When you wish upon an earl . . .
Harriet Hathaway has only ever wanted one man: the Earl of Roxley. After a passionate interlude at a house party, Harriet is convinced Roxley will do the right thing and propose. But when she returns to London, she finds the roguish earl on the verge of proposing to another.
Yet Harriet refuses to believe that her hopes of a happily-ever-after are completely lost—for she can see the desire still flickering in the earl’s eyes when he looks at her from across the dance floor. And when they are alone . . . there is one wish neither can deny.
. . . the most extraordinary things can happen
The Earl of Roxley is in a dangerous fix—and to keep Harriet safe, he must hold her at arm’s length. He won’t entangle her in the murderous mystery that is threatening to destroy his family and his future. But keeping Harriet Hathaway out of his troubles proves as impossible as it is to keep the determined beauty from stealing his heart.
About the Author
Elizabeth Boyle has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as “page-turners.” Since her first book was published, she’s seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and has won the RWA RITA® and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards. She resides in Seattle with her family, her garden, and her always-growing collection of yarn. Readers can visit her at www.elizabethboyle.com, or follow her own adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. www.avonromance.com www.facebook.com/avonromance
Read an Excerpt
If Wishes Were Earls
By Elizabeth Boyle
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2013 Elizabeth Boyle
All rights reserved.
I have seen one night be the ruin of many a good man.
Lt. Throckmorten to Miss Darby
from Miss Darby's Reckless Bargain
London, April 1811
Eight months later
Every gambler knows the moment when his luck
And not for the good. Luck is too fickle of a lover
to whisper in a gamester's ear to encourage him to
No, when she turns her back on a fellow, he knows
it. As sure as all the air in the room has rushed out.
Like a fish out of water, he suddenly finds himself
grasping at anything that might return her bright
favor to his dark and empty pockets.
So it was with Tiberius Maximus Marshom, the 7th
Earl of Roxley.
Roxley, who took wagers that no one else would,
18 Elizabeth Boyle
and won . . . The earl who always had pockets of
vowels that only needed collecting was now dodging
friends and ducking out of White's to avoid the embar-
rassment of his current dire financial straits.
And his shocking turn of luck was what had
brought him here. To the City. To the offices of one
“So you see, my lord,” the merchant was saying, his
hands folded atop a pile of notes, “you have no choice
but to make my daughter your wife.”
The earl looked across the wide expanse of the
man's desk at a fellow he hadn't even known existed
until two days ago when he'd received Mr. Murray's
summons. Still, despite the gravity before him, Roxley
could not resist smiling.
It was all he could do. A Marshom through and
through, he knew he was trapped, but he was certainly
not going to let this mushroom, this Mr. Murray with
his most likely equally uncouth daughter, know that
he had Roxley in a corner.
Mr. Murray pushed the papers across the top of the
desk. “I've managed to buy out all your vowels, all your
debts. You're solvent, for the time being. I think a kindly
given 'thank you' would be in order.” He paused for a
moment and then added belatedly, “My lord.”
Roxley looked at the pile of notes and scribbled
promises and realized that his hopes of reclaiming all
that he'd managed to lose over the past eight months—
his money, his position with the Home Office, his
standing (what there had been of it)— was for naught.
His legendary luck was gone.
If he were inclined to be honest— which he rarely
was— he could point to the exact moment when Fair
Fortune had abandoned him.
If Wishes Were Earls 19
Eight months ago. The third of August, 1810, to be
exact. The night he'd kissed Miss Harriet Hathaway.
And since we've established that the Earl of Roxley
possessed very little honesty, kissing had been the
least of his sins that night with the aforementioned
He'd demmed well ruined her.
But enough of contemplating an evening of mad-
ness— it wasn't his insatiable desire for Harriet that
had gotten him into this mess.
Oh, Harry what have I done? he thought as he looked
at his all his wrongdoings piled up atop this cit's desk
and knowing that no matter how much he . . .
Well, admitting how he felt for Harriet Hathaway
was just too much honesty for one day. Especially
When he was having to face his ruin. A reckoning
If it was only the money, only his own ill- choices,
that would be one thing. But there was more to this
than just a gambler's reversal. His every instinct clam-
ored that this was all a greater trap, a snare, but why
and how, he couldn't say.
More to the point, he couldn't let this calamity touch
As it had Mr. Ludwick, his man of business. Roxley's
gut clenched every time he thought of the fellow—
disappearing in the middle of the night with a good
portion of Roxley's money.
Yet Ludwick wasn't the sort. And that was the prob-
lem. There was no explanation for his abrupt depar-
Further, the man's vanishing act had been followed
by the revelation of a string of soured investments.
20 Elizabeth Boyle
Wagers began going bad. Files for the Home Office
stolen from his house. None of it truly connected, yet
he couldn't help feeling that there was a thread that
tied it all together, winding its evil around his life.
But who was pulling it, and why, escaped Roxley
Sensing the earl's hesitancy, Mr. Murray pressed his
case, pulling out a now familiar document.
The mortgage on Foxgrove.
The one property of his that wasn't entailed. The
one with all the income that kept the Marshoms afloat.
Without Foxgrove . . .
Mr. Murray ran a stubby, ink- stained finger over the
deed. “I've always fancied a house in the country. How
is this village? This Kempton?”
“Kempton, you ask?” Roxley replied, wrenching his
gaze up from the man's covetous reach on his prop-
erty. “Oh, you won't like it. Cursed, it is.”
Mr. Murray stilled at this, then burst out in a loud,
braying laugh. “I was told to expect you to be a bit of
a cut- up, but that! Cursed, he says.” He laughed again,
more like brayed.
Good God, Roxley could only hope Murray's daugh-
ter didn't laugh like that. But to keep Foxgrove . . . to
keep his family out of debtor's prison, Roxley knew he
could bear almost anything.
And if he did his utmost to make this mushroom's
daughter miserable for the next forty years, he'd never
have to hear that sound again.
That was, if anything, a small condolence.
“I have a mind to drive down next week,” Mr.
Murray was saying. “Probably needs renovations like
the rest of the piles of stones you gentry keep.”
Roxley ruffled at this. For his residences were his
If Wishes Were
Excerpted from If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle. Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Boyle. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The last of the series and finally Harriet and Roxley. They played such great parts in the first two stories I was glad they had their happily ever after. Having a curse on the town was interesting throughout the three books. This story having an unseen enemy was a great way to end the trilogy. Loved all three books.
If Wishes Were Earls is the third book in the Rhymes With Love Series by Elizabeth Boyle, a terrific, terrific author. I read this book as a stand-alone and didn’t have any problem except when some of the back story between the couple was mentioned and felt myself lost, but only for a moment. I would recommend that the first two books be read first but only because the couple has known each other almost all their lives and are mentioned in the previous books. This book also mentions characters from the previous books. However, regardless of the references to earlier books, this book can be read alone and it is still a great read. Being friends with the heroines brothers the hero in If Wished Were Earls has been aware and has known the heroine for many years. The heroine, Harriet, is a head-strong, clever, intelligent, straight speaking, making her own decisions piece of glorious work. She has loved the hero, Earl of Roxley, for as long as she can remember and she sets her mind on having him. But nothing is as smooth as it should be and there are obstacles to be overcome before they can be together. The couple spend a scandalous night together after which Harriet expects a proposal of marriage, as it should be. However; because of problems in Roxley’s life, he leaves the next morning with no notice whatsoever and doesn’t see or talk to her for months. Then it seems he is close to marrying someone else. The good thing is Harriet, in no way, sits still for such as this. She is determined to take care of any problem keeping them apart as she has worked to hard to make him hers. He is hers and she isn’t taking no for an answer as she knows he would not simply treat her as if she was of no importance. She feels someone is out to get him and therefore ruin her future so she puts her experience from being raised with several older brothers to use and attempts to save them both. The author combines humor, suspense, blackmail, romance, steamy charisma, adventure, danger, and mystery within this one book and makes it work. The flirty dialogue throughout keeps the reader enthralled with each turn of the page. Throw in hilarious banter between two aunts in the mix of everything else and you have a keeper. I would definitely recommend not only this book but based on this book the others in the series. When you wish upon an earl . . . Harriet Hathaway has only ever wanted one man: the Earl of Roxley. After a passionate interlude at a house party, Harriet is convinced Roxley will do the right thing and propose. But when she returns to London, she finds the roguish earl on the verge of proposing to another. Yet Harriet refuses to believe that her hopes of a happily-ever-after are completely lost—for she can see the desire still flickering in the earl’s eyes when he looks at her from across the dance floor. And when they are alone . . . there is one wish neither can deny. . . . the most extraordinary things can happen The Earl of Roxley is in a dangerous fix—and to keep Harriet safe, he must hold her at arm’s length. He won’t entangle her in the murderous mystery that is threatening to destroy his family and his future. But keeping Harriet Hathaway out of his troubles proves as impossible as it is to keep the determined beauty from stealing his heart.
