source: free review copy via Rachels Random Resources
title: Redeeming the Reclusive Earl
author: Virginia Heath
genre: historical romance
published: April 1st 2020
first line: Three hundred acres…
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
His heart is a fortress.
And she’s trespassing!
After losing all he holds dear in a horrific fire, Max Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall, shuns the world—until he catches Effie Nithercott digging holes on his estate! He banishes the intrepid archaeologist and the unsettled feelings she rouses within him. But she returns even more determined and infuriatingly desirable than before! He wonders just how deep she’s prepared to dig—so far she’ll reach the man beneath his scars?
When they first meet Max finds Effie digging on his property. She was granted permission by his late uncle years ago to dig up artifacts and she has been working on unearthing an archaeological site on the land that Max has now inherited. Archaeology is her passion. Eventually Effie wins him over and Max even starts helping her dig. A friendship forms between the two and soon romance begins to blossom.
Max and Effie are somewhat misfits and are both like-able characters. He was wounded badly at war when he was a Naval officer and has burn scars running down one side of his face towards his chest. Effie is quirky and very intelligent which she believes is off-putting to others, especially to men. She has a knack for recalling everything she reads and she can speak several different languages. Each thinks they will never find love.
Also in the mix is Max’s older sister Eleanor who becomes easy friends with Effie when she comes to visit. Part of the story-line revolves around Effie wanting to have her archaeological writings published but being a woman prevents her from being taken seriously. Max tries to help her with this issue.
I loved the chemistry between these two and how they became easy friends while bringing each other out of their shells. Max loves Effie for her mind and he believes she deserves recognition for her hard work. The romance was sweet and I enjoyed watching them get together. Much of the story-line is also about leaving the past behind and realizing you deserve to move onto better things. It’s all about second chances. As usual Virginia Heath pens a highly readable, entertaining and well researched historical romance with a couple you root for.
On a side note, I have read a few historical romances that mention the author Ann Radcliffe . Here Effie and Eleanor read her books and I know I’ve read somewhere Jane Austen was a fan of hers also. I would like to see if I can find a book of Radcliffe’s to read myself.
Redeeming the Reclusive Earl culminates towards a sweet and happy ending as both Max and Effie are considerate of each other’s hopes and dreams and of course they get their happily ever after.
“The air around him was suddenly heavy with the heady scent of lilacs and fat summer roses. With things unsaid and hopes unfulfilled. He knew they were best left unsaid. Knew he needed to be thankful she was his friend and not keep foolishly wishing for more. For everything.”-74% Kindle, Redeeming the Reclusive Earl by Virginia Heath
Author Bio – When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free review copy of Redeeming the Reclusive Earl by Virginia Heath from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for my honest thoughts.