Also in this series: A Good Rake is Hard to Find
Series: Lords of Anarchy #2
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on October 6th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice—wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?
All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune—and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?
Lady Hermione Upperton has had to deal with the consequences of her gambler of a father. She meets Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring through friends and by being the first woman to join the gentleman’s riding club Lords of Anarchy. She and Jasper develop a friendship of sorts when dealing with each other. But she is shocked to learn that her father has gambled away her precious horses that she purchased with her own funds. The man who received her horses, isn’t a man you want to cross….someone that has been seeking her horses and is suspected of being involved in horse thefts. Jasper, is feeling protective of Hermione, especially when she cross paths with two of the men involved in crimes against the crown and her life could be in danger if she crosses them. What he didn’t expect in a game with Hermione’s foolish father, was for him to gamble his daughter to him in marriage. He can just imagine how furious she will be when she learns the truth, but they soon realize that Jasper is one of the best prospects for Hermione…knowing it would be a matter of time before her father gambled her away on a card game. But soon their enemy and someone they didn’t suspect may destroy them both.
Jasper, the Earl of Mainwaring, is of the Aristocracy. He grew up most of his life without a father, who died in a accident. Ever since he has felt uneasy driving curricles anywhere unless he has to. Along with his titled responsibilities, he helps with aiding his government with certain enemies. His latest orders are to get to the bottom of the horse thieves and get proof against them. But there is one slight problem…the woman that is on their radar is also the same woman he feels a strong connection to and will protect even though they have only a fragile friendship. Jasper finds Hermione entertaining and he respects her spirited nature. Jasper is quite the delctable hero. He isn’t perfect, he struggles with fears of the past but has great strength of character.
Lady Hermione Upperton is quite passionate especially when it comes to riding. She has always loved riding and has worked hard to get into the Lords of Anarchy riding club. She doesn’t back down from any challenge. Hermione lost her mother when she was young, but she still remembers her in moments. Her relationship with her father is vastly different. Her father has a sickness to gambling, and can’t ever give it up. Hermione has had to deal with losing much over the years due to his weakness. But when she loses her prized horses which she paid for with her own funds she is furious with her father. But her father doesn’t understand that he has done anything wrong. When he strokes the final straw on the camel’s back when he barters her away in marriage to Jasper, she knows its the only choice she has. Especially when she is the prime suspect in a murder. But she realizes that she will be protected by Jasper and no longer be under her father’s thumb. Hermione was quite fun and unique, and although she did have some modern like qualities…she still had some characteristics of the time. I liked seeing certain depths to her character become revealed.
Plot and Story Line
In Good Earl Gone Bad we see a story that I have been very eager to read. Manda Collins is a fun author that writes lighthearted romance with a bit of depth and unique elements she brings to her stories. In Good Earl Gone Bad we see something creative. I loved the various elements that in the beginning, I wasn’t sure how they would all fit together, but ending up with a great flow and as certain truths are revealed we see how different paths these characters are led on, they are brought together. This aspect of the story was quite enjoyable to see it all unfold.
Another great aspect we see is the conflict of the enemies and other characters that end up bringing Jasper and Hermione together. I love a great mystery with great villains that boy they cause some great tension for the story that I loved. I love some good enemies….and a villain you don’t see in the end. Manda Collins wrote a whopper in this, I was delightfully surprised in certain aspects that become unveiled in the end. We also see the influence of poor choices and a bad addiction to gambling can bring about positive results you don’t see at first.
The romance that develops between Jasper and Hermione starts as a friendship and develops into more. I really enjoyed seeing this trope—I love seeing the change from friends to lovers and I felt that Collins handles this pretty well. I liked how well these two do together, even from the beginning when they don’t necessarily like each other, we see the chemistry that they have. I will admit though…I didn’t always feel able to connect to them, especially when it came to the romance between them. I was perfect fine with the friendship, but at times it seemed difficult at times when their relationship changed.
I did enjoy the first book way more than this one, but I found his story to still be quite enjoyable with a easygoing romance.
I also loved seeing some of the secondary characters, the friends of Jasper and Hermione. Their bantering and unique personalities added a bit of a different atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing. It makes me excited for the third book here.
I adore this cover…such a great romantic pose we have here. I love the mix of blue and red.
Good Earl Gone Bad is a exciting and fun romance for the latest series by Manda Collins. Its a story of great chemistry, adventure and some mystery and suspense along the way to keep things interesting. SIMPLY A FUN ROMANCE!!