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Feature book: First Earl I See Tonight

29 May 2019

First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett

Series: Debutante Diaries #1
Subgenre: historical romance
Release date: 30 Oct 2018
Publisher: St Martin’s Paperbacks
Format: ebook and print
Length: 346 pages
RRP: $6.28 (ebook); $15.99 (print)

Miss Fiona Hartley needs to marry. A blackmailer has sent her a note regarding her sister, Lily, and her sister’s background. Fiona needs the money to pay them off. She has to think of a way to get the money. She comes up with the idea to marry and use money from her dowry. She sends a note to the Earl of Ravenport asking him to marry her and outlining the deal.

David Gray, Earl of Ravenport, has been newly dumped by his fiancée. His fiancée, Helena, took one look at his home and balked at the idea of living there. Gray has no idea who Fiona is until he sees her and remembers she is the girl he rescued from falling into the orchestra at a ball. He meets with her to reject her proposal, in a nice way, but finds that he is attracted to her. Gray is a hardworking member of the ton, but he is poor and was going to marry for love (and some money) until he was rejected. Then there is Fiona’s offer, so he wants to show her his reality. Gray has trouble trusting after what happened to his parents, and then with Helena.

Gray organises a country party at his home, the Fortress. He believes that when Fiona sees his home, she will call off her proposal. But Fiona falls in love with his home, his grandmother and him. It is here she discovers who the blackmailer is and is totally shocked. And she will have to break Gray’s heart.

I really enjoyed this story. I really liked that Fiona, her sister, and their friend had pledged to write down what happens when you fall in love. As we read Fiona’s diary entry we can see how naïve she is, but she believes that she is almost an expert in matters of love. It is only when she has the reality, that she realises dreams can come true.

reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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