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An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler

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An OMag.com & Bibliolifestyle Most Anticipated Romance of 2021 A PopSugar Best Romance of April A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Romance of Spring 2021 A witty and moving story from the acclaimed author of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby, about the lengths to which a woman will go for the love of her child…and the love of a man who knows her worth. Breaking with traditional Regency ru An OMag.com & Bibliolifestyle Most Anticipated Romance of 2021 A PopSugar Best Romance of April A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Romance of Spring 2021 A witty and moving story from the acclaimed author of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby, about the lengths to which a woman will go for the love of her child…and the love of a man who knows her worth. Breaking with traditional Regency rules and customs, Vanessa Riley pens an unforgettable story perfect for fans of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Eloisa James looking for something fresh and stirring! Masterminded by the ton's most clever countess, the secret society The Widow's Grace helps ill-treated widows regain their reputations, their families, and even find true love again--or perhaps for the very first time... Surviving a shipwreck en route to London from Jamaica was just the start of personal maid Jemina St. Maur's nightmare. Suffering from amnesia, she was separated from anyone who might know her and imprisoned in Bedlam. She was freed only because barrister Daniel Thackery, Lord Ashbrook, was convinced to betray the one thing he holds dear: the law. Desperate to unearth her true identity, Jemina's only option is to work outside the law--which means staying steps ahead of the formidable Daniel, no matter how strongly she is drawn to him... Married only by proxy, now widowed by shipwreck, Daniel is determined to protect his little stepdaughter, Charlotte, from his family's scandalous reputation. That's why he has dedicated himself not just to the law, but to remaining as proper and upstanding--and boring--as can be. But the closer he becomes to the mysterious, alluring Jemina, the more Daniel is tempted to break the very rules to which he's dedicated his life. As ruthless adversaries close in, will the truth require him and Jemina to sacrifice their one chance at happiness?


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An OMag.com & Bibliolifestyle Most Anticipated Romance of 2021 A PopSugar Best Romance of April A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Romance of Spring 2021 A witty and moving story from the acclaimed author of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby, about the lengths to which a woman will go for the love of her child…and the love of a man who knows her worth. Breaking with traditional Regency ru An OMag.com & Bibliolifestyle Most Anticipated Romance of 2021 A PopSugar Best Romance of April A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Romance of Spring 2021 A witty and moving story from the acclaimed author of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby, about the lengths to which a woman will go for the love of her child…and the love of a man who knows her worth. Breaking with traditional Regency rules and customs, Vanessa Riley pens an unforgettable story perfect for fans of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Eloisa James looking for something fresh and stirring! Masterminded by the ton's most clever countess, the secret society The Widow's Grace helps ill-treated widows regain their reputations, their families, and even find true love again--or perhaps for the very first time... Surviving a shipwreck en route to London from Jamaica was just the start of personal maid Jemina St. Maur's nightmare. Suffering from amnesia, she was separated from anyone who might know her and imprisoned in Bedlam. She was freed only because barrister Daniel Thackery, Lord Ashbrook, was convinced to betray the one thing he holds dear: the law. Desperate to unearth her true identity, Jemina's only option is to work outside the law--which means staying steps ahead of the formidable Daniel, no matter how strongly she is drawn to him... Married only by proxy, now widowed by shipwreck, Daniel is determined to protect his little stepdaughter, Charlotte, from his family's scandalous reputation. That's why he has dedicated himself not just to the law, but to remaining as proper and upstanding--and boring--as can be. But the closer he becomes to the mysterious, alluring Jemina, the more Daniel is tempted to break the very rules to which he's dedicated his life. As ruthless adversaries close in, will the truth require him and Jemina to sacrifice their one chance at happiness?

30 review for An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    3.5 Stars This was such a sweet read. A good one if you are looking for something lighter hearted in between heavy reads. This was my first time reading this author's work, so I did not read the first book in this series, A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby. And though this is a stand alone for the most part, there were a few references that I felt lost on, particularly relating to the widows' secret society and Jemina's role and history in it. Jemina St. Maur has survived a shipwreck that took plac 3.5 Stars This was such a sweet read. A good one if you are looking for something lighter hearted in between heavy reads. This was my first time reading this author's work, so I did not read the first book in this series, A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby. And though this is a stand alone for the most part, there were a few references that I felt lost on, particularly relating to the widows' secret society and Jemina's role and history in it. Jemina St. Maur has survived a shipwreck that took place on her voyage from Jamaica to London after which she suffered from amnesia. She meets Daniel who is a barrister and who is now the caretaker of a toddler following the death of his wife. We definitely see the injustices of women at the time illustrated in this story, (no legal standings of their own/ no autonomy over their mental health/locked up against their will). I really liked the hero and how he stepped up when he becomes the sole-caretaker of his toddler stepdaughter. I loved the romance between Jemina and Daniel and watching them become their own little family. As a romance, I do wish the book would've had a bit more steam...kissing is about as much as we get here. Otherwise, this was an adorable and sweet romance and I would definitely check this author out again. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for my advanced review copy, which I received in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    April Perdomo

    Well that was adorable and precious! It made my heart happy. It was romantic, sweet, and I loved it. I had originally planned a lot of other things over the course of reading this, but I abandoned almost everything in favor of reading this. I would tell myself just one more chapter and then that would turn into another chapter and...You can see where this is going. Now I have not read this first one in this series and that was perhaps to my detriment as a reader because I was a bit confused at ti Well that was adorable and precious! It made my heart happy. It was romantic, sweet, and I loved it. I had originally planned a lot of other things over the course of reading this, but I abandoned almost everything in favor of reading this. I would tell myself just one more chapter and then that would turn into another chapter and...You can see where this is going. Now I have not read this first one in this series and that was perhaps to my detriment as a reader because I was a bit confused at times. There was context here that was not fully explained. I kept rereading passages to make sure I was not missing anything. I wish this book had maybe just done a quick summary about what had happened in the previous book or at least explained the setting the characters were connected to a bit more. Again though, I cannot fault this book entirely for my confusion because I had not read the first one. Despite how lost I was at first, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Once I got my footing, I could not put it down and was rooting for these characters all the way through. They are darling and I would not be mad to read another story about them. I now want to read this first in this series because I loved this one so much. This was entertaining all the way through. It was a regency romance full of mysterious character backstories and characters so precious they must be protected at all costs.

