The Footman and I
by Valerie Bowman
The Footman's Club - Book 1
Publisher: June Third Enterprises
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
Let the games begin . . .
Every fortune-hunting female in London is after the newly titled Earl of Kendall, but he’s intent on finding a wife whose heart is true. So, while drunkenly jesting with his friends in a pub one night, he has an idea—what if the ladies of the ton didn’t know he was a wealthy earl? All he has to do is pose as a servant at his friend’s summer country house party and make sure the guest list is full of beautiful, eligible debutantes. What could possibly go wrong?
May the best footman win.
Miss Frances Wharton is far more interested in fighting for the rights of the poor than in marriage, but her mother insists she attend a summer house party—and find herself a husband. Frances would rather wed a goat than the pompous man her mother has in mind, so in order to dissuade the would-be suitor, she vows to behave like a shrew. The only person she can be herself with is the kind, handsome footman she runs into at every turn. Their connection is undeniable, and the divide between them is no match for the passion they feel. But what will happen when Frances learns that the footman she adores is actually the earl she despises? In a game where everything is false, can they convince each other that their love is true?
What a fun story! First of all, I love the set-up of Lucas, the new Earl of Kendall hiding in plain sight disguised as a footman. It creates plenty of potential for humorous situations and misunderstandings, especially once Lucas makes the acquaintance of Frances, our marriage-averse, politically minded heroine. I thoroughly enjoyed their sparkling conversations, deepening attraction, and growing concern over the situation they find themselves in. For Frances, there's the fact that she would never be allowed to engage in a public relationship with a footman but she just can't seem to stay away from the most fascinating - and unusual - footman she's ever met. And poor Lucas, an actual Earl, just keeps digging himself deeper into the pit of deception with his masquerade that began with the best of intentions.
It gets even worse when Frances reveals her determination to convince the men of her acquaintance to oppose a bill in Parliament that Lucas promised his late brother, the former Earl, he would see passed. It's going to take compassion, understanding, and some significant, eye-opening growth on Lucas's part if these two have any chance of a happy ending. Fortunately for us, this is a romance and Valerie Bowman is all about the happy endings!
This story is filled with charm, laughter, and heart. I had so much fun reading it and am already looking forward to the next two books in the series. Since Lucas and his two friends go "undercover" at the same house party, readers meet all three men in book one, getting to know Rhys and Bell - and their potential heroines - a bit before their books are released July 28 and August 25. I've already pre-ordered both.