Esmerelda Fortune did not find a suitable husband during her season with the ton, but she is not devastated. Her big dream is to start a school for girls and share her love of learning and the classics. To realize that dream she has taken a position of governess with the Earl of Ashworth's five children. This will be quite a challenge as they have run off three previous governesses and their widower father seems unusually detached from them. Esmie believes she can handle anything for the short time it will take to find an ancient prized manuscript that the Earl allegedly has in his vast library. The manuscript will help her write a prize-winning paper.
The Earl, Julian Armstrong, has his own agenda to pursue. In an effort to preserve the family lands and legacy, the Earl has decided to marry the heiress, Miss Lambton. This will be no love match, but the Earl has no expectations in that regard. Everyone's plans seem to be progressing well until the Earl catches Esmie sneaking into his library one night.
Esmie is a strong, intelligent woman and engaging heroine. Regency England was a time of very structured society and she risked much in pursuing goals different from the norm. Esmie's innante kindness shines through in her interactions with the children and with the Earl. The Earl is a strong hero who has shut off his feelings and emotions after being deeply hurt. He has to learn to love and trust again, which is much more difficult than his past emotional detachment has been.
The historical detail seems well researched and the dialog helps move the story along with an authentic ring. The secondary characters are well fleshed out and lend a richer layer to this captivating story. Although this is a historical novel, the author addresses timeless issues that can resonate with us all today.
Her Perfect Earl is a perfect example why the Regency period is so popular as romance genre. I highly recommend this tender love story to all romance readers. I will be looking for more tempting tales by Ms. Brooks.