I Kissed An Earl
Pennyroyal Green Series – Book #4
By Julie Anne Long
Release Date: June 29, 2010
He knew the backs of her hands were untenably soft, because he'd covered them today with his own rough ones during the Potato Incident. He sensed everywhere she was achingly soft, her smooth pale skin emblematic of her sheltered privileged life. Such a contrast to his own.
He wanted to touch her again.
Likely he could.
Likely he shouldn't.
He was surprised that sparks didn't fly from that heating hairsbreadth gap between their hovering fingers.
I’ll tell you right up front that Julie Anne Long is an auto-buy author for me and I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by her though, admittedly, some more than others. The Perils of Pleasure, first in the Pennyroyal Green series was my favorite of all her books…until I read I Kissed An Earl. The two books now stand side-by-side atop my list of Long favorites and I Kissed An Earl is in the Top 5 of books I’ve read so far this year.
Violet Redmond is bored. Bored with her mundane, though luxurious, life and bored with the tepid suitors who flock to her side.
Only the foolhardy wagered who might finally be a match for her. Many had attempted suit. All had failed. Some had tried and failed spectacularly. To the bloods of the ton, Violet Redmond was El Dorado. And she was terrifying.
Born with a penchant for mischief, when Violet becomes bored everyone knows something outrageous is certain to follow. But this time, this adventure, will top anything that has gone before. When the ruggedly handsome sea captain, Asher Flint, the newly titled Earl of Ardmay, mistakes Violet’s brother, Jonathan for the pirate he is hunting, Violet suspects the real pirate could be her missing brother, Lyon though she can’t imagine what could have driven him to piracy. Determined to find her beloved brother and bring him home, she secretly finagles her way aboard Captain Flint’s boat, never imagining how she, and her entire future, will be changed.
A self-taught man from humble beginnings, Asher Flint has been working the seas since he was a small boy. A tough sea captain, used to being in charge, he loves the water but yearns for land and a family – what his heart secretly desires above all else is to belong. Now he has the opportunity to achieve those desires. All he has to do is capture the elusive pirate known as Le Chat and deliver him to the King of England. Unfortunately, for Asher, he’s acquired an unwanted passenger on his ship; a smart, clever, obstinate, beautiful stowaway who is determined to undermine his search for Le Chat at every opportunity. Oh yes, and who also turns his life upside down...and his heart inside out.
Enough. It was time to call a halt to the games. He’d felt off balance since she’d stowed away, and hadn’t yet found a way to regain his equilibrium. He knew the surest, swiftest way to regain his power. To prove to himself that she was just a woman like any other.
All he had to do was kiss her.
Slowly, gracefully, he leaned over her; he’d done this dozens of times before in his life. And as his lips came down he caught a glimpse of her sensually darkened eyes widening, her lips parting in surprise.
His lips touched hers. Sank against them. Her lips were a miracle of heat and silk and give.
Oh God. It was a mistake.
Long’s writing is smart, lyrical and flows as smoothly as evening waves lapping at the shore. With Violet and Asher, she has created two people who couldn’t be more wrong for one another on the surface then throws them together into a situation that forces them to go beneath the surface, out of their comfort zones, expanding their horizons, growing as individuals and, ultimately, as a couple. The dialogue between the two snaps and sparkles with humor, challenge and deep emotion. This is a love story that has many hurdles to overcome. I appreciated that Long took her time with the relationship, letting the attraction and emotions build slowly, realistically. After all, Violet and Asher are adversaries for much of the book, with the obstacle of Violet’s brother between them. There were no easy answers for them and that made the ending all the more satisfying.
From the ballrooms of London to the excitement of the high seas, I Kissed An Earl is a story that will take you on an adventure you won't soon forget. I highly recommend this book!