Harriet Hathaway has known Roxley for most of her life. Now as a grown woman, she wants more from him than mere friendship, she desires him and loves him. One night at a ball they share a memorable kiss, but nothing came from it. Now over a year later, she still wants to marry him and wants to show him that what they have is more powerful than any other match he could ever make with any other woman. Roxley, due to his parents gambling habits, has barely kept himself afloat. Now he is approached by a man who has bought all of his debt, and demands that he marries his daughter. Feeling as if his hands are tied, he knows that he has no choice, even though his heart has always belonged to one woman, a woman who was dare enough to kiss him and change everything. The last thing that Roxley wants is to hurt "Harry", but he doesn't have a choice in order to save those whose welfare are relying on him. Harriet is shocked when she learns that Roxley is suppose to propose to another woman, and is determined to stop it. Then a dangerous plot unravels, and it will take Roxley and Harriet working together to put that which was wronged right once again, and to take down those who would destroy them. If Wishes Were Earls is the first novel that I have read from Elizabeth Boyle. I was able to receive a copy in exchange for a honest review from Avon and Edelweiss. I don't know why I haven't read her before now, especially since I love historical romance. As they say "Better late than never", and I definitely feel that way about this author. I plan on looking for this author at my local library and reading more of her books. Even though this is the third in the series, it could be read as a stand alone, but I definitely wishes I had read the first two beforehand, but it isn't necessary to read this one. First off I want to discuss the cover, which is one of my favorites, including the stepback. When I saw it for the first time, I found the blend of the purples, pinks and the white dress, had such a mixture of soft colors that created a magical scene of sensuality. One of my favorite aspects of If Wishes Were Earls was the way that the story picked up, it starts with the reader seeing Harriet being bold and daring and going after what she wants, which is the Earl of Roxley. But what turns into hopes gets turned into disappointment when Roxley treats her differently after the fact. But she doesn't want to give up hope, so she sets up a plan to make Roxley fall in love with her and choose love over his duty. We see that there are two sides to this situation. Roxley wishes he was free to marry Harriet, but he has to provide for his aunts, and keep those lands that have been in his family for generations. When he ends up being blackmailed, he knows he has little choice. Then we see a certain sub plot of danger and intrigue involving some diamonds, and the plot thickens, and the reader is then taken on a ride of passion, suspense and power of true love. I found If Wishes Were Earls to be a truly captivating story that reeled me in from the prologue. Usually I have to force my way through the prologue sometimes, I just want to get to the story (LOL). But I have found that reading the prologue lends the reader to some background information needed to make sense of the rest of the story. When I first read the synopsis I wasn't sure if I would like it much, but the story was far different than what the Synopsis implied the story to be. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing the change of events and the way the Harriet and Roxley get on together. I couldn't complain much about the setting, I found it very delightful the connection the Roxley and Harry have with each other, even though its subtle at times and too obvious at other times. The one thing that I would complain about this story would be the multiple flashbacks, it could be a bit confusing at times. Other than the flashbacks, I truly enjoyed this story and I can hardly wait for the chance to read the rest of the series, and more from this author. Overall I splendid romance with a touch of witty humor, a hint of passion and excitement, a plot thickened with drama and danger and intrigue that will tie you up in knots, and a love story to charm and entice. A DELICIOUS READ!!!
~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog Harriet Hathaway has been in love with the Earl of Roxley since she can remember and after a scandalous night with him, she fully expected him to ask for her hand. Instead when she sees him again he is almost engaged to another woman. But Harriet can sense all isn’t what it seems; the man she loves wouldn’t callously discard her in that way and there is something not quite right about his supposed intended. Roxley is in trouble and fully intends to help him put things right again. It isn’t very often that it is the hero of the tale that puts me off a book, but in this case that is exactly what happened, it wasn’t that Roxley was cruel or stupid he was just rather tepid. It isn’t that I expect a big bad alpha hero in every book I read but I do like a hero to have some backbone, but Roxley seemed perfectly content to allow himself to be blackmailed and forced into a marriage he didn’t want, that is until Harriet came along and decided to stir things up. Harriet I liked, she was feisty and intelligent and never gave up on the man she loved, she saved me from giving up on this book entirely. Romantically, they did have some chemistry together, there had shared history, but for me it all just fell a bit flat as I never really warmed up to Roxley. Unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I would have liked to and definitely not as much as other books I have read by Elizabeth Boyle, perhaps I will like the next book in the series more. *ARC provided by publisher
This is a very nice story for Harry. Nice to see her finally get her man. It was also nice to see the depth of Roxley; he is not just another great looking rogue.
Enjoyable Story If Wishes Were Earls by Mrs. Elizabeth Boyle is funny , romantic. I was looking forward to read Harreit and Roxley story. Like all Mrs.Elizabeth's book this one too was enjoyable with smart , fun characters and adventures.
It was just ok nothing more or less.
I've enjoyed this series very much. I just wish Roxley had a little more back bone, he seemed ok with being blackmailed. As always, Harriet kept me laughing & the story interesting. Looking forward to the next!
I'm not a fan of series. But I am just obsessive-compulsive enough to have to read them all. Had to find out what happened to Harriett, but didn't like the "flashback" style of this story.
IF WISHES WERE EARLS by Elizabeth Boyle is another exciting Historical Romance. #3 in the “Rhymes With Love” series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, “And the Miss Ran Away with the Earl” and “Along Came a Duke”. Follow the Earl of Roxley and Harriet Hathaway on a dangerous journey of love, passion and danger. Someone is trying to destroy Roxley. With betrayal, suspicion, danger and passion how can you go wrong. I believe this is by far by favorite of this series. It is fast paced and filled with suspense and action. A must read if you enjoy historical romance, the strong,protector type hero and a heroine who is determined to help her beloved Roxley. Received for an honest review from the publisher and Above the Treeline. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
I love the fact that sh kept the personalities the same over the books. I really liked harriet. I am not sure I could understand her boldness but she was the same in all the books. Very good series. The flashbacks some times got a little boring but it came togethet nicely in the end.
I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, witty and romantic.
I enjoyed this book. I got a little frustrated with Roxley at times. An okay read.
Looked at her greifing clan. She sat with them while meowing, "Its ok. He wouldn't want this."