This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman
Bow Street Bachelors #1
October 29, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
I picked this book up because this is a new to me author and the blurb sounded unique.
The first book in a new Regency romance series, an heiress and a rogue accidentally end up in a secret marriage of convenience.
In a desperate bid to keep her fortune out of her cousin’s hands, shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed marries a condemned criminal in Newgate prison. The scoundrel’s first kiss is shockingly heated, but Georgie never expects to see her husband again. Until she spots him across a crowded ballroom. Notorious rogue Benedict Wylde never expected a wife. He was in Newgate undercover, working for Bow Street. To keep their marriage of convenience a secret, Wylde courts Georgie in public, but the more time they spend together, the more their attraction sparks. Could an heiress with the world at her feet find happiness with a penniless rake? Kate Bateman’s This Earl of Mine is a delightful start to the Bow Street Bachelors series, with witty banter, dynamic characters, and swoon-worthy romance.
I don’t believe I’ve ever read a historical romance that starts out with the heroine marrying a prisoner in order to evade an unwanted marriage to a money hungry relation.
This Earl of Mine begins with Georgiana Caversteed entering Newgate to carry through with her plan to marry a convict facing the gallows in order to gain her freedom. Georgie is a strong heroine who is pretty much in charge of her life and the shipping empire left to her by her father. Her main worry is a pesky, money hungry cousin who has aspirations of forcing her into marriage and therefore taking over her fortune. Georgie’s plan would set her free, the only problem is the man she marries isn’t a prisoner at all, but the younger son of the Earl of Morcott and a man who works off the books for Bowstreet.
I liked the premise of this story and enjoyed the characters quite a bit. One of my favorite things is a strong heroine and Georgie is exactly that. I loved the dynamics between Georgie, her mother and sister, and that her father left her the family business. It may not be completely realistic to the time, but I really don’t care. I’m here for it.
Benedict is part owner (with his two bffs) in a gaming hell, works for Bowstreet, and seems to do pretty much anything for money… shooting contests, horse races, etc. After the death of his father and the realization that the estate is in shambles, Ben has done everything he could possibly do to help his older brother get it back on track. I liked that Ben is never angry or rude about finding himself married and to a rich heiress who won’t cede control of her fortune. He’s just like “so what do we do now?”
I liked the chemistry between the main characters and was invested in their romance. I didn’t love the secondary plot where they work together to figure out who is building a submarine to rescue Bonaparte. It was just meh for me and I could have done with less of it and more relationship development.
I do think Ms. Bateman did a good job of setting up the rest of the series and I find myself looking forward to what comes next. This was a good start to the series and I’ve already put the next book in the series, To Catch an Earl, on my TBR list.
Final grade- C+/B-