How to Engage an Earl [NOOK Book]

Overview

The last thing the Earl of MacLaren wants is a wife, so when he awakens to discover a fair-haired enchantress at the foot of his bed, he behaves as any man might by taking full advantage of the delicious situation. Then his family bursts in, and the chit brazenly announces that she is his betrothed. So he finds himself well on his way to being legshackled for life!

Beautiful, reserved Anne Royle had never done anything so mad in her life. She entered the earl's bedchamber with ...

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How to Engage an Earl

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Overview

The last thing the Earl of MacLaren wants is a wife, so when he awakens to discover a fair-haired enchantress at the foot of his bed, he behaves as any man might by taking full advantage of the delicious situation. Then his family bursts in, and the chit brazenly announces that she is his betrothed. So he finds himself well on his way to being legshackled for life!

Beautiful, reserved Anne Royle had never done anything so mad in her life. She entered the earl's bedchamber with no intention of seduction. Rather, she hoped to discover a document that could contain the truth about her heritage. But now her world is turned upside down, and while she trembles at the thought of her wedding night, she finds she longs for it in ways she never thought possible.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Second in Caskie's trilogy about the Royle sisters and their rumored royal heritage, this lively tale puts the lovely but "unnoticeable" Anne Royle, the most reserved and levelheaded of the women, in the bedroom of the slightly foxed Laird Allan, Earl MacLaren, and lets the social requirements of the times (and discovery by his mother) dictate the outcome. Funny, fast paced, and filled with fascinating twists and turns, some of which won't be unraveled until the third book, this is another delightful romp from the pen of an up-and-coming writer who will appeal to fans of Lisa Kleypas, Victoria Alexander, and Eloisa James. Caskie (How To Seduce a Duke) lives near Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.


—Kristin Ramsdell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061745591
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 148,162
  • File size: 714 KB

Meet the Author

Kathryn Caskie has long been a devotee of history and things of old, so it came as no surprise to her family when she took a career detour off the online superhighway and began writing historical romances full time. With a background in marketing, advertising, and journalism, she has written professionally for television, radio, the internet, magazines, and newspapers in and around metropolitan Washington, DC. How to Engage an Earl is her sixth novel. Kathryn lives in a 200-year-old Quaker home nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her greatest sources of inspiration, her husband and two young daughters.

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Read an Excerpt

How to Engage an Earl

Chapter One

How to Become Invisible

Berkeley Square, London
April 1815

Unlike her far more vibrant sisters, Miss Anne Royle had but one talent—and it wasn't one to recommend her.

She could become invisible.

Oh, not in the way of fairy tales, where one's form could magically spread upon the breeze.

No, her talent was much more subtle than that.

Anne simply had the ability to move about a bustling drawing room completely unnoticed.

She considered herself naught but a specter in London society, and rightly so. After all, no one ever sought out her company, or tried to catch her eye. She could stand directly in front of a grand lord or lady, or even a tray-bearing footman, and more likely than not, she wouldn't be noticed.

Sometimes it was as if she simply did not exist.

Anne usually viewed her reputed talent as the darkest of damning curses.

But not always.

Only a year ago, she and her sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, had shed their black bombazine mourning frocks and left their tiny village in Cornwall for the satin elegance of London's drawing rooms.

Their effervescent sponsor, Lady Upperton, in her zeal to see the sisters properly matched, had mandated their attendance at an endless ribbon of unnerving balls, routs, and musicales.

Anne was no fool. Immediately she realized the benefit of moving beneath the raised noses of the ton.

It freed her from much of the scrutiny and whispers her sisters endured due to scandalous suspicions swirling about the Royle triplets'royal parentage.

And tonight would be no different.

As she and her sister Elizabeth primped and dressed in preparation for the grandest society rout in recent history, Anne actually prayed for invisibility.

For within five hours' time, the course of her life, and her sisters', would depend upon it.

MacLaren House, Cockspur Street
Three hours later

"Oh, Anne, how you exaggerate." Elizabeth laughed and swooshed her frilly lace-edged fan through the air, waving off the claim as if it were a bite-minded winged insect.

"I tell you, I can walk through this very crowd and eavesdrop on even the most private of conversations. No one will notice me. No one."

"Can you now?" Elizabeth arched a dubious eyebrow at that. "And no one will see you?"

"No one."

"Pish, posh. While your stealth is truly miraculous, you are hardly beneath notice."

Anne exhaled a long breath. Why did she even bother to try to explain it to Elizabeth? The flame-haired beauty would never really understand the truth of it. How could she?

The reality of Anne's gift was that she was rather plain, at least in comparison to her sisters. For what else could explain her unnatural ability?

