G. Bianco, 2019
Anna Bennett is well known for her historical romance novels and her newest novel only solidifies her place as a masterful writer of the genre. Girls Before Earls, which kicks off her newest series and comes out on December 28th, features a rogue-turned-guardian and a strict headmistress who, despite their initial dislike for one another, grow to care for one another as well as grow as characters.
To survive her difficult childhood, Miss Hazel Lively relied on two things:a tough outer shell and a love of books. Now, at the age of twenty-eight, she’s finally realized her life-long dream of opening a school for girls. She’s hoping that the wealthy families who flock to the shore for the summer will entrust their daughters to Bellehaven Academy―and help pay the way for less fortunate students. All Hazel must do is maintain a flawless reputation and raise a good deal of money. It’s a foolproof plan…till a sinfully handsome earl strides into her office. Gabriel Beckett, Earl of Bladenton, has had a monstrous headache since the day his teenaged niece became his ward. She’s been expelled from two London boarding schools and is doing her damnedest to scare off his potential fiancée. But Blade has a plan of his own―enroll his niece at Bellehaven Academy, where she’ll be out of town and out of his hair. He just needs to convince the buttoned-up headmistress with the soulful brown eyes to take on his niece. When Blade makes a generous offer to the school, it’s impossible for Hazel to refuse. But she has one non-negotiable condition: the earl must visit his niece every other week. Soon, Blade discovers there’s much more to Hazel than meticulous lesson plans. In moonlit seaside coves and candlelit ballrooms, their sparring leads to flirtation…and something altogether deeper. But the passion that flares between them poses a threat to Hazel’s school and Blade’s battered heart. They say a good thing can’t last forever, but true love? Well, it just might…
I really loved this book! It’s not a shocker that I’m a fan of historical romance novels, but this one just filled me with so many emotions. Watching Hazel and Blade fall in love, Hazel’s interactions with the girls of Bellehaven Academy, the girls becoming friends, and all of the drama that ensues made me laugh, cry, and just fall in love with this book.
I am very excited to continue reading this series when the next book comes out and I will definitely be checking out the rest of Bennett’s books in the future.
*I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion.
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