Series: Covent Garden Cubs #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca on February 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romance
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His heart may be the last thing she ever steals . . .
Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker—and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London’s Seven Dials. It’s a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she’s alone, she allows herself to think of a time before—a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.
Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the town while his brother attempts to confirm her true identity. But Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her world of danger and violence, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.
Dane is such a stuffed up, self-important earl, that he seriously makes the BEST hero to Marlowe, a common thief. Except there’s nothing really common about her at all.
Marlowe is found by Sir Brook (an inspector-one who specializes in finding missing persons) and while she makes off with his money, he leaves her with a name- Lady Elizabeth. No one knows that Marlowe has a fantasy where a nice woman sings her a lullaby and calls her Elizabeth. No one. Thrown off her game, Marlowe high-tails it back to the cubs (her gang), and to Satin, her boss.
Dane is Sir Brook’s brother, and he comes along one night, longing for some excitement. Little does he know what kind of excitement he’s in for. Sir Brook literally kidnaps Marlowe and tosses her into Dane’s coach, then leaves this dirty wild creature with Dane, stating he believes he’s found the missing Lady Elizabeth, a girl kidnapped at age 5 and never seen again.
Dane is shocked and outraged, and…intrigued. His disdain for the poor, the dirty, the lower classes all shows itself, and yet, Marlowe not only opens his eyes, but changes his opinions. When he sees how she grew up, how she survived, he sees Marlowe as brave, and intelligent, and he can’t believe she still has any compassion, empathy, or love. He’s completely smitten.
But it takes a while for him to get there. Heroes like him always fall the hardest.
Marlowe, for her part, did what she had to do to survive. And through it all, she’s still a virgin. And incredibly naive. I had a hard time with this aspect. I get that Satin was probably keeping her a virgin so he could pull some job or another by either selling her, or using her, but I just couldn’t get over how naive Marlowe was. I mean, she lived in the worst slums, she said very casually that she’d seen couplings many times, and she’d had a few men paw at her. It just seemed odd to have her so sexually unaware.
But the fact that she loves a good tea cake more than sex, or anything else, was fabulous. I loved her. I hated that Dane was still so stuffy and priggish up until the very end. I wanted him to show his true feelings sooner. But on the whole, this was a fantastic story, and I can’t wait for the next one. You don’t need to have read the prequel to read this one, but you should since it’s a good story.
Oh and this series crosses-over with Ms. Galen’s Jewels of the Ton series, but you don’t need to have read it. So if you’re in the mood for a good story with completely different types of hero/heroine that you’re used to, this is your book! Solid plot, intriguing characters, and well-written, Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a fabulous read you won’t regret buying.
***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca