Cover Image: An Earl Unmasked

An Earl Unmasked

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Member Reviews

I love this new series. Who cant resist word puzzles and an amazing library? The chemistry between Diana and Randall is electric from the first meeting. Diana is the perfect person to help bring Randall out of his self imposed isolation.

I loved the relationship between Diana and her siblings and I look forward to seeing what's in store for this entertaining family.

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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An Earl Unmasked is an adequate romance. It has a tormented hero, a determined heroine, and a promising premise. Sadly, it falls short on many facets that would have made this an outstanding first instalment to a fabulous series.
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I recieved a free copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 
I did enjoy this book.  This is the first book I have read by this author and i look forward to the next book in the series.
Diana has been visiting her elderly neighbor who gives her riddles to solve.  He offers her 1 more riddle if she doesn't not wed during her first season.
With the passing of his father, Randal has returned for the war to take up his new title.  When Diana invades his lands, he is flabbergasted.
And so her entire family swarms his home.
Almost the entire book takes place over 3 days so there is definitely instalove which i usually hate but I didn't mind it so much in this book.
Randal and Diana were a cute couple even if there wasn't much conflict.
To be honest I think I was much more interested in Diana's older sister Minerva who has vowed to marry the man who beats her in chess even though she loves her childhood friend Drake.
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I Loved It! The first in Ladies of Risk series does not disappoint. From the first page to the last An Earl Unmasked will keep your attention from the moment you begin the journey with Diana and Randal until the very end. It unfolds beautifully as it weaves a story from beginning to end with threads of intrigue, a puzzle to solve, and the Malbury siblings who invade his home. Rachel Ann Smith has written a story that's filled with characters that weave a story that will hold you spellbound as their individual personalities become more than just part of the tale they come off the pages and pull you in, enjoyable situations, the book flowed well from one thing to another without being forced, and a very enjoyable plot.
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The first book of the series ‘Ladies of Risk’. 
Lady Diana Malbury is known for her charm and intelligence, why else would she rather solve another one of the late Earl of Chestwick’s word puzzles than entertain potential suitors for the Season?
Randal Wilson, the new Earl of Chestwick, has returned from the war a decorated hero but also wounded and angry. His estate is off-limits to everyone. Why would the Beast of Chestwick allow the mindless fools of society to infiltrate his private world when he has greater things to worry about, like getting back to the war front.
Suddenly Diana and Randal are forced to rethink their solitary is a riddle that only two hearts can solve together.
It's a quick and fun read. If you like light, sweet and entertaining historical romance, this is definitely for you.
There is not too much happening, no twist, but I enjoy the relaxing reading experience. Both of the main characters are lovely, I am looking forward the next one.
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An Earl Unmasked is a cute story with no real conflicts in spite of what the description and early chapters suggest. The basic premise is the Beauty and the Beast trope, and Diana somewhat fits the bill: She's sweet and lovely, loves to read, and has a propensity for visiting a house she isn't invited to. Randal, however, makes a terrible Beast. True, he has scars, but it's also true that his scars are rarely mentioned and hardly grotesque. True, he posts "no trespassing" signs, yet he never once attempts to toss someone off his property, even the ones that deserve it. From the beginning, he's clearly presented as a softie with an immediate and honorable interest in Diana. An interest that Diana returns.

So pretty much from the first, the two are adorable together, and, essentially, they are willing victims of instalove. Randal has no family to encourage or discourage a match; Diana's brothers and sisters--a brilliant and somewhat chaotic menagerie--pretty much consider a match a done deal. A fair amount of the story is dedicated to setting up their novels.

A few plot points are presented that never pan out. Diana ostensibly comes to Randal's estate to solve a puzzle that Randal's father left for her. The two pursue and solve a handful of clues, but there is never a grand discovery. Also, when Diana first comes across Randal supine and seemingly unconscious, he awakens and states that someone attacked him. He also admits that he still suffers from dizzy spells from his war injury. However, that's the last we hear about either issue.

To be fair, I enjoyed this story and rooted for their HEA. But it wasn't a story that pulled me in and kept me reading into the night.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
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This is my first time reading anything written by Rachel Ann Smith.  I totally enjoyed this story and look forward to reading the other books in the series.
I loved the characters.  It seemed Lady Diana was more interested in returning home to solve a puzzle than finding a husband during the season.  Randal appeared tough, but was really a softie inside.
The Malbury siblings were very entertaining.  It will be interesting to see if Lord Drake and Lord Cunningham are also included in the future stories.
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Ms. Smith is one of my favorite authors and I was excited to start this new series of hers. This is the first installment of her new Ladies of Risk series and it is off to a splendid start! Lady Diana has no interest in suitors or society. Being a true bluestocking, her idea of a good time is solving one of the late Earl of Chestwick's word puzzles. Before his passing, the Earl's last challenge to her was that if she did not marry this Season she could come to the estate and solve the latest puzzle by way of his most impressive library. However when Randall, the new Earl, returns from the war, he doesn't allow anyone to intrude on his property. A decorated war hero, he is wounded and angry and wants nothing more than to be left alone. But Diana is not discouraged and before the grumpy Earl realizes what has happened, he is hosting a house party. Sparks undoubtedly fly between these two and it is not until Diana and her family leave, that he realizes how much he wants and needs her. This was a very entertaining and enjoyable story that captured my interest right from the start and kept it all the way through. A well-written story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Looking forward to the next installment!

Thank you  Dragonblade Publishing and Netgalley for providing a complimentary copy.  This is my honest and voluntary review.
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What an enjoyable book to read. Diana is fascinated with puzzles and Randal, the Earl of Chestwick’s extensive library holds the clues to her latest puzzle. Randal the new Earl is recuperating/hiding at his country home when Diana finds him lying on the ground, when she was sneaking onto his property. 
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was lighthearted and funny. There was some tension during the chess match. All in all it was delightful easy reading. There were some questions I had that weren’t explained but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
I received this book from the Author via NetGalley. I’m voluntarily leaving my honest review.
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I really enjoyed Randal and Diana's story! I loved watching Diana worm her way into Randal's heart and break him out of his self imposed exile.
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Very enjoyable read. This is my first from this author and I am excited to read more. A great sunshine and grump story. I love puzzles as much as the next. Diana must solve a puzzle left for her. Randal wilson the grumpy new Earl after his father dies must take over everything even if he didn't want to. The last puzzle was not to be opened unless she was unmarried and not betrothed during the season. After Diana finally gains access to the library to help her with her puzzle she falls and hurts herself. She begins to fall for Randal  does he feel the same as she does? Very fast paced and steamy book. Highly recommend. For sure a 4.25 star in my eyes. I look forward to continuing this series. Thank you Net Galley for the e-copy of this book. All of this review is my own.
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Puzzles and interference.

I found i quite liked that DIana, a lady, is inquisitive, analytical and more interested in puzzles than ballrooms. 
Which makes her the perfect foil for Randal, the Beast of Chestwick. He's angry, literally wounded and a bit befuddled by Diana. 

4.5 stars
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Thanks to Dragonblade Publishing and Netgalley for an e-arc of An Earl Unmasked.

Well this was fun! I love a good historical romance and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Diana and Randal’s relationship. 

Diana Malbury is a woman who loves literature and riddles, so when the aging Earl of Chestwick gives her one last riddle she is determined to solve it. When she goes back to the library there she finds Randal, the new Earl who is back from the war. 

Of course, sparks fly and with all historical romances we have the “does he actually like me…. does she actually like a beast like me?” You know the quintessential historical romance tropes. Usually I can guess what is going to happen, and while I did know to a certain degree I liked how the story unfolded and still enjoyed it immensely. 

If you enjoy historical romance, some witty and brilliant women (one is a supreme chess player!), want a guaranteed HEA with sex then this is for you! 

References to him being a beast and her loving a good library also distinctly gave me a touch of Beauty and the Beast vibes, which I liked as it was not a retelling but simply had some influences. I also loved the Malbury sisters and can’t wait to see the rest of their stories are as I’m sure that is what this series is going to continue with the others.
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An entertaining story that took off right from the start.  Diana had been solving puzzles her neighbor had constructed, for a while.  His last challenge is that if she does not marry for the season, she can come and get her last puzzle. 

Being her first season, she was more interested in solving the puzzle than anything else. But she finds her neighbor has passed away and his heir Randal has come home from war to take up his duties as the new Earl.

As these two come together, sparks fly and challenges begin.  But he has been wounded by the war and she is a free spirit is seems. Can these two find romance?

A quick easy ready that starts the first in this new series!
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Enjoyable romance. Diana loves a puzzle and the Earl's library. If she remains unmarried at the end of her first season, she can access the library to solve a new puzzle. When she returns, she finds the Earl dead, and the heir recovering from war injuries. Randal wants to be left alone but is intrigued by the girl who worms her way into his library and his heart. 

ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy of this book for preview. This is my freely given opinion.

OK, maybe I was getting a bit picky, but there were a few editing issues I found with the book that were a bit annoyingly distracting. Could be my lack of sleep from this week's snow, and working night shifts making me more tetchy... whatever - but minor things such as using "alluding" when the term "eluding" should have been used, "banns" rather than "bans", ."counter plane" rather than counterpane, and "discrete" rather than "discreet". Also, when someone is lying on his back, he is not prone, he is supine - and that was referenced twice. Having spent many months putting ventilated patients in either prone or supine positioning, that one rather stuck out to me. OK - minor pickys out of the way.

The Malbury's are obviously a family of quite observant, and intelligent members of the aristocracy. Lady Diana is the youngest daughter of 6 children, and all the girls are "out". She loves literature and literary puzzles and has a friendly relationship with her neighbour, the widowed Earl of Chestwick. He owns an impressive library that she loves, and he loves to give her puzzles to fathom out. He challenges her to a puzzle that she may solve, if she remains unwed after her Season. Unfortunately, he passes on before she returns, and the heir, his son, is an injured veteran of the wars, who is less than willing to allow anyone onto his property, let alone a precocious young deb out to solve a puzzle left by his sire.

I found the description rather beguiling. It led me to think that this was a Beauty and the Beast type of story and it did have elements of that. But I felt that it did not have the depth of story I was hoping for, and there were a number of contradictions. The new Earl of Chestwick posted his property and left instructions for intruders to be shot, not wanting to socialize and to hide. But while I understand Lady Diana had the run of the property previously and the staff seem to have a soft spot for her, the place became overrun by Malburys and Chestwick really did not put up too much of a fight. There were allusions to his hazel eyes and their myriad colours, which enthralled Diana, even from a portrait... that seemed to be a significant detail, that was interesting as his father had brown eyes and his wife had blue, and some mention was made of Randal not feeling like it was his home, etc... but that really came to naught as a plot detail. But come on - some basic Mendelian genetics? How about how Diana found the Earl - SUPINE on the path, when he went for a walk. There was the allusion to a possible attack... but then again, after his injuries, he was prone to dizzy spells... but if he was prone to dizzy spells, why did he go all caveman male, and pick up Diana and carry her everywhere. If he was so concerned about her well being, then why would he not be concerned about having a dizzy spell and dropping or crushing her?

Also, why did the two assholes that the sisters hated suddenly show up at Chestwicks, despite not appearing to have any acquaintance with him, and intrude and stay at his home. Why did he not just plain old eject him - after all they were rude enough to invade his home uninvited.

I did however like that the siblings, while a bit competitive, did have an interesting and dynamic relationship, and Chestwick did seem intrigued by it. I also liked how he seemed to appreciate the intelligence of the sisters, rather than look down upon them. I am intrigued by the relationship of Drake and Minerva and the future of that. I quite like the opening and the relationship between Diana and the elderly Earl of Chestwick; it did seem very affectionate and paternal, and it was interesting that as such, he seemed to be matchmaking from the grave and there may have been some hints of salaciousness in his remaining puzzle for her - which made him a rather interesting, quirky character I would have liked to have known better; too bad he died so early on :(

So while I was not wowed by this story, and found some aspects of it falling rather flat, or not well defined, I did enjoy some aspects of it. So probably a 2.75 stars out of 5, and a willingness to see where the future goes, because of some of the groundwork laid.
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What a great book! And a great start to a series. I was hooked from the beginning! I am always a fan of the independent, strong-willed women. And this family has that in spades. All the sisters are intelligent, clever, and hilarious. And the brothers compliment each other well. I cannot wait to see whose story is next and follow these siblings through finding love.
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The first in a series, this love story between Randal and Diana was lovely. 

The pacing of 'The Earl Unmasked' was fantastic, it was quick and kept me engaged the entire read. Randal, Earl of Chestwick, and Lady Diana have an instant love, however, the burn is slow. The chemistry between Randal and Diana was palpable with quick glances and longing touches. 

The supporting characters and their dynamic between everyone were phenomenal, the banter had me laughing throughout the entire book. Diana and her siblings have a knack for creating shenanigans at every corner, it was endearing seeing Randal be both riled up and flexible with every instance. I appreciated the subplots between the supporting characters and look forward to reading more of their stories. 

Between the lovable characters, quick pacing, and smart writing I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. 

Thank you to NetGalley and DragonBlade Publishing for the ARC in return for an honest review, the privilege was mine.
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The old Earl of Chestwick, presents Lady Diana Malbury with a challenge before he dies. If she remains unwed for the Season, she can return to his estate next summer and solve the latest puzzle by way of his extensive library. Yet upon his death, she finds herself facing his son, Randal Wilson, who has returned from the war a decorated hero but also wounded and angry. Randal is determined to ensure that his estate is off-limits to everyone yet finds himself, facing a greater battle when Diana forcing her way into his privacy.
The first book in the season, introduces Diana and her sisters, who all appear to be avoiding marriage. Diana is so refreshing and determined in her manner, that Randal is not quite aware of what he is doing when he is with her. Both Randal and Diana were entertaining to read about, with Randal and his grumpy manner and Diana, doing all that she can to entwine herself into his life. An entertaining read, all bundled into a well-paced storyline.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This book has many characters and does sort of have a cliffhanger ending for the start of another story, although it has a HEA for the two main characters in this book.  It was an enjoyable read with intrigue due to the interactions of a group of siblings.  The heroine is very clever and wants to be loved.  The hero has been wounded in war and wants to be left alone.  But I believe his late father longed to him to meet his neighbor and fall in love, which is why he left a word puzzle for her to solve.  There seems to be a lot of impolite people in the story.  Some with good intentions and others not so good.
I felt that there are some unanswered questions such as did someone hit the hero over the head or did he just collapse; why was the brother so set against his friend marrying his sister.  I received an ARC for an honest review.
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