My Wicked Earl [NOOK Book]

Overview

Forced to live with her enemy! Hollie Finch is horrified when the forbidding Earl of Everingham Lord Charles Stirling, places her under house arrest in his manor. Well, he may suspect her of sedition, but to her it's just freedom of the press -- and she's determined to carry on her work right under his arrogant nose! Yet that turns out to be unexpectedly difficult, with his all-too-disturbing presence disrupting her days...and memories of his passion-dark eyes troubling her ...

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My Wicked Earl

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Overview

Forced to live with her enemy! Hollie Finch is horrified when the forbidding Earl of Everingham Lord Charles Stirling, places her under house arrest in his manor. Well, he may suspect her of sedition, but to her it's just freedom of the press -- and she's determined to carry on her work right under his arrogant nose! Yet that turns out to be unexpectedly difficult, with his all-too-disturbing presence disrupting her days...and memories of his passion-dark eyes troubling her nights.An Impossible Love

Lord Charles Stirling merely planned to keep a close eye on the lovely rabble-rouser -- and he's appalled when her intoxicating scent and lithe curves make him burn to have her in his bed. Even worse, her generous heart and her joyous laughter start him thinking about keeping her with him forever. But the powerful earl has a secret that could destroy him, so he dares not let Hollie into his life. Can the pride and deception separating them ever be overcome...by the miracle of love?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061750076
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 66,652
  • File size: 467 KB

Meet the Author

Linda Needham credits her bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts, support from her fellow writers, and her hero-husband for her publishing achievements. Winning the RWA's Golden Heart as an unpublished author and joining Avon Books two months later are among the highlights of her Fabulous Forties. Seven books, two stageplays, three musical revues and the USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller lists later, Linda has entered her Fantastic Fifties with brazenness, exaltation, and an RWA Top Ten Favorite Book of the Year award!

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Everingham Hall
Hertfordshire, England
Late September, 1819

"Your prisoner's arrived, my lord. Summerwell's just pulled him round back of the courtyard."

Charles Stirling, 7th Earl of Everingham, paused as he entered his front door. His heart actually paused as well, and now it thrummed in his ears.

Success! So near, it was difficult to credit; even more difficult to believe that it meant so much to him.

"You're absolutely certain, Mumberton: Summerwell's got that bastard Captain Spindleshanks in the wagon with him?"

His starch-collared butler nodded, though there was a cautious cast to his old gray eyes. "That's what he said, my lord."

"Good, Mumberton." Extraordinarily good.

Charles wanted nothing more than to bellow in triumph, to drink a fiery toast to the bloody end of Captain Spindleshanks's seditious nonsense and his reign of terror, but he merely handed off his hat and gloves to Mumberton, then strode past him into the dim foyer. "Fetch Bavidge for me. I want to see him."

"Yes, my lord."

"Oh, and what of...uh, the other?" He had no words yet for the new resident at Everingham Hall, stumbled over the very idea. "The..."

"Your son, sir?"

My son. Where's the bloody proof of that, I wonder?

"The boy" was the best he could manage. He shrugged off the unfamiliar and irritating twinge of guilt and heaped his scarf and his cloak across the man's outstretched arms.

"He's abed, my lord. Finally." Mumberton's graying frown drooped, as though the process had required a team of roustabouts and a load of grappling equipment. "Though, sir, if I might be allowed to say so, I'm not suited in the least to the position of nanny."

Nor am I suited to fatherhood. And certainly not when it came to the capricious antics of a six-year-old. After three days, the title of father still pinched like an unjust accusation; it would always fit badly, if he allowed it to fit at all.

"I'll take care of the matter, Mumberton." One way or the other.

Charles shoved the problem from his mind entirely, tried to ignore the bedeviling image of the wide-eyed, thin-limbed boy who'd been left on his doorstep by that damned attorney.

"Tell Bavidge to meet me in my office in three minutes. And send Summerwell to me with the prisoner. Immediately."

"I'll do my best, my lord." Mumberton started away with his teetering load.

"Your best, Mumberton?" Charles caught the man's arm and turned him, plagued suddenly by a dark suspicion that all was not as well as it seemed. "Is Captain Spindleshanks in my courtyard, or is he not?"

"In your courtyard, yes. That's where your prisoner is, sir."

A sideways answer, if ever there was one. "He's still securely shackled and about to be delivered to me?"

"All appeared to be in order, my lord, last I looked." Mumberton's eye twitched as he backed up a dubious step, and then another.

God only knew what the hell had happened during the arrest. Spindleshanks was a large man, according to the local legends, agile as a cat, shoulders of an ox — mythical to the tip of hispointed tail. Blood might have been spilled; Charles could only guess whose and how much.

He'd know soon enough, and that felt damned good. "Then fetch Bavidge now. We've got work to do."

"Right away, sir." Mumberton scudded off down the hallway toward the cloakroom.

Charles freed a gloating smile once the man was gone. Captain Bloody Spindleshanks, at long bloody last. What a great pleasure it would be to finally meet the cowardly bastard face to face.

He'd memorized every word of every seditious broadside and placard that Spindleshanks had strewn about the countryside in the last two months.

The Old Corruption returns. Lord Everingham,
the Government's Foul-hearted Commissioner of
Lies and Mercenary Morals, along with his Nest
of Vipers, can't be trusted to investigate the
Bloody Massacre at Peterloo.