  3. 5 out of 5

    May

    This is a terrific example of historical romance done properly. Original, fresh, charming, smart and insightful at the same time. The characters are likable. I love how this series include such a diverse class of characters - just like our real world. :) The historical details are so accurate and shows a lot of research. :) Love this book. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Teneisha (Teesbookjourney)

    Vanessa had me invested in the story line as per usual. Ive felt for and loved Jemima since the first book. I've had idea in my head of what her story could possibly be. How she ended up where she was. Daniel is a sensible and logical man and these characteristics make him pefect for Jamina These two together just works. I appreciate the history imbedded in the story. But not just the history, the story that are not normally not told in romance novels. I appreciated and loved the whole thing. Vanessa had me invested in the story line as per usual. Ive felt for and loved Jemima since the first book. I've had idea in my head of what her story could possibly be. How she ended up where she was. Daniel is a sensible and logical man and these characteristics make him pefect for Jamina These two together just works. I appreciate the history imbedded in the story. But not just the history, the story that are not normally not told in romance novels. I appreciated and loved the whole thing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christi (christireadsalot)

    I did read the first book in the series before this one and think that really helped to understand more of the situations & characters we have in this book. The heroine of this book we do meet in the first book, as well as get to know more about the work that the secret society (The Widow’s Grace) is doing. Essentially they are a society to help ill-treated widows regain their reputations, their families (in the first book the heroine is separated from her newborn son), help the women find jobs, I did read the first book in the series before this one and think that really helped to understand more of the situations & characters we have in this book. The heroine of this book we do meet in the first book, as well as get to know more about the work that the secret society (The Widow’s Grace) is doing. Essentially they are a society to help ill-treated widows regain their reputations, their families (in the first book the heroine is separated from her newborn son), help the women find jobs, or even love again. The heroine in this story is Jemina, she survived a shipwreck en route to London from Jamaica (where she’s from) but ends up suffering from amnesia & since she was found on her own, ends up imprisoned in Bedlam. This story really dives into how women of the time had little agency of their own lives and especially the struggles they faced with their mental health. The hero Daniel is a barrister who had married by proxy but ended up a widower with a young stepdaughter to care for. Daniel is now an Earl and after two years of focusing on his career and being a devoted father, is ready to start thinking about a new relationship. He actually helps Jemina get out of Bedlam & their story unfolds from there. While I enjoyed this read actually more than the first in the series, I still did have some issues with this read which were similar. The story is told in dual POV but jumps between 1st person for the heroine & 3rd person for the hero which I wanted for them both to be told in the same and there is something a little disorienting with the writing & dialogue as well. Another thing which is a personal thing for me but did not change my rating, I want more steam in my romances and on-page action (kissing is as much as you get on-page). Things I liked: discussions of race (being Black during regency-era England) & having a historical romance with main characters of color (hero is Black, heroine from Jamaica), showing the struggles of racism and England-colonialism, like the first book in the series this story also highlights the injustices of women at the time (no legal standings of their own & having no agency with their mental health/locked up in Bedlam against their will). I really liked the hero and how he stepped up when he becomes the sole-caretaker of his toddler stepdaughter, it was so nice to see him being a great father! The author also provided extensive research information at the end of the story & I really appreciated all the history! Thank you to the publisher (Kensington) for an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts & review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Taylor McCabe

    When the Minerva goes down en route to England from Jamaica, Jemina St. Maur loses her memory and, condemned to Bedlam as a lunatic, her freedom. P. Daniel Thackeray loses his wife...but gains the daughter he didn't know she had. Two years later, Jemina is free, courtesy of Daniel, now Earl of Ashbrook. And Daniel, after two years of mourning and devoted fatherhood, is perhaps ready to consider a new romantic entanglement with the contrary Widow St. Maur. I was really into the plot of this book b When the Minerva goes down en route to England from Jamaica, Jemina St. Maur loses her memory and, condemned to Bedlam as a lunatic, her freedom. P. Daniel Thackeray loses his wife...but gains the daughter he didn't know she had. Two years later, Jemina is free, courtesy of Daniel, now Earl of Ashbrook. And Daniel, after two years of mourning and devoted fatherhood, is perhaps ready to consider a new romantic entanglement with the contrary Widow St. Maur. I was really into the plot of this book but the pace is BREAKNECK, so much so that I had a hard time following the emotional beats. Often you can read romance series out of order, but for this one, the glut of characters thrown at you in the beginning will be difficult if you haven't read A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY. On top of that, there is a lot of plot that happens very quickly here! Secrets are kept and revealed (which sometimes then create more secrets) at such a pace that it's a bit hard to keep track. Everything definitely comes together in the end, but the journey to get there is a bit chaotic--this is definitely one where you need to pay attention.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This was so adorable. After reading A Duke, the Lady and a Baby, I really wanted to learn more about Jemina, so I was happy that she was the heroine of this book. Jemina and Daniel's love story was so original and refreshing. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, Vanessa would surprise me in delightful ways. Not only does she craft well-written love stories she also imbeds history into them as well. The historical details adds another rich layer to the story, which I really enjo This was so adorable. After reading A Duke, the Lady and a Baby, I really wanted to learn more about Jemina, so I was happy that she was the heroine of this book. Jemina and Daniel's love story was so original and refreshing. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, Vanessa would surprise me in delightful ways. Not only does she craft well-written love stories she also imbeds history into them as well. The historical details adds another rich layer to the story, which I really enjoyed. Now we need a book about Lord Gantry and his wife! I highly recommend this book! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'm not usually a big fan of the amnesia trope in romance, but I thought it was incredibly well done in An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler. Jemina suffered amnesia after surviving a terrible shipwreck. She knows her name, but nothing of her past. Daniel Thackery is the adopted father of the only other survivor and holds the secrets to Jemina's past and her future. I really enjoyed the story as a whole, thought I did get a bit frustrated in the middle section when the relationship between two charac I'm not usually a big fan of the amnesia trope in romance, but I thought it was incredibly well done in An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler. Jemina suffered amnesia after surviving a terrible shipwreck. She knows her name, but nothing of her past. Daniel Thackery is the adopted father of the only other survivor and holds the secrets to Jemina's past and her future. I really enjoyed the story as a whole, thought I did get a bit frustrated in the middle section when the relationship between two characters seemed very obvious to me, but took the characters longer to figure it out. I was still very happy with how everything was explained in the end and enjoyed the book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    An Earl, The Girl, and A Toddler is the second book in Vanessa Riley's Rogues & Remarkable Women series. I did not read the first book, though am planning to order my copy now seeing as I enjoyed this one so much! I am a new reader to the romance genre and this book was such a delight to read. The book features hero Daniel and heroine Jemina whose conflict and "will they/won't they" back and forth drives the plot. Jemina is one of the only survivors of the ship Minerva's sinking and she suffers An Earl, The Girl, and A Toddler is the second book in Vanessa Riley's Rogues & Remarkable Women series. I did not read the first book, though am planning to order my copy now seeing as I enjoyed this one so much! I am a new reader to the romance genre and this book was such a delight to read. The book features hero Daniel and heroine Jemina whose conflict and "will they/won't they" back and forth drives the plot. Jemina is one of the only survivors of the ship Minerva's sinking and she suffers memory loss of her past life. Daniel was one of the key people, along with the Widow's Grace members (a group that right the wrongs done to women by an unjust system) to help her escape the asylum where she was imprisoned. A mystery around her relationship to Daniel's wife, his toddler step-daughter, and how her deceased husband's potential involvement in the slave trade. Riley references a lot of historical events and personalities in her book, and includes a nice reference at the end to educate the reader further. * I received an ARC courtesy of netgalley for my feedback

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    What a refreshing book! I've never read anything by this author but I was pleasantly surprised with the story and her way of writing. The storyline was interesting and the characters were richly described. Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this gem. I immensely enjoyed it and cannot wait to read another book by this author. What a refreshing book! I've never read anything by this author but I was pleasantly surprised with the story and her way of writing. The storyline was interesting and the characters were richly described. Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this gem. I immensely enjoyed it and cannot wait to read another book by this author.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristelle

    I received this copy as an arc from NetGalley. This fun and flirty romance is the second in this series. It is a diverse regency romance with a brave and intelligent heroine. The main characters have intense chemistry and are ahead of their time!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Stenquist

    Very good, better if read first book in series prior.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kandace Denys (bookish_kayy)

    This was a fairly quick read, although it did take me a bit to get into. This could be contributed to not having read the first book in the series, as I was a little confused for a bit. Once I worked it out, I could see where things were heading, and I did enjoy most of the trip to get there. I got a little tired of the seemingly constant misunderstandings, but nothing that put me off too badly. Overall, I did enjoy this and I would read more by this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Clark

    if you like regency era romance or romance period, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go get this book now! I loved this book even more than the 1st. the writing is great, the world the characters live in is vivid and so well written you can picture yourself in it. If you need a palate cleanser book this is the one to read, you will feel so happy after reading it!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    ⭐⭐⭐ This story is the second installment of Vanessa Riley's Remarkable Women series. In it, we follow Daniel, the Widows lawyer and Jemina, an amnesiac who cannot remember anything before two years ago. We see a little of their relationship in the first book, which you don't need to read to enjoy this one. I like the dual perspective narration used. There are also some historical figures in the story which add to the richness of the book. There are some frank discussions of being Black in Britain ⭐⭐⭐ This story is the second installment of Vanessa Riley's Remarkable Women series. In it, we follow Daniel, the Widows lawyer and Jemina, an amnesiac who cannot remember anything before two years ago. We see a little of their relationship in the first book, which you don't need to read to enjoy this one. I like the dual perspective narration used. There are also some historical figures in the story which add to the richness of the book. There are some frank discussions of being Black in Britain in this time period and the assumptions made. A great deal of thought and care went into making these characters who they are, and a lot of time and attention is paid to help readers understand their perspective. I enjoyed the unique concerns of Jemina trying to reconcile the life she is making for herself with the one she cannot remember. It felt very real to me that she struggled so much with accepting the new and wonderful things because she felt her past and some part of herflself was still missing. This was a great book in an amazing series. Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books. #AnEarltheGirlandaToddler #NetGalley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan McClintock

