Title: A Wicked Earl’s Widow
Author: Aubrey Wynne
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Eliza is forced into marriage with no idea her life will change for the better. Married less than a year, her unwilling rake of a husband is surprisingly kind to her—until his sudden death. The widowed Countess of Sunderland remains under her in-laws’ protection to raise her newborn daughter. But her abusive father is on the brink of financial ruin and has plans for another wedding.
Nathaniel, Viscount of Pendleton, gains his title at the age of 12. His kindly but shrewd estate manager becomes father and mentor, instilling in the boy an astute sense of responsibility and compassion for his tenants. Fifteen years later, his family urges him to visit London and seek a wife. The ideal doesn’t appeal to him, but his sense of duty tells him it is the next logical step.
Lord Pendleton stumbles upon Eliza on the road, defending an elderly woman against ruffians. After rescuing the exquisite damsel in distress, he finds himself smitten. But Nate soon realizes he must discover the dark secrets of her past to truly save the woman he loves.
A sweet Regency.
After her husband is killed, Eliza becomes a widow. She befriends her in-laws, who treat her like family. For the first time in her life, she experiences what it feels like to love and be loved in return, without fear. But all that changes when her cruel father returns, threatening to do harm to her daughter, unless she marries the old codger her father has chosen. She flees to the only person who’ll protect her and her daughter, her cousin. Plans change and Eliza’s in the care of Nathaniel, Viscount of Pendleton, and his family.
Nathaniel takes one look at Eliza protecting an elderly woman from a group of ruffians on the road and he’s enamoured. There’s a sadness and an aura of fear surrounding Eliza and when he learns her dark secret, he vows to protect her with his life. He’ll have to use everything in his power to save her from her villainous father and his cohorts. Can he smite down these evil men or will he die protecting the only woman he’s ever loved?
Never in all my reading have I read such a hateful, evil character as Eliza’s father. Not only is he an abusive husband and father, he gets sexually stimulated by doling out his abuse. It’s beyond despicable. Bile rose in my throat every time he appeared in the story.
Aubrey Wynne has crafted an intense, honest portrayal of what life was like back in the day for women. Historically accurate with poignant characters dealing with strife so gut-wrenching, I can’t even imagine how I’d respond. Gripping story with an explosive ending. The romance between Nathaniel and Eliza was a tad immediate but it didn’t bother me. I like being swept off my feet. The emotional abuse Eliza had to deal with is stark, so be forewarned.
If you’re looking for a realistic historical romance with issues such as the powerless and abuse of women in the past, pick up A Wicked Earl’s Widow today. I look forward to the next installment in this series.
Favorite Character/Quote: Eliza. Such a complex woman with so many demons to overcome, she was by far, my favorite character.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Giftand Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will launch a new Regency series, Once Upon a Widow, in 2018. The Wicked Earls’ Club will release again in 2019. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series, A Medieval Encounter, will continue in 2109, winner of the NTRWA Great Expectations
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N