And on and on went Spindleshanks's familiar harangue. As clever as it was incendiary, but entirely and maliciously untrue.

Charles's charter from the Home Office was to inquire into the facts in evidence, to study the depositions and magisterial reports, and then to submit an impartial finding about the tragedy. Another three weeks, and he would be done with the matter, and peace would once again reign in his life.

He'd be damned if he'd allow the bastard to call his honor or his integrity into question. But far worse, the people could too easily be shaken to the point of rebellion with madmen like Spindleshanks; riding through the night, spreading sedition, believing they could indiscriminately incite unrest and then outrun the law.

Charles was incorruptible, was his own man in all things. Captain Spindleshanks, would pay dearly, and for a very long time.

Charles shrugged out of his coat, relieved to be home after that endless dinner with Liverpool and Sidmouth in London and the two-hour journey back. He strode into the orderly quiet of his office, where he had just enough time to rouse the oil lamp at his desk and light the chandelier above the circular table before Bavidge made his coat-tail-streaming, bleary-eyed entrance.

"Yes, yes, my lord. What can I do for you?" Bavidge hastily righted his cravat, drew his long fingers through his sandy-gray hair, and then stood at attention as though still in the army and prepared to do battle.

Charles retrieved the arrest warrant from his desk drawer and dropped it onto the tabletop, savoring the moment before he said, "We've caught him, Bavidge."

Bavidge blinked at him. "Who is that, my lord?"

Great God. "Spindleshanks, Bavidge. Get me the reports on the case. Every scrap of evidence."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2013

    This story was so sweet and touching. It is so different than ot

    This story was so sweet and touching. It is so different than other books of the genre, so it wasn't the same predictable storyline. I would definitely recommend it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2003

    BOUGHT IT, READ IT, LOVE IT!

    This was the first book I read by Linda and I loved it so much that it will not be the last. I really enjoyed Hollie because she was smart, bave and stood for what she believed in. I also appreciated the fact that hollie was no milk-sop-miss. She was independent and secure. Charles was the perfet hero because he was a strong compassionate man with a sense of duty and leadership. Their love was so strong it brought tears to my eyes.Bottom line:'My Wicked Earl' is a great whimsial romance with a great plot as well as chemistry.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2003

    A QUICK READ

    THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK IN 3 DAYS BY THIS AUTHOR. ALTHOUGH IT ISN'T A FIVE STAR AS WAS THE MAIDEN BRIDE IT IS WORTH A 4 TO 4 1/2. I HAVE COME TO ENJOY BOTH THE HERO AND THE HEROINE HAVING LUSTFUL CRAVINGS ABOUT EACH OTHER AT THE BEGINING, AT LEAST IN THEIR THOUGHTS. NORMALLY THE MAN MUST SEDUCE-ENTICE-OR BRING THE WOMAN TO HIS WAY OF LUSTING SOMEWAY OR ANOTHER. IN MS. NEEDHAMS BOOK BOTH CUT TO THE CHASE-LITERALLY-AT THE GET GO.LEAVING THE QUESTION OF HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE WHOM TO GET THERE FIRST.THIS BOOK HAS MORE HISTORY AND WAS INTERESTING TO READ ABOUT THE LABOUR TROUBLE IN ENGLAND PAST.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2001

    Read it and fall in love!

    I have always been a big fan of Linda Needham's work, but I have to say, My Wicked Earl knocked my socks off! The humour, the wit, the way Hollie and Charles fall in love is just breathtaking. It isn't cluttered with overused descriptions and the historical aspects she introduces entertain you, not bore you. I can't wait until her next book comes out! Read it, read it, read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Appealing to historical fiction and romance readers

    In 1819, Earl Charles Stirling heads up the official investigation into the recent Manchester riots. He is stunned when his agents bring in a woman claiming she is the notorious printer of seditious material, Captain Spindleshinks. Holly Finch claims Spindleshinks is her new husband. Charles keeps Holly prisoner in anticipation that Spindleshinks will try to free his wife. Charles relents and agrees to allow Holly to keep printing so she can earn a living, having her press brought to his estate. She takes advantage of his aristocratic belief that a woman cannot run a shop because she is actually the printer Spindleshinks. Holly claims the Home Office will sweep the truth under a rug, pass new laws, and condemn the rioters when she insists a massacre occurred instead. He disagrees, saying he will learn the truth. He realizes she was there and learns her father died there. As they debate things, they fall in love, but the social differences seem too great even for a powerful emotion like love. <P>MY WICKED EARL is an exciting Regency romance that equally describes the times as much as the romance. The story line centers on the relationship between the honest upper class Charles and the desperate middle class Holly, but does so in an intelligent manner so that readers can fully understand the era. As she has done in other historical novels (see the medieval tale THE MAIDEN BRIDE), Linda Needham writes a plot that will appeal to fans of historical fiction as well as romance readers. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Not bad

    A little drawn out but a couple if surprises.

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  • Posted January 19, 2014

    Excellent.......................................................

    Excellent.................................................................
    First time I've read this author and I am looking forward to reading another of her books.   Hollie was spunky and intelligent with a definite soft side.  Charleswas honorable and  fair but not without flaws.  There was just too much standing between them for  them to fall in love.  Or does love conquer all?  Of course it does.  That's the purpose of romance novels.  This is done with a real feel for the history of the period.  It did lose a star because the ending seemed a little rushed,  Still a great read.

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