    3.5 stars Enjoyable historical romance. The second book in the series centered around The Widow’s Grace, a secret society that helps ill-treated widows. Jemina St Muir was introduced in book one as a widow who was stuck in the mental hospital, Bedlam, and rescued by Daniel Thackery, Barrister and Earl of Ashbrook. She had been put there two years ago when the ship she was on, coming from Jamaica, went down with only two survivors. Daniel was going to meet his wife that he married by proxy on the 3.5 stars Enjoyable historical romance. The second book in the series centered around The Widow’s Grace, a secret society that helps ill-treated widows. Jemina St Muir was introduced in book one as a widow who was stuck in the mental hospital, Bedlam, and rescued by Daniel Thackery, Barrister and Earl of Ashbrook. She had been put there two years ago when the ship she was on, coming from Jamaica, went down with only two survivors. Daniel was going to meet his wife that he married by proxy on the same ship, but she did not survive. When he arrived at the dock looking for his wife, he was given the other survivor, a toddler. They assumed he was the father since he was the only non-Caucasian to show up and the babe was also not white. While two years have passed, she still has no recollection of her past and she knows that Daniel has information that could help her regain her memory. Overall, an enjoyable period piece with a nice mystery. The villains were a little bit of a caricature, I felt like they might be standing there twirling their mustache. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    The rate is actually 3.5 out of 5 stars I read this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review When I was offered and advanced e-ARC of Vanessa Riley’s “An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler” I was so excited that I said “yes, please” I had high hopes for it because I read her first book of the series “A Duke, the Baby, and a Lady” and it was fun, and refreshing because the topics it included were refreshing. Well, having high hopes was my mistake, that’s why I didn’t enjoy this book The rate is actually 3.5 out of 5 stars I read this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review When I was offered and advanced e-ARC of Vanessa Riley’s “An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler” I was so excited that I said “yes, please” I had high hopes for it because I read her first book of the series “A Duke, the Baby, and a Lady” and it was fun, and refreshing because the topics it included were refreshing. Well, having high hopes was my mistake, that’s why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous one. Still I’ve enjoyed it quite a lot. At the beginning of this book there is a shipwreck near the coast of England. It should have arrived in Portsmouth that day and many people were waiting at the docks only to learn that their relatives, their colleagues or their dreams had drowned. There were only two survivors to that wreck; an amnesiac young girl who was identified as Jenima St. Maur, and a blackamoor one-year-old baby whose mother was drowned. At the docks there was Daniel Thackery, a young barrister who was waiting for his Jamaican proxy wife who was supposed to come to him “with a surprise”. Someone puts that baby in his arms, being a blackamoor himself, Daniel knows that this baby will end up in a brothel, so he accepts the possibility that the surprise his proxy wife meant was that she had a daughter. At the same time Jenima claims that there was a baby in her arms but no one believes her. She’s taken for a mentally unstable girl and so she’s put into Bedlam. Two years later she and Patience, the heroine of the first book, are rescued by Lady Shrewsbury’s organization ‘The Widows’ Grace’. Daniel, now an earl and a barrister, is Lady Shrewsbury’s nephew and unwilling supporter. Now a member of the ‘Widows’ Grace’ herself Jenima goes on a mission with her best friend Patience. The mission is to break into a Lincoln’s Inn, where several lawyers share an office. They’re looking for proof to help a fellow widow get custody of her children. Daniel’s desk is there too, and in that desk Jenima finds some papers that prove that Daniel has a lot of information on her past. A past she can’t remember, a past that makes her doubt of her own identity. Here starts a story of lies, deception, love and mistrust. Of course Daniel and Jenima find love in their story and eventually they will get their happily ever after. But the in between felt like going in circles, and you can’t help wanting to punch Daniel all the time, because he has the key. He is so utterly scared that he doesn’t let the story flow, and that was frustrating. All that mess could have been solved in a minute if only he spoke the truth at least to Jenima. Because Jenima wouldn’t do anything to hurt him or the little girl Hope. She loves them, but he can’t trust her or share his concerns with her. The chapters can be classified in two. Those that are written from Daniel’s perspective and those that are written from Jenima’s perspective. That is the common thing in romance, but Jenima’s side is written in the first person, and that kind of manipulates the reader into becoming her supporter. Daniel’s side of the story is written in the third person. Vanessa Riley used this trick in the first book too. One of the things I loved about this story is that Patience and her husband the duke are there. They’re not in the background like most former and future main characters, they’re there all the time supporting Jenima. The young widow lives with them and Patience sees a sister in her. The sisterly love and loyalty in the novel is moving. There’s a lot of talk of sorority, but of course not all women are that generous. There’s also talk about racism, hypocrisy about racism, slaverism, innocence by amnesia (you’ll understand when you read the book, spoilers), identity and honesty. The main subject being ‘the end justifies the means?’. In conclusion: I’ve loved this book, but it was not a page-turner, it lacked the excitement I usually look for in a romance novel. It’s a somewhat clean romance and I’m not a huge fan of that, but that’s just my taste so it didn’t lower points. It didn’t add either. It’s a good story and I loved Jenima as a character. Daniel could have been better, he’s likable as a person and a great father, but his choices were wrong and even though he knew, he didn’t do anything about it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ✨ Meg reads and dim sum ✨

    An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler is a quirky historical romance. Although it's the second book of Vanessa Riley's Rogues and Remarkable woman series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. Unlike other regency romances, this universe has a fun band of women called the Widow's Grace who fight against the patriarchy to attempt to regain their rights, wealth, and children after being widowed. In this book, Jemima (who was Patience's sidekick in book 1) is the MC, and she has no memories beyond An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler is a quirky historical romance. Although it's the second book of Vanessa Riley's Rogues and Remarkable woman series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. Unlike other regency romances, this universe has a fun band of women called the Widow's Grace who fight against the patriarchy to attempt to regain their rights, wealth, and children after being widowed. In this book, Jemima (who was Patience's sidekick in book 1) is the MC, and she has no memories beyond the last two years, and she struggles with finding out the truth of her past while navigating the sharks in the marriage market as men try to go after her sizeable dowry. Daniel Thackery is a barrister trying to overcome racial barriers and avoid being pulled into the (sometimes illegal) plots of his aunt, who runs the Widow's Grace. He lost the love of his life on a shipwreck and is left only with a child he didn't know of, but now his whole life centers around raising her and protecting her from being shipped back to Jamaica. If I were to describe this book in one sentence, I would call it a knock-off, smut-less Bridgerton. Many of the concepts really parallel with the series, from the BIPOC LI abandoned by the male authoritative figure and adopted by a i-don't-care-about-the-rules aunt to a relationship deriving from the rumors of the ton. Additionally. there are soooo many "i burn for..." references I'm like, did this author just copy-paste a Daphne in here? The best part of this book was probably the Widow's Grace, although I wish the author could've leaned more into the whole espionage / action side of things because without it the book was a bit slow. ALSO: THIS BOOK HAS NO SMUT!!! If you are expecting the typical HR steaminess, you will not be getting that all from this book. But if you want a wholesome PG read, this book might be perfect. I do however, need to give props to the diversity of characters in this series, which is something you rarely see in HRs. It's really clear that the author did A LOT of research to make the book really believable and realistic, and it makes the reading experience a lot better. However, the characters didn't seem that likeable :(. While Jemina for the most part was pretty spunky, sometimes, she acted very irrationally, or had constant flips between hating Thackery and pining after him that left me super confused. And don't get me started on Thackery. He makes no sense to me as a character. Every time I think I get a read on him, he acts in a way that surprises me (in a bad way). I don't understand how he also suddenly shifts from "oh i need a mistress to break up this dull monotony of life" to "ohmigod I need to marry her I love her so much." Between the two characters, I didn't really feel any chemistry beyond the whole setup of "she/he is forbidden to me because of Widow's Grace." I think part of this stems from the unique form of head-hopping used. While Jemina is told from first person, Daniel's side is told in 3rd person, which often left me questioning his motives and train of thought even tho we were supposed to be in his POV?? I really could not understand Thackery as a character and in so many points of the books I just wanted to shake him and yell "WHAT ARE YOU THINKINGGG" at him. Additionally, I think amnesia fics are either reallyyy well done or really really bad. Unfortunately, I thought this book was on the latter side of the spectrum. I feel like this book could have been resolved 2/3 of the way through, and the end was unnecessarily long as it dragged through all their trust issue and 'face-your-fears' angst. The final resolution left me pretty unsatisfied and partly surprised me while also partly could be seen from the first page of the book. (also in terms of things you could spot a mile away, Patience's 'predicament' is sooo obvious I really hate the flabbergasted-ness of the characters when they drop the reason and also that part was really skimmed over and not giving my girl her proper due). Overall, this was not my favorite HR (especially because of the lack of smut) but if you can deal with that, it may be an interesting book to read, if only for the diverse characters. -- Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul Olkowski

