A stubborn nobleman and a willful young woman are at the heart of bestselling author Amelia Grey’s newest love story.
HE THINKS LOVE IS MUCH ADO.
Adam Greyhawke is through with marriage. After losing his wife at a young age, he’s more interested in carousing and gambling at the Heirs’ Club than taking another trip to the altar. When his obligations as the Earl of Greyhawke thrust him into the heart of Society, he dreads the boredom that only a ballroom can inspire in a roguish scoundrel. That is, until he meets a bewitching young woman who captures his curiosityand reminds him just how delicious desire can be.
IS SHE READY TO SAY I DO?
Miss Katherine Wright is accustomed to men interested only in her generous dowry. Adam’s attraction is far more powerfulhe tests her wits and her courage at every turn, until she finds herself longing to fulfill an everlasting passion she never imagined was possible. But the breathtakingly handsome nobleman is as stubborn as he is scandalous, and Katharine must be the one to convince him that real love is worth any risk…in Wedding Night with the Earl by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.
"A master storyteller."-Affaire de Coeur
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of twenty-five books. She's been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida. Her first book with St. Martin's was The Duke in My Bed.
Read an Excerpt
Wedding Night with the Earl
By Amelia Grey
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Amelia Grey
All rights reserved.
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will, —
— Hamlet, act 5, scene 2
Northern Coast of England
Adam Greyhawke supposed there were worse deaths than being shot by an irate husband. He'd looked down the wrong end of a clumsily held pistol barrel more than once in his thirty years. Fear wasn't something that ever crossed his mind.
For the past two years he'd welcomed death. Maybe he'd even longed for it, because guilt was a hell of a friend. Now that the moment was actually close at hand, perhaps it would have been more acceptable if he had met his end saving the life of an innocent child from the path of a runaway carriage or something equally heroic, but Adam had seldom had the opportunity to be so noble.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't blow your head off your shoulders right now," the short, slim man barked.
"I can't think of one," Adam said calmly.
Though his eyes were blurry from all the brandy he'd consumed and his head was pounding, Adam noticed the man's gaze dart to the young woman standing beside him in the dimly lit upstairs room of the tavern and inn. They exchanged furtive glances. Clearly they hadn't expected him to be so accommodating. Adam really didn't give a damn whether the man pulled the trigger.
Somehow, it seemed fitting that today would be his demise. It had been hellish. Not only had his wife and child died on this day two years ago, this morning he'd received word that a young cousin had succumbed to consumption a few weeks ago and Adam was now the eighth Earl of Greyhawke. Once, that would have meant something to him. When Annie was alive, when life meant something to him. Now, it meant nothing. The thought of being an earl without all that he used to hold dear was excruciating.
"If I agree to let you to live," the husband challenged, "how do you plan to repay me for the harm you've done to me and my wife?"
Adam's feet were well planted, yet he swayed and grunted a hollow laugh into the stale air of the chilled room. So now they were to the heart of this unsavory matter. Money. The infuriated man before him wasn't a cuckolded husband after all. He and his partner were tricksters and Adam was their prey for the evening.
Obviously the nodcocks didn't know Adam's state of mind.
It bothered him a little, and a very little, that he'd been caught in a snare laid by a duo of schemers out to pad their pockets by pilfering his for what they could get. Adam's intuitive senses were sharp, and he was usually quick to know when he was being set up. Maybe it had been the overindulgence in drink or the fact that he hadn't been with a woman in a very long time. Perhaps he'd deliberately shaken off the pervading sensation that something wasn't quite right about the woman's story of being a widow and in need of warmth and comfort to see her through the long night. And then, just maybe this unpleasant end was the best he deserved.
Whatever the reason, he wouldn't complain. Fate had been good to him in his youth, saving him from more dangerous escapades than his ill-spent life warranted. It was only recently that fate had taken a disliking to him. And he no longer cared. Everyone knew that life stopped, bowed, and paid homage to some and rolled right over others, leaving them to gather up the broken pieces.
