You’re the Earl That I Want (The Lords of Worth) by Kelly Bowen
Overview by Amazon:
THE EARL DOTH PROTEST . . .
For businessman Heath Hextall, inheriting an earldom has been a damnable nuisance. The answer: find a well-bred, biddable woman to keep his life in order and observe the required social niceties. But it’s always been clear that Lady Josephine Somerhall is not that woman. Once a shy slip of a girl, Joss is now brilliant, beautiful chaos in a ball gown.
. . . BUT THE LADY KNOWS BEST
In her heart, Joss has always loved Heath, the one person she’s always been able to count on. That doesn’t mean she wants to marry him though. Without a husband, Joss can do as she pleases-and now, it pleases her to solve the mystery of an encoded file given to Heath by a dying man. It’s put Heath in peril once, and Joss won’t let that happen again. She’ll do what she must to ensure the earl’s safety. And to remind him that what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in passion.
Joss is such an incredible character. We meet her at a ball where she has a priceless Ming vase in between her legs. You just know as a reader that this is going to be a fun book when the heroine is so spunky.
Joss’ mother is the hilarious Lady Somerhall who we have met in the book, I’ve Got My Duke To Keep Me Warm. She is the chicken loving dowager. Yes, she loves chickens. Not just on wallpaper and plates, but brings real live chickens with her to society events. I love this character and I was so glad she was back!
The story starts out fast and furious. Joss and Heath grew up as childhood playmates, but to Heath she was always the pesky younger sister. When he sees her again after many years, he can’t believe she is now this stunning woman. A mystery falls into their laps the first night they meet up again.
Joss is an ‘original’ to be sure. Fluent in more languages than I could count and raised all over the world, she is truly unique. She wears her hair short and has a house full of servants who have all had nefarious pasts. Her brilliant mind is fascinating to read about in action. She is determined to solve the problem that is presented when a dead Bow Street Runner comes across her carriage.
Heath is looking for a boring wife, yet he can’t stop wanting Joss. He starts to court Lady Rebecca, but it isn’t her that he is kissing in his bedchamber at night. I think what I loved so much about Joss was that she lived her life on her terms. She went where she wanted, wore what she wanted and made no apologies for her lifestyle.
The attraction between Heath and Joss was like a simmering tension throughout the book. She knew that he was looking for a wife, but had no desire to be what he needed (running a household and settling into the country). She was much more interested in his soap making business and solving crimes. Heath knew that he should want a boring wife, but Joss brought out the possessive nature in him and he wanted to make her his.
I think I liked the complicated mystery as much as I did the romance. Joss’ world is just so fascinating and I never knew what she would do next. I admired Heath for trying to keep up with her and learning to just admire the chaos that came with her.
This is a really fun book to read. Past characters from the Lords of Worth Series make appearances so it’s nice to catch up with them. If you are a fan of historical romances with a great mystery to solve then this book is a definite hit!