Some secrets aren't meant to be kept...
HOW TO BEWILDER A LORD
How To #3
Releasing June 5th, 2017
In How to Bewilder a Lord (How To #3) by Ally Broadfield, Gavin Corey, the Earl of Thornbrook, is determined to win Lady Louisa's heart, but he has a tough task ahead of him in convincing her parents that he's the right man for her. Yet, when the perfect opportunity presents itself for him and Lady Louisa to spend time together, Gavin jumps at the chance, especially since they'll be searching for a missing family treasure together. But with the wager they propose, will Gavin be able to keep his end of the bargain, or will his secret lose him the one woman he loves?
I've been reading more and more Historical Romance lately, and this book was a fantastic read due to the playful banter between the wonderful main characters, the matchmaking efforts of the secondary characters and the hunt for the missing family treasure that had me fascinated to discover who would win the wager the hero and heroine had proposed. The way this story started was a charming introduction into the hero and how much in love he is with the heroine. She's the only woman that's ever stirred his interest in getting married and he's determined to find a way to win her heart. What will it take to convince her parents to give him a chance?
The dialogue was well-written and compelling due to the main characters back stories, especially that of the hero. He did something in his past that has made Lady Louisa's father dislike him, and it's hard to change the man's opinion because he wasn't the only one involved in the incident. The heroine's father blames him, instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt like he did the other guilty party. Then there's the teasing banter between the hero and heroine at times, which was delightful and illustrates how close the hero and heroine are becoming.
As for the main characters, I was charmed by both of them and I loved every moment they interacted. The heroine is sassy, courageous and I liked how determined she was to make the hero hers when it seemed things may not go their way with her parents. Even if it meant doing something that would force her father's hand into letting her marry Gavin. I also liked the sacrifice she was willing to make to be with Gavin, because what she would lose meant so much to her. While the hero, he definitely has a challenge on his hands with Louisa as well as her parents. She makes his life interesting, especially when she's determined to get what she wants. I also liked how the secondary characters were willing to match-make and offer their advice, because it certainly helped the hero to win Louisa over.
Overall, Ms. Broadfield has delivered a marvelous read in this book where the chemistry is strong and the romance was special and exciting and showed Louisa wasn't afraid to go after what she wants and what she wants is Gavin. The way this story ended had me concerned for one of the main characters, because of what happens after their fallout. However, I liked how everything worked out in the end for Louisa and Gavin, because they're meant to be. Do they find the treasure? However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, as we discover how far the hero and heroine have come in their relationship and what Gavin ended up doing with his incredible artistic talent. I would recommend How to Bewilder a Lord by Ally Broadfield, if you enjoy Historical Romance, the brother's best friend trope, or books by authors Jess Michaels, Callie Hutton, Christie Caldwell or Julia Quinn.
Gavin Corey, the Earl of Thornbrook, has shed his rakish ways in the hope of winning Lady Louisa’s heart, but neither she nor her parents consider him a suitable match. He convinces her to join forces with him to locate a missing family treasure by proposing a wager: if he finds the jewels, Lady Louisa must allow him to court her, but if she prevails, he must reveal the secret he’s keeping from her.
Lady Louisa Adair might be the most sought after lady on the marriage mart, but she values her independence above all else and has no interest in giving up her inheritance to marry. As she spends more time with the charming earl, however, she comes to wonder if he’s worth risking her inheritance and her family’s disapproval… until she’s confronted with the scandal from his past.
She paused and flipped back a few pages. “So it looks like she stopped journaling when she began her…ahem…relationship with Bukov.”
“Of course she did. She had a vastly superior form of entertainment to indulge in.”
“For heaven’s sake, do be quiet.” Her eyes flashed back and forth across the page.
“For the sake of my sanity, could you please read aloud.”
Without looking up, she waved a hand at him. “I’ll let you know as soon as I find something interesting.
“Of course. I’ll just sit here and twiddle my thumbs until you deem it appropriate to include me.”
“There it is!”
He leaned closer, but her arm blocked his view of the page in question.
“‘Begin where warmth abounds. Very close, yet worlds away, it is no place for the meek.’”
“Right. That was the clue that we all assumed pointed to the portrait over the fireplace. Is there any reason to think otherwise?”
Louisa shook her head. “Not that I can think of.”
Gavin tossed the words around in his head. “I’ve never understood what she meant by ‘…it is no place for the meek.’”
“I agree, but I don’t think it matters. This was the clue that led to the painting that had the grille hidden beneath the backing.”
Something was tickling his memory, but he couldn’t figure it out. “Is there a pen and paper somewhere? I’d like to write down the clues so we have them all in one place.”
She pointed to the other side of the room. “Check the drawers in the desk over there.”
He found what he needed and pulled off his gloves before carefully writing the entire clue. In the meantime, Louisa had continued reading without him. Oddly enough, her face was flushed a deep red. “Have you discovered another clue?”
“Not exactly.” She sucked in a deep breath. “A few days later, she wrote, ‘What new surprises will my lover have for me tonight?’” She flipped the page. “‘I long for the sweet torture of his touch, for the pleasure he brings me.’”
It suddenly seemed very warm in the room.
Louisa swallowed audibly. “There’s more.”
Lord help him.
“‘My pulse races as I remember the warm touch of his hands. I throb with unmet desire, craving his practiced attention.’”
“Um, perhaps we should stop here for the night.”
Preferably before he spontaneously combusted.
Her eyes wide like a frightened animal, she nodded her agreement and put the journal back on the shelf, then came toward him and stopped a few feet away.
Without thinking, he lifted his hand and cupped her cheek. For a moment, she leaned toward him, and he leaned a bit nearer to her. They were so close he could feel her warm breath against his neck. Just when he decided it would be a good time to kiss her, she took a step back.
He reached for her hand, but she backed away from him. “Louisa,” he said ever so softly, reaching for her again.
She shook her head, then turned and ran from the room, her dog trailing behind her.
His throat tightened. That had not gone well. Certainly not the way things had progressed in a thousand or so of his dreams that had featured her. He wanted to chase her down the corridor, but that would probably scare her away forever. Though he was certain she was as innocent as the day she was born, he might still have a chance with her if she desired him even a fraction of the amount he did her.
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Ally Broadfield has worked as a horse trainer, director of marketing and development, freelance proofreader, and a children’s librarian, among other things. None of them were as awesome as writing romance novels (though the librarian gig came closest). She lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, four dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband.
Ally likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head looking for an opportunity to escape onto paper. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.
Stay up to date by visiting her Website, Facebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.