Not Just Any Earl is another stand-out novel by Anna Bradley. I loved the Swooning Virgin Society series, and this book, the beginning of a new series, is quite promising. This story brings family, scandal, and passion together to create an unforgettable romance.
Jonathan Parrish, the Earl of Melrose, is the ton’s darling. Jonathan is the catch of the season, and society is full of guesses about who the lucky lady will be. Miss Emmeline Templeton, mired in her mother’s scandal, is tricked into attending London’s Season. Emmeline is a botanist, completely nerdy, and an introvert. From the surface, Jonathan and Emmeline would never match; however, a brief, forbidden interlude changes everything.
I loved how Jonathan’s reputation as society’s darling did not define him. He is written in a way that humanizes him. His charm is evident, yet his disenchantment with society and expectations creates a living, breathing character. Emmeline’s studious, awkward characteristics endeared me to her instantly. Emmeline’s fear of the vapid, merciless debutantes and their mothers was raw and heartfelt.
The couple has one interlude, and that changes their trajectory forever. I loved how both Jonathan and Emmeline’s worlds get turned upside down by love. The passionate connection is there. However, it is the conversations the couple have that encourage their link and romance.
The plot was carefully thought out and well-paced. At times I felt the characters were too much in their heads, overthinking matters. The opposites attract theme was delivered flawlessly in a heart-warming, sparkling way. Not Just Any Earl is the first book in the new series Games Earls Play. This was an excellent jumping-off point for a new series, and I can’t wait for Cross and Juliet’s story! Anna Bradley has done it again, creating relatable, endearing characters with a plot that grabs the reader’s attention!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: December 14, 2021