Title: The Earl I Ruined (The Secrets of Charlotte Street #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: December 11th 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)
She’s beautiful, rich, and reckless…
When Lady Constance Stonewell accidentally ruins the Earl of Apthorp’s entire future with her gossip column, she does what any honorable young lady must: offer her hand in marriage. Or, at the very least, stage a whirlwind fake engagement to repair his reputation. Never mind that it means spending a month with the dullest man in England. Or the fact that he disapproves of everything she holds dear.
He’s supposedly the most boring politician in the House of Lords...
Julian Haywood, the Earl of Apthorp, is on the cusp of finally proving himself to be the man he’s always wanted to be when his future is destroyed in a single afternoon. When the woman he’s secretly in love confesses she’s at fault, it isn’t just his life that is shattered: it’s his heart.
They have a month to clear his name and convince society they are madly in love…
But when Constance discovers her faux-intended is decidedly more than meets the eye—not to mention adept at shocking forms of wickedness—she finds herself falling for him.
There’s only one problem: he can’t forgive her for breaking his heart.
First, I must say...I LOVE that cover. The dress is so gorgeous. The pose is lovely. It reminds me of a Vogue photo shoot. Simply lovely! The cover and title drew me and I had no choice but to read it.
The story follows Constance who is reckless and I would say spoiled. She also is the secret writer of a gossip column. She "accidentally" ruins an old family friend's reputation from a silly article she wrote. This friend is the Earl of Apthrop, Julian. Julian was considered the most boring man in England, but then scandal strikes because of a dumb article. He could lose everything because of this. The two decide that the only way to save his career and ease Constance's guilt is to fake an engagement.
This is a 2nd book in the series, but it did well to standalone because I didn't feel like I was missing anything. I think book 1 was about Constance's brother.
I felt so bad for Julian. All he wanted was to live a nice quiet life and support his family. But alas, Constance in one article ruined everything. I don't blame him for not forgiving her right away. Especially since we find out he had loved her secretly for years, but he never acted on his feelings. Yikes!
Honestly, I went in wanting to hate Constance for what she did, but I ended up adoring her. She is just a reckless girl who is a touch spoiled. She wants to be noticed and loved. She shouldn't have written that article, but she did regret it for sure. I do feel Julian should've forgiven her sooner.
But yes, I enjoyed the ride. They both develop feelings for each other, but it takes pretty much the entire book for them to forgive each other and have their HEA. There is a lot of bad blood and lack of trust between them so it makes total sense. I'm glad the author did this even though I just wanted them to get over it. If only there were marriage therapists back then ;)
There was a huge reveal there near the end. I go back and forth if I liked it or not. Honestly...I am still unsure how I feel about it. It certainly did surprise me! So kuddos there!
There was a huge dry area, though, that made me bored. I did put this book down and walked away for a little bit. I was unsure if I wanted to read on. It wasn't bad...but I felt like nothing was happening. However, I got myself to go back and after a certain event, I was hooked. I'm super glad I didn't give up.
Overall, this was a pretty good read. It took forever for these two to get over the events that got them together, but it makes sense. There was a huge dry spot near the beginning that almost made me DNF this, but I didn't give up. I'm glad I didn't because I pretty much finished this in a couple of sittings after that. I liked the dynamic characters and the complex story. It was all very good overall. I'll give this 3 stars.