"I'm afraid there is nothing I can do," Adam remarked, indifference dripping from his words while he tucked the tail of his shirt into the waistband of his trousers. "I'm in her chamber with both of us in a rather accusing state of dishabille. Her reputation is already ruined beyond any suitable repair I could suggest."
The man's eyes widened, and his face flushed with a sudden flash of anger. He took a menacing step closer to Adam and glowered fiercely. "I demand you do something for this injury."
Adam swayed again. He glanced at the barrel of the pistol, then looked back at the man. "Perhaps I could apologize for not knowing the young woman was happily married and not a lonely widow after all."
The two flimflam artists exchanged panicky glances once again. Apparently, Adam wasn't the first quarry in their game of chicanery. No doubt they had expected him to quiver, deny any wrongdoing, and jump at the chance to buy his way out of a bloody and most assuredly painful death.
Most gentlemen probably would.
He should have known this would not be a good evening to find a tavern, drown in a bottle of brandy, and console himself with a willing woman. At the time, the thought of one more lonesome evening in that cold, godforsaken cottage was more than he could bear. Death could not be worse than the utter feeling of despair that had gripped him for two years.
Though Adam and the woman had barely made it past a few uninspiring kisses and several hastily felt caresses, he liked to think he was on the verge of forgetting his torment for a few moments and simply enjoying the lust of being a man.
"You can bloody well give us your money, and be quick about it, too," the trickster demanded, rolling his right shoulder, making the pistol bobble carelessly in his hands. "You're a wealthy gentleman. She heard you talking in the tavern. You've a big estate north of here. Now hand over your purse."
Adam had willingly given up his wild and undisciplined behavior of bachelor life when he'd met and married Annie. He'd left the proper, respected life of a gentleman after she died. For two years he'd been just a man. An ordinary man who looked after his estate and occasionally astounded his tenants by herding his own sheep. But what he'd never left behind was his honor.
He would die with that intact.
He turned his weary attention back to the threatening man and his conspirator. "I'd rather be shot."
"You don't believe I'll do it, do you?" the crook said gruffly, almost poking Adam in the chest with the barrel.
"On the contrary," Adam said. "I'm asking you to." He held out his hands palms up. "My pockets are empty," he said unapologetically, even though it was a bold-faced lie. "I came up here believing I was going to pay the lonely widow with a shot of brandy and an evening in a soft bed enjoying my favors."
"Oh, you despicable brute!" the woman screamed at Adam, and then whirled to confront her husband. "Give me the pistol, you coward! I'll shoot him myself!"
She pulled him toward her and grabbed for the gun. The man jerked away and shoved her to the floor.
Despite his unsteady legs, Adam lunged for the husband and quickly deflected the weapon from his chest with his hand. The ball exploded from the barrel with a crack loud enough to wake the dead and landed harmlessly in the wall.
Adam was head and shoulders taller than the thug and outweighed him by at least two stone. It really wasn't a contest to take the spent firearm away from him, toss it to the floor, and flatten him against the wall. Adam pressed a forearm against the man's throat and gazed into his shifty, frightened eyes.
A frown tugged at the corners of Adam's mouth and he released the culprit and stepped back. It didn't look as if this were going to be his lucky day to die after all.CHAPTER 2
Who alone suffers suffers most i' the mind.
— King Lear, act 3, scene 6
It was seldom warm on the northern coast of Yorkshire and the breeze never completely died away. Sunshine wasn't a regular visitor to the area, either. It didn't matter. Gray skies and cold, damp wind suited Adam.
His cottage was less than a half hour's trudge from the craggy cliffs that lined the shore below. He knew the way as well as he knew the back of his hand. Over the past two years, he'd made the trek to the water so many times that his footsteps had beaten a path across the stony, uneven ground. Looking out across the vast North Sea brought him a measure of peace he'd found nowhere else.
The first time Adam had made the short journey, it had crossed his mind to jump into the turbulent waves below. But he had never been a coward. And leaving this world would have been the easy way out of his pain. Living meant bearing the agony and misery of his wife's death and his part in it.
He reached down and patted Pharaoh's warm back. The large blond Pyrenees had been his faithful companion since Adam and his friends had saved him from a cruel shopkeeper's whip a year ago. Adam could still feel the scars across Pharaoh's shoulders from the deep lashes he'd received before they'd rescued him.
Several times a week, he and the dog would make their visit to the sea. Most often he would let Pharaoh set the pace. The tall, lanky dog liked to run. Pharaoh was still a pup at heart and always eager to stretch his legs with his master. But while on the peak of the cliff, Pharaoh never left Adam's side to sniff, scratch, or hunt. It was as if he knew they were there to stand, to think, and to remember.
"Come on, boy," Adam said, patting Pharaoh again. "Time to head back and see what Mrs. Leech left for us to eat tonight. I'd wager it's mutton stew again, wouldn't you?"
The dog barked once and then dutifully turned around and they began their journey to the cottage at a slow walk so Pharaoh could wander the landscape.
When Adam topped the ridge, he saw a black-lacquered coach trimmed in red and gold paint sitting in front of his house. A handsomely liveried driver and guard sat high on their perches. It was close to the time his friends Bray and Harrison had visited him for the past two years, but they wouldn't come all the way to Yorkshire in a carriage. It would take that conveyance more than twice the time to make the journey as it would on horseback.
Pharaoh saw the coach about the same time as Adam. He stopped, bristled, and barked a loud, low-toned warning.
"Easy, Pharaoh," Adam cautioned, rubbing the dog's head. "I don't like strangers either, but I can't see trouble coming out of anything that fancy. But since you're dying to find out who it is, go on ahead and check it out. Just don't frighten anyone until I get there."
The dog loped down the hill, barking as if he were a terrifying hound from hell. Adam picked up his pace, too. More than likely it was someone who had lost his way while looking for an estate. Adam would help them if he could and then quickly send them on their journey. By the time he made it to the vehicle, Pharaoh was standing in front of the carriage door, alternating between barking and growling.
"Pharaoh, that's enough of that," he told the dog, and gave his head a slight push to send him on his way. "Go find something to do. I'll take over from here."
A window in the door pushed open and a round-faced gentleman with big, slightly bulging eyes stuck his head out and said, "A pleasant afternoon to you, my good man. Could you please tell me if this is the house where the Earl of Greyhawke is residing?"
Adam thought about lying and sending the gentleman on a fool's search for a nonexistent cottage somewhere on the other side of the valley, but what good would that do? The man would eventually discover he'd been duped and return. Better to get rid of him now and not have to deal with him again later.
"I'm Mr. Alfred Hopscotch, the Prince's emissary. He's sent me to see the earl on an urgent matter."
Adam tensed. The Prince? Sent someone to see him? He certainly hadn't expected that. He eyed he man curiously. "What does the Prince want with me?"
The man's wide, bushy brows shot up. He looked Adam up and down. Adam knew Hopscotch was thinking that he'd never seen a gentleman dressed in commoners' clothing with shoulder-length hair unbound. But Adam didn't give a damn. His appearance suited him.
Mr. Hopscotch eyed Pharaoh again, too, as the dog sniffed around the carriage wheels, trying to decide which one was best for marking his territory.
"I will be happy to explain. I'm afraid the dog wouldn't let me out."
Adam shrugged. "He doesn't take kindly to strangers poking around."
"Will he bite?"
"Only on my command."
"In that case, I suppose I will have to assume you won't issue that order and it's safe for me to come out."
