Title: When the Earl Met His Match
Author: Stacy Reid
Published: September 2020
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance
I received a copy of When the Earl Met His Match from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
When Hugh Winthrop, the future Earl of Albury, decides to advertise for a wife in the London paper, he never expected an anonymous response from a woman who matches him wit for wit. Their back-and-forth letters on the true nature of love, something they disagree on wholeheartedly, leave him shocked—and intrigued. But then the woman he’s been corresponding with shows up on his doorstep, enticingly beautiful and offering a marriage of convenience in exchange for his protection…
Lady Phoebe Maitland expected to marry for love and nothing else, until the man she gave her trust betrayed her. The more intrigued she becomes by the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Hugh, however, the more she realizes he’s holding back from opening his heart due to long-held secrets she struggles to understand. As passion flares wickedly between them, their marriage bed is quick to heat up. But when Phoebe’s past threatens to destroy the fragile bond they’ve formed, even a budding belief in love might not be enough to save them.
When Lady Phoebe Maitland’s expectation of marrying for love is shattered by the object of her affections (and her parents), she turns to the mysterious author of an advertisement for a wife in the paper. What starts as a series of letters questioning each other’s integrity turns to a marriage of convenience that neither Phoebe, nor the Earl, Hugh Winthrop, could have imagined.
Earlier in the year I read my first Stacy Reid historical romance, My Darling Duke, and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to try some more of her writing, so I was very excited to receive this review copy from Netgalley.
Lady Phoebe Maitland comes from a prominent family and has always had hopes of marrying the man that she loves – her music tutor. But when he comes to ask for her hand in marriage, her parents are quick to dismiss him as below her station and completely disregard any affection between them and pay him off (to which the man in question accepts). This completely disabuses Phoebe of the notion of love and in need of protection from her family, she runs away to the home of the author of an advertisement she’d seen in the paper, one seeking a wife. She’d previously exchanged correspondence with the man, calling into question his integrity for such an advert, but realises that she could possibly call upon him for protection and so she does.
What she discovers is not what she expected – the man in question, Hugh Winthrop, is the son of an Earl and about to inherit. Not only that, he’s been unable to speak since birth and communicates through sign language and letters. Intrigued by the headstrong Lady Phoebe, Hugh accepts her proposal of a marriage of convenience – it’ll keep his dying father off his back and keep her (and her secret) safe.
The story was entertaining and kept my attention, especially as Phoebe and Hugh have to learn how to communicate with one another – and not just in a regular miscommunication trope fashion, they have the physical barrier of Hugh not being able to speak, and being fairly isolated as a result. The tension is built up not only by this need to learn about each other, but also by Phoebe’s secret and the building tension that maybe this marriage of convenience might actually have the groundings for a solid relationship, too.
Throw in Hugh’s cantankerous, aging father and free-spirited younger sister you have an enjoyable cast of characters who all need to learn to grow and be sympathetic to one another.
If you’re looking for your next historical romance, this is worth checking out.