The Earl I Ruined is the second book in Scarlett Peckham’s The Secrets of Charlotte Street series of Georgian-era historical romance novels. I have to admit that this book was not really on my radar until someone in one of my book groups gave a teaser review. After that, two things happened: I made an ARC request over at Netgalley because I needed this book in my life, and I realized that I already owned a copy of The Duke I Tempted– the first book in the series. Don’t judge- my TBR pile is practically sentient. Anyway, I tore threw the first book while waiting for my request to be approved, and that only made me want this book even more. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my request was approved.
Readers first encountered Lady Constance in The Duke I Tempted, and the little schemer has not stopped manipulating people. When her machinations lead to destroying the reputation of the Earl of Apthorp, she does what any reasonable person would do: she persuades him to enter into a fake engagement to repair his image.
Julian has always loved Constance, and he has mixed feelings about the charade, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. He doesn’t know what will happen once he and Constance part ways, but he’s determined to make the most of their time together.
There’s just one factor Constance failed to consider: the man that she once dubbed “Lord Bore” has secrets that make him anything but boring.
Constance was a standout secondary character in The Duke I Tempted, so I was very excited to see her cast as heroine in this book. Having her perspective provides a level of depth, and she proves that she’s not as vapid as people might think. Likewise, Julian tries to fight his baser instincts, but being around Constance is a constant struggle (pardon the horrible pun). Constance and Julian have delightful chemistry, and although Julian is reluctant at first, he is more than happy to share some of his more eclectic tastes with her.
I would recommend The Earl I Ruined. I would suggest that readers begin with The Duke I Tempted. This book functions well enough as a standalone, but having familiarity with Constance (and Julian!) provides a richer reading experience. This book is full of surprises, and the big revelations are satisfying. Scarlett Peckham has quickly become one of my favorite new authors, and I can’t wait to read her next book.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.