Print Length: 248 pages
Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing (February 06, 2020)

From Goodreads.com: Instead of making her come-out during the upcoming London Season, Lady Charlotte Nott finds herself tossed from her home after her father’s untimely death by a vengeful half-brother. Penniless, she makes her way in a world new to her, first serving as a companion and then governess to the three children of Lord Crampton. When the earl dies moments after hiring her, Charlotte takes on the running of Gray Manor’s household and estate until the children’s new guardian arrives.

Guilt weighs heavily on Major Danforth Grayson, having lost too many men under his command over the years. When he receives word of the death of the brother who wronged him, Gray returns home, bitter with the hand life has dealt him. He intends to hire competent people to manage the estate and care for his nephew and nieces and retreat to a solitary life in London—until he meets the inimitable Miss Nott.

Charlotte is drawn to Gray but knows she is no longer of his world. When he suddenly becomes the new Lord Crampton, she knows it’s time to leave her charges behind—for what woman would care to watch the man she loves wed another and start a family as she suffers in silence? Yet Charlotte knows Gray is a broken man and her leaving might shatter him forever.

Can Charlotte walk away from a flawed man who desperately needs her, or will she leave before she loses her own soul?

                                                         *******************

My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I wanted to like this novel. But man it was such a mess that I can find little to recommend it. 

At first, I liked Charlotte and Gray. I enjoyed how she connected with the children (although why ladies would be taught to curtsey to servants is beyond me). I also liked the way she challenged him, and I was even able to overlook the way that it was completely out of character for the time period. Honestly, the way she spoke to him was grounds to have her immediately replaced, and that is even taking into consideration the fact that she apparently took over both the house and the estate management in addition to her governess duties before he arrived. However, up to that point, the children had been enough to keep me reading. 

But then Rodger (the sickly twelve-year-old Earl ) dies and despite literally being there and holding him as he took his last breaths, Charlotte and Gray choose that same night to have sex. Of course, Gray had realized he was in love by this point, but he didn't feel comfortable telling her because of Rodger's death. So taking her virginity was cool. Potentially getting her with child was okay. But telling her that he was in love with her was unacceptable? Good to know.  

Of course, when he finally does admit his "love" (which to me comes across as more lust than love) it was only after she had wanted to leave because of her "love" for him. There is a lot of drama between the two (as well as the girls) that just seemed drawn out and unnecesarry. But then they do get their happily-ever-after.

Which leads me to the SECOND HUGE problem I had with this. The fact that Charlotte NEVER gets to face her good-for-nothing half-brother when she becomes a countess. She is threatened with her new position when she takes the girls into town. She sees her loathsome half-brother in the church at one point. She even FORBIDS Gray from dealing with Barclay "as men do". But we are denied the pleasure of her dealing with him, even after she becomes a countess. I would have LOVED to see THAT scenario play out, and I think that would have given her a better sense of closure considering everything that had transpired between them.

At some point, I may give this author another chance to see how the second book in this series is (or if they have any others that sound promising), but it won't be for awhile. 

                                                         *******************
                                                
                                          To Heal an Earl is available from Amazon.com 
                                            (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)