A deathbed promise leads to a marriage between a taciturn sea captain and a life-loving duke’s daughter.
The Indebted Earl is an age-gap, sweet historical romance with a tad of adventure, spirituality, and courtroom drama.
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 23, 2021)
ASIN : B08TF9D6T5
Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business–or will it turn into something more?
Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life–especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiancée and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.
When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.
Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.
It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Charles Wynern was a captain in the navy who had lived his whole life on a ship. Baron Richardson, one of his officers, got seriously hurt while saving Charles’ life and, on his deathbed, asked the captain to take care of his ailing mother and fiancee.
The captain had never met Lady Sophia Haverly, but he had always admired her sunny disposition and the witty letters she wrote to her betrothed. Half of the crew was in love with Sophia and waited anxiously for the bits of her missives that Richardson would occasionally share with the men.
Sophia and Charles were very different, but they bonded over their grief, and those bonds deepened over the love they shared for Charles’ wards: three lovely orphan girls.
Charles was conflicted by his unrequited love for the young Sophia and the pull of the sea. Things got worse when some unknown enemies started a plot against him.
There is a light element of faith, with the main characters having doubts and looking for God’s guidance in their moment of grief and uncertainty.
I loved the contrast between Charles’s deep insecurities and his unwavering protection and support of Sophia and Richardson’s mother. He was such a mature and honorable man. His tenderness for his wards was so endearing.
Sophia was a remarkable heroine: young yet constant, reliable, loyal, and most of all, always very kind.
The side characters were lovely. It was especially nice to see the portrait of a positive and loving relationship between mother and daughter-in-law (they were not precisely in-laws, but it made their relationship even sweeter).
The Indebted Earl is a lovely story with relatable characters, family love, romance, and a bit of courtroom drama. It is my first book by this author, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her stories.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.
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About the Author
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.