- Author Anna Bennett
- Release Date December 28, 2021
- Publisher St. Martin’s Press
- ISBN/ASIN 9781250793911
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Raonaid
Gabriel “Blade” Beckett, Earl of Bladenton, searches for another finishing school to accept his rebellious niece. He needs her away from London for the summer, so he can properly court a potential bride without any problems. Blade offers a generous donation to Miss Lively’s school if she will take on his niece. The woman agrees, only if he will visit the girl every other week. Blade cannot resist tempting the button-upped headmistress to improperness. Can Hazel teach Blade to love again? Will her love heal his wounded heart?
Miss Hazel Lively is the headmistress of a seaside finishing school for girls. She hopes to attract wealthier clientele to her fledgling enterprise. Hazel agrees to take on a rebellious teenage girl but under one condition: the girl’s guardian must visit every other week. She fights her growing attraction to the charismatic earl with each visit. However, he cannot give Hazel the one thing she truly wants. When her school’s livelihood is at risk, she has no choice but to turn to Blade for help. Will Hazel choose her school over Blade? Can she truly give him up?
Blade is such a sweetheart! He is a man who has been hurt and betrayed in the past. Blade refuses to expose himself to any form of love to protect himself. I like how Blade uses his charm and influence to help Hazel and his school. He could have turned a blind eye to her predicament. What I adore the most about Blade is his open mindedness. He does not share his peer’s views on a woman’s place. Blade never tried to curtail his niece’s interests and pursuits.
I adore Hazel! She presents a tough exterior to the world. This is her defense mechanism to protect her compassionate heart and nature. I like how Hazel empathizes with Kitty. Being an orphan herself, she understands why the girl behaves as she does. Hazel also wants to give Kitty what she desperately needs. What I love the most about Hazel is her dedication to her students. She encourages them to pursue their interests. Hazel also believes all girls, nobles and commoners alike, deserve a good and proper education.
GIRLS BEFORE EARLS is the first book in Anna Bennett’s new historical romance series, ROGUES TO LOVERS. I really enjoyed the author’s novella in the KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE anthology, so I decided to try out one of her full-length novels. It did not disappoint. I soon found myself immersed in the characters and the plot.
GIRLS BEFORE EARLS is a charming tale of two people who are afraid to love, learning to open their hearts to each other. I will be keeping an eye out for the next installment. I cannot wait to see who is next!