The beloved “sunshine” of the ton, Miss Charlotte Chapman, is trapped in the carriage with an utter madman. There’s simply no other explanation for it. Why else would the rough, reclusive Earl of Trevelyan—her deceased brother’s most beloved friend—sweep her away during a terrible snowstorm without explanation? All she knows is that his rather boorish behavior somehow involves her pending betrothal…
Trevelyan has a reputation for being something of a beast in society’s circles, but nothing—nothing—will stop him from rescuing Charlotte from her disastrous engagement. He promised his best friend that she and her sister would be looked after. Of course, the earl can only protect her from the blackguard who’s trying to marry her. Protecting her from himself is quite another matter…
Now, thanks to their upended carriage, they’re stranded at a country inn—which has only one room left. And all it takes is one kiss to unlock the simmering desires they’ve never admitted…and a heartbreaking secret that could shatter Charlotte into a million pieces.
Another entry into the ever busy Haymore’s library, Earls Rush In is a Regency romance that will feel like an old friend. At 250 pages, the reader can comfortably devour it in one sitting made even easier due to the author’s simple, smooth style. The story itself is nothing new or original. Our heroine Charlotte, determined to save her sister from a miserable future, sacrifices her own by agreeing to marry a man she doesn’t love for protection. Upon learning this, our hero Finn kidnaps her but plans go awry when mother nature (a.k.a. a snowstorm) steps in. As the once best friend to Charlotte’s brother, Finn is determined to save Charlotte from misery, though that’s easier said than done with the secrets festering between them.
Despite not being original, the story is still fun to read. The leads have chemistry and the dialogue is entertaining yet realistic, and oftentimes humorous . As with most romances, Charlotte and Finn do receive their happy ending, though it can feel like a slog to get there. The story is a (sometimes) delightful mess of misunderstandings that could easily be resolved if the leads just sat down and talked it through like adults.That being said, both have their own baggage, one which far outweighs the other. If you like broken male leads with years of abuse that eventually learn to not only love others but themselves as well, then Finn will be right up your alley. However, others may find him tedious.
Overall, despite its dark tones, Earls Rush In feels like a warm from an old friend. It requires little investment yet rewards the reader nonetheless with its balance of plot and romance.
Tropes: forced proximity, fake relationship, brother’s best friend, childhood friend