The Earl's Mistress

The Earl's Mistress

3.3 14
by Liz Carlyle

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New York Times bestselling author Liz Carlyle creates her darkest, most sensuous story yet, as a delectable but desperate governess runs headlong into the path of a notorious rake

Women rarely refuse the wicked Earl of Hepplewood, whose daring exploits are only whispered about. But when his new governess answers his proposition with a slap, then stalks out

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New York Times bestselling author Liz Carlyle creates her darkest, most sensuous story yet, as a delectable but desperate governess runs headlong into the path of a notorious rake

Women rarely refuse the wicked Earl of Hepplewood, whose daring exploits are only whispered about. But when his new governess answers his proposition with a slap, then stalks out, references in hand, Hepplewood finds more than his face is burning.

Isabella Aldridge has brains, bravado, and beauty—but the latter is no use to a servant. Her circumstances are desperate, and with Hepplewood's words ringing in her ears, Isabella realizes she must barter her most marketable asset . . . her body.

But when fate sends Isabella back into Hepplewood's arms, the earl must make an impossible choice—draw Isabella down into his sensual darkness, or behave with honor for the first time in his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Carlyle (Close Call) deftly combines mesmerizing romance with a hint of mystery in this enticing Regency page-turner. When widowed Isabella Aldridge applies to be a governess to the young daughter of Anthony, Lord Hepplewood, the dissolute earl tells Isabella that he would prefer her as his mistress. Isabella is infuriated that the nobleman would treat her so callously, even as she is inexplicably drawn to him. But she can't find work anywhere else, and she's desperate to support herself and her two younger siblings. What begins as a means of survival becomes much more when she and Hepplewood meet again, and she can't help but succumb to his allure. The encounters between Anthony and Isabella are extremely sensuous while supporting excellent character development. Anthony appears initially to be somewhat cruel, but Isabella soon realizes a most lovable man hides under his loutish exterior, and Anthony discovers that Isabella's staid behavior disguises true passion. Their story of mutual discovery will charm fans of historical romances. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Booklist (starred review)
“In her latest exquisitely written and darkly inquisitive romance, RITA Award-winning Carlyle offers her signature and brilliant blend of superbly nuanced characters, bold sensuality, and deliciously dry wit in a romance to truly treasure.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

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The Earl's Mistress 3.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an interesting read..if at times a little frustrating. Isabella should have been a bit more worldly, considering that she was put in the position of having to fend for herself and the two girls she was raising. I didn't mind the BSDM aspect at all. It was an unusual twist that you don't normally see in romance least not the ones I read. Overalll, a good read.
def618 More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. I don't write plot spoilers but I really enjoyed this book. Sexy, tortured hero, poor beautiful heroine taking care of two younger sisters and an evil cousin - what's not to like! Liz Carlyle is a wonderful author.
chucha_13 More than 1 year ago
The Earl of Hepplewood got exactly what he deserved when he offered a proposition to the widow Isabella Aldridge. He could have any woman in London at his beck and call, his sensual skills were well known, but when it comes to this woman, who travelled far, and who was in desperate for employment, and money – he got a slap in the face. Beggars could not be choosers. Isabella Aldrige was widowed at a young age and she has her sisters under her care. She needed the money as soon as possible, or else, they wouldn’t have roofs on their heads. Her relations were out of the question, they wouldn’t lift a finger to help them. She’d die first before she marries the heir to her father’s estate. It was desperation that forced her to reconsider Hepplewood’s words. She did what she thought she wasn’t capable of. What she didn’t expect was to fall back on Hepplewood’s arms. Fighting his demons. He has a past he wasn’t really proud of, and he was still fighting his demons. He was guilty that his wife died in childbirth, he didn’t know what to do with his young ward, and seeing Isabella made him yearn for something he thought he had long forgotten.  His sensual pleasure was a taboo - can Isabella handle it?  He ought to say good bye to her, to let her be. But he keeps coming back to her. He wanted another chance with her. But Isabella stood firm, and tried to fight her emotions as well. She has a lot on her plate, and her sisters to think of. But when danger threatens the safety of her sisters, and her – Tony would just do about anything to keep them safe. WHAT I LOVE... Tony and Isabella had great chemistry, but didn't know what to do with it. She was a widow with two wards, not to mention a reputation. As for him, he has a past that had made him wary of love. But these two had found each other in the most unlikely fashion. What started out to be temporary, turned out to be something permanent.  I think I left my heart on the pages. OMG Liz Carlyle – you totally made my kindle burn! I seriously didn't expect the level of steam and kink Liz Carlyle would put into this book. BUT OMG - it was totally hot, sensual and definitely sexy.  •Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.•
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
A lovely romance that was both sweet and sensuous, The Earl's Mistress was a wonderful read. I really liked this book. From start to finish, it was an enjoyable read. Isabella was a good heroine. I liked that she was strong and determined to take care of her sisters and live independently. However, I had some issues with her. She could be a bit self-righteous, somewhat hypocritical, and frustratingly indecisive, mostly regarding her relationship with Anthony. It annoyed me that, even though she chose to become a courtesan, she acted like Anthony forced her into it (and, she wasn't even his mistress for very long, which made that title a bit of a misnomer). However, it wasn't enough to make me actually dislike her, so I ended up being okay with her. Hepplewood (or Anthony) was better. He came off as cold and distant, but it didn't take long to see beyond that. He was fiercely loyal to his loved ones and would do anything (legal or not) to keep them safe. And, despite his denial of having a conscience, he felt things deeply and blamed himself for more than he could get credit for. I thought he was sweet and wonderful and I adored him. The romance was lovely. Despite Isabella's issues, I still though that they were sweet together. Even though circumstances were against them, they still fell hard. Not to mention to steaminess going on between them. Definitely enough to turn the heat level waaaaay up.  The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were a couple of twists and Isabella fought to keep her sisters from the guardianship of her cousin. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was wonderful. The Earl's Mistress was a lovely historical romance. It was sweet, hot, and an enjoyable read. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous 8 months ago
Good read. you can't really go wrong with this author. However Tony's angst just did not really seem that compelling. His character was a bit thin. Also he had dominant tendencies... but he wasn't completely convincing in this regard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GMC11 More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed all of Liz Carlyle's books and this was no exception. Hepplewood's intensity and Isabella's unyielding nature jumped off the page. Without giving away much of the story, Isabella is a woman in financial dire straits and Anthony faces what I'd call emotional dire straits. Both are trying to protect young women in their charge (his daughter and her younger female relatives).  Hepplewood has more salacious plans for the woman seeking employment but she slaps him across the face for his forwardness. And then the fun begins. The earl maneuvers things to get another crack at the strong Isabella. And Isabella interestingly finds herself further backed into a corner. She gives in to the earl's unique sensual requirements, and the romance builds from there. Be warned: there's some salacious spanking involved. The villain is a creep, but you're not subjected to detail about his icky-ness.
zeeba More than 1 year ago
Different! The Earl"s Mistress is a different historical romance, The story and plot was really good but there were parts of the book that hero was so dark, wicked and cold. The heroine Isabella was strong and beautiful widow who has been taking care of her sisters for the past several years. Heppelwood the hero was a challenge to like, at times he was cold and dark but mostly was great father and gentleman. It was a great story. Thank you Liz Carlyle.
Zeeelicious More than 1 year ago
Isabella Aldridge is in dire straights. After being let go from her latest post, she is having problems landing a new one, owing to the fact that she is very pretty. Her last interview did not go very well when she was propositioned by the Earl of Hepplewood to be his mistress instead of his governess. Spitting mad, she refuses the offer, no matter that she still has two siblings to raise and to protect from her lecherous cousin. Still desperate, she rethinks the mistress situation and asks help from her former employer, who was a courtesan, La Seductrice. She makes inquiries and unknowingly pairs Isabelle with the Earl! Without any other options, Isabelle agrees but then discovers the sexual depravity of the Earl. When Isabelle responds to his sexual demands, a fine line between pleasure/pain ensues. And when Isabelle’s family is threatened, Tony will do anything in his power to protect the woman he loves. I really don’t know how to review this book. To say this book is a shocker is an understatement! I mean, I read erotic romance (in fact, I enjoy them!) but what shocked me is that I wasn’t expecting this book to be an erotic romance! I honestly do not have problems with the unexpected BUT this book does veer from Ms. Carlyle’s usual historical romances. To be honest, I had a hard time connecting with the hero and heroine at all. I didn’t feel any emotion at all, other than the S&M aspect. It wasn’t the sex scenes that did me in, I think it was the unexpected shock of reading this type of romance by Ms. Carlyle. This book was an easy enough read for me, but I honestly had a hard time finishing it. Fortunately, I did because it does get better, if you overlook the S&M, pseudo-masochist aspect of it. The Earl’s Mistress feels like an erotic romance. There is some graphic sex and S&M in the book. Although there are scenes like this, it does not overpower the whole book. eARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
SummerSnowFalls More than 1 year ago
When Isabella Aldridge’s father died, she was left without a penny to her name and two younger sisters to care for – one step-sister and one half-sister. Since then, Isabella has worked as a governess for “La Seductrice” Lady Pentshaw and managed to put food on the table, pay the rent (mostly) on time, and provide her sisters with an education. But now Lady Pentshaw’s sons are off to school and Isabella must find employment elsewhere. She applies for a governess position with the Earl of Hepplewood, but he tells her she is too beautiful to be a governess and to find employment that would better serve her “assets.” A string of further rejections leads her back to Lady Petershaw in hopes of finding a position as a mistress. Her first match-up? Anthony, the Earl of Hepplewood! Isabella is a strong-willed, resourceful woman who manages to find a way to care for her younger sisters despite a distinct lack of funding. She is protective and intelligent, doing her best to shield her sisters from the daily struggle that goes on outside of their view. She is cognizant of the future and vows to do what is best for her sisters – even if that means cutting all social ties to them if she becomes a mistress in order to support them financially. Even in her desperation, Isabella puts the interests of her sisters above her own well-being while remaining astoundingly calm about her situation and refusing to accept the “help” of her pedophile cousin currently residing in her father’s old house. Anthony is a deeply troubled man. He is wracked with guilt over the death of his wife in childbirth and the choices he made to put her in that position. Since her death, he has created a life of depravity and debauchery for himself, something he simultaneously revels in and hates himself for enjoying. He has sadistic sexual tendencies – he enjoys whipping his partners and spanking them until his hand aches. These experiences and proclivities have made him arrogant and controlling, but these traits are balanced out by his love of his daughter and his compelling desire to stick to an internal moral code that makes him stand up and take care of those he loves or is in a position to help. The sex scenes in this historical romance novel were surprisingly kinky – almost like something one would read in an erotica novel. As already mentioned, the Earl has sadistic tendencies and there is a definite BDSM flavor to Anthony and Isabella’s lovemaking. Isabella enjoys being allowed to relinquish control for once in her life, yet feels guilty, wondering if enjoying such abnormal bedroom activities is normal. These scenes were very sensual and explicit, almost shocking for a romance novel! The Earl’s Mistress is what I would call a very dark romance novel. Yes, the traditional elements of a romance novel are present, but the plot is quite sinister and the bedroom scenes borderline erotica. Beyond the romance, this novel’s plot centers around a complicated and detailed inheritance entailment to a cousin who is also a pedophile and after the sisters in Isabella’s charge. On Anthony’s side of the plot is yet another complicated arrangement of first-loves, rebound replacements, a jealous and murderous first cousin-turned-sister, and the fallout from an unwanted marriage. Certainly something different in the world of historical romance, but I think this fills a very specific niche of romance readers rather than the majority. Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] Com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish I never purchased it. I read romance novels for the story. The sexual scenes in this book turned my stomach. The bondage and sex toy scenes were disgusting. I will never purchase another book from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't review this book because there are no pages only cover art is on my nook. First time this ever happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that Liz Carlyle often writes very poignant romances and this is no exception. The hero and heroine are both very touching and their story is moving. I don't have any interest in the BDSM romance genre, though, and was surprised to see this author going that route. I assume that this is jumping on the Fifty Shades bandwagon.  I liked the story enough to finish the book, but found myself skipping the 'heroine submits' scenes.