Cover Image: An Earl Unmasked

An Earl Unmasked

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Member Reviews

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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I loved the riddle/mystery aspect of this historical fiction; that was incredibly fun to read! The sibling banter was also a joy.  The characters were cute and the chemistry was palpable. Overall, this was a lot of fun to read.
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A well written regency romance, every page was a delight to read. Diana and Randal are engaging and intelligent characters, and the Beast of Chestwick is slowly and assuredly charmed by Diana.
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An Earl Unmasked by Rachel Ann Smith is written by a new-to-me author and is the first in a new series called Ladies at Risk. Diana had become friends with the elderly Earl of Chestwick over the past two summers. Their love of literature and puzzles drew them together. At the end of a summer, the Earl gave her a sealed puzzle with the instruction to work on it next summer if she came back unbetrothed or unmarried. When she asked him what she should do if she were betrothed or married, he answered, "Burn it." Well, she was back, not betrothed, not married and anxious to sole the puzzle. The new earl, the son of the late earl, was home, wounded, and not wanting any visitors. That did not stop Diana, who believed she could sneak in and he would never know. Things didn't work out quite as she planned.

This was a very cute, and complicated, story, all about three sisters and two brothers who were not at all alike, but had managed to mold a working relationship amongst them. Diana loved the library, and loved the manor house for that reason. Her older sister, Minerva was shrewd and devious and had vowed not to marry until she met a man who could beat her at chess. Her mother was not happy. One of her brothers was a physician and the other, the heir. Randal was the newly minted Earl of Chestwick and planned to marry, but marry a stranger, in a marriage of convenience, rather than become involved. He needed an heir. The staff at the manor all loved Diana. Randal, not so much. They thought he needed her. There was plenty of plotting going on, and not all by Minerva. The plot was not a deep one, but it was satisfying. The characters were entertaining. The setting was marvelous. All in all, it was a decent book. Looking forward to more.

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of An Earl Unmasked by Dragonblade, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #netgalley #dragonblade #rachelannsmith #anearlunmasked
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4.5 stars
I really enjoyed this book, the story moved along at a good pace and very likeable characters. Randal, the Earl of Chestwick had earned himself quite a reputation of being awkward and grumpy, since returning injured from the war. Lady Diana Malbury, was a spirited young lady who often disobeyed her mother’s rules. Like other members of her family, she loved solving puzzles. Randal and Diana do feel an instant attraction but both wonder if can it happen that quickly. I did enjoy the way the Malbury siblings all looked out for each other and the banter between them. I look forward to reading about the other members of the family. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The spoiler-free summary: After bonding with her elderly neighbor with riddles Lady Diana receives one last riddle from the late Earl of Chestwick. If she remains unwed she can solve the last puzzle he ever created. But 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. When she meets the earl after trespassing on his land she must convince him to let her solve this puzzle.

All the things I loved:

The pace- It's fun and fast! I finished it in one sitting. 
I love it when someone has their world turned upside down and Diana definitely turned Randal's life upside down. 
The families- Her charming family provides love and support and his father makes sure his son goes happily ever after he deserves. 

The things I didn't love:

The beginning was sort of strange. They began to have an unusual public display of affection after about an hour of meeting. Which is strange in 2020 but very strange in England at the time. 
The heroine is a bit of a ninny. Who the heck falls from a ladder twice? 

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.
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"An Earl Unmasked" is a cute, fun romance that was quick to read. Randal Wilson, the Earl of Chestwick, has returned from war with injuries and a cynicism about the world. He runs into Lady Diana Malbury when she comes to visit the library at his castle. Diana loves puzzles, riddles, and reading and refuses to leave until she can solve a riddle that his father left behind before he died. When Randal begins to help her (only to get her to leave sooner), sparks begin to fly. And once her family comes to visit, mischief is afoot. I didn't enjoy the portions that discussed the chess matches (simply because it didn't make sense to me), but otherwise I thought it was an enjoyable book.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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“An Earl Unmasked” by Rachel Ann Smith is the first book in her series, Ladies of Risk. Originally I was attracted to this story because of the gorgeous purple cover then when I read the blurb I was eager to read the story.  The MCs are Lady Diana Malbury and Randal Wilson, the Earl of Chestwick, there are also several Malbury siblings and a few other nobleman introduced.  This story is a fluff romance—nothing too deep or emotional throughout the story.  I think the book could have been much better if the author had just dug a little deeper.  This is my first book I have read by Rachel Ann Smith so I am not sure if all of her books are so emotionless but this story definitely fits that description.  

So what happens in the story is exactly what the blurb states no surprises at all. 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? The old earl presents her with the highest-stake challenge yet…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, her favorite place in England…

But 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.

But Diana doesn’t give up easily, and when she meets the earl after trespassing on his land—the two share a brief but soul-awakening kiss. Suddenly Diana and Randal are forced to rethink their solitary is a riddle that only two hearts can solve together. 

So there were SEVERAL opportunities during the story to expand the plot and allow for character growth, but for some reason the author didn’t do it.  There was an instance where Randal was found outside either passed out or sleeping (that was never clarified) and Diana becomes wrought with worry about the Earl.  Then a couple times Randal feels as if someone is watching him … but that never gets resolved either.  There is instant love between Diana and Randal yet they hardly have any conversations or interactions in which to get to know each other.  At one point (through several chapters) Randal and Diana’s sister Minerva are playing a chess game with the outcome either being Randal & Diana will wed OR Randal and Minerva will wed. 🥴 The original riddle that Diana is attempting to solve through much of the story, is never solved.  Finally Randal insists on carrying Diana everywhere because she injured her ankle falling of his library’s ladder; additionally, Randal insisted Diana stay at his home for 3-days to recuperate — I just can’t with all the silliness thrown together in this book.  Too many things were left hanging, the relationship between Randal & Diana was so unrealistic and progressed WAY too fast, and none of the characters have any growth. Don’t even get me started on the lack of chemistry & passion in the story. Almost nonexistent. 

I was disappointed. 

Overall rating 2 stars ⭐️ | 2 Flames 🔥
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I had mixed feelings about this story. I loved the interactions between the Malbury siblings and Lady Minerva in particular came across as a fascinating individual. However I felt that the plot had too many loose ends that were never addressed to warrant more than a 3* rating from me.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Will they let doubts and others prevent them from a shared happiness….

I was very curious about this new series by the author, one which does not involve spy nor long trip or dangerous situation.
It was so with surprise I read it in one sitting, so eager I was about knowing how Diana and Randal would resolve their conundrum as none looked like ready to lose ground nor concede they felt something deeper than mere attraction toward the other.

This fun fast paced story introduce a whole new set of characters, each with their own talents and flaws. Diana is the youngest daughter, and while there are all more or less scholars, she lives by her books and solving riddles. Why she entertained the idea of failing her first season just to be able to address her neighbor’s last puzzle. Alas, with his passing, his heir prevents her from sorting the enigma.
Randal is seen as a cold aloof soldier, gifted for strategy but awkward among people. His return, wounded, does not alleviate his feeling to be an outsider. So he pushes everyone away, and no one is to disturb this rest.
Except the tenacious neighbor’s daughter who wants access to his library to get her answers about his late father’s last game.

They were so sweet together, and while their personalities differed, they also complemented one another, her smile for his seriousness, his orderly side for her chaos, his scheme for her impulsivity. Their main problem being they are clumsy at expressing their sentiments, making at time a muddle of things but they are also right in their heart and do not give up.
4.5 stars 

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 a fun detailed foreplays/lovemaking scene.

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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Very entertaining and enjoyable read, I’ve not read any from this author so it was a nice way to be introduced.
Great characters loved Randall big softy on the inside tougher and grumpy on the outside, the personalities were very well developed.
Great storyline, entertaining and satisfying.
Look forward to reading more. 

I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review
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Randal Wilson the new Earl of Chestwich, returns home after his father's death with a head wound from the war. All he wants is to be left alone. The old Earl for two years   gives Diana Mulbury puzzles to solve using his library. The last puzzle was not to be opened unless she was  unmarried and not betrothed during the season. Given permission to return to the library she will attempt to find his most treasured verses. No Trespassing signs are not going to keep her from the library. Once Diana gains entrance to the library she falls and injures her ankle. Her siblings descend on Chestwich totally disrupting Randall's life. Suddenly Diana is falling for Randal, does he feel the same? Constant interference, funny and hopeful, it is not an easy romance for Diana and Randal. Likeable characters to keep up the pace. Steamy!!! 
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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4.5 Stars
Lady Diana Malbury is a bluestocking & would rather solve another one of the late Earl of Chestwick’s word puzzles than entertain potential suitors for the Season. The old earl presents her with the highest-stake challenge yet. 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, her favourite place in England. There's only one fly in the ointment 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. But Diana doesn’t give up easily, and when she meets the earl after trespassing on his land—the two share a brief but soul-awakening kiss. Suddenly Diana and Randal are forced to rethink their solitary ambitions.
The start of a new series & we’re introduced to the Malbury siblings, who all have different talents. I loved both Randal & Diana, he’s the grumpy Beast who wants to be left alone & she's determined to solve the puzzle his father gave her. Their attraction sizzles from their first meeting & only grows. Poor Randal finds his peace totally disrupted by the Malbury siblings & their friends but when they all eventually leave he finds that he misses them especially Diana. A very well written delightful novel with strong characters & a well paced story. I look forward to the rest of the series
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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Lady Diana Malbury has a passion for word puzzles.  A neighbor left her one to solve after her first London season.  Unfortunately before her return there is a new Earl living next-door. 

Randal Wilson the Earl of Chestwick has spent years at war.  Injured and now the only surviving member of his family, he has a different duty to uphold.  

This historical romance is a lighthearted read that I thoroughly enjoyed.  A slight beauty and the beast vibe.  Our hero however is anything but the beast he's called.  

