A Wicked Way to Win an Earl
Sutherland Scandals, Book #1
By Anna Bradley
England, 1811. Delia Somerset despises the privileged ton, but her young sister, Lily, is desperate to escape their family’s scandalous past and join high society. Unwilling to upset her sister, Delia reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the Sutherland estate—and avoid the gossip at all costs.
Alec Sutherland is known as a hot-headed scoundrel, but nothing gets a rise out of him as much as the news that his brother desires Delia’s hand in marriage. She is, after all, the daughter of the London belle who soiled their family name. He’s determined to ruin her reputation as well, in the most delicious way possible. It’s only a matter of time before he can woo her with his irresistible advances.
As Delia devilishly plays along in Alec’s game, determined to prove the joke is on him, they inch ever closer to repeating history. And in this game of seductive glances, scandalous whispers, and old debts, the outcome might be much more than either of them anticipated…
I found this book was delightful. and truly historical fiction at its best. The setting and characters easily engaged the reader and I found myself hooked from page 1. I found Delia especially interesting. Her mother had married beneath her for love, and thus had ruined the family name and their place in society. The scandal was so bad that even Delia’s grandmother would have nothing to do with Delia or her sisters. This resulted in Delia being shunned when presented as a debutante. As a result she grew up hating the whole social scene of the society’s privileged rich..
Lily on the other hand is desperate to experience this part of society so against her better judgement Delia agrees to attend a friend’s ball. Delia realizes that Lily should have her opportunity to find a mate. At the ball she comes into contact with Alec who is determined to ruin her with his charms so that his brother will lose interest. After all the family’s reputation is at stake considering the scandal that Delia’s mother caused in the past. What neither Alec or Delia expects is the chemistry between them and as they play the cat and mouse game of seduction against seductress their pasts come in-between. Alec finds he has an equal opponent who is exciting and lights something inside of him and Delia finds that the man is an irresistible foe who proves loyal and dependable.
The story is humorous, and easy to read as the two find love. Alec finds out that there are more important things than society and Delia realizes love might be able to overcome all. The reader gets to experience that good and bad of English aristocracy of the time.
A great afternoon read for a fall day and I hope that Anna Bradley will continue to write historical fiction. I know I will certainly look for more books from this author.