Enchanting the Earl by Lily Maxton – a Review
Llynmore Castle is the only place Annabel Lockhart has ever considered home. For years, she’s been able to live as she wished, freely roaming the wild moors. Now there’s a new earl, as arrogant as he is handsome, and he wants her out. But if he thinks she’ll go quietly, he’s in for a surprise.
Theo Townsend returned from war a changed man. After unexpectedly inheriting an earldom and a secluded castle in the Scottish Highlands to go with it, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world—until he arrives to find a spirited, beautiful woman already in residence. He can’t just throw her out, but surely there’s a way to get her to leave on her own. The sooner she’s gone, the better, especially when he realizes there’s more than just mutual dislike between them.
Enchanting the Earl by Lily Maxton is a magnificent story begins that in 1812 with a knock on the castle door!
I will admit, I took a deep sigh and began to read, expecting another highland romance…I’ve read other novels from this wonderfully talented author. I should have known to expect something that would touch my heart and my very soul.
It is not a typical romance. It’s a very antagonistic beginning. A very untypical couple. An interesting and provocative read. Okay, so let’s get right to the heart of it!
Theo Townsend is a man in his twenties. He has three younger siblings, two sisters and a brother, all fairly grown. Born to a loving mother and father who later died early, they were raised on the charity of aunts and uncles. Not treated unkindly, but not a loving family either. He joined the war effort to gain a name and calling and, of course, an income for his siblings and himself.
War left him physically broken, missing a leg and gaining nightmares. Just because they didn’t call it PTSD back then, didn’t mean it didn’t exist. It just didn’t have a name and wasn’t talked about. He’s a broken man, both physically, which he handles rather well; and mentally, which he doesn’t know how to handle.
After returning home, he finds his long lost mother’s father was the Earl of Arden (his mother married beneath her for love), who has recently died. He now has a title and an old, unmaintained castle in a remote part of the highlands of Scotland. Thinking this is a good place to find the refuge and solitude he feels he needs, he sets about going there. However, his siblings insist on living with him, and he cannot deny them.
Annabel Lockhart and her younger sister Fiona were an orphaned pair. Annabel the older of the two, took care of you sister. They were raised by family, but not wanted or cared for deeply. Fiona married, and disappointed her sister by not taking her with her after her marriage. Annabel went from family member to family member, taking care of younger children, then passed on to others when no longer needed. While not necessarily abused, she wasn’t given the love of family either.
Her aunt Frances had married the Earl of Arden’s brother, but she was an actress and not liked by the Earl. However, after his brother died, he allowed her aunt to live at his old castle in the remote highlands. Learning of her aunt, she walked away one day and attempted to find her. Her aunt immediately loved her and took her in to live at the castle with her. They didn’t have much, but they made do. Annabel was a free spirit, much like her Aunt Frances. She rode old highland ponies astride, wore men’s breeches while doing it. Laughed openly, often went barefoot. All the things proper women didn’t do.
Fiona showed up on their doorstep, hiding from her abusive husband, her sweet daughter in tow. They didn’t know the old Earl had died and that their lives were about to change again.
That’s only the beginning of this masterfully told story. There is so much more to envision and enjoy, told with wonderful conversations, realistic events and promise. Can two damaged people find comfort in each other, or will their differences and issues be too much to conquer?
Prepare for a wonderfully written story, with drama, mystery, danger and all the wonder that makes a story worth telling. And yes, there will be some tears…they were mostly mine! If you love real romance and real people, you just shouldn’t miss this one.
Reviewed by Georgianna
Copy provided by Publisher