The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest by Virginia Heath
The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest is set in 1818. This is book one of A Very Village Scandal series of historical romances. It opens with villagers discussing the new lord of the manor and his possible plans for the estate. Many of the villagers fear that he will turn them out of their homes or sell the estate to a ruthless money-grabbing lord.
Rafe Hockley has inherited much of the land and village of Whittleston-on-the-Water, but what he really wants is a horse stud in a remote part of the country, far away from gossiping villagers; the quicker he can sell his inheritance, the better. However, he must first deal with Miss Sophie Gilbert, the leader of the Save Our Village brigade.
Sophie and her aunt live in a ramshackle cottage which the previous Lord Hockley refused to repair. She will do anything to save her aunt and the other villagers from being sent packing by any hard-hearted lord.
This is a fun story with some great battle lines between Rafe and the villagers. It took me a few chapters to get into the book and enjoy the characters, but once we began to learn more about them I soon became enchanted.
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The earl she loved to hate
…until she stayed in his mansion!
Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village that forms part of it. But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man. After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch…