The Earl: A Devil's Duke Novel

The Earl: A Devil's Duke Novel

4.8 10
by Katharine Ashe

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How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees? Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is.


Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw


How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees? Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is.


Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing.


Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/29/2016
Aliases, mistaken identities, and a tumultuous chase through the Scottish Highlands by two sympathetic and fun protagonists make the second installment of Ashe’s Devil’s Duke Regency series (after The Rogue) a rollicking page-turner. In addition to changing her name from Emily to Zenobia, the winning heroine has achieved fame and earned income as Lady Justice, author of provocative pamphlets championing the rights of women, laborers, and the poor. Unable to find her missing sister, she reluctantly appeals to her nemesis, Peregrine, a member of the Falcon Club, for help—and discovers that Peregrine is Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor. She was betrothed to him at birth, once loved him, and now despises him. After they cross paths with a highway robber who’s been using Colin’s name, they’re forced to run for their lives. As painful memories of their childhood friendship bubble up, they come to see through each other’s facades and challenge each other to be their true selves. Eloquent descriptive passages bring the countryside to life, and sweet and eccentric supporting characters add zest to this entertaining and emotionally satisfying tale. Agent: Kim Whalen, Trident Media. (Oct.)
All About Romance
“The Earl is an enormously satisfying read on many levels. An exciting adventure and a sizzling romance all wrapped up in astute observation and social comment, this is historical romance at its best and it’s gone straight on to my keeper shelf.”
Library Journal
Despite their late fathers' wishes and their onetime childhood friendship, free-thinking Emily Anne "Zenobia" Vale (aka women's rights pamphleteer "Lady Justice") and conservative and somewhat reticent Colin Gray, Earl of Egremoor, have gone their separate ways and have no intentions of marrying each other. Circumstances, however, send them haring across the countryside together on separate but linked quests, changing their world and their perspectives. Old hurts and betrayals make their path to love anything but smooth, and with plenty of issues to work through and truths to disclose, their humorous sparring and contentious courtship keep the plot on point and readers thoroughly mesmerized. VERDICT A wealth of fascinating historical detail, elegant prose, and well-drawn, complex protagonists blend in a lively romantic adventure that will please the most persnickety of romance fans. Ashe (The Rogue) lives in Durham, NC.
Kirkus Reviews
Revenge is a dish best served cold—but what about justice?Colin Gray and Emily Anne Vale were once best friends and promised to each other by their fathers. Years later, they barely speak to one another even though they are still meant to marry. Colin has become the Earl of Egremoor, and Emily now goes by Zenobia in public—and Lady Justice in the broadsheets. Lady Justice anonymously crusades against the worst indulgences of the aristocracy in her pamphlets, leading the new Earl (among others) to seek to root her out and expose her. When Emily’s sister goes missing, her alter ego has no choice but to seek help from Colin’s alter ego, Mr. Peregrine, head of a group that specializes in finding missing persons. Both find their way to Scotland while searching, but soon after, two thieves send them on the run together. Emily is aware of Colin's secret identity, but he still doesn't know about hers. In close quarters, their hatred of each other burns bright—as does a fearful chemistry. A smart hero, an even smarter heroine, and a fast-paced plot all keep the reader rushing through this excellent historical romance. With a charming Scottish backdrop and the help of excellent research that drives the accuracy of the legal structure of the plot, Ashe (The Rogue, 2016, etc.) has built a book that both stands alone and enhances her Devil’s Duke series. A dashing Regency romance that proves smarts are the sexiest attribute of all.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Devil's Duke Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the 10 Best Books of the Year in Romance, and My Lady, My Lord and How to Marry a Highlander, 2015 and 2014 finalists for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America. Her books are recommended by Publishers WeeklyWomen’s World Magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and translated into languages across the world.

Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about Katharine’s books, please visit her website or write to her at PO Box 51702, Durham, NC 27717.

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The Earl: A Devil's Duke Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
MistyRose24 3 days ago
One of my top five! Hmm, if you like opening a book twice and reading the entire story; then this book might be your next favorite novel—a page-turner of the upmost quality and full of adventure.  The leading lady is witty, courageous, and strong. The hero is almost as witty, charming, and quite handsome…making up for any lacking qualities.  K. Ashe displays her artistry of words in the witty banter, steamy scenes, and wild (sometimes, dangerous) adventure. The back of the book represents the story well.  I have intentionally left the storyline vague as not to spoil the journey of the reader as early revelations are critical to the majority of the work. If you like Ashe’s “I Married the Duke” then you are going to love this one.  I rate this as one of my top five novels ever.  Enjoy reading! Don’t be surprised if you read half the book when you first pick it up.
KattCollins 3 days ago
I love Happily Ever Afters. But I absolutely adore stories which provide me with passion, poignancy, endearing and enriching characters that I want to cheer for, or just smack upside the head on their way to their HEA. The Earl Is one of those stories. It effectively ends the Falcon Club series while branching into the Devil's Duke storyline, and we finally get to know and understand both Peregrine and Lady Justice, their true identities, and what drives them to assume the roles they now play. Colin's story is actually unique; I don't think I've ever read a backstory or character development equivalent to his. I might have liked a little more insight, as the cause of his deficiency (trying not to leave spoilers) is never fully explained. Colin Grey, the Earl of Egremoor (aka "Peregrine"), is diametrically opposed to the rabble-rousing political pamphleteer known only as "Lady Justice." He would love nothing better than to expose her as a fraud. But Lady Justice's history (again, no spoiler here) is unknowingly entwined with his. Their mutual history of misunderstandings, unmet expectations, roles, friendship, loyalty, and the pain of their separation are so thoughtfully and sensitively handled, that you truly want to hold and cherish each of them, to reassure their younger selves that they are worthy of love. There is humor from the secondary characters, reintroduction of characters from previous books, and a fast-paced tale that left me feeling exhausted in sympathy with Peregrine and Lady J. But the beauty of the sentiment (SPOILER ALERT) expressed so much more eloquently by Katharine Ashe, that Lady J spoke for those who could not speak for themselves, because of Peregrine and his mother... Now, THAT was worth reading the entire book, if the story hadn't already been so eminently enjoyable. I give this book 4.75 stars. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.
MoniqueD 3 days ago
Lady Justice, a pamphleteer whose mission is to defend the oppressed, and Peregrine, Colin Gray, the Earl of Egremoor and member of the now defunct Falcon Club, have been at odds for years in the press. The Falcon Club’s mission was to retrieve missing persons, but now Lady Justice is in a pickle, after colourfully insulting her foe for years, she needs Peregrine’s help. Her sister has vanished, but she cannot reveal her name, or else he will know Lady Justice’s identity. As an acquaintance of Lady Justice’s is also missing, that’s the excuse Lady Justice gives Peregrine, and so they end up looking for a missing woman in Scotland, and out of Peregrine and Lady Justice, only one of them knows the true identity of the other… The public exchange of letters between Lady Justice and Peregrine is the stuff legends are made of: every word of these letters is perfection itself, and readers of Ms. Ashe’s Falcon Club series have been waiting for this story for ages, while THE EARL can also easily be savoured as a standalone book. The correspondence is just as brilliant in THE EARL, which concludes the verbal sparring of these two characters, in spectacular fashion. I opted not to divulge the identity of Lady Justice, which makes this review a tad more complicated to write, but you will not get any spoilers from me! As is customary, Katharine Ashe goes to great lengths to ensure that historical accuracy prevails, which make Lady Justice’s cries against injustice still more glaring. Ms. Ashe’s superlative prose is incandescent and luminous as she captures the gorgeous Scottish countryside in all its glory. THE EARL has an exceedingly complex plot, with several characters and many layers, all leading to an extraordinary romance of unfathomable depth. There are also several small mysteries, in addition to the missing women, and it is while attempting to solve them that Peregrine and Lady Justice come to acknowledge their respective weaknesses, which both had somewhat erroneously perceived as strengths. There is a race to safety that is so vividly described that I think I held my breath nearly throughout the whole scene, and there are some revelations that were, to put it mildly, not at all what I expected. THE EARL is a story about being true to who you are, but also having a good look at yourself, and that is what our two lovers discover when they stop bickering. The sex scenes left me nearly speechless: they are so exquisite, so filled with fiery ardour and total abandon, that will make your heart flutter and your insides melt. But the romance, O the romance! I am still not sure if the words to express the wonder of Peregrine and Lady Justice’s romance exist: magnificent, sublime, exquisite, glorious, do not even begin to do justice to the love story. The emotions are articulated with such clarity, that I feel that Ms. Ashe has found the exact way to express true love for the first time in writing. And be sure to read A Note on Women’s Rights at the end, they are utterly fascinating. Lady Justice and Peregrine got the book they so richly deserved, which seemed to be asking too much from the author, and Katharine Ashe more than rises to the occasion with the outstanding story of THE EARL. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Gitane1850 1 days ago
This book is the second installment of the Devil's duke serie and is presumably the last one of the Falcon club. Against the majestic wilds of Scotland get ready to read about the most awaited couple, Lady Justice and Peregrine. Lady Justice writes political pamplets about reforms for the lower social classes. Peregrine , is the head of the Falcon club, whose mission is to find missing persons. Lady Justice is also Emily Vale, who calls herself Zenobia now. She's at times a bit snobby but has a heart of gold. Peregrine's real identity is Colin Gray, the Earl of Egremoor. He is arrogant like every man from his social class, doesn't agree with one word Lady Justice writes but he's also honorable and dutydriven. And oh Irony, she needs his help badly since her sister Amarantha went missing. He agrees on 1 condition: she has to meet him. After the meeting she receives a lettre from Scotland stating that her sister is in trouble. She decides to follow the lead with her French companion and she "dismisses" him. He, being Peregrine, can't leave it and decides to go look. Emily and Colin meet in an inn in Scotland and are mistaken for 2 highwayrobbers. They have to flee and there, their personal journey begins. During this yourney they have to learn to trust each other. I have to say that I re-read several passges in the book because they were so well written, full of life, …. This is not an average romance book. Nothing plain about it. It is a very strong, powerful, turbulent story. It is a love turned hate turned love story. Emily was betrothed by birth to Colin. For 9 years he was her hero and then he broke her very young heart. Colin feels akward around her. Colin A man in my position-a man mustn't ever lose control of himself The dialogues between H&H were sometimes too raw, too honest and defintely shattering. At a certain moment there is a real catharsis point where you think ' oh, no, this is not going well'. I think my heart broke for them at that moment. I felt gutted. Emily: You haven't understood a thing I have said, have you? Still, after all of this, you cannot see the truth. Both of them believe so strongly in their cause and refuse to back down. Emily: I was someone else's voice. Your voice. When you no longer needed me to speak for you, I found people who did. Colin: …impossible. Men of wealth and power must guide those who haven't the wisdom or experience to rule themselves. But then Colin steps up, or should I say, steps out of his shell. He becomes the man he should have been, making a final grand gesture. No longer a broken, scared boy, locking his feelings away due to being raised by a ruthless, cold father. Sigh, what a hero.. Colin: “Someone said to me recently that a great man is not measured by the strength of his privilege, but by the depth of his heart.” Colin smiled. “She was right.” And Emily? Emily becomes Emily again, no more hiding behind names of great historical woman. She's become a woman of her own. Emily: In remaining anonymous, I am also a hypocrite. For how can I claim that women’s voices are worthy of being heard when I have hidden my own so effectively behind this crusade Again Ms Ashe doesn't write for the faint of hearted. Like I said before, this is not a flimsy, silly story. It's well written, honest, raw, soul searching, passionate, larger than life story. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I'm awaiting anxiously for the next one :-) I received an ARC for an honest rev
angcartwright 2 days ago
Worth the Wait! This is the conclusion of the Falcon Club series, the middle book in the The Devil’s Duke trilogy, and for Falcon Club series fans, worth waiting for. I do not recommend reading this out of order as it is best read with the others in the series, but you could definitely pick it up anew and enjoy it immensely. The Falcon Club series has been so spread out that I can hardly remember what occurred in previous books but did not find myself lost at all which is so refreshing. The last thing a reader wants to do when they pick up a book is feel like they have to re-read five previous books to be able to continue with a final installment. Now, there is a huge reveal in this book...the long awaited identity of Lady Justice who has colored each book with her sartorial wit and human perspective of the woes of the downtrodden of England. She has amassed quite a following in the years she has published her pamphlet and created quite an adversary (object of attraction?) in Peregrine, the Secretary of the Falcon Club to which she has directed much of her ire. The reveal is not a super big surprise to me, but either way, it is welcome because she is a character I have liked and whose spirit is contagious as you want her to win whatever she is fighting for. The fact the she and Peregrine have history is an interesting element to the story and creates the tension needed for the story to have the depth that it has. There is a ton of adventure in this story which is very enjoyable and has the reader turning the pages, not wanting to put the book down. I loved the mistaken identity storyline that creates another underlying tension to the story that had me wondering how on Earth the story was going to find completion. The love story elements make for a wonderful connection between the two characters that their ultimate, inevitable collision is sweet, sensual and sacred. There is a loveliness that is to be savored between them, a breaking down of barriers long built and the reader wants everything to last...but of course, that is not to be! Read this book - you will love it! You will want more as I do and I cannot wait to read the last in the Devil’s Duke series and more of Katharine Ashe’s books to come. ARC provided by Net Galley - Many Thanks!
Alyssa75 2 days ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Earl by Katharine Ashe Book Two of the Devil's Duke series Publisher: Avon Publication Date: October 25, 2016 Rating; 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): How does a lady of wit and courage bring an arrogant lord to his knees? Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is. Opposites… Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing. Attract. Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers. What I Liked: This book, for me, was better than The Rogue. I had an easier time reading and digesting this one. When I read The Rogue, I was disappointed, and I didn't love the book. I have not read any of the Falcon Club books. This novel, focusing on Colin Gray and Emily Vale, was heartbreaking and uplifting, infuriating and undeniably romantic. Colin Gray is the new Earl of Egremoor, after the recent passing of his father. He was the secretary of the Falcon Club, which has been disbanded. When his nemesis, Lady Justice, calls for his help, he is curious, and does not refuse. Emily Vale's sister is missing in Scotland, and she will do anything to find Amarantha. Even if that means calling on Peregrine, the secretary of the Falcon Club. But Emily realizes who Peregrine really is, and decides that she has no need for his help. But Peregrine - Colin - is determined to help Lady Justice (he doesn't know her true identity). By chance, Colin and Emily meet in an inn in Scotland, looking for the same person (though Colin does not know this). They have been avoiding each other for years, but this journey is inevitable, and completely necessary. The first thing I want to point out is that the synopsis is not quite accurate. Emily does not lure Colin to Scotland, and he is not stripped of titles and riches. Not exactly, anyway. In Scotland, he and Emily have to flee hastily (there are highwaymen pretending to be them), and they do not have any of their belongings with them. So it's not exactly as the synopsis says - it's not like Emily strips Colin of anything. And Colin isn't actually stripped of anything. If that makes sense. Anyway! I had a much better time reading this one, compared to The Rogue. Emily has hated (or tried to hate) Colin for about eighteen years, since she was eight and he thirteen. The reason is ridiculous, and the whole grudge she has is ridiculous, but I can sort of see why she would harden her heart against him, at age eight. Sort of. I remember being eight. I loved Colin, infinitely more than Emily. This surprises exactly no one, because with The Rogue, I loved Saint and haaaaaated Constance. In this case, I like Emily, but I adore Colin. I was almost bawling, while reading the prologue. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
girlfromwvaKY 3 days ago
