Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Loving the Earl Book Tour: Review + Giveaway!

Loving The Earl Sharon Cullen
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Welcome to my post for the Loving the Earl book tour! I have a review of this fabulous book coming up, as well as a giveaways for a Loveswept tote and mug. But, before we get to all that, allow me to introduce the book:

Loving The Earl
Release date: November 11, 2013
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: N/A

In Sharon Cullen’s sizzling novel of scandal and seduction, a headstrong beauty is pursued across Europe by London’s most notorious rake.

Having vowed never to wed again, widowed viscountess Claire Hartford is about to do the unthinkable: travel unaccompanied across the continent in search of a lover. Her adventure begins sooner than expected, when she meets a magnificent cloaked stranger on her ship’s gangplank. He is Lord Blythe, a man whispered about in London’s ballrooms and drawing rooms, a scandalous rogue hell-bent on seduction.

Nathan Ferguson curses the day he agreed to look out for his best friend’s wayward sister. The charismatic earl is traveling to Paris to uncover the truth behind his father’s death, but his desire for Claire threatens to be his undoing. From France to Italy, on a journey of passionate discovery and danger, Nathan is honor-bound to protect her—from himself most of all. What can he offer Claire? Only love, as he sets out to prove to the woman of his dreams that she belongs to him—body, heart, and soul.

My Rating: 5 Roses

Sweeping scenery and lovely romance come together for this fantastic book. Loving the Earl was a wonderful historical romance. I absolutely loved reading it.

One of my favorite parts of this book was the setting. The author did a great job creating expansive scenery as the characters traveled across Europe. It was vivid and wonderfully done.

Claire was a heroine who desperately wanted independence. She was coddled as a child, courtesy of her overprotective brother and her marriage trapped her in a gilded cage. Her husband hurt her, controlled her, and, when he died, she wasn't having it anymore. Hence, the trek across Europe in defiance of her brother. I really liked her. She wasn't one of those heroines that wanted independence in a way that made her kind of mean and determined to push others away. Instead, she just wanted to have options, to be able to choose rather than have someone else choose for her. She wasn't a perfect heroine. It was clear that she really shouldn't have been travelling alone, since it all went downhill within a couple of days with her on her own and she was smart enough to accept help...eventually. But, with her flaws, she became a more realistic character, and a very likable one. I thought she was a lovely character.

Nathan was also great. Like Claire, he was a flawed character. He was a bit of a rake, somewhat overbearing, very stubborn, and occasionally a jerk. But, he was also very loyal, determined, and clever. And, he could be so sweet when he wanted to be. I adored him. He was a wonderfully flawed hero.

The romance was lovely. Claire and Nathan were so sweet together. I appreciated that, while they were reluctant to talk about love or start a relationship, they didn't bother wallowing in denial. They were honest with each other and where their feelings were headed. And, the chemistry between them was hot. There were certainly some steamy moments along the way. I thought they were perfect together.

The plot was fast paced. I was  hooked the entire way though. There was a huge surprise at the end that had to do with how Nathan's father really died. It started to suspect it early on, but I didn't suspect the full extent of it and it took me by surprise. That element added some thrills to make this book even better. I really enjoyed the story and I thought the ending was perfect.

Loving the Earl was a fantastic historical romance. I absolutely loved it and I really enjoyed reading it. Lovers of romance, this book is one you'll definitely want to read.

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Up for grabs is a Loveswept tote and mug. Ends November 22.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
Sharon Cullen
Sharon is also the author of romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance. The Notorious Lady Anne is Sharon Cullen’s first historical and her debut novel with Loveswept.

If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her blog or her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.