I received the book The Earl Next Door (The Bachelor Lords of London # 1) by Charis Michaels as a review copy courtesy Instrafreebie. It is a story set in England in 1809.
American heiress Piety Grey is on the run. Suddenly in London and facing the renovation of a crumbling townhouse, she’s determined to make a new life for herself—anything is better than returning to New York City where a cruel mother and horrid betrothal await her. The last thing she needs is a dark, tempting earl inciting her at every turn…
Trevor Rheese, the Earl of Falcondale, isn’t interested in being a good neighbor. After fifteen years of familial obligation, he’s finally free. But when the disarmingly beautiful Piety bursts through his wall—and into his life—his newfound freedom is threatened…even as his curiosity is piqued.
Once Piety’s family arrives in London, Falcondale suddenly finds himself in the midst of a mock courtship to protect the seductive woman who’s turned his world upside down. It’s all for show—or at least it should be. But if Falcondale isn’t careful, he may find a very real happily ever after with the woman of his dreams…
Lady Frinfrock, the marchioness, is an old lady who stays on Henrietta Place with Miss Breedlowe. The book begins with Lady Frinfrock observing Piety Grey coming to the neighbourhood. So she instructs Miss Breedlowe, her companion to investigate. And the story begins.
Having inherited her father’s wealth, Piety Grey buys a house in Henrietta Place, London, England, far, far away from her mother in America in order to avoid getting married to one of her stepbrothers who wants to marry her for her wealth. She moves there with Tiny, her maid and now her friend. The house is in a bad shape and she wants the restoration to be complete and both of them well settled in before her mother’s new family arrives to take her back to America. Her neighbour, the Earl of Falcondale, from whom she has bought the house through her solicitors, had also agreed to give her and Tiny accommodation. Except that the Earl of Falcondale is not the one with whom all the dealings happened but Trevor Rheese. And to top it all, their houses are connected to each other by a secret passageway between the second floors. Moreover, her staircase is damaged and the only way she can access her second floor is through his house.
Trevor Rheese, the new Earl, has just inherited the title, the property and the debts. He is tired of responsibility and wants to be free. He has sold off the furniture, let go of the staff and is now in the process of selling his inherited house in order to pay off his debts and leave London. He lives in the empty house with one young man, Joseph for company.
Lady Frinfrock takes upon herself to be the moral police of the neighbourhood and tells her companion, Miss Breedlowe to move in with Piety and keeps Tiny. She also gives them a maid.
The repair work begins and so does the interaction and attraction between Trevor and Piety. And then her youngest step brother appears and the others are to follow and Lady Frinfrock and her entourage along with Piety and Tiny move to the Marchioness’s estate in the country.
For a debut novel, the author has done well. She has written a novel dated back in 1809. The characters are detailed and the plot which breaks into the plots. The stepbrothers are funny. I loved Mrs Frinfrock and her antics.