The Malbury siblings are all fascinating characters each with a different talent.  I look forward to meeting them again in the following books in this series.  

Great fun.
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*****5 Stars! 

“Regardless of how things appear, you have the power to choose your future for yourself.”

First I would like to thank Dragonblade Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book. I am honored to have been given the chance to read it and give an honest review. 

An Earl Unmasked is a story following Lady Diana Malbury who is known for her charm and intelligence and her love for riddles and word puzzles. Often she would spend her time at the library at Chestwick estate with the late Earl who would give her many riddles and puzzles to solve much to her delight. Before his death the Earl left Diana with one last puzzle, though she must refrain from marrying during the season in order for the chance to solve it. Determined to return to Chestwick estate and solve the puzzle left for her, Diana avoided any and all suitors. There is nothing more Diana would love to do than spend the summer in the Earl’s extensive library, her favorite place in England. 

Randal Wilson, the new Earl of Chestwick, has returned from the war a decorated hero though he remains haunted by what he had seen on the battlefield and what he left behind, thus leaving him to recover from his wound and angry. The moment he returns to Chestiwick estate he becomes very secluded and is determined to make his estate off-limits to any and all visitors. He returned from war with the moniker the Beast of Chestwick and he had a certain reputation to uphold as the Beast and the Beast would not allow the mindless fools of society to infiltrate his private lands. 

While isolated within his estate Randal was more than eager to get back to the war front until he met Diana--a charming and intelligent young woman who somehow found her way into his library and stole his heart as quickly as she appeared. Suddenly both Diana and Randal are forced to rethink their solitary ambitions as love becomes an option. 

This book was such a fun and fast read, I enjoyed every single moment of it! The author really brought the world to life and I was easily able to picture the characters and their surroundings, it really helped me to be able to slip into the story and both these character’s lives with ease. I was taken with both Randal and Diana from the first chapter, both of them were so interesting and complex and yet so clear in what they both truly wanted. I also enjoyed the author’s way with words, I loved how she described their feelings for one another and the little stolen looks when they thought the other wasn’t looking. 

The romance between Randal and Diana was so quick and easy and very enjoyable! They had the best chemistry and I loved their ability to surprise one another and keep the other one guessing. It was clear from the start that they were the perfect match for one another. I also really loved the sibling dynamic between all the Malbury siblings, it was chaotic in that perfect sibling way. I loved how eager they were to defend one another and how quickly they came to their siblings' aid when needed. Despite everything the Malbury siblings were close knit and loyal to one another and you could really see the bonds between them all so clearly! 

As a huge lover of historical romance this book was an absolute delight for me to read! This is a book I would highly recommend to other historical romance lovers, especially if you’re looking for a book that is so easily loveable and very engaging! I am very much looking forward to reading more books from this author!
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This highly entertaining and well-written novel came to a conclusion far too soon. The meeting between Lady Diana Malbury and the Earl of Chestwick is a surprise to both of them.  The grumpy Earl, referred to as the Beast of Chestwick, can terrify most subordinates and his enemies by one look at his face, but the Malbury family are another breed altogether. Rather than adhering to the signs posted on his property to keep out, Diana bargains with Randal to spend time in his library to afford her the opportunity to work through the puzzle given to her by the Earl's late father. Before the poor man realizes what has happened, he is hosting a house party with guests who further complicate his life. Before long, Randal is pulled into the dynamics of the unconventional Malbury family, and it is only after they all depart, leaving him in peace, does he realize just how much he needs them. The novel comes to a successful conclusion but opens the way for Diana's siblings to find their own way.  I received a copy of this romance as a gift from Dragonblade Publishing and NetGalley and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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Randal and Diana are simply adorable! Having been left a riddle to solve by the late Earl of Chestwick, Diana has no choice but invade Chestwick Manor to find the answers. It is quickly apparent that the riddle is love, or more specifically leading to her becoming the Countess of Chestwick. His father knew that Dian was exactly what his son needed and left this world knowing that he had done all he could to lead them together. I loved the magnetic pull between these two, it is impossible not to see that they were made to for each other. The family bond of the Malbury’s was written so beautifully. Each sibling is devoted to each other’s happiness. The fun and loving nature of the family as a whole fills an emptiness within Randal and you can see how quickly he steps into his own brotherly role. His need to protect Diana’s sisters is charming. The story flows from start to finish with heart and family support. I found myself drawn to the story more with each passing page. I can not wait to see Minerva finally bring Drake up to scratch as I’m sure that will be an amazing tale.
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He is the new Earl after the death of his father . He only wants to be left alone . She is the daughter of an Earl and lives next door . She was friends with his father and she has to solve the riddle he came up before he died . She must visit the library for the clue . Their meeting is so funny and sweet . After she manage to come to his house she is trying to stay as long as she can . While they live together for few days they develop feelings for each other . I loved all the Malbury siblings . Looking forward to Isadoras faitytale . 
I received this book from net galley and the publisher as an ARC. Thank you! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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