Book Review, Historical, Series, St. Martin's Press

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love #3) by Amelia Grey


Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?


I like nothing more than reading about reformed rakes and the women that steal their hearts and Zane Browning, the Earl of Blacknight is a rake of the first order. The duties of being Earl have fell upon him due to a terrible family accident and he is sweating at the list of duties that is required of him.  But that’s the least of his troubles. He has spotted the woman that captured his attention in Paris by getting him out of a delicate situation and he has a plan to return the favor. He loves a challenge, but will it backfire on him?

Mrs. Brina Feld is a well-respected widow who is devoted to her charity work in London and helping with the local boarding school for girls. The last thing she expected when she was in Paris was to untie a handsome man from a chair locked away in a bedroom. But that wasn’t what she remembered most. It was the kiss he planted on her for helping him get free. And now that man, a gambler and the black sheep of the Blacknight family, is offering her a very public wager that she will marry him by midnight on the last ball of the Season. He needs to be taught a lesson.

I love the fact that Zane is so passionate and sure of his feelings for Brina. They make such a good pair. His self-assuredness and confidence that he will win are tempered a bit when she brashly wagers (in front of several onlookers at the latest ball no less) that he cannot drink, gamble, swear or be with any woman during the same time period.  And the bets are on.

Brina plays the good widow willing to teach him manners and proper etiquette as an Earl, but she reveals a very ardent and enticing streak of her own when it comes to enjoying Zanes kisses and encouraging him to race recklessly through the streets of London to avoid being followed. Her unfounded guilt from the loss of her husband is strong so she tries to atone by refusing to marry again, but fate has something to say about that. And may I say, her gesture at the last ball of the Season is magnificent!

Zane’s persistent charm and “enchanting devilment” are delicious and his gentleness and thoughtfulness with Brina are lovely. What I like most about him is that he maintains his integrity and refuses to become the pompous nobility that his family expects of him. He also proves to be a caring and respectable man with his concern for his cousin Robert as he sacrifices his happiness to help him.

The characters are very likable and I look forward to reading the other two books in this series to learn about Adeline’s and Julia’s stories.

I recommend this enchanting historical romance for those who love a fun and challenging wager in the game of love.

Thank you to Ms. Grey, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


How to Train Your Earl

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Amelia Grey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen. She’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since.

Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award, and she has also won the Aspen Gold, and Golden Quill awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia’s books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.

Follow Amelia on her website and Facebook.