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Ratings and Book Reviews (18 34 star ratings
18 reviews
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4.4 out of 5
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    Love it!!

    First Earl I See Tonight is a fabulous historical romance by Anna Bennett. Ms. Bennett has given us a book that is well-written. The cast of characters are phenomenal and my favorite part of the book. Fiona doesn't want to marry anyone that only wants her dowry and cares nothing for her. When she receives a blackmail letter, she is forced into action. David is an Earl without a fortune to rebuild the family estate. David and Fiona's story is loaded with drama, humor, action, spice and suspense. This book hooked me on the first page and held me captive until the end. First Earl I See Tonight is book 1 of the Debutante Diaries Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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    Loyalty, Love, and Adventure!

    In order to protect her family, Fiona must do something unconventional: propose to an Earl.  Not just any Earl, but the angry and recently single from an engagement Earl Ravenport.  Also, their marriage needs to happen in a matter of weeks in order to save her family.  Who would possibly say no to that? This book was fantastic! It had romance, humor, adventure and an especially heartless villain.  It also tested loyalties among the characters as well as how far one is willing to go for the ones they love. Easy and fun to read with the narratives alternating between Fiona and Gray.  It was especially hard to put down around the 75-80% mark where all of the tiny details sprinkled along the way turned into a storm (literally) of chaos where I just kept saying "no no no no no no".  This was the part of the book that I think was the best!  Favorite character was Earl ("Gray") Ravenport because the author was able to slowly reveal his warm, funny, and charming personality.   Initially he comes across as defensive and distant (often described in the book as "cold") but through interactions with his grandmother and Fiona he finally warms up.   Furthermore, I enjoyed the use of the Fortress in disrepair like Gray was after his broken engagement to Lady Helena.  Yet with his grandmother as his main motivation and Fiona's help he was able to get a lot of progress on restoring it, and himself.  It reminded me a little bit of Beauty and the Beast, without the animated furniture, in that Belle's love for Beast was able to restore the castle (and Beast) to it's original beauty. Lastly, I really appreciated the use of the relationship between Fiona and her sister Lily, as well as the relationship with Gray and his grandmother.  I am fortunate enough to be very close with my sister, just as Fiona and Lily are close.  I am also fortunate to be very close with my grandmother whom is well-loved by everyone she meets, just like Gray's grandmother.  I hope the next book in the series is about Fiona's sister, Lily, as it seemed to have set up a conflict that could continue for her that I would like to see resolved.   I would recommend this book for adult readers who enjoy romance, especially regency romance, the strong bonds of sisterhood, and the restorative power of love. On the other hand, I would not recommend this book for readers who may be offended or triggered by the following: graphic violence, foul language, suicide, blackmail, betrayal, gambling, prostitution, and sexually explicit scenarios.   Please note: an electronic ARC of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
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    Enjoyable and Engaging

    I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book. This story was enjoyable and engaging. I was reluctant to put it down as I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. The hero and heroine, Fiona and Gray are likable and are meant to be together. I loved the role reversal where it was Fiona who proposes and has money. I also liked that Fiona played an active role with regards to dealing with the blackmailer. There are some interesting dynamics at play in Fiona’s family which made me curious about Lily, her sister. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hope it will feature Lily as the heroine.
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    historical romance

    Blackmail is a dirty business and Fiona Hartley needs a way to pay off the blackmailer to keep her family happily as it is. Her decision to access her inheritance through marriage sees her writing a wedding proposal to a man she believes might be interested in her money little knowing that what she expects and what will happen will be quite different. David Gray, Earl of Ravenport, thinks that Fiona is mad at first but does meet and talk to her. The two grow closer to one another at a house party on his crumbling estate but there is always the blackmailer lurking in the background to cause turmoil in Fiona’s mind…and life. My thoughts: *Well written if somewhat predictable *Storyline highly unlikely *Liked the characters *Enjoyed the interactions between Gray and Fiona *Some will find this book highly entertaining while others will want more substance Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
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    Loved!

    This is a wonderful book that I found myself totally charmed by. Fiona is the young lady of means, but no title, and therefore one of the "lessers", who finds herself being blackmailed. The only way she can access her substantial dowry is to marry. Since Fiona doesn't have a suitor, she makes an unconventional proposal to an unconventional Earl. When Gray receives her proposal, he considers it ridiculous and rejects it outright. However, they begin an odd relationship that has both of them far outside their comfort zones. If you enjoy historical romance with a bit of humor, you will love this book. It is absolutely delightful and had me flipping pages just as quickly as possible to see what happened next - yet I was sorry when it ended. I was so engaged by the characters that I didn't want their story to end. This is a must read for fans of the genre. While the author is new to me, I have added her to my must read authors' list.
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