Thursday, 28 August 2014

Blog Tour: The Earl's Mistress by Liz Carlyle; Review + Giveaway

The Earl's Mistress (MacLachlan Family & Friends #10)
Author: Liz Carlyle
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 26 August 2014

Women rarely refuse the wicked Earl of Hepplewood, whose sensual skills are the stuff of legend. But when his new governess answers his proposition with a slap to his face, then stalks out with references in hand, Hepplewood finds more than his face is left burning . . .

Isabella Aldridge has brains, bravado, and beauty-but the latter is no use to a servant. With orphaned sisters to feed, eviction nearing, and Hepplewood’s words ringing in her ears, Isabella realizes she must barter her most marketable asset . . .

But when fate unknowingly sends Isabella back into Hepplewood’s arms, the earl must make an impossible choice-draw Isabella down into his sensual darkness, or behave with honor for the first time in his life.

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I was thoroughly intrigued by this sweet historical romance that frequently took some decidedly steamy turns- much to my delight!

Isabella is desperately seeking a new situation as a governess in order to keep a roof over her head, and her younger sisters' heads as well. She reluctantly applies for a position as a governess for the rather notorious Earl of Hepplewood, but he offers her a much different position as his mistress. Outraged, Isabella leaves and is determined she won't see the disreputable Earl again. But soon she is back in his arms, and they both discover a darkly sensuous bond between them that won't be denied.

I really liked Isabella. She's strong by necessity and she would do anything for her younger sisters. She's rather selfless and I truly admired her. She could be indecisive about Anthony and what she wanted from him, but I think it works for the story. She's relatively sheltered about sex, as most women were then, so she's unsurprisingly shocked and confused about the feelings Anthony arouses in her and the things he does to her. I think it would have been totally unrealistic if she'd just taken it all in her stride.

Anthony is a wonderful character because he's complex and his personality is well developed. He comes across as a cold, ruthless rake, but there's an awful lot more to him. Sure, he is initially only interested in Isabella as his mistress and wants her in his bed.  Yet soon enough he is fascinated and transfixed by Isabella and he would do anything to protect her. Anthony is unrelentingly loyal to those closest to him, and he is haunted by parts of his past that make him feel unworthy of Isabella. I also adored how utterly relentless he was in his pursuit of Isabella!

I loved the back and forth between Isabella and Anthony as they work out their relationship. It's not straight forward or easy, but it's definitely worth it in the end. They have a very passionate chemistry, and there are elements of dominance and submission in the steamier scenes which might not appeal to every reader- but they appealed to this one!

There's a very interesting part of the plot involving Isabella's repulsive cousin, Everrett, which grows in importance towards the latter half of the book, which adds some mystery and intrigue to the story line.
Overall, I was thoroughly engrossed in this story. I loved Isabella and Anthony's intense connection and thought they were such a sweet and deserving couple.

*I received a review copy from the publisher for my honest opinion. Thank you!

About the Author

A lifelong anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of sixteen historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina. You can contact her via her website at


There's a full set of Liz’s St. James society books (A BRIDE BY MOONLIGHT, THE BRIDE WORE SCARLET, and THE BRIDE WORE PEARLS) to be won- good luck!

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