An Earl by Any Other Name (Sins and Scandals #1) by Lauren Smith #BookReview #RegencyRomance
An Earl by Any Other Name
Sins and Scandals
It’s been a long while since I read a recency romance, and An Earl by Any Other Name was a delight, perfect for easing back into the genre.
This story isn’t strictly a Recency—it features the very early models of gas-powered automobiles, so it’s set in the late 1800s at the very least—but it has the feel of one, with its wealthy peerage and country mansions and weekend parties. And of course, the most vexing of questions for Recency characters: to marry for love or money?
Leopold Graham, Lord of Hampton, is in a bad spot, thanks to his father’s notorious death in the bed of the man’s not-so-secret mistress. He has put aside his playboy ways to find a nice, boring, monied wife who will not make social waves and whose dowry will save Leo’s home from going broke. Leo, for all his charm and appeal, believes a woman’s place is firmly by her husband’s side—no talk of politics and certainly none of this Suffragette women’s rights nonsense. Yet, even so, Leo isn’t irredeemable, and watching his growth, the opening of his mind to equal rights throughout the story, was rewarding.
The rhythm of the dance cast a spell over him as he became aware of the curious sense that Ivy felt like more than a waltz partner. There was the way she responded to his gentle urging , obeying him but not blindly. He was not entirely in charge, as he usually was when dancing, but rather it was as though he were part of a team with her. He suspected that should they reverse the roles of the dance, she could lead him just as well. Equal. The word floated up from the depths of his mind, tugging an irresistible smile about his lips. She was a suffragette and believed in equality. Was it any real surprise that even her subconscious beliefs would transfer to her dancing? No. What was surprising was how he didn’t mind.
Ivy Leighton may have had a childhood crush on Leo when she lived at Hampton with her mother, a household servant, but she’s her own woman now and she’ll not be held back by any man, not even one who makes her heart flutter. I loved the tension between Leo and Ivy. Before they ever had a chance to romance one another, the issue of women’s rights stood tall between them, and it gave me so much respect for Ivy as the story’s heroine.
“Put aside everything you know and imagine a world where boys and girls attend school together, have the same education and instruction, and must meet the same expectations. Women are already intelligent without the benefit of education, but now they would be informed and would care about politics and economics just as much as men are. There is no science to support any findings that women are in any way inferior. If given the chance to fly and not be stopped, what might we accomplish? Humanity could reach heights of achievement unhindered if we remove the shackles of low expectations.”
I also enjoy when an author can shade a less-than-desirable character with humanity and vulnerability. The space between good and hateful is nebulous and complex, and Ms. Smith artfully pens her secondary characters, possibly even prepping them for redemption later in the series.
An Earl by Any Other Name is a quick, fun read that stays true to well-loved Regency tropes and injects a modern twist of political excitement.
Recommended for readers who enjoy stories about…
- Modern women in a historical setting
- Stubborn heroes who love with their whole hearts
- Women’s rights and the fight for equality
- Romances in the Recency style
This review copy was provided by the Publisher. No compensation was received for this review.
An Earl by Any Other Name by Lauren Smith
Series: Sins and Scandals #1
Published by Forever, Grand Central, Hachette Book Group on August 1, 2017
Genres: Historical, Regency
Format: Audiobook, E-book
Add it to your To Read shelf: Goodreads
An earl in the streets, a rogue in the sheets . . .
Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton, was never a man to let propriety stand in the way of his pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism is his only desire in life---until his father's death saddles him with debts that threaten to bankrupt the entire family. Now the only thing that stands between him and utter ruin is marriage to a proper, and preferably wealthy, young lady.
Ivy Leighton is no sweet English rose. Perhaps it's her gypsy roots, but she would rather make a spectacle of her independent spirit than sit quietly on the sidelines. If that means that the only place she'll ever have in society is firmly on the shelf, then so be it. But when Ivy runs into the handsome, rakish Leo who's looking for a respectable, well-bred wife, she can't stop thinking about the troubles they can get into. Now she just has to convince him that a life with her is really what he needs.
*This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.