Physically, she should have stood out among the petite ladies of the ton. She was as tall as most men, after all. Still, she hadn't been blessed with rich sable hair like the eldest of the triplets, Mary, or the glossy copper locks of her sister Elizabeth, who had followed Anne into this world several minutes later.

No, the hair crowning Anne's head in a mass of tumbling ringlets was the shade of flax, so pale that it was nearly absent of color.

Even her features were delicate and unremarkable, and her skin was as white as a polished ivory tusk.

Sometimes Anne mused that if she stood against a wall wearing the very cream-hued gown she had donned this evening, no one would see her. Her coloring would make her virtually indistinguishable from the plaster.

Hmm. She might even test that theory. Why, who knew? With the feat she would attempt in just two rounds of the minute hand, a new trick might be her saving grace in the event a quick escape was required.

In fact, it might be prudent to exercise her skills of stealth right this very moment, before . . . well, before she was called to action. Yes, that was exactly what she would do.

"Elizabeth, I vow, this very moment I could glide through this drawing room removing filled crystals of cordials from the fingers of unsuspecting guests, then leave them all wondering a moment later what had happened to them."

"No, you can't. You are merely having me on. I know you, Anne. But you must realize I am no longer your gullible, wide-eyed baby sister." Elizabeth chuckled into her hand.

"Still you doubt me. When will you ever learn, dear sister?" Anne caught up Elizabeth's gloved fingers and slapped her own fan into them. "I'll need both hands free. Now watch, my doubting miss . . . and be utterly amazed."

Laird Allan, the newly-belted Earl of MacLaren, opened the French windows, clapped a palm to his lady friend's round bottom, and firmly guided her into the dark passage.

Only one flickering candlestick glowed in the back hallway, and that was for the navigational sake of the additional staff engaged especially for tonight's rout. But the dimness just here suited Laird quite well.

"When may I see you again, Lady . . . er . . . my good lady?"

"Heavens, MacLaren, you don't even know my name, do you?" His lady friend straightened her frothy capped sleeves upon her smooth shoulders, then cupped her blushing full breasts and unashamedly readjusted their position inside her gown before looking up at him.

He raised his eyebrows and gave her a flat smile, to which she immediately responded with an overdone pout.

Laird sighed, in an equally false manner. "Please know, dear lady, my grasp of your name has nothing to do with how memorable you are. I am merely too deep in my cups to be able to retrieve it from my foggy mind, though I have no doubt your name is as lovely as you are. You'll forgive me. Won't you?"

She chuckled at that. "Now, now, do not fret, my handsome playmate." Reaching up, she pinched his cheek affectionately, then grinned. "Truth be told, I am not offended in the least. In fact, darling, I am rather relieved. If you cannot remember my name, 'tis less likely that my husband will learn of our . . . intimate little tour of your garden during tonight's rout, eh?"

How to Engage an Earl. Copyright © by Kathryn Caskie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    Story line is unique.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2007

    Kathryn Caskie's Best Book Yet

    I've read all and Kathryn Caskie's books and LOVED them each. 'How to Engage an Earl' is the best yet. Caskie continues to come up with wonderfully unique plot twists and creates the most colorful characters. One can't help but like, or even love, her heros and heroines and get totally caught up in their lives. Her knowledge of the time period is outstanding. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and anything else she writes.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    a reviewer

    In 1815, reticent and clearly ¿invisible¿ next to her vibrant siblings, Anne Royle sneaks into the bedroom of the Earl of MacLaren Laird Allan in search of letters that will prove she and her sisters have royal connections. MacLaren awakens and immediately assumes the beauty is here for a tryst. As he takes advantage of her seduction, his family charges into the room as if the devil is chasing them. They demand an explanation Anne immediately says they are betrothed as MacLaren begins choking on the felicitations.------------- His family dives into preparing for a wedding while MacLaren tries to figure a way out of this mess and Anne wonders if marriage is the answer to her woes although she plans to break the engagement for his sake. Still MacLaren realizes she was not in his room for a sexual encounter, but remains in the dark what she sought as she refuses to tell him. As he falls in love with her, he wants to marry his enchanting Anne, but she still feels she must free him from his obligation.------------ The second ¿How to ¿¿ Regency romance is a fabulous amusing tale starring two interesting protagonists as Anne makes the attempt to find royal paternal proof while Laird tries to demonstrate the proof that he loves his ¿invisible Royle. His family provides humor as they seem to always get under foot whenever he tries to steal a kiss. Fans will immensely enjoy this fun historical, seek out the previous triplet¿s story (see HOW TO SEDUCE A DUKE) and look forward to the final sister¿s saga (see HOW TO PROPOSE TO A PRINCE).---------- Harriet Klausner

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