The rotund man pushed the door open and stepped down from the carriage, then shut the door behind him. He swept his hat off his head, bowed, and looked up pleasantly at Adam. "Lord Greyhawke, pardon me for not recognizing you. I expected someone a ... Well, never mind. The Prince received your letter asking that the title Earl of Greyhawke be bestowed on your heir. He sent me to tell you that you cannot disclaim a peerage."
"I have no use of it," Adam said flatly.
Mr. Hopscotch watched Pharaoh wander over to him and sniff around the tail of his coat. The Prince's man cleared his throat uncomfortably and said, "Still, it is yours and you simply cannot just give it up. You don't have to take a seat in Parliament right away, of course, but someone has to take care of the entailed property of the title, as well as the other estates, properties, and businesses associated with it. Legally you are the only one who can do that."
Adam frowned. His quiet life away from Society suited him. He had no son to leave the title to, and he didn't plan to ever marry again and have a son. He didn't want the title. Why couldn't it pass to someone who actually wanted it?
"Are you trying to tell me there are no other male Greyhawkes in England who can accept this responsibility?"
"There's always someone next in line for the title," said Hopscotch, drumming his fingers nervously on the rim of his hat while Pharaoh continued to sniff around his legs. "You have an heir, my lord. In fact, he is the reason for my visit today."
Making sure he didn't come in contact with Pharaoh, Mr. Hopscotch slowly reached behind him, opened the carriage door, and motioned with his hand for someone to come forward. "Come, come. Don't be frightened. The dog is large but harmless — at least while by his master's side," he added under his breath.
Adam watched a small, skinny, terrified-looking lad about the age of three or four step down onto the footstool. His large brown eyes appeared too big for his thin, pale face. Dark brown hair fell across his forehead. It was neatly trimmed above his brows and just below his ears. His clothing, while not expensive, was clean and pressed. Pharaoh immediately approached him for a sniffing inspection, and the child leaned closer to Mr. Hopscotch, almost hiding his face in the man's coat.
"Come now, none of that. Behave as a young man." Mr. Hopscotch took hold of the lad's shoulders and made him face Adam. "Lord Greyhawke, may I present your cousin Master Dixon Greyhawke."
Adam stared at the little fellow. He didn't like seeing the frightened look on the boy's face. Pharaoh didn't like strangers coming around the cottage, but as long as Adam was calm, Pharaoh would be, too.
Adam pointed to the house and said, "Pharaoh, to the door." The Pyrenees looked around at Adam as if to say, Do I have to? "Go on. By the door."
The dog hesitated, grumbled, and then trotted over to the door of the cottage and curled up in front of it.
Mr. Hopscotch looked up at the driver and snapped his fingers, then turned to the boy and said, "Master Dixon, you must greet your guardian properly."
Adam's head jerked around to the man.
The lad timidly stepped forward, bowed low, and said, "It's a pleasure to meet you, my lord."
"Well done, young man," said Mr. Hopscotch, patting him on the shoulder. "I'm sure the two of you and the dog will be getting along fine in no time at all."
Adam stood six feet four in his bare feet and taller in his walking boots. He rose over Hopscotch and peered down at him. "You aren't leaving him here."
Mr. Hopscotch blinked but didn't cower. "I have no choice in the matter, and neither do you. He is next in line for the title. Until you bear a son, he is officially your heir. Even if you somehow managed to do the impossible and pass the title on to him while you are still living, as his oldest living male relative you would be responsible for him, his education, and all that comes with the property until he comes of age."
"I'm responsible for no one," Adam argued with a snort of derision.
"You are now," Mr. Hopscotch answered quickly. "It is your duty to manage, protect, and prosper the estate and all it entails until the next earl takes over."
Excerpted from Wedding Night with the Earl by Amelia Grey. Copyright © 2016 Amelia Grey. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Series: The Heirs’ Club only accepts titled gentlemen and the heir to the title as members. It must make interesting conversation at the family dinner table when the firstborn son is admitted but all additional sons are excluded. For three roguish young gentlemen this stuffy club is just the kind of place they feel compelled to liven up. Bray Drakestone, the future Duke of Drakestone, is the heir that opens the door to the stuffy gentlemen’s club; you'll read about him in The Duke in My Bed (Book #1.) Harrison Thornwick, fourth son of the Earl of Thornwick, is one of Drakestone’s best friends that accompanies Drakestone to the club; you’ll learn more about Thornwick in The Earl Claims a Bride (Book #2.) Adam Greyhawke married young but after losing his wife and child he spent his days carousing and gambling with his two best friends; you'll want to see how a grown up Greyhawke still seeks out his friends at the Heirs’ Club in the Wedding Night with the Earl (Book #3). Don't miss out on the two holiday novellas that give insight into two other gentlemen who visit the Heirs’ Club; you'll enjoy the holidays reading The Duke and Miss Christmas (Book #2.5) and Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis (Book #3.5). My Review of: Wedding Night with the Earl (Book #3) Our hero and heroine have both suffered. Adam Greyhawke married young only to lose his wife and first child. Katherine Wright has been loved to the point of smothering ever since she became an orphan and then a ward of her elderly Uncle and Aunts. While Katherine has willingly and happily joined the Wilted Tea Society her Uncle insists she find a husband before the end of this - her third - season. Her Uncle will never rest until he has fulfilled his obligation to his deceased brother by securing Katherine's future with a marriage to a proper gentleman. But Adam and Katherine have to face their physical and emotional fears that prevent them from living life to the fullest together. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, yet when read in order Grey has woven a fuller dynamic storyline. While each book is a love story, Grey presents a deep friendship between the three heroes. And she does not forget the ladies’ friendships either. I can easily see a spinoff for the remaining ladies of the Wilted Tea Society. I would enjoy seeing them fall in love, too. I liked Katherine and Adam. Grey did a wonderful job keeping their storyline realistic in their struggles yet ignites an instant attraction that builds every time they meet. The Heirs’ Club series: The Duke in My Bed (Book #1) The Earl Claims a Bride (Book #2) The Duke and Miss Christmas (Book #2.5) Wedding Night with the Earl (Book #3) Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis (Book #3.5) Disclaimer: The author sent me a paperback copy of Wedding Night with the Earl requesting a fair and honest review. #spon
Amelia Grey's third book, in her Heirs' Club of Scoundrels trilogy, Wedding Night With The Earl took readers on a road of healing and empowerment through love. A meaningful and far reaching romance the hero and heroine's recognition of a kindred spirit in each other was lovely. Their mutual quest to overcome their past and conquer their fears with the reward of reaching their full potential was touching. Ms. Grey's ability to get to the heart of the matter and touch her audience with her engaging writing style comes out full force in A Wedding Night With The Earl and finishes this great series on a high note. *I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
This is book 3 in the Heirs' Club of Scoundrels trilogy. Adam Greyhawke has spend the last two years in seclusion after the death of his wife and child. But when he inherits the earldom and a ward, he realizes that he must rejoin society to take up the reins of his new position. Even though everyone suspects that he is back in London to secure a new wife, that is the furthest thing on his mind. He never wants to go through that heartache again. Miss Katharine Wright is use to man only wanting her for her dowry and the connect to her uncle, the duke. But when she meets Adam, the attraction between them is mutual and somewhat overpowering. Running into each other all over town, has them wondering if fate has taken over. Can Katherine convience Adam that love is worth taking a second chance at marriage? LOVED this story!! We've seen glimpses of the hardened Adam while reading the other two books in the series, so it was nice to see a softer side of him with his story. The attraction between Adam and Katherine was instantaneous. As a reader, you could almost feel it leaping from the page. But what I really liked about this story is that I felt like Adam and Katharine became friends before they became lovers. The passion they felt for each other, I think was made that much stronger because of the friendship and mutual understanding they felt for one another. I really enjoyed this series and am sad