I loved Earls Just Want To Have Fun, the first book in Shana Galen's new Covent Garden Cub series! The novel has all of the elements of a regency romance that are important to me; memorable characters, great dialogue and a believable storyline. Ms. Galen is well known for writing fast paced adventure novels with glamorous heroines, dashing heroes and nasty villains. Earl's Just Want to Have Fun includes the author's trademark writing style plus a new element. The book touches upon society's view of the poor and provides a preview of England's rising social awareness.
Sir Brook Derring has asked his brother, Maxwell Derring, the Earl of Dane to borrow his coach. Dane was sitting in the carriage thinking about a speech he'd given at Parliment about the poor when his brother hurried into the carriage with a woman. Brook explains that he believes that the woman is Lady Elizabeth Grafton who was kidnapped when she was five years old.
Dane glanced at the woman again. He didn't know who she was, but she was not the daughter of the Marquess of Lyndon. She was some sort of street rat. The smell of her alone was enough to prove bathing was not a luxury she frequently, if ever, enjoyed. And her language. no lady knew words like those she spewed at Brook. Dane didn't even know some of the curses. And the dirt. He'd have his valet clean these breeches immediately.
Sir Brook and Dane decide that they can't bring the young woman to the Lyndons and decide to bring her to their family home. Brook is called away on business and he instructs Dane to clean, feed and keep Lady Elizabeth safe. I enjoyed the next few chapters of the book as the girl , known as Marlowe , and Dane form an uneasy alliance.
These chapters had a My Fair Lady theme and it was interesting to see how both Dane and Marlowe changed their behavior and mannerisms to blend into the social situation at hand. I loved the banter between Dane and Marlowe and enjoyed reading when Marlowe spoke in "flash ken". By having Marlowe use a different dialect throughout the story, Ms. Galen provides her readers with subtle examples of the many differences between the poor living in the Seven Dials sections of London and the Mayfair aristocracy.
My favorite scene in the novel is when Dane and Marlowe waltz at the Duchess of Abingdon's ball. Dane is mesmerized at the change in Marlowe. She is stunning in her violet ball gown. As the couple dances and then kisses, Dane realizes that his upper class sensibilities are meaningless and that he is starting to care for Marlowe.
While in the terrace, Marlowe is surprised by Satin, the leader of her gang. Satin threatened Marlowe and wants her to help him rob Dane's townhouse. Satin threatens Marlowe and disappears before Dane returns. Dane knows that something has frightened Marlowe and asks her to trust him. Marlowe needs to decide if she can trust Dane with the truth before Satin puts his plan in action. The last few chapters of the book are fast -paced and both intrigue and emotions run high. There are several plot twists that held my interest .
Will Dane and Marlowe trust each other enough to work together and outsmart Satin and his crafty crew? Is Marlowe the daughter of Lord and Lady Grafton?
Congratulations to Shana Galen for an excellent start to a new series! Am looking forward to The Rogue You Know which will be available in September, 2015!
Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Lady Celeste gives Earls Just Want To Have Fun a sixpack!
Do you want more of Shana Galen's Covent Garden Cubs?
Read Susan Gorman's review of Viscount of Vice .