by Lorraine Heath
Series: The Hellions of Havisham #2
Genres: Historical Romance
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One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe. After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love. For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.
The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath is the second novel in the Hellions of Havisham. Heath made me weep, had me giggling aloud, pulling my hair out in frustration and swooning. The Earl Takes All offered a unique twist, delightful characters, humor, tears and a swoon-worthy romance.
Albert and Julia were wedded, Albert went off on an African adventure with his twin brother and one of them did not return. A promise made, and a promise kept. Eek gads, when I read the synopsis I knew what was happening but dang it I cried anyway.
ONLY in historical romance would this switched twin scenario work. Heath did an excellent job of selling it and I quickly slipped into the story. Albert, the Earl of Greying returns with Edward’s body and the house goes into mourning. Julia senses her husband has changed, but is quick to dismiss those changes believing the lost of his twin and the African adventure changed him.
Only Albert is Edward, the rogue younger twin brother (by mere minutes). Edward has long-held affection for Julia but aside from a stolen kiss, he wished his brother happy. Now, he must pretend to be Albert and see that Julia delivers her baby safely and that both their futures are secure.
The banter, awkward situations, and stolen kisses were delicious. Julia reveals things to her husband and the more she does the harder Edward falls. He fears when he reveals the truth after the birth that Julia will hate him. Meanwhile he surprisingly slips into the role of Earl quite easily and finds he enjoys the role.
I had such fun with these characters. We had some naughty times no scratch that we had some seriously hot foreplay. I loved the shockingly playful moments. Julia is quite feisty and a circumstance involving hearing sent me into fits of giggles.
Heath is an excellent storyteller and I loved how she gave me a full range of emotions. The characters and their situation became very real for me as the reader.
All is revealed, and all goes to hell…but these two love each other and despite a few rough patches I am holding out for an HEA. I feared how things would end up, but during this setback, Heath allowed us to learn more about the characters and they in turn learned more about themselves. Edward turns out to be quite the gallant hero. He takes care of those below him socially, runs his estate with a firm but fair hand and is adorable with the babe. I seriously swooned for the man.
It seems during the Regency era English law had some notion about incest and a man could not marry his brother’s wife. Therefore, our couple faced many obstacles. All of this had me holding my breath and flipping the pages. Both Edward and Julia were such noble characters and I needed them to have it all. The last portion of their story was filled with twists but ultimately I was thrilled with the outcome.
I devoured The Earl Takes It All on a Sunday Afternoon and it left me it a happy place with a book hangover.
[bctt tweet=”Check out Caffeinated’s review of The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath #Fiesty #humor #tears ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Enjoy Zeee 🙂 I always have fun slipping into a good historical romance.
I only skimmed this because I need to read it still but, so glad to see you enjoyed this! I was really unsure if I wanted to read it (b/c I’m quite sad Heath killed off Albert and wasn’t sure how she was going to play this all out!) but I should have known Heath would have made it work! Lovely review, Kim!
I know I wept a little but ended up loving Edward 🙂
The Bibliophile Babe
I didn’t know people likened your brother’s widow to incest! Interesting!
They were so weird back then…
Melissa (Books and Things)
I love those kind of hangovers. It also makes you crave another just as clever book. AND it must have an HEA or I’ll… well, I’ll read it but with an attitude. 😉 LOL
Yay for bookish attitude!
Well that’s an interesting twist for a story. I love that dress she’s wearing in the cover too.
I love the dress too, it was an interest twist Mary. I had fun with it 🙂
Lover Of Romance
oh your review of this one has me excited. I am planning on reading it this weekend. I love this author, and I am excited for a good book hangover!! 🙂
I hope you are loving it 🙂
Weird that it was considered incestuous to marry your brother’s wife. Still this sounds like lots of fun.
Seriously right. It was concerned tainting the blood.
The Earl Takes All sounds fantastic, Kim! I love stories like this, and you’re right, the identity switch might not work nowadays, but how delicious this story must be just because it did work… And you made me want to research if it’s true that there was a law in England that made it forbidden for one brother to wed the other brother’s widow. It’s very intriguing to me, and yet, very surprising, too.
I am not surprised..they were crazy.
Here you go Lexie check it out : http://www.genetic-genealogy.co.uk/Toc115570145.html
Thank you, Kim!! That was pretty fast, too 🙂 Some of those forbidden marriages I can understand, others, not so much 🙂 And it’s fascinating that the law didn’t change until the 20th century!
I find it hard to believe that Edward got away with it especially if she knew that her husband has a twin, but it does make for an exciting story. I look forward to this one.
Several factors worked in his favor..one they were newlywed, two English courting and three time spent away on expedition.
Sounds really interesting. 🙂
I had fun with this despite my initial tears 🙂
This sounds fun and I like the whole switched twin aspect. I would think in this era it would have been easier to pull off that it would now so I can see how it could work.
Great review Kim and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Very true, with today’s technology and courtships it would be difficult.
I agree, this is not a scenario that would have any hope of working outside historical romance, but I’m glad the author pulled it off so well and you were able to slip right into the story. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Lorraine Heath, so I have little doubt this one will be any different!
It was fun, and I loved how fiesty Julia ended up being 🙂
Quinn's Book Nook
I don’t know, this premise is a little weird. A switched twin . . . that creeps me out a bit.
LOL, I had fun with it Quinn 🙂
Yes I would read it 🙂
It looks interesting and it’s nice to have a story working well with twins like that.
Thanks Melliane 🙂
I want that dress! I would wear it while running errands like grocery shopping. I’d totally get respect. 😀 The switched twin premise is pretty cool.
You would totally rock that dress food shopping.