Thursday, May 6, 2021

Showcase- How to Train Your Earl by Amelia Grey

Today I'm spotlighting Amelia Grey's latest in her First Comes Love series, How To Train Your Earl.

ISBN-13:  9781250218803
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 4-27-2021
Length: 352pp
First Comes Love #3
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound


A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller 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?

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Brina Feld should have known a lady wasn’t safe from rakes, rogues, and scoundrels at a masked ball in Paris. It was a scoundrel who currently had her in his sights as she raced down one of the dimly lit corridors in the chateau with hopes of getting away from him.

A proper gentleman never forgot who he was, no matter if his face was hidden. Even in Paris. Which only confirmed that the one chasing her was no gentleman at all, and she should have never agreed to attend this grand masquerade.

Intent on finding a hiding place until it was time to meet her aunt, Brina started searching for a room. From somewhere behind her, she heard the drunken man call out to her once more, his wine-soaked voice echoing against the marble walls.

Fearful of being cornered again by him, she quickly opened the first door she came to and slammed herself inside. Feeling beneath the knob, she found the key and engaged the lock. Smugly, she turned toward the opulent room, only to stop cold.

There in the center of the classical French sitting room with its bee and acorn motifs embroidered on the draperies and cushions, a man sat in a throne-like chair in front of the fireplace. He seemed to be as startled as she. Neither of them spoke. He was clothed in a white shirt and black trousers. No coat, waistcoat, or even shoes were in sight.

With an uptick in her already racing heart, she glanced about. It appeared that aside from the exquisite figures in the sweeping murals on the walls, they were alone. Concern jolted through her. Had she escaped one menace only to find another?

But concern turned to surprise when he snapped in perfect English, “Don’t just stand there, come untie me.”

Untie him?

Brina peered more intently. Even though he was sitting, she could tell he was tall and wide through the chest and shoulders, yet his waist gave no hint of overindulgent suppers. Unlike some of the flamboyantly painted masks she’d seen throughout the evening, he wore a simple black satin cover over his eyes and bridge of his nose. More importantly, he really was tied to the chair. His wrists were secured to the arms of the chair with a long scarf.

Although she was somewhat unnerved by the power she sensed within him, she took a tentative step toward him.

“My heavens, you’re bound. Why?”

“This isn’t the time for questions,” he stated, his commanding voice clipped as his hands turned into white-knuckled fists. “Hurry.”

He struggled and strained against what held him, like a panther pulling against bindings.

In the glow of lamp and firelight she saw his muscles bulge against the fine linen of his shirt. Her heart beat a little faster. Her trepidation waned as curiosity grew.

She had always been far too enquiring and told repeatedly when younger that curiosity was not an admirable trait in a lady. Usually, she could tamp that down, but she’d never seen a man in such a state.

“Are you a thief and wanting to get away?” she asked, ignoring his command.

“A thief?” He sounded more than a little outraged and stomped his feet in frustration.

“There’s the matter of your hands being bound, and you are wearing a mask.”

“You’re wearing one too,” he answered tightly. “Everyone at the party has one.”

Her fingers came to the silken demi mask her aunt had given her. That was true. The only reason she’d agreed to wear the outrageously bright pink gown and come to the masquerade ball was because identities were hidden. Which was why she wouldn’t ask his name and certainly didn’t want him to know hers.

“True, but not everyone is trussed up like a goose bound for the Christmas dinner table.” She then considered him for a moment. “If you are not a thief or common footpad, then certainly someone caught you trying to do something you shouldn’t have been doing and now has gone for the magistrate.”

He glared at her. “I assure you I am no thief or criminal of any kind. Now come untie me. I don’t have time for this,” he said, urgency lacing every word.

Of course, the sensible thing for her to do was leave the room. She was clever enough to know it would stir an unrecoverable scandal if she were caught with a half-dressed man, even in forward-thinking Paris. But then, from behind her, the doorknob and key beneath it rattled, jarring her.

Tension coiled tightly inside her. The oaf was still looking for her.