    This was an ARC from Goodreads that was listed as Historical Fiction. When I received the book I saw it was a Historical Romance as written on the books spine. I let it sit for a while thinking I would find someone to give it to rather than read something that wouldn't really interest me. One day I picked it up and from the very first page I became interested in it. The scene was dark and foreboding and concerned a woman in a crude hospital that had just survived a shipwreck. I had to read furth This was an ARC from Goodreads that was listed as Historical Fiction. When I received the book I saw it was a Historical Romance as written on the books spine. I let it sit for a while thinking I would find someone to give it to rather than read something that wouldn't really interest me. One day I picked it up and from the very first page I became interested in it. The scene was dark and foreboding and concerned a woman in a crude hospital that had just survived a shipwreck. I had to read further to see what happened. The woman's name was Jemina St.Maur. She was on her way to London from Jamaica when the ship was caught in a hurricane in the Atlantic. She was one of the two survivors on the ship. Scene two finds a man waiting in line for news about the ship that went down and for news about his wife(proxy) that he never met, coming from Jamaica. He finds that his wife has died but he was given a child that survived the wreck because she, like he was a mulatto. Rather than seeing the child be given to the local brothel, he decided to keep her and raise the girl as his own. The man in the story was a lawyer: a prosecutor would be his title today, and he worked for the London government under the Prince of England. His name was Daniel Thackery, Lord Ashbrook. He drew up some legal papers to make himself the legal guardian and father of the child from the wreck. Daniel Thackery's Aunt was Lady Shrewsbury , a highly influential woman of money who ran an underground organization that defended the causes of women and widows who had little or no legal say in the regency period of England. Daniel was often rounded up by his Aunt to assist with legal matters that arose from his Aunt's dealings. She somehow had the money and power to get women out of the mental hospital where many were placed when their families were broken up or they were placed there by relatives who wanted their homes or money. This is how Danial meets Jamina. She wound up in the mental hospital because she had amnesia from the shipwreck. Long story short, Jamina winds up working for Daniel's Aunt, Lady Shrewsbury, and a mutual admiration between them starts. Both are also looking into details about the shipwreck and what happened to their families. Jamina knows Daniel knows much more about the wreck than she who has amnesia, and so she breaks into his office to find out all the details. She of course gets caught but this is where the romance starts. This is not the type of book I would normally spend any time on ,but I can say that I did finish reading the entire book. Vanessa Riley is an exceptional writer . There is a fair amount of romance and longing in the book but she manages to tie it up with the details she places around the characters. It's not just a lustful situation here. The book is also a light mystery. The reader knows that Jamina and Daniel are looking for details about not only her past in Jamaica but about his proxy wife's life and dealings too. The characters do not know about all that the reader is privy to. The book is written in the voices of both Daniel and Jamina. The chapter title let's the reader know who's chapter it is. You get both sides of the story here. Vanessa Riley gets the most out of the storyline. The story moves along slowly but is rich in detail and setting placing the reader alongside the characters as if you were right there observing. Four stars for An Earl, The Girl and A Toddler. A worthwhile read if only for Riley's writing. . If your a romance fan this is a must read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    HappyBookWorm2020

