The Earl's Awakening by Joy Lynn Fielding

Leander, a widower still mourning the loss of his wife, has a hard time with his mother and brother wanting him to remarry. He is beyond bored with his life and tired or attending the events where he is expected to suffer through the available girls looking for a husband. He meets Arden and his life changes. Many twists to this story that kept it interesting.

From the blurb for The Earl's Awakening:

One glance, and his past life was history.

Leander Talbot’s life changed forever when his wife died. He is now reluctantly venturing back into

society, knowing that, as the Earl of Ockley, he must marry again to produce an heir. But he can’t bring himself to the sticking point. Instead, he spends his time evading the matchmaking mamas of the ton.

The dark and dangerous Duke of Arden is an infamous libertine. It is said that he seduces innocents, and there are even more sinister tales whispered of his predilections. Only the wild young blades who form his retinue know the truth, but he is shunned by all save those wishing to court notoriety.

A chance meeting brings Leander into Arden’s orbit. Ignoring the warnings about Arden’s intentions, Leander is drawn into a seductive world of sexual indulgence. There, he finds the freedom he craves from his overbearing family. By the time he suspects Arden might have ulterior motives, it may be too late to save his reputation—and his heart.

Reedkaye's Review:

The Earl's Awakening is an opposites/ instant attraction/ awakening story. Leander is a widower who can’t get over losing his wife. He has a mother and brother that pushes him to move on and remarry. He is sort of forced into the social events and suffers them until he meets Arden.  

Arden has a reputation for being beyond the bad boy. There is an attraction between the two, but Leander is fearful that Arden only has an interest in ruining his reputation. The problem is Leander is searching for something to make his life more bearable and Arden’s attention gives him that until he is faced with Arden’s intentions.  

Everything is not as it seems and Leander ends up faced with issues he is not wanting in his life. There are so many twists to this story that it was hard to set down. I did feel more than once Leander was maybe a little too easy to sway without thought. I wished Leander had dealt with Henry a lot stronger. I enjoyed the story and will read more by this author.

Rating: 4 Stars

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Historical. Single POV. Quick read. 

Being an earl expected to marry to continue his bloodline wears on Leander and he finds his boredom only pierced by the unexpected acquaintance of the Duke of Arden. When Leander slowly falls under the spell of Arden’s debauchery and becomes his lover, there are moments of freedom and bliss away from society's expectations. However, Leander cannot be sure that he wasn’t just a plaything to Arden, meant to humiliate and perhaps ruin Leander’s reputation. 

As this story is only in Leander’s POV, it was hard to understand Arden’s motivations and feelings. There is a fair amount of angst surrounding Leander’s family responsibilities and the fear that his interactions with Arden will be revealed to their peers. 

I enjoy the historical setting and writing by the author. Plenty of steam, and an ending that hopefully leaves Leander safely in Arden’s safekeeping, if only the author could have given them a more settled HFN. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Told from a single POV, The Earl's Awakening is a bi-awakening story that plays with both the MC's and the reader's emotions.  There were elements of this story that I adored, but there were other places where I just wanted more...  In this book, you can definitely see the range of historical reactions to sexuality, which was interesting, but I found myself wanting more depth of understanding about Arden and I found that the ending was somewhat abrupt - I think if the story continued just a little longer, I would have gotten what I craved, even with the single POV.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Earl's Awakening is available to buy as in ebook and paperback formats.