The Earl and the Executive
by Kai Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First time reading this author and I was impressed.
This book was a delightful combination of regency romance with sci-fi fantasy. I admit it, I cut my romance novel teeth on Harlequin's and regency romances and graduated into sci-fi fantasy so this brought back some lovely nostalgia of my reading journey, ending up with lgbtq romances which are my current day go to.
The plot was full of pure regency tropes with a sci-fi and lgbtq twist that throws things on their head a bit, and I wasn't disappointed by them at all.
The bookish younger brother (Tiral Oican) inherits a title after the hedonistic and foolish older brother dies mysteriously - after squandering the family fortune. The beautiful and highly intelligent younger sister was secretly doing 'mannish' things like managing the estate - primarily agriculturally based - and in order to save the estate the new earl must now marry and marry well... which means he must venture to the capital planet and attend a 'season' trolling for a spouse.
Enter the rake (Destzev Laft) - the handsome man with no intention to ever get caught in a marriage trap, one who happens to be ridiculously wealthy and the head of a truly impressive business consortium. He had come to the capital planet and had been rejected and humiliated by the 'ton' and took those lessons to heart, ruthlessly building up his business into the most sought after in the system. And he hid his true identity when he went out, using a false name, in order to avoid all the marriage minded mama's and social climbers.
A launch party for Zev's company's newest flyer is a must attend event, even for Zev himself, though he comes as his alter ego, Zev Yuls, and immediately finds himself captivated by the obviously new to the scene Lord Gret (Tiral). Playing up his alter ego - a man known for taking lovers for a season, spending lavishly and never settling down (it is implied he is a kept man) Zev engages Tiral in conversation and both become fascinated with each other. Upon leaving the soiree, Tiral is warned by other members of the peerage to avoid Zev lest he want his reputation ruined before he acquires a spouse.
This sets off a series of events - Tiral asking Zev for tutelage in the arts of flirtation wooing and finding a spouse - even as Tiral's appearance amongst the ton turns slightly more sinister as threats are made, his house is broken into and other dangerous events happen, all revolving around his deceased brother's death.
As with all good regency romances, the rake falls for the ingenue and the ingenue realizes his money and title mean nothing without the rake, even as danger pushes them together before pulling them apart.
Over all a fun little read, and just what I needed for a distraction. View all my reviews