She glanced about and saw no other escape. Clearly, fleeing back to a man who was accosting her wasn’t an option. Instead, she moved closer to the stranger, deciding she was better off with this man who easily commanded a room, even tied up, than the brandy-faced scoundrel on the other side of the door.

Moments later she heard him softly call her name again, farther down the corridor and away from the door. Satisfied that threat was behind her, she stepped around a settee and noticed a black coat, red waistcoat, and white neckcloth strewn across the floor. There they were!

Her gaze swept to the man’s face. His wide inflexible mouth was set in a grimace. There was a hardness to his jawline and chin. Even with the mask, she could see his eyes were a dark, deep shade of blue. Thick hair, almost as black and shiny as his disguise, fell across his forehead, down past his ears, and brushed the back of his neck.

She was unbelievably aware of him, how strongly masculine he looked and attractive he was. If one were inclined to fall for the massively arrogant type who could probably make a lady blush to the highest degree. Which, of course, she wasn’t.

Though she had to admit this man stood out and piqued her interest with his unusual situation.

“Hurry,” her stranger barked again.

Her stranger?

What was she thinking? Brina shook the thought away as ridiculous.

“Maybe you’re not a thief, but a swindler or someone equally dishonorable. You certainly didn’t tie yourself to that chair, sir.”

He made a growling noise that left her no doubt he was nail-spitting mad at being in such a desperate position.

“You obviously did something, and you must be dangerous. You look strong and…” She felt a fluttering in her chest at the thought of just how strong he did look with his shirt parted at his throat and his trousers molding to his hips and legs in a most fitting manner. “Anyway, as if it would take several men to get the best of you.”

“Yes, but unfortunately only one devious woman,” he muttered past clenched teeth.

“A woman?” Brina’s cheeks warmed and her heart started pounding again. She could barely get her breath. Still, she stepped closer and nudged the exceedingly well-tailored waistcoat with the toe of her dainty slipper. “Well, she must have had good reason.”

“That is a matter of opinion,” he grumbled and renewed his struggle against the fastenings that held his wrists. “I told you I don’t have time for this.”

She considered him, tapping her finger to her lips, as if he’d said nothing at all. “Are you going after the woman who tied you?”

He sucked in an exasperated gulp of breath. “Certainly not. If you must know before you will give me assistance, I am going after my foolish cousin. He is about to ruin his life, and I must stop him. Now, can we get on with this?”

Brina studied him more carefully, searching what she could see of his countenance in hopes of determining the truthfulness of his words. She had to admit, she was fascinated by his predicament. After drawing in a deep breath, she released it slowly. He wanted very badly to be freed, and it was within her power to do that for him.

Oddly, she didn’t feel threatened, and it wasn’t because he was tied. Despite his gruffness, she felt drawn to him in a way she didn’t understand. And frankly, that he’d captured her full attention at all was unusual. She’d been a widow almost five years and, in that time, hadn’t given any gentleman a second glance. In truth, she’d simply never expected to be attracted to a man again. And by no means, one who was bound to a chair, brash as the day was long, and barking orders at her like a general directing his soldiers.

But there was something that pulled her in to his situation and made her want to be a part of it, if only for a short time, and even though he looked much like the drawings she’d seen of plundering pirates. She couldn’t conceive of the possibility that she’d ever have the opportunity to be so close to a rake again. Certainly not to aid one.

How could she walk away without giving this further thought? Too, if she freed him, she could lock herself inside until it was time to meet her aunt.

“Before I decide whether to help you, tell me what dreadful thing your cousin is going to do?”

“He’s running off to get married,” he said with a hasty scoff and a stomp of his bare foot. “Would you please untie me now so I can save him?”

Curiosity struck again. “What do you have against marriage, sir?”

He blew out a deep sigh of impatience before flatly stating, “In general, nothing. When it comes to my impressionable and impulsive cousin, everything. His father should never have allowed him to come to Paris unattended. Or worse, expected me to look after him once he arrived.”

It was Brina’s turn to scoff at the man, and she quickly did so. “I happen to believe in love, sir.”

A breath hissed through his teeth. “Love has nothing to do with this. It’s his name, prestige, and money the woman is after. Specifically, his family’s money and name.”