    This is the second book in the Rogues and Remarkable Women series. I read this book without reading the first book, and I believe that the series would be better when read in order since there are characters and events introduced in the first book that carry over into the second book. For example, I was really puzzled at first about who or what the Widow's Grace was. It turned out that they are a secret society of influential women who help other women who are in bad situations. This series diff This is the second book in the Rogues and Remarkable Women series. I read this book without reading the first book, and I believe that the series would be better when read in order since there are characters and events introduced in the first book that carry over into the second book. For example, I was really puzzled at first about who or what the Widow's Grace was. It turned out that they are a secret society of influential women who help other women who are in bad situations. This series differs from most historical romance books set in the Regency period as most of the main characters are black, including the hero, Daniel Thackery, and his love interest. Daniel is a barrister (lawyer). He was married by proxy to Phoebe Monroe Dunn, a woman he knew only through letters, whose ship sank on the journey from Jamaica. Phoebe had told him that she was bringing him a surprise. Daniel went to the shipping office praying that she had survived. When he asked for Phoebe Dunn, he was handed instead a beautiful black baby girl and told that she was the only person of color left unclaimed. He swallowed his grief and took the child, as he was told she would otherwise be given to the first black person willing to take her - likely a dockworker or a woman of color working the brothels. He thought that she might even be the surprise that Phoebe had told him that she was bringing. His heart was broken - he was a widower who had never met his wife and had only her letters to remember her by. There was another survivor on the ship but he was told that she was taken away by her family... Two years later, Daniel has been awarded an earldom and is now Lord Ashbrook. He attends yet another ball given by his aunt and meets Jemina St. Maur. Does Jemina have anything to do with Phoebe? They were both from Jamaica. Jemina is also working with his aunt in the Widow's Grace rescue group for women in danger. When they meet, she has a bandaged arm - an injury she received scaling a building to a second-floor balcony. I really enjoyed reading the scenes where black people who occupied seats of power freely mingled with the ton during the Regency period as equals, although there was always the need to be wary for political and other reasons. There was a black Duke, for example, and I think his story was told in the first book. Even better than that, though, there were also some real people of color from that time who appeared in the book. The author's note at the back of the book gives more information on them and others. There were a few things about the book that I wasn't crazy about. The most important to me was that Daniel and Jemina's relationship seemed disjointed to me. The Widow's Grace society also bothered me a lot, as it seemed unlikely that women of wealth and high position in society would be sneaking around behaving like cat burglars, scaling balconies, for example, and rifling through desks. They were other alternatives for them, such as bribery, or putting a servant or two in the household to spy. Thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for giving me an ARC of this book. It was my pleasure to read and review it. .

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    2/5 This book... How to properly explain my experience with this book? I think, generally, I was very confused. I have not read the first book in this series, so that may be why I was so confused. I don't think this can be read as a standalone, and you should probably read the first one before this. I feel like I was really missing some context. I can't really fault the book for being part of a series, but I do wish there was more explanation at the beginning. Once I kind of understood what was go 2/5 This book... How to properly explain my experience with this book? I think, generally, I was very confused. I have not read the first book in this series, so that may be why I was so confused. I don't think this can be read as a standalone, and you should probably read the first one before this. I feel like I was really missing some context. I can't really fault the book for being part of a series, but I do wish there was more explanation at the beginning. Once I kind of understood what was going on, I enjoyed the book a lot more. I really liked the focus on race throughout this book. The Hero is Black, and the Heroine is from Jamaica. Themes of race and interracial relationships were explored, which I haven't often read in historical romance novels. It was refreshing and so welcome. I also liked the exploration of the role of women during this time and mental health. The book explored how women often had to fend for themselves in legal proceedings, and they didn't have agency in terms of their mental health. Any sort of mental illness, real or imagined by men in their lives, could get a woman imprisoned and no longer in control of her possessions or life. It honestly made me mad reading about it, and I'm glad that this book discussed it. That's about where my praise ends. I didn't love the characters very much. I didn't like that Jemina consistently hit Daniel whenever she was upset. And I didn't understand why their conflict dragged out for so long. If they had just communicated better with one another, the majority of the conflict within this novel could have been avoided. Conflict fueled solely by poor communication doesn't really do it for me. There were also some things left unfinished in this book, which I'm assuming will be cleared up in future books. So I would just caution people expecting this to be a typical romance book within a series; do not expect all loose ends to be tied up. You'll have to read the next book (I think) to get closure. This book just wasn't what I was expecting. And the parts that I did like, while lovely, didn't make up for the confusion, inconsistent pacing, and general lack of structure the book had. I wish I had liked it more. I'm super willing to check out other books by this author in the future, but this one was just not right for me. note: This book was provided to me by NetGalley and publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Vanessa Riley is doing an amazing job of writing historical romances that center characters of color and really grapple with the complex realities of colonization, enslavement, and colorism that characterized the time period and the immoral source of wealth for many of the British elite. She also includes interesting history at the end of the book for those who want to learn more. (and in case you were wondering, yes there were people of color in England at this time, including among noble famil Vanessa Riley is doing an amazing job of writing historical romances that center characters of color and really grapple with the complex realities of colonization, enslavement, and colorism that characterized the time period and the immoral source of wealth for many of the British elite. She also includes interesting history at the end of the book for those who want to learn more. (and in case you were wondering, yes there were people of color in England at this time, including among noble families!) An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler is the second book in a great series following widows in dire circumstances, often because the men around them want to keep them silent and control their resources. Sometimes by having them unethically committed to an asylum, which is also a thing that really did happen. In this book we follow a widow who has been freed from just such an asylum. She was one of the only survivors of a shipwreck and has amnesia, is unable to recall anything from her former life living as a white woman in Jamaica. Now she is much sought after in society for her exoticism and her twenty thousand pound dowry. The hero is a lawyer and earl who works to help women such as herself. He is also a biracial Black man who faces frequent racism and microagressions. He lost his bride to be in that same shipwreck and is now raising her young daughter. But he has secrets he doesn't want uncovered. I really loved the romance here and the relationship dynamic between the couple. They face many challenges, from conspiracy to racist oppression and must learn to trust each other. This also explores the realities of parenting a biracial child who doesn't look like you, which I can attest still causes challenges today. The book is slower paced and Riley has a unique writing style that can take awhile to get used to, but ultimately I liked this book a lot. And if you want a romance without explicit sex, this is a good option. On page we only have kissing and it takes a closed door approach to sex scenes, BUT Riley does a wonderful job of making the reader feel the chemistry and passion between the characters, which not everyone can do well. I would definitely recommend this. I received an advance copy for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Content warnings include gaslighting, violence, taking a child from a mother, racism and slurs, forced committal to an asylum, etc.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lit Shit Podcast

