- Author Anna Bennett
- Release Date December 28, 2021
- Publisher St. Martin's Paperbacks
- ISBN/ASIN 9781250793911/B097L4XKHB
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Michele Rioli
GIRLS BEFORE EARLS is a flirtatious opposites-attract romance that is incredibly layered with angst-filled moments, grief, love, attraction, hi-jinks, and more. It stars a lovely lady, Hazel Lively, an orphan who loves books. She luckily grew up in a boarding school for girls. Hazel is optimistic, independent, and bravely starts an instructive school, Bellehaven Academy, for girls in a sunny seaside area located outside of London. As headmistress, Hazel adores her job, her students and its safe atmosphere. Little does she know her life is about to change. Romance is in the air!
Blade, Gabriel Beckett, Earl of Bladenton, is determined to enroll his feisty niece, Kitty, in Hazel’s boarding school. Kitty is his ward after a devastating death in his family. Blade has no experience raising a teenage girl. Kitty’s track record is three times expelled. An emotionally damaged man, Blade doesn’t believe in love but is engaged to a society lady. Their arrangement is a marriage of convenience. He needs to convince the straitlaced, stubborn headmistress to take Kitty into her capable hands. He sweetens the pot with a sizable donation. Hazel reconsiders her stance, but there is one stipulation. Blade must visit Kitty every other week.
However, trouble brews. There is an unmistakable attraction between Hazel and Blade. Hazel is mesmerized by the arrogant, sexy man. Blade is impressed by smart, beautiful Hazel. Blade is resolute on returning to his life of leisure, but his heart hums for Hazel. Hazel’s feelings for Blade are indecent. Hazel’s life takes a u-turn with Blade’s constant flirtations. Do the fingers of fate spell difficulties between Hazel and Blade or does romance trump in the end?
An attractive earl, a beautiful schoolmarm, and an unbelievable agreement, GIRLS BEFORE EARLS is a stunning historical novel. This sweeping, dramatic story is touching, willful, skillful, with twists and turns aplenty! Ms. Bennett conjured up a fantastic plot that held me spellbound from beginning to end. There are so many interesting characters with depth and heart to them. Even troublesome Kitty is a diamond in the rough. She blossoms in Hazel’s care. This is an amazing story that has many layers to it. I even cried in some spots. Well done Ms. Bennett! GIRLS BEFORE EARLS is just like a jelly-filled puff pastry! It’s incredibly delicious with a surprising center.