"A scrumptious romance with a scarred hero who gets a second chance at love!"
Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted March 3, 2018
Romance Historical | Romance Erotica Sensual
WHAT THE EARL NEEDS NOW is the second book in Michelle
Willingham's The Earl Next Door series. This is a
terrific book for readers who are fascinated by stories
with wounded heroes, second-chance romances, and readers
who enjoy the "brother's best friend" trope. I really
like how Michelle Willingham throws a few twists and
turns into this story and puts a new slant on the scarred
hero classic theme.
Michelle Willingham gives a little
prologue at the opening of WHAT THE EARL NEEDS NOW,
detailing how Lily Thornton and Matthew Larkspur, the
Earl of Arnsbury entered into an unofficial form of
marriage before he left the country. The story then picks
up with Matthew returned to England a scarred and
slightly morose man. Usually in these types of stories,
the focus is on the hero and how he deals with his
trauma. In WHAT THE EARL NEEDS NOW, although struggling
with his PTSD, Matthew soon realizes that he should have
held Lily close instead of initially trying to push her
away. The focus of the story then shifts to Lily and
whether she can trust Matthew with her heart after he
There are two major stories in WHAT THE EARL NEEDS NOW:
Matthew and Lily's second chance at love, and mysterious
forces at work to destroy Matthew. I like how Michelle
Willingham balances the suspense and hint of mystery with
the romance. I wasn't sure if I would like Matthew at
first, mainly because I generally don't enjoy stories in
which the hero pushes the heroine away for her own good.
I was happy that this hero sees the error in his
thinking, and tries to change his life. I was thoroughly
charmed by this hero, by his determination to win back
Lily's trust and prove his love. Matthew's courtship
starts out sweet, but things quickly heat up because of
the love that's always existed for this couple. The fun
outings and tender seduction make this story such a treat
for historical romance fans.
WHAT THE EARL NEEDS NOW is a scrumptious romance with a
scarred hero who gets a second chance at love. The
shadowy villains in WHAT THE EARL NEEDS NOW only draw
Matthew and Lily closer together as they work together. I
