by Kathryn Caskie

July 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-112484-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Kathryn Caskie continues her series about the Royle sisters, the triplets who may just be royalty!

Anne Royle is the middle sister and the one everyone seems to forget. She does not shine like her younger or older triplet and well, her one talent is her ability to seem to fade into the background. That's how Laird Allan, the new Earl MacLaren, sees Anne for the first time. Walking gracefully amongst his ballroom, taking drinks out of people's hands completely unnoticed. When she attempts to do the same with him, he makes sure she notices him as he is noticing her. It is an idle amusement but things get much more serious when he catches her in his bedroom!

From bad to worse the situation becomes. When Anne announces that she is Laird's betrothed, the fireworks truly begin! After all, Laird has sworn never to marry after he was jilted. He has no plans to follow through on this sudden engagement, but he may just find a way to use it to his advantage nonetheless.

As for Anne, she has her own mission. It is what she was doing in Laird's bedroom to begin with. She needs to find some important letters that may detail her noble birth! Let the games begin in How to Engage an Earl.

Despite its somewhat promising synopsis, this story falls flat. Laird and Anne barely have time or opportunity to fall in love it seems with all the machinations they are attempting. Add in the bevy of secondary characters that take up plotting and it does not seem possible that the main leads even have a chance at love.

Laird has his own reasons for agreeing to the engagement and truth be told, they are not very noble. This does fit with his character as he considers himself a consummate rake. For all his denunciations to Anne that he is a rake though, he seems a very ordinary male. Anne likewise has no real stand out traits. She proclaims her biggest talent to be invisibility and unfortunately, that holds true for much of the book. She just seems to fade into the background.

The romance is nothing spectacular either unfortunately, and while there were some twists involving the letters and the Royle sisters' heritage that were interesting, I had to force myself to finish this story. Not Ms. Caskie's best. How to Engage and Earl, while not being a terrible story, isn't terribly good either.

Reviewed in June 2007 by Sarah.

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