Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: How to Tempt an Earl by Tina Gabrielle

Title: How to Tempt an Earl
Author: Tina Gabrielle
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: The Raven Club (Book One)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: ebook via NetGalley
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisLondon society is cruel for a young woman whose father is an avid gambler. Miss Grace Ashton is not one to stand idly by while her family becomes destitute. Donning a mask, she slips into the night and attends the infamous Raven Club to confront the proprietor. But nothing prepares her for the sinfully attractive and wealthy Ian Swift.

Ian is intrigued when Grace walks into his gambling club but refuses her offer of a few jewels to pay her father’s large debts. Unbeknownst to anyone, Ian has inherited the Earldom of Castleton, and he must reluctantly take his place in Society. But Ian’s manners as a gentleman have suffered. He needs a tutor, and he knows the exquisite lady standing before him is the answer.

But soon tutoring turns to flirting, which unfortunately lands both of them in...marriage?

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Lessons in manners turn into a lesson in love...

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Grace has a problem. Her drunkard father continues to gamble away what money the family has left. The creditors have come calling and she has to find a way to pay off their debt before she and her younger brother find themselves without a home. She places her last hope in convincing a gaming hell owner to take their family jewels as payment for her father's debt to his casino. However, the owner has a different type of payment in mind.

Ian would love nothing more than the bed the lovely Grace, from the moment she first stepped foot inside his club. But he knows that getting tangled up with a baron's daughter isn't a good idea. Yet, he needs her expertise to help polish him up before he is reintroduced to society as a new earl. And he's willing to forgive the debt Grace's father owes, as long as she agrees to tutor him. Then Ian gets a lesson he never asked for. One in matters of the heart.

Talk about a stubborn man. This hero really takes the cake here with his absolute refusal to give up his gambling hell. Of course, for most of the book, we don't know the details as to why he started the business or how deeply important the casino is to society. All we know is that our hero is determined to lie his tail off to his future bride, so he can keep the club. I had a hard time rooting for him at times because of this. But eventually, we do learn why it's not as big of a burden as we thought and I guess I could understand his reluctance to let it go.

That's not to say that our heroine is some ditz who lets the hero deceive and run all over her. Grace is actually pretty smart for a woman who was sheltered for most of her life. And she is quick to call Ian out on his crap too. I was proud of her, several times in this book. Even when she was unable to deny her attraction to Ian, she usually kept her head on straight. I admire that in a lady. Able to keep her wits while also allowing herself to give in to the temptation. And this man was plenty tempting.

The chemistry between the couple was there from their first meeting. I looked forward to each of their tutoring sessions, even though not a single one of them went how I thought it would. This kept me guessing and turning the digital pages. While I have read a book with a similar plot before--the whole 'lady teaching man how to be a gentleman' theme--this plot continued to surprise me. The way the couple came to be officially 'together' was a surprising twist, as well. In all, this was an enjoyable read with several steamy scenes.

In closing...
Four suns for the first book. I wonder if perhaps Ian's sister will be getting a turn next? If not, who will it be?

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