Blog Tour & Review: First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett

Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 30, 2018)
Genre: Historical Romance
Tour Organized by: St. Martin's Press

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 

From  An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars… 

Recently jilted by his fiancée, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is one of those unfortunate stories that manages to be both good and forgettable. I feel as though with a couple of changes this would have been a five star read. There are some things that don't make sense, some things that are just downright overplayed, and unfortunately some things that are downright irritating. 

Let me begin by saying that the characters are well written, complex, and fun to read. I adored Fiona's determination to do anything to save her sister, and I loved Gray's slow transformation from jaded Earl back to the person I imagine he would have been had his life not been wrought with tragedy. Lily and Sophie do not thankfully fade away as background characters, rather they hold their own as secondary characters, and I very much hope to see them both receive their own happily-ever-afters. 

No, my problem with this story is in the execution. Fiona's father is rich. This is well known, and yet instead of going to him directly and threatening to expose his youngest daughters secret, our blackmailer instead chooses Fiona. Knowing she cannot access the kind of money they demand. Perhaps they thought she would ask her father, but if they had studied her at all, they would have known that Fiona is just the type of head-strong person to try and find a solution by themselves. And while the romance between Fiona and Gray is just the type of slow burn romance I adore, the way the author tied up the loose ends (the identity of the blackmailer, his ex-fiance suddenly coming back into the picture, the anticipation of wedding vows, etc), it just seemed rushed and altogether reminiscent of a lot of the other historical romance novels on the market today.

Overall, I do still think this story may appeal to those who enjoy historical romances now and then (especially the slow burn kind), and who are able to overlook certain things. I would read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


About the Author:
 Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided that books with balls, dukes, and gowns were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen.
Anna's books include of the Wayward Wallflowers series and the Debutante Diaries series.

You can learn more about this author by visiting her websiteFacebook or Twitter

                            First Earl I See Tonight  is available from

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