    Overall I was very confused with this book. The reason it gets 2 stars is because maybe this is because I did not read the first book so I am giving the author the benefit of that doubt. It did say standalone but I do wonder if it really is more a part of a series. What I liked about this book was that she really touched on what it would have been like for a man or woman who was colored of any variety to have to life in London. The main male character is David and he is a black lawyer and the ma Overall I was very confused with this book. The reason it gets 2 stars is because maybe this is because I did not read the first book so I am giving the author the benefit of that doubt. It did say standalone but I do wonder if it really is more a part of a series. What I liked about this book was that she really touched on what it would have been like for a man or woman who was colored of any variety to have to life in London. The main male character is David and he is a black lawyer and the main female character is a white woman name Jemina from Jamaica. The theme of race and how this impacts his job as well as his relationships with others is something I had not truly read in a historical romance novels. However I did not like these character very much. She drug out their conflicts through almost the whole book when it was clear to all what the truth was. This caused a lot of unnecessary strife and anger in the characters. I liked that she explored how women were sent to Bedlam back then if their family or husbands simply didn’t want to deal with them or wanted to cheat them out of an inheritance and there was nothing that the women could do to defend themselves. Overall she needed to expand her thoughts more as there were many unfinished thoughts, there were just too many loose ends not tied up. I would NOT consider this a romance novel by any means There were also some things left unfinished in this book, which I'm assuming will be cleared up in future books. So I would just caution people expecting this to be a typical romance book within a series; do not expect all loose ends to be tied up. You'll have to read the next book (I think) to get closure. At this point I don’t see myself reading another book by this author. I received this advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. -- Staci McIntyre

  24. 5 out of 5

    Staci McIntyre

    Overall I was very confused with this book. The reason it gets 2 stars is because maybe this is because I did not read the first book so I am giving the author the benefit of that doubt. It did say standalone but I do wonder if it really is more a part of a series. What I liked about this book was that she really touched on what it would have been like for a man or woman who was colored of any variety to have to life in London. The main male character is David and he is a black lawyer and the ma Overall I was very confused with this book. The reason it gets 2 stars is because maybe this is because I did not read the first book so I am giving the author the benefit of that doubt. It did say standalone but I do wonder if it really is more a part of a series. What I liked about this book was that she really touched on what it would have been like for a man or woman who was colored of any variety to have to life in London. The main male character is David and he is a black lawyer and the main female character is a white woman name Jemina from Jamaica. The theme of race and how this impacts his job as well as his relationships with others is something I had not truly read in a historical romance novels. However I did not like these character very much. She drug out their conflicts through almost the whole book when it was clear to all what the truth was. This caused a lot of unnecessary strife and anger in the characters. I liked that she explored how women were sent to Bedlam back then if their family or husbands simply didn’t want to deal with them or wanted to cheat them out of an inheritance and there was nothing that the women could do to defend themselves. Overall she needed to expand her thoughts more as there were many unfinished thoughts, there were just too many loose ends not tied up. I would NOT consider this a romance novel by any means There were also some things left unfinished in this book, which I'm assuming will be cleared up in future books. So I would just caution people expecting this to be a typical romance book within a series; do not expect all loose ends to be tied up. You'll have to read the next book (I think) to get closure. At this point I don’t see myself reading another book by this author. I received this advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Jemima St. Maur is a maid who ends up in an asylum after being shipwrecked and losing her memory. As she struggles to piece together recollections of her former life, she realizes that Daniel, the lawyer who arranged her release, may know more than he is willing to admit about her past. Jemima is a part of an organization called The Widow's Grace, who's mission is to help women who lack agency in a male-dominated society, to regain their freedom and independence. Together, Jemima, Daniel, and Th Jemima St. Maur is a maid who ends up in an asylum after being shipwrecked and losing her memory. As she struggles to piece together recollections of her former life, she realizes that Daniel, the lawyer who arranged her release, may know more than he is willing to admit about her past. Jemima is a part of an organization called The Widow's Grace, who's mission is to help women who lack agency in a male-dominated society, to regain their freedom and independence. Together, Jemima, Daniel, and The Widows Grace untangle a somewhat convoluted scheme and of course, fall in love. Having read the first book, I expected some of the melodrama of the book, and I will say that I preferred this one to the first. Jemima and Daniel are much better suited to one another, and in the first half of the book, I really enjoyed their banter. Once that banter dissipated in favor of sleuthing, the book slowed down quite a bit and their exchanges felt repetitive. The characters can only sigh wistfully about missing each other so long before it gets absurd and although there are two points of view in the narrative, they alternate 1st and 3rd person which led to some confusing chapters for me. To no fault of the series, I think I'm just past my fascination with the genre and would rather see diversely cast characters in settings outside of colonial monarchies. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in a relatively chaste historical romance with an injection of cultural and racial diversity. Thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for giving me an ARC of this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    This was an interesting story that kept me engaged until the end. I wasn’t quite sure how it would all play out, but it did satisfactorily. This series is set in the Regency era, but it shows a different, diverse side that was a nice change of pace. Jemina & Daniel are both returning characters from the first book. Jemina was rescued from Bedlam by Daniel and she cannot remember her life before. Daniel is a barrister, who has helped sane women escape Bedlam on a number of occasions, and he has re This was an interesting story that kept me engaged until the end. I wasn’t quite sure how it would all play out, but it did satisfactorily. This series is set in the Regency era, but it shows a different, diverse side that was a nice change of pace. Jemina & Daniel are both returning characters from the first book. Jemina was rescued from Bedlam by Daniel and she cannot remember her life before. Daniel is a barrister, who has helped sane women escape Bedlam on a number of occasions, and he has recently inherited an earldom. Much of the book delves into uncovering Jemina’s past and how that process threatens Daniel’s tightly held secrets. The romance was ok, but it didn’t feel central as much as it should. It also blew too hot and cold, without much in between. I did think it more convincing than the first book, though. The flow of the story was the weakest part of this read for me. Between chapters there could be large or small time jumps, but there were basically no transitional sentences to orient the reader. It doesn’t help that the narrative switches back and forth from first person (Jemina’s) to third person, but I think some work on transitions would go a long way in helping the flow of the story. All in all, I thought this was an enjoyable read despite some issues. The plot was certainly intriguing and I would recommend if looking for an HR with an intricate plot. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book. Views are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Palmer