Brina noticed the discarded clothing again and something occurred to her. A gasp caught in her throat. He must, indeed, be a rake and of the highest order. And he expected her to help him.

“You said you were tied up by a woman. Were you seducing your cousin’s fiancée?” she exclaimed in an unladylike volume.

“What?” he asked on another sizzling breath of exasperation. “I wasn’t seducing anyone. Hell’s teeth. The woman in question was seducing me. And no, it was not his fiancée. Her older, wiser sister. The minx was stalling me so I wouldn’t find out about the elopement until it was too late to stop the young buck. There may still be time if you will do the right thing and untie me so I can go after them. I have been a guest in the chateau many times and know of a hidden passage that will lead me out to the grounds quickly.”

Hidden passages that led outside?

That aroused her interest even more. Brina wavered. By his own admission of how he became tied, she knew he wasn’t a respectable man. There wasn’t a reason in the world she should feel any sense of responsibility to help him, but she believed the story about his cousin. And that was what made the difference. More than most, she could understand someone wanting to protect their loved ones and keep them from making a mistake that would alter their life forever. Brina had almost made one that certainly would have changed hers.

Her gaze drifted down to the open neck of his shirt. The cadence of her breathing changed again. What she didn’t want to think further about was the manner in which he became tied or how he looked in his state of half-dress. He was stirring desires in her that she couldn’t possibly entertain. Such a thing wasn’t for ladies to dwell on.

Not even a widow.

However, she felt a little amusement knowing it was a woman who’d gotten the best of him—no matter the reasons or means.

Nerve-racking silence stretched between them while she contemplated what to do.

“Enough of this!” he demanded fiercely. “What must I promise you in order to be released from this chair?”

A shiver stole over her, daring and courage surging together inside her. For a moment she had the unimaginable thought of kneeling before him and kissing the base of his throat. Brina had never done a reckless thing in her life, and she had the feeling he knew that. Knew of her sudden and unexpected desire to have his strong-looking arms wrapped around her, his hard body pressed against hers.

Another wild, forbidden idea suddenly entered her mind. It thrilled her down to her toes. Something that shouldn’t have occurred to her. What if she told him she would untie him if he would agree to take her with him on his journey through the hidden passages to find his cousin?

But as quickly as the exciting thought surfaced, she shook it away. She couldn’t entertain anything so drastic and unlike her. It would be madness. But the fleeting contemplation had sent an exhilarating rush of anticipation shooting through her that wouldn’t soon pass.

“All right,” she answered on a breathy sigh, knowing she was going out on a very shaky limb but willing to do it. “No promises are necessary. I’m going to have faith you are telling the truth and that I am doing the right thing in freeing you.”

She hurried behind him and knelt at the back of the chair, feeling the tension in his muscles and sensing his excitement to finally be liberated as she worked the tight knots in the long, narrow scarf.

Her trusting him might be the biggest mistake of his cousin’s life and quite possibly hers too, should anyone in London ever find out she was in the room with this man. Or, heaven forbid, that she had willingly freed a man who had broken the law.

He brushed off the last of the bindings and rose, standing six-feet tall or more. He was as formidable as she had suspected, with ruggedly masculine good looks. His wide shoulders narrowed to a hard-muscled waist. Just the kind of man she normally ignored. Now, she watched him move quickly and jerk back into his garments and shoes. But when she thought he would hurry away without a backward glance, he stopped, turned, and stared at her.

Brina felt a shivering awareness pass between them. It was a sensation she hadn’t felt in years, and it left her feeling as if something startling, luscious, and magical had happened. Desire wasn’t an appropriate emotion for this situation or for her.


Copyright © 2021 by Amelia Grey.
The series in order

About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of over twenty-five books, including the Heirs' Club trilogy and the Rakes of St. James series. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.


  1. This book sounds amazing! It's been a minute since I've read Amelia Grey and I need to pick up this series! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Debbie!

    Simply Angela

  2. Ha, love the title. I've not tried her books before.

  3. Sounds like it will be a great read, love the title. Speaks of woman power!

    1. yes and in that era there wasn't that much woman power Kathryn