to see it end. I'm looking forward to Grey's new trilogy titled, The Rakes of St. James. I'm sure I love it as much as I did the Heirs' Club! Thanks you out to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Another outstanding read by Ms. Grey! What I love so much about this second chance story are the strong characters who try to outwit each other. I love their sense of humor and the scandals they get caught up in. It is as much fun seeing the messes they make as seeing them get out of them. If you have read the rest of The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels series you know just what a treat you are in for. You have a man who lost his true love who gains a title and an heir all in the same day. A lady who wants a man to love that will love her and not her money. When these two people get together you can see the steam and the heat of passion fly off them. My heart breaks for Adam who lost not only his wife but his baby in child birth. He adored her but felt he failed her by not being able to keep her alive. He will never forget that day and all that had been said. Never will he do that to another woman. Then he meets Katharine and gets off on the wrong foot. He matches wits with her and then sticks his foot in his mouth. Over dinner he makes up for that but they start a scandal of their own which has tongue wagging. Will this be the woman who makes him eat his words the women he wants but can’t have? I loved Adam and his wit he kept me laughing and smiling. He has a big heart and charming ways. Really a true gentleman in times when it was the women’s place to say no he finds he is the one saying it. Katharine has so much to give the right man only they do not look past her handicap. She is humorous and full of wit. She is a very strong woman who speaks her mind never letting a man get one over on her. All she wants is love and a family but it looks like she will have to settle for marriage with no love that is until Adam comes along. He shows her true passion and then takes it away. He will not give her the one thing she once besides his love. It looks like she will have to marry another man and live in a loveless marriage. The author knows how to keep a reader entertained with humor, love, passion and scandal. She twist a compelling read that will keep you turning the pages as she gives you surprises that will keep you laughing. The author gives you a wonderful story at a steady pace with well developed characters you can relate to. Lord the messes these two get into and the things they pull off to get out of them. You can feel the passion come off them when they are in the same room. This was a book I could not put down and read it all at one setting. This is romance at its finest. I love this author as I am sure you will to after reading “Wedding Night With The Earl”
Adam Greyhawke, the eighth Earl of Greyhawke, lost his wife and child during childbirth 2 years ago. Since then he has been living in a cottage on the bleak, cold, and gray coast of Yorkshire which matchs his constant mood. He has no interest in being an Earl and has asked the Prince to bestow his title on his heir. However, the Prince has declined his request. His heir has been found and is his cousin Master Dixon Greyhawke, age 5. Adam will now be the boy’s guardian. Adam has no intention of getting married and running the risk of experiencing this loss again. As he has no other choice but to accept the Prince’s decision, he decides to return to London with Dixon, live in his home in Mayfair and take over his duties. It is good for Adam to see his good friends again and become part of the Heir’s Club. Miss Katherine Wright, age 20, is a lovely young woman that Adam has met at a ball. He is saddened to find that she uses a cane to walk and is unable to dance with him. She is part of the Wilted Tea Society which is a group of spinsters who consider themselves to be ineligible for marriage. Katherine and her family were in a carriage accident when she was young. Her entire family was killed but she was left injured. After yet another fall down the stairs some years ago, her leg was injured again. Since then, she walks with a slight limp and feels more secure using a cane. Adam is quite taken with Katherine and likes her personality. He just wishes he could get her to put her cane aside and try to dance with him. As they get to know one another more their attraction grows. Before long Katherine gives in and she and Adam practice dancing. He is hoping she will learn to give up her dependence on the cane. They are now falling in love and plan to marry but Adam is determined that he will never risk her getting with child. How can they have a loving and successful marriage? Is there an answer? I really loved this book. Both Adam and Katherine are damaged but are also strong. The feelings they have for each other is deep and has the potential to be very lasting. But, will it? Copy provided by the publisher and author via NetGalley
This was an excellent book. I loved the way the slight handicap Katherine had was protrayed. The whole book was fantastic!