Forever Your Earl was a wonderful surprise! The first book in The Wicked Quills of London series is about an independent working girl and an earl! The heroine, E. Hawke, the editor of the Hawke Eye newspaper/scandal sheet is an independent woman, on the shelf and she feels that she is destined to stay that way. She has been running the paper singlehandedly for a few years and does not answer to anyone. Enter Daniel Balfour, the Earl of Ashford. He is on a mission to stop E. Hawke from following his rakish exploits and publishing it on the newspaper Hawke Eye and he wants to speak with E. Hawke man to man. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that E. Hawke is in fact, Eleanor Hawke, a female (not a spoiler since this was revealed in the first page of the book). In exchange for not focusing on his escapades too much, Daniel agrees to take Eleanor with him so she can experience how it is to be a rake and he can keep a close watch on her. Naturally, love enters the scene when two seemingly opposite people start to fall in love.
What I love about the book:
- I love reading about the independent working woman during this time. Eleanor Hawke embodies that working woman. She owned her own business, she lived by herself and she did not answer to anyone. She was also a little bit liberated (she had a couple of long-term partners) and she wasn’t an innocent.
- The chemistry between Daniel and Eleanor was spicy! I love each interaction and their verbal sparring. To me, that added more to their relationship as a whole.
- The plot was refreshing in a way that the main female character was more independent that most.
What I did not like about the book:
- I was confused as to why Daniel had to resort to asking Eleanor not to follow his activities closely. I thought his reasons were not valid at all. I know Daniel is not a spy but can’t he look for his friend while staying under the radar? I understand that because he is in the limelight so much, he is afraid that they might see his whereabouts, but I should think that the newspaper people couldn’t put two and two together, right?
- I thought his reason for going under the radar was a little weak. The reason why Daniel didn’t want the spotlight on him was because he was looking for his friend who had gone missing. This friend was titled and he didn’t want his friend’s family to be ruined. I am still puzzled as to why he had to resort to this (see above bullet).
This is the debut historical romance novel of author Eva Leigh [spoiler] aka Zoe Archer[/spoiler] and it is a must read. I gave this book four hearts because of the unique heroine and sizzling chemistry.