Monday, August 17, 2020

Review: Who’s That Earl by Susanna Craig

Who’s That Earl by Susanna Craig
Series: Love and Let Spy, Book 1
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781516110582
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Will scandalous secrets stand in the way of a second chance at love?

Miss Jane Quayle excels at invention. How else could the sheltered daughter of an English gentleman create lurid gothic novels so infamous someone wants their author silenced forever? Fortunately, Jane has taken steps to protect herself, first by assuming a pen name, and second, by taking up residence at remote Dunnock Castle, surrounded by rugged scenery that might have been ripped from the pages of one of her books. Her true identity remains a secret, until one dark and stormy night…

After years of spying for the British army, Thomas Sutherland doubts the Highlands will ever feel like home again. Nevertheless, thanks to a quirk of Scottish inheritance law, he’s now the Earl of Magnus, complete with a crumbling castle currently inhabited by a notorious novelist. When the writer turns out to be the woman Thomas once wooed, suspicions rise even as mutual sparks reignite. As danger closes in, can Jane and Thomas overcome their pasts to forge a future together?

Susanna Craig starts her Love and Let Spy series on a high note. Who’s That Earl is a lot of fun to read and Jane and Thomas were easy characters to root for.

After being cast out by her family, Jane has become a famous and wealthy author of gothic novels. Only she writes under a pen name Robin Ratliff and rents a remote Scottish castle, all the better to protect her true identity. That doesn’t stop danger from appearing on her doorstep in the form of threats from someone angered by her lurid novels. Assistance and protection comes in the form of Thomas Sutherland, the man she once fell for as a young woman. Like her, Thomas has changed in the years since their blossoming romance was crushed. The British spy has inherited an earldom thanks to a quirk of Scottish law and the mantle of the earldom sits ill on his shoulders. Both have secrets and each of them is suspicious yet still attracted to the other.

Jane and Thomas’s romance is, in a word, entertaining. They are likeable characters with pasts that have shaped them into interesting protagonists. I particularly enjoyed that Jane was a writer of salacious gothic tales. Her writing was such fun to read about and the way she has embraced her career and freedom made her an engaging heroine. The banter between Jane and Thomas was fun and made Who’s That Earl move at a quick clip. I also enjoyed watching Thomas learn to accept the curveball life has thrown at him. The mystery of who wants to harm Robin Ratliff was a good way to keep Thomas and Jane together at the beginning, but on its own it was just a so-so plotline. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed Who’s That Earl. The atmosphere was fantastic, the romance entertaining, and I finished the book looking forward to the next Love and Let Spy story.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.