The Gossip of an Earl (The Widows of the Aristocracy #1)

Linda Rae
Attending a ball shortly after returning from finishing school, Emilia Comber is introduced to Felix Turnbridge, Earl of Fennington, who surprises them both by kissing her as they walk in the gardens.  Felix immediately asks Emilia’s father for her hand but he insists that Felix must court Emilia for eight weeks and only then will a proposal be allowed.  Felix, as his alter ego Mr. Pepperidge, editor of The Tattler, has other means of meeting Emilia, although she’ll have no idea it’s him…  Also, at the ball, widowed Lady Jane reunited with her long-lost love Andrew Burroughs, but the course of their second-chance romance doesn’t run smoothly after an article featuring Andrew appears in The Tattler.  

Regency fans will relish the originality of this light and fun story, along with the excerpts from The Tattler appearing in each chapter as one is drawn into Emilia and Felix’s story.  However, although Jane and Andrew are the real focus of this tale, the detail about the excessive number of other characters is extraneous and becomes cumbersome to keep up with.  It’s difficult to remember who they all are in a story told from several points of view, which on occasion switches mid-scene.  The unique creativity with which the events are written show the real talent of this author. At times the story does drag a bit, however.  That coupled with some unlikely behavior, anachronistic language, and some other general errors and typos keeps it from being a truly believable 5 star read.  Even so, fans of fun and flirty Regency romance sprinkled with a bit of steam will no doubt delight in this book!

Heather Belleguelle