Release day for Shana Galen's first book in her new Covent Garden Cubs series. Get your copy today!
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
His heart may be the last thing she ever steals...
Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.
Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.
Published & Release Date: Source Books, February 3, 2015
Time and setting: Regency period, London, England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
What a fantastic start for Shana Galen’s new Covent Garden Cubs series. Earls Just Want to Have Fun is as dynamic and brilliant as her other stories have been. Ms. Galen is one my favorite authors and I don’t even have to read the blurb before I download her books. I am fortunate enough to have the honor of reading this book in advance of publication through Net Galley.
I adored the start of this book. It grabbed me and had me hooked from the first page. Anything with children always catches my attention. It starts out with Marlowe as a young five year old child playing in a park only to be nabbed by a rogue from Seven Dials, looking for a new cub for his gang of pickpockets. When Marlowe again appears after a scene break in the book, she is grown and has only vague memories of being Elizabeth, which she dismisses as fantasy and wishful thinking. Being a part of Satin’s gang is now all she knows and a fine pickpocket she has become.
While moving in on a target, all does not go as planned. When she runs into the mark, she slips her nimble fingers into his jacket and takes his blunt. The man does not react as she expects him to when he catches her. He smiles and says, “Good day, Elizabeth. I’ve been waiting for you.” Instead of trying to convince her to come with him—after telling her he has been hired by her parents to find her—he tells her where to find him and walks away.
Later that evening, while moving in on a house the gang plans to rob, someone grabs her and throws her into a waiting carriage. She soon discovers it is Sir Brook, the mark from earlier in the day, and his brother, the Earl of Dane. They take her to Dane’s townhouse in Mayfair. Sir Brook leaves her with Dane when he is called off on some urgent business. The attraction between Marlowe and the earl is instantaneous and combustible. Can this unlikely pair find a way to bridge the gap between their social stations, or will Dane let her go rather than shake up his life?
I am extremely impressed with the way Ms. Galen developed Dane’s character. She takes him from a sanctimonious, boring prig, who talks of the weather and politics, to a caring and generous individual. Dane is not a rake, which I find refreshing, and he is a beta male, not an alpha as so many heroes are in many romance novels. She has me rooting for the couple’s “Happily Ever After”, even though there are so many cards stacked against them. When they finally make love, it is one of the most tender love scenes I have ever read.
Marlowe is a straight forward female, definitely a spunky kid character arch with a bit of the waif thrown in. She has to be to have survived growing up among criminals. She hides behind her sarcastic wit to cover up her insecurities. I fell in love with her from the first page, so even when she comes across with a snarky attitude later in the story, I am able to overlook that.
There are several humorous scenes in this story, which lightens the darker moments, and there are several of those. This is a fast-paced book, and I found it difficult to put down. In fact, I read late into the night, trying to finish it. If you have never read any of Shana Galen’s books, then this would be an excellent one to start with. You will not be disappointed. Happy reading!