by Anna Bradley
Series: Sutherland Scandals #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
A tantalizing new Regency romance filled with the most elegant society—and the most forbidden desires… England, 1811. Delia Somerset despises the privileged ton, but her young sister, Lily, is desperate to escape their family’s scandalous past and join high society. Unwilling to upset her sister, Delia reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the Sutherland estate—and avoid the gossip at all costs. Alec Sutherland is known as a hot-headed scoundrel, but nothing gets a rise out of him as much as the news that his brother desires Delia’s hand in marriage. She is, after all, the daughter of the London belle who soiled their family name. He’s determined to ruin her reputation as well, in the most delicious way possible. It’s only a matter of time before he can woo her with his irresistible advances. As Delia devilishly plays along in Alec’s game, determined to prove the joke is on him, they inch ever closer to repeating history. And in this game of seductive glances, scandalous whispers, and old debts, the outcome might be much more than either of them anticipated…
Set in England 1811, A Wicked Way to Win an Earl by Anna Bradley is the first in the Sutherland Scandals. Strong characters and a house party at the Sutherland estate made this regency romance a delight.
Years ago Delia and Lily’s mother was the jewel of the ton until she jilted Alec Sutherland’s father to marry a man beneath her. When their parent’s died not even their grandmother will receive them. So when Earl of Sutherland’s sisters invite them to a house party Delia agrees. Her sister Lily has been ill and she is hoping her love of society will see her restored. Delia and Alec’s first encounter was hilarious and had me giggling. When Alec discovers that his younger brother has eyes for Delia he is determined to keep the young lady occupied and save his family from further hurt and scandal. He devises a plan to ruin Delia’s reputation. Delia is no one’s fool and soon the game is afoot.
Alec made me crazy. On one hand, he infuriated me with his pompous attitude and determination to ruin Delia. I seriously wanted to slap him across the back of his head. However the way in which he doted on his sisters and worried after his mother moved me. Thankfully, Bradley peeled back his layers and allowed him to grow and grovel. We see tremendous character growth as the story progresses, so do not hate on him to hard.
Delia was a breath of fresh air with her clever quips and tendency to say what she thinks. Alec Sutherland unnerves her and their interaction were humorous, sensual and filled with banter. Delia is unfamiliar with the art of flirting but she manages to drive Alex insane. She too has some issues and thinks Alec is playing a game; one she fully intends to win. Getting to witness the results offered plenty of swoons and laughter.
Secondary characters were not as fleshed out as I would have liked, but added to the tale and made events plausible. The countryside setting and regency details were well done, and the story wrapped up nicely leaving me with a smile and affection for these characters.
A Wicked Way to Win an Earl was a charming regency romances and I am curious to see what the next book brings us.
Read an Excerpt
He pinned her down with penetrating dark eyes that sported lashes long enough to satisfy even the vainest of women, and slowly crossed his arms over his chest.
“Miss?” he barked. “I asked you a question.”
Yes—he had, hadn’t he? Yes, of course. Who the devil was she? “Delia Somerset?” she squeaked, cringing when it emerged as a question.
A glint of lazy humor flashed in the black eyes. “Well, are you or aren’t you? You don’t seem to be sure.”
Delia didn’t trust that glint. Her married friends sometimes whispered about men like him; men who became crazed with lust and were swept away by their animal passions. All manner of wicked behavior followed. And this one looked more savage than most.
“Let’s assume you are indeed Miss Somerset,” he drawled when she still didn’t speak. “Now that I know who the devil you are, may I suggest you tell me what the devil you’re doing here?”
Why, of all the offensive, bullying . . . all at once Delia’s embarrassment faded under a wave of indignation. Even an intriguingly bare chest didn’t excuse profanity. “And may I suggest, sir,” she snapped, “that you manage your shirt?”
One dark eyebrow shot up in acknowledgment of this show of temper. “Forgive me, Miss Somerset.” He began straightening the shirt with an air of complete unconcern, as if he spent every day half-naked on a public road. He shrugged into his coat. “I didn’t mean to offend your delicate sensibilities.”
Delia stared at him. “It’s a bit late for that, isn’t it? My sensibilities were offended, sir, when you unfastened your breeches.”
As you know, I’m not always big on romances. But I do love the time period and some of these are pretty funny and I do like that bit a lot. I’m glad you mostly enjoyed this one!
I always like it when a character shows lots of growth. And I love heroines that says what they think-clever quips and all.. This sounds like a good one 🙂
Delia sounds like my favorite kind of historical heroine – one that lets her thoughts fly out of her mouth! 😉 And I’m glad Alec did some growing over the course of the story but his care of his sisters and mom would win me over as well. I’ve been reading a bit of historical lately and really enjoying it. I’ll add this one to my list. Thanks for introducing me to a new author! 😀
A Wicked Way to Win an Earl sounds very good, Kim, even if you wanted to slap Alec there for a while! I’m glad Delia has the wit needed to see where he’s coming from, and I’m betting that their verbal sparring is as great as other things that may or may not happen between them! Definitely adding this to my TBR!
Sounds like these characters make this novel worth reading. Thanks for the post.
It’s neat when an author can change my mind about a character b/c they do a turn around or there is more to them. Delia sounds like a fun heroine and good for Alec, too.
This isn’t my favorite of premises but if done right it can be good. I like that he’s sweet to his sisters. It’s hard to warm up to a pompous hero who is just pompous! This sounds interesting and I haven’t been reading much historical lately so this sounds like something I need to pick up. Thanks for sharing!
ha joy for pompous heros? o.o
I think I might like Alec even if he is a bit rough around the edges.
Sounds like Alec could do with a lesson in manners! I sense a ton of potential in this one, Kimba, thanks for the lovely review.
Quinn's Book Nook
I’m not sure if I would enjoy this one. I really hate when men in historical romances want to ruin the reputation of a woman. But I’m glad you did enjoy this, even if you wanted to smack Alec.
This sounds like a good one, but I’m seriously behind on any type of historical novel. I mean, seriously behind. (lol).. I see them all the time in the library and am afraid to even add one to my already massive pile. Hugs…RO
Ah a Delia, my name! lol that’s fun! I didn’t know about this one nor the author but it’s great to have a good first book like that.
Love the quote and the excerpt! Thanks for sharing both!
I like a good groveling 😉 And that quote is very funny ! But mostly, the guy on the cover is… *cat-calls* ^^
Alec sounds a little tricky in the beginning there Kim, but I’m so glad he undergoes a lot of growth throughout and ended up winning you over:) I always like when an author can completely change my opinion of a character over the course of the book or series!
Alec sounds like he will be a bit difficult, but if he changes then I’m happy about that. I do like the sound of the smart protagonist though. But too bad about the underdeveloped secondary characters.
I have a copy of this one, so I’ll be reading it soon hopefully!
Lovely review! 🙂
Oh this sure sounds like fun. I really like it when some of the characters can make me smile.
Lover Of Romance
I always love great character growth especially in historical romance. Surprsingly I have never heard of this author before. I am very curious about it though. Thanks for the fab review, hope you are enjoying your week.
Oh man I need this! Delia sounds great and I love when a man starts out pompous and then needs to grovel!
Well hello there Mr Earl
The Bibliophile Babe
Dalia sounds like a great character!