Title: A Wicked Way to Win an Earl
Series: Sutherland Scandals #1
Author: Anna Bradley
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Published: November 3rd 2015 by Berkley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
A tantalizing new Regency romance filled with the most elegant society—and the most forbidden desires…
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…
It's been a while since a historical romance has captivated me so completely, but Anna Bradley's A Wicked Way to Win an Earl accomplished that feat and left me craving for more!
Delia Somerset knows all she needs to about the haughty ton, thanks to the scandal that surrounded her mother many years ago when she fled society, and she wants nothing to do with any of it. Though she soon finds herself in the middle of high society at the Earl of Sutherland's estate during a week-long house party at the request of her younger sister, Lily. Delia knows that she just needs to hold her tongue and keep her head up, and then they can return to their simple country home and three younger sisters. Holding her tongue is easier said then done when she comes face-to-face with the Earl in a delicate position. Things don't get any easier the more she is around him either, oil and vinegar get along better then Delia and Alec, but that doesn't stop him from invading her every daytime thought and nighttime dreams. The Earl thinks that he can play a game with her though, and Delia is not about to have him show her up. When the stakes rise and more then just her pride is put on the line, will Delia bow out gracefully or go all in?
The Somerset's embarrassed the Sutherland name once before and Alec refuses to let them have the chance to do it again. He's worked too hard after his father's death to repair their fortune and status to have one blue-eyed beauty lead them to ruin. So instead, after learning about his brother Robyn's enamorment over Delia, he plans to ruin her instead and send her back to where she came from. And the only way to do that is to turn her game around on her; seduce her like he knows she plans to seduce his brother. When the game becomes a little too real though, can Alec admit to the true reason he went to such lengths to keep Delia and his brother apart? And who will come out the victor in this game of deception?
Anna Bradley has penned a fabulous story in A Wicked Way to Win an Earl. From the first page I was immersed in the 1800's world of English aristocracy; the disdain for those outside of the ton, the scheming and maliciousness inside of it. The fear of ostracization. I could easily picture the lavish gardens, rolling countrysides, and glamorous gowns encompassing our characters. My chest also still aches from all of the feels this book produced.
From the onset Delia and Alec had a contrary relationship. Delia despised Alec for being what she thought was an arrogant and pretentious Earl who expected everyone to bow and scrape to him. While Alec believed Delia to be a manipulative and cunning country lass on the hunt for a title and fortune through his younger brother. Determined to best each other they begin a game of deceit and duplicity. Little do they realize that the only ones they're harming is themselves. Sexual tension sizzles between Alec and Delia but because of their assumptions of one-another, these two strong-willed characters fight the attraction vigorously. There are several heart-pounding slips along the way that build the romance and connect these characters to the reader until you can't help but shake the pages (or your kindle) in frustration for these two to realize that they are perfect for each-other.
I enjoyed both Delia's and Alec's character's immensely. Delia was full of delightful wit, she had me laughing at loud at the things that came out of her mouth in regards to the Earl. Alec had a tough exterior and some might find him hard to like at first, but he is incredibly family oriented and all of his actions are because he wants the best for them. Whether that be avoiding scandal or raising his family's name higher in society.
There were a few instances in the story where I had to go back a few pages to see if I missed something because the character's demeanor seemed to shift without reason. But all in all, A Wicked Way to Win an Earl was a rare treat to read, and I loved every moment of it. The ending of the book was wrapped up neatly with a satisfying conclusion that left me smiling. I simply cannot wait for the next book in the series which features Robyn and Lily's story, A Season of Ruin. Sadly, it is not releasing until August 2016! *cries*