Lady Alexandra Hobbs, the daughter of the Duke of Huntley, has intended to marry Lord Owen Monroe since she first glimpsed him from the window of her bedchamber, back when she was just a girl. But the duke has already chosen Alex’s infamously spoiled elder sister, Lavinia, for Owen. And now there’s no turning back.
Owen has spent most of his bachelor years drinking, gambling, and skirt-chasing. He won’t see another pound from his parents, however, until he’s engaged to Lavinia. Desperate, he accepts an offer from her innocent and spirited—and absolutely beautiful—sister Alex: She will
turn him into a perfectly tamed suitor, and show him how to woo the shrew. But when Alex’s true motives come to light, will their bargain lead to recriminations—or to a romance that defies everyone’s expectations?
Copy from publisher and author for an honest opinion
Ever since I read the first book in the Playful Brides series, “The Unexpected Duchess” I cannot get enough of Valerie Bowman. I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished and loved, “The Irresistible Rogue.” For anyone that has never read this series Bowman takes a very witty and historical spin on tales such as Cyrano de Bergerac, The Importance of Being Earnest and other classics as The Philadelphia Story and gives it a spin. Bowman is one of those authors I leap to read her work. I really enjoy her heroines, heroes and her plots.
“The Untamed Earl” is a spin of the “Taming of the Shrew.” Alexander Hobbs is the sister of the alluded to shrew. Lavinia, her older sister, is definitely a shrew. When she was young she became very ill and since then Alexander lived in her sister’s shadow. For the most part Alexander accepted this lot in life, but when her parents arrange for her sister to marry the man that stole her heart years ago, Lord Owen Monroe, Alex takes matters into her own hands. Years ago Alexander met Owen by her balcony and since then he stole her heart.
Lord Owen is Cassandra’s brother; she is the heroine from “The Accidental Countess. Owen has a bad reputation not only in society but also with his family. His parents think it’s time for him to marry and start taking his life seriously. With Lavinia’s parents they arrange a marriage proposal for Owen and Lavinia, but Lavinia’s parents insist that she must fall in love with him and accept him on her own terms. Lavinia is a shrew in every sense of the word. She is an awful bully and Owen realizes that although he has had no luck with other conquests, Lavinia is more than he had bargained for. Alexander offers up her help. She tells Owen that if he helps her launch in society then she will help him with her sister.
I really like Alex and Owen, individually and as a couple. They were very sweet and they had great chemistry. There are some sad and heart-breaking moments and before long Alex realizes that her plan might need some reinforcements. I have really only two small complaints. One there was so much action and change of scenes in the previous book and this book was one ball after another. Second, I now have to count down the days until the next book in the series- The Legendary Lord which is about Viscount Christian Bancroft. I really loved the glimpses that the author gave us of his character and I cannot wait to see what she has in stored for him and Sarah. I really enjoyed this great shrew of a story and loved how the author finally gave Alex and Owen the chance they needed. Although the book is a part of the series, it is easily a standalone. However, the heart of the story is the friendship of Cassandra, Lucy and Jane -which I was happy to see them make an appearance. If anyone has time to sit around and binge read, I definitely recommend they do so with this funny series.
**ARC provided by Publisher**
VALERIE BOWMAN was an RT Reviewers Choice Award nominee for Best Historical Novel 2013 in the category of Love and Laughter for SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE, and in the category of Best First Historical in 2012 for SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT! She has been featured as a bride on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, and in guest posts for USA Today’s Happily Ever After and Publishers Weekly’s Beyond Her Blog. She’s received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist while also becoming a top pick for Romance Reviews Today, Fresh Fiction, and BN.com (Bookseller Best Picks) with SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE. Valerie has recently been nominated for the 2014 Kirkus Prize with THE UNEXPECTED DUCHESS