The Earl is the second installment of the Devil's Duke Series. It holds the anticipated reveal of Lady Justice's identity. It is also the culmination of Lady Justice's repeated flirtation with Viscount Colin Grey that is written in her columns. The back and forth bantering and flirting within their columns is enjoyable. I really got a kick out of reading them. Emily is Lady Justice. She is intelligent, charitable and devoted. Colin is Peregrine. He is good looking, rich and overly confident. Can a scholarly lady bring a haughty lord to his knees? She can if she entices him to Scotland, strips him of his riches and titles, and makes him prove what kind of man he really is. Can opposites attract? They can if Colin Gray can unmask Lady Justice, who he considers the thorn in England's paw. They can if Lady Justice can teach her antagonist a bit about being humble. A dangerous trip with her adversary into unknown territory to search for her missing sister might just turn enemies into lovers. Their conflict, passion, persistence and benevolence is unique. I love this series and this book is a great addition. A must read!!
Anonymous 3 days ago
Very Good.
LadyJamers 3 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the latest book in the Devil's Duke series and it is also the final installment of the Falcon Club story, where we have Peregrine and Lady Justice’s story. All through the series, we have read their letters back and forth to each other. We learn that both of them have a backstory that goes to their childhood. Colin Gray, was a quiet boy, whose only friend was a little girl named Emily Vale. Emily was promised to Colin as a baby to unite their two families. When Colin turns 13, the friendship ends and they go on their separate ways. Emily felt like Colin had abandoned her. Colin grows to manhood and has no idea that his friend, Emily, has become Lady Justice. The mission of the Falcon Club was to find missing people and bring them back home. Colin’s final mission was to help Lady Justice find her sister. Colin agreed under one condition; they finally find out who each really is. At the meeting place, Colin admits he is Peregrine and he can’t believe Lady Justice is a woman. He believed her to be a man and insults her by demanding to see her master, the real Lady Justice. This leaves Emily to not reveal herself. As Colin is just starting the mission, both he and Emily encounter each other at an Inn. They find out that a man and a man, dressed as a woman killed a local man’s wife. The one man looks just like Colin and claims to be him, the Earl of Egremoor. No one believes Colin and Emily, when they say they are not the killers and run through the wilds of Scotland to escape. The main questions I had as I read the book were who were the imposters and why did the one look like Colin? Would Colin find out that Emily is behind Lady Justice? Will Emily and Colin put any misunderstandings behind them and find love together? Throughout the story Emily wanted to be called Zenobia. Colin refuses to call her this new name. When she talked about being called Pocahontas at one time, I recalled reading about her in another story. When a Scot Loves a Lady. In fact, Colin has a big part in it, too. I remember, as I read the former story, how it was cute how she kept changing her name. Though, in The Earl, I was a bit like Colin, she always was and would be Emily to me.
def618 3 days ago
This book is the 2nd of the Devil's Duke series and the last, I think, of the Falcon Club series. I couldn't put it down. The hard part for me in writing any review is to share my love of the story without giving too much away. I don't like too many plot spoilers. I have enjoyed the back and forth letters between Lady Justice and Peregrine, aka Colin Gray, now the Earl of Egremoor. When Colin meets a disguised Lady Justice he doesn't believe a woman actually writes the columns. Lady Justice is asking for his help to find a woman missing in Scotland. He agrees to search for her. Emily Vale, currently known as Zenobia, hasn't heard from her sister in months. She believes Amarantha to be in Scotland so sets off with her companion, Clarice, to find her. Emily has known Colin all of her life. Their parents betrothed them at her birth. For the first nine years of her life, Colin was her world but then he broke her child's heart and it stayed broken. Their childhood is important to who they are as adults. In Scotland, Colin stops at an inn and of course it's the one Emily has stopped at. He is mistaken for a highwayman who has a close resemblance to him. The villagers believe he is the bandit and Emily his associate. He grabs Emily from her walk and rides off with her to avoid being arrested or shot. He heads for one of the Duke of Loch-Irvine's castles as he will be able to get help there. Of course there are many adventures on the way to safety and Colin and Emily have time to sort out past wounds. They also come across the real highwaymen. Possibly the best lines describing Colin: "And that jaw! It's nibbleable." I loved this book and can't wait for the Duke of Loch-Irvine's story.
jerichat 3 days ago
This book is something of a crossover. It ties up the end of the Falcon Club series, and sets the stage for the next book in the Devil's Duke series. I enjoyed this book - a strong, seemingly self-assured hero, a bookish, self-contained heroine, a quest, a chase. I wish this had been published closer to the release of the earlier books in the Falcon Club series (3 or so years ago). Incidents are referenced from those earlier books & it' hard to remember the particulars.