    ****ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****** If you are a fan of Bridgerton then this may be a book you would enjoy. It gave me the same historical vibes and very similar, we both want each other but can't pull our shit together at the same time, energy. This story is a historical romance about Jemina, a woman who no-one truly knows, including herself. She was one of the only survivors of a terrible ship-wreck, that may have left her with her life, but with no memory of her ****ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****** If you are a fan of Bridgerton then this may be a book you would enjoy. It gave me the same historical vibes and very similar, we both want each other but can't pull our shit together at the same time, energy. This story is a historical romance about Jemina, a woman who no-one truly knows, including herself. She was one of the only survivors of a terrible ship-wreck, that may have left her with her life, but with no memory of her past. She becomes a part of the "Widow's Grace" and becomes determined to find the truth of her past. But in the meantime she will dedicate her time and effort in helping other Widows get back their lives, property, and children. In her search for the truth of her past, Jemina comes upon something she was not searching for... Love. Daniel Thackery was widowered by his late wife, in the same ship-wreck that stole Jemina's memory, and left with a baby that becomes his new life and love. He isin't searching for a relationship but then he comes upon Jemina and they both embark upon a journey to truth and find more than they bargained for in the arms of one another. *Side-note if you like your historical romances on the spicy side this may not be the book for you. There is a slow burn but it all stays very PG.. maybe PG-13 in the descriptions of the romantic interludes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joyce M. H.

    I have had the opportunity to read several books by Vanessa Riley. She is a great writer, her characters are believable, enjoyable, ready to go and are well put together. I also saw an interview with her and Brown Book Series - Shay Bohannon. It was awesome. I am a book fan of historical romance, for me historical romance has something extra added into the mix that makes for a more enjoyable read. I read the first book in this series and knew I wanted to read the next book in the series. I’m glad I have had the opportunity to read several books by Vanessa Riley. She is a great writer, her characters are believable, enjoyable, ready to go and are well put together. I also saw an interview with her and Brown Book Series - Shay Bohannon. It was awesome. I am a book fan of historical romance, for me historical romance has something extra added into the mix that makes for a more enjoyable read. I read the first book in this series and knew I wanted to read the next book in the series. I’m glad that Jemina got her book. Jemina developed amnesia after surviving being shipwrecked on the Minerva. She remembers very little except for her name. Jemina is a widow that was in the mental hospital in Bedlam that Daniel rescues her from and is the nephew of one of the Widow’s Grace leaders. Daniel holds the secrets to Jemina’s past and her future. He also knows the mystery about the Minerva and doesn’t want Jemina to uncover the secrets and mystery. They are the perfect couple. They have both lost and loved. It is so cute that they don’t see what others see about their relationship. It took them sometime to figure it out; but they did figure it out. I loved the history that came with the two characters. There are trust issue and mystery but they seem to handle them fairly well. Thank you Netgalley and Zebra Books for giving me the opportunity to receive an ARC. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brinley

    I refuse to believe that this book was only 350 pages. It took me so long to read, and I had to force myself to read it. Looking back, I'm not even sure why I did. It was a slog, and not one with any bright points. I guess the one thing I would have to commend this book on is giving the child a personality. In the first book, the baby kind of irritated me, since it was only there as a plot device. Hope was adorable in this one, and I loved how she actually played a part in the book. However, all I refuse to believe that this book was only 350 pages. It took me so long to read, and I had to force myself to read it. Looking back, I'm not even sure why I did. It was a slog, and not one with any bright points. I guess the one thing I would have to commend this book on is giving the child a personality. In the first book, the baby kind of irritated me, since it was only there as a plot device. Hope was adorable in this one, and I loved how she actually played a part in the book. However, all of the personality she was given was taken from the other characters. I spent hours reading this, and I can't tell you a single trait of Daniel or Jemina. They overreacted constantly, and that was the extent of their personality. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy angst, but the angst in this was terrible. It was repetitive, and over the same issues every time. Seriously, if the characters had a single conversation, the book could've been 100 pages shorter. It got to the point where everything about the book was irritating me. My BR buddy enjoyed this much more than I did, so I might just be an outlier. I just despised the characters, and the plot was almost nonexistent. On top of that, I still have no idea what the Widows Grace is, which is a shame, because it sounds super interesting. I wouldn't recommend this, but some people have clearly loved it. Thanks to Vanessa Riley and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brittany E

    I have been looking forward to reading this book since I read A Duke, the Lady and a Baby and was really excited to get access to an ARC and let me say--- it did NOT disappoint. Jemina St. Maur’s story is an interesting one and this book really does have you second-guessing things along the way. Jemina lost her memory in a shipwreck, along with her husband, and was sent to an insane asylum by her late husband’s family. She does not know anything that happened before the accident but she does kno I have been looking forward to reading this book since I read A Duke, the Lady and a Baby and was really excited to get access to an ARC and let me say--- it did NOT disappoint. Jemina St. Maur’s story is an interesting one and this book really does have you second-guessing things along the way. Jemina lost her memory in a shipwreck, along with her husband, and was sent to an insane asylum by her late husband’s family. She does not know anything that happened before the accident but she does know that Daniel Thackery, the barrister who saved her and continues to help her and The Widow’s Grace, is handsome and he makes her feel things. Daniel’s story is also twisted and as things are revealed about the two of them everything becomes more and more complicated and so much more interesting. Overall, I loved the book and the characters, it was a refreshing twist on the classic regency romance. There were a few twists I did not see coming, but in hindsight make sense, the best kinds of twists. The characters were lovable and offered insight into what it must feel to be an outsider in society. It was an adorable read and satisfied my need to learn more about Jemina after reading A Duke, the Lady and a Baby. Thank you to the publishers for giving me early access in exchange for an honest review.

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