The Earl’s Secret Treasure is a gripping romance novel that must not be missed. Thrilling and exciting in plot, relatable and likable in character. Thank you to Booktamins and the author for an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
‘Karina Bardot, daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Essex has always been overlooked. Plain, and too involved in her novels, she was resigned to being a spinster for the rest of her life. No man could possibly match the heroes she read about in her quiet time, so, she was content with letting her books be the loves of her life. That was until her parents informed her of her sudden betrothal to a Marquis. Now Karina’s forced to endure a season filled with endless parties, mind-numbing conversation, and dress shopping.
Captain Cole Black asked his men to do one job. Find the woman who stole expensive fabrics from their trade deal, and return to the ship posthaste. He was leery of being in London for too long, as having left the high society life, with its obligations and stifling rules of decorum long ago. Cole was confident that his men would return with the woman responsible for their delay, and continue on their journey. Only his men returned with someone else entirely. And the ship had already left port.
Will Karina finally get the excitement, and adventure she’s been craving all along? And Will Cole finally realize that his greatest treasure is not lost at sea?’
I decided to review The Earl’s Secret Treasure on a complete whim, drawn in by the fact that it was historical fiction. Romance is not a genre I’m wholly familiar with at all, but I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. Renee’s writing has a gripping quality to it – and I even managed to finish the novel in one sitting!
She was an individual. An individual who should be afforded privileges to speak for herself.
Our protagonist it Karina, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Essex. She is twenty-four and betrothed to a man she hates. In a case of mistaken identity, she is kidnapped by Captain Cole Black (spoiler: he’s actually an earl), who she finds herself drawn to during their sea voyage. Although I initially feared that she might be a Mary-Sue, she was not. She was relatable and likable, making for a wonderful character. Cole is also an interesting love interest – akin to the Mr Darcy’s of the romance world, but also a unique character in his own right. Renee’s characters are definitely her strength.
No amount of wealth or status should be substituted for happiness.
I also found the plot to be unlike any I’ve ever read. Though it makes use of well-known tropes, it was not predictable in the slightest. There are lots of surprises in both the main plot-line and the side-plots which made for an enthralling read!
I only hesitate in giving the novel five stars because I found it to be a little bit too ‘happy ending.’ I would have liked the drama to be a little more gritty at times. But again, I’m not a huge romance reader, so maybe this is just an aspect of the genre.