The earl she loved to hate
…until she stayed in his mansion!
Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village that forms part of it.
But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man.
After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch…
Titles in the A Very Village Scandal series/duet included — The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest –
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest
Series: A Very Village Scandal #1
Author: Virginia Heath
Genre: Historical/Regency Romance
Published: February 22, 2022
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
My Rating: 4.5 stars
The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest begins the A Very Village Scandal series with a story that drew me in from the first page and held me in that world, loving every moment of sass, passion, and engagement until the final page. Sophie and Rafe (and Archie and all the villagers) came to life on the pages, full-blown realitic, believable, and earning my affection and my respect for their stands and their actions (mostly). Sure, there are always “those” characters just as there are “those” people in life, but what I found here was two people being handed a situation that neither expected nor really knew how to handle at first… but they learned, they grew, and they connected.
When Rafe inherited not only the title but the property owned by his distant, deceased uncle it was the absolute last thing he ever expected to happen to him. He’d been a soldier, he’d worked his fingers to the bone to provide for his family, and he’d fought against odds that would lay many people flat on the ground. He survived. Now that he has this unexpected and unwanted property, he cannot wait to sell this estate and move deeper into the country where he can raise horses, live quietly with his brother, and have the world just leave them alone. Life in Whittleston-on-the-Water didn’t go along as Rafe expected, and for a while, it seems like his own dreams will never come true. Ironically, his enemy has the ability to become so much more, the answer to all the questions, the woman he could love for a lifetime. But they have so much to get beyond before that is even a remote possibility.
Sophie came to live with her aunt during a devastating period of her life. Now that the new Earl is showing his true stripes by making noises about selling his estates, which includes the village of Whittleston-on-the-Water, Sophie will stop at nothing to stop him even if that means going toe-to-toe in devious ways like protesting his plans in ingenious (and totally spoiler ways). I adored Sophie from the first appearance.
Both Rafe and Sophie have much to overcome, much to learn from each other and from life itself. But they’ve faced the hard things before, now they have to work at letting someone else in, allowing someone to know their truths and accept them just as they are. I loved watching this couple find their way to each other through anger, suspicions, and eventually love. The author won my heart (and future purchases) through her portrayal of Archie. He is written from the heart and I appreciate that while he’s not perfect, he was perfectly presented to us in a way that celebrated him and gave us the gift of this charming man.
I loved The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest for many reasons, and if you love a good romance with believable characters and situations, then this is a story you’ll want to check out as soon as possible. As a reader, I’ve been away from Harlequin Historicals for a few years now, I’m so glad that my first steps back were with Rafe, Sophie, and Archie.
I own a Kindle edition of this title.
Available in print or for your favorite e-reader