I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have enjoyed reading historical romance novels for about fifteen years, especially those set in the Regency era of English history. I hadn’t read any of Valerie Bowman’s other novels before receiving the opportunity to read The Untamed Earl, but I am always looking for new authors/series.
The Untamed Earl is the 5th book in Bowman’s “Playful Brides” series. The story concerns Alexandra Hobbs, who fell in love with the Owen Monroe when she was fifteen years old. Several years later, she learns that her father has arranged for Owen to marry- Lavinia- Alexander’s awful older sister.
Owen doesn’t particularly want to marry Lavinia Hobbs, but his father has threatened to cut off his allowance if he doesn’t settle down. He agrees to meet the Lavinia, and the encounter is a disaster; she is rude, dismissive, and completely uninterested in him. Owen has never been one to back down from a challenge, so when Alex agrees to help him woo her sister, he’s grateful for the assistance.
But the more time Owen spends with Alex, the more he realizes that she is perfect for him. There’s only one problem- he’s still supposed to be courting Lavinia!
The Untamed Earl is a delightful book. Alex is an unconventional heroine; she’s clever, kind, and even a little awkward. She’s the complete opposite of her sister; I found it interesting that Bowman explored Lavinia’s backstory and explained why this secondary character behaves so horribly. To be clear: Lavinia has no interest in Owen whatsoever, so there’s no man stealing.
I would absolutely recommend The Untamed Earl to fans of the genre. As I have mentioned, this is the 5th book in a series, but it functions well as a standalone. Owen is the brother of one of the heroines of a previous book. There are some fun scenes with Cass and her friends, and I did get the sense that having read the previous books would have given me a greater appreciation for their friendship. I’ve picked up some of Valerie Bowman’s other books from various Kindle sales, and I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest of the Playful Brides series!