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The Inconvenient Houseguest (A Very Village Scandal #1) by Virginia Heath

The Earls Inconvenient Houseguest


The earl she loved to hate…until she stayed in his mansion!

Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village which forms part of it. But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man. After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch…


The Inconvenient Houseguest is a charming historical romance about an outspoken woman determined to keep her home and an unyielding war hero set on selling the land she lives on. An indelible battle cry if I ever heard one!

Land isn’t the only thing Rafe inherited from his unknown distant cousin. Unfortunately, he has to contend with the 500 angry villagers his greedy cousin left behind who are led by Miss Sophie Gilbert an outspoken and outrageous young woman who is the bane of his existence. But then tragedy strikes and Rafe sees another side to the beautiful woman who challenges him. His growing attraction is futile, but he can’t compete with a ghost from her past and his heart is just too jaded to risk anything between them. Little did he know Sophie’s techniques of persuasion.

Sophie is a spinster past her prime who has lived with her Aunt Jemima ever since that horrible day ten years ago. She vowed never to return to the father that threw her out. Even after Sophie and Jemima’s cottage burned to the ground and they were saved by the ill-tempered Earl Rafe Peel who is bound and determined to sell the land they live on. But her temporary stay under his roof has made her see the careful and kind man under the gruff mask. Her attraction to Rafe is growing and her passionate nature takes over as she is content to share her body, but protect her heart. However, not everything goes as planned.

The volatile nature of Rafe and Sophie’s first meetings are funny and enlightening to how their relationship will be in the future.  They are both very intelligent and stubborn people who have important responsibilities to their families, and they have had tragic pasts that hinder their ability to see what’s right in front of their faces. As they are forced together after the fire, it’s fun to watch these two headstrong people grow to respect and care for each other. Rafe’s love and protection of his brother Archie are admirable. He has made Archie his priority and his actions, though incorrect as Sophie points out, are to keep his brother safe from prejudice and unkindness. Sophie also has a responsibility to her aunt who almost died in the fire, but the devastation of losing her home and belongings has added to the grief she never expressed from her loss so many years ago. It’s Rafe who insists she let it all out which opens the door to the passionate woman she used to be by going against 19th-century propriety and seducing the very willing Rafe. I love how Rafe falls first, and Sophie comes around just in time. 

I love the delightful Archie who is a boy in a man’s body. He is so full of life and masterful manipulation when it comes to Sophie and Rafe. Sophie’s natural kindness and love for Archie are evident when she does not hesitate to introduce him and his unbelieving and protective brother to the wonderfully accepting people in the village. 

If you love historical romance with bold beautiful characters who like to go against the norm, please give this lovely book a try.

Thank you to Ms. Heath for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Virginia HeathWhen Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty-two books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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