book in a new historical romance series by National Bestselling author Robyn DeHart is on the menu today. Read on for full details of Undercover with the Earl,
my 4-star review, a tantalizing excerpt and to find out how you can win a $25 eGift Card to choice book retailers. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

Undercover with the Earl

Brotherhood of the Sword # 1
By: Robyn DeHart
Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date: August 10, 2015
Purchase LinksAmazon
| B&N | Kobo | iTunes

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Official Synopsis

London, 1838

The handsome Earl of Summersby may just be the most eligible bachelor in London, but has no interest in a wife. As a member of the Brotherhood, Bennett Haile is far more vested in his undercover duties for the crown and protecting the Queen from would-be assassins. For now he has the perfect tool with which to lure out the villains—a young woman with an uncanny likeness to the queen.

The spirited Evelyn Marington is about to live out every country girl’s dream—becoming royalty overnight. Under the tutelage of the arrogant Earl of Summersby, she’ll have to fool the entire court that she is, in fact, the queen. But as danger threatens from every side, Bennett realizes that his lovely little protegé isn’t just placing her life in his hands… She’s stealing his heart.

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My Review

She: Evelyn Marrington, 21, an aspiring novelist wants nothing more than solitude to read and write. Her biggest challenge? Her mother of five daughters, bent on marrying her off. Even to an elderly man with eleven children.

He: Bennett Haile, Earl of Summersby, a massively-built man, a secret member of the Brotherhood, sworn to protect the new Queen of England—Evelyn’s look-a-like.

The conflict: Bennett’s objection to Evelyn going undercover in place of the queen, clashing with his forbidden attraction to her.

The setting: England, 1838

The chemistry: Hot and bothered—literally by both parties.

The good stuff: This was a quick and enjoyable read. Both main characters are convincing and likeable, especially Evelyn with the inherent curiosity of a novelist, and an unconventional outlook on life.

The other stuff: I found the portrayal of the era somewhat lacking. A good part of the story takes place inside Buckingham Palace, but there’s nothing “showing” it. I also felt that Bennett’s backstory—his family’s traumas—needed further exploring.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, but felt the lushness of the story would be better served in a full-length novel.

Enter here for a chance to win the following:

Grand Prize: $25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Retailer (Amazon, B&N or iTunes)

First Prize: Gifted Ebook Copies of the Forbidden Love Series; A Little Bit Wicked, A Little Bit Sinful and A Little Bit Scandalous

Second Prize: Gifted Ebook Copies of the Masquerading Mistresses Series of novellas; No Ordinary Mistress, For Her Spy Only and Misadventures in Seduction

Excerpt

“Stand and walk to the other side of the room,” he said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I must evaluate how you walk.”

She gaped at him. “How I walk?”

“Do try and keep up, Miss Marrington. People will be watching.”

“Is there something wrong with how I walk?”

“Your walk is …” No. In truth, she walked with an unconscious grace and agility he found charming. There was nothing studied about her movements, nothing calculated. She managed to be both completely natural and totally bewitching, which was entirely beside the point. “Your walk is unstudied.”

“Are you staying I’m clumsy?” Her gaze sparked with indignation, but perhaps a flash of pain as well. “I am well aware that I lack the grace and cultivation of my older sisters, but I assure you I am not some clumsy oaf who can’t be trusted to walk into a room.”

He drew in a deep breath, praying for patience. This was why he wasn’t yet married. This was why he was absolutely the wrong man for this job.

“Your mannerisms must match hers,” he said tightly.

She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths before standing, then walked across the room. It was not a clumsy or awkward gait, but not regal either.

“No.” He shook his head. “Try it again but slower, yet with more purpose.”

She crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “This is ridiculous.”

He allowed his gaze to linger on her tempting curves before stepping over to her. “Miss Marrington, do you want to do this assignment or not?”

Her mouth opened, then she paused and her brows slanted down in anger. “My Lord, I realize that you are an Earl and of relation to our Queen and our Society deems you more important than I. Perhaps they are even correct; however, it would seem to me that you,” she jabbed a finger into his chest, “need me more than I need you for this assignment. Thus far you have insulted my family, the way I walk and my hair. You are arrogant and rude and sorely lacking in manners.” Her hands fisted on her hips accenting their roundedness.

How was it that this little slip of a woman shoed no fear of him? He’d frightened women merely by walking into their drawing room. And here, he was being a bully—and for good reason—to Evelyn Marrington, but she was quite obviously not afraid of him. He couldn’t help but find that both infuriating and alluring.

“You have obviously decided that I do not possess the intelligence nor grace to succeed in this charade. I will not stand for this sort of treatment. I should like a carriage to bring me home on the morrow. Good day, Lord Somersby.” She turned and marched from the room.

He watched her go in complete disbelief. No one had ever spoken to him in such a way. Arrogant and rude! She was the only lacking in manners. This entire assignment echoed with idiocy. Ellis had claimed his cousin amiable and clever, neither of which Bennett had seen. All he had witnessed was her sharp tongue.

Damned if he didn’t find her sass alluring as hell. All the more reason to send her back home and tell Potterfield she refused to participate. Bennett couldn’t be blamed for this failure if she was the one who walked away. This would work out perfectly. He’d get to continue with the Brotherhood and not be distracted by the ridiculously attractive and fiery-tongued Miss Marrington. It would almost be worth completing the assignment just to see if she was as passionate in other areas. Almost.

About the Author

Robyn_DeHartNational Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart’s novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader’s Crown and a Reviewer’s Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras. Known for her “strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page” (RT Bookclub) and her “sizzling romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.

When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it’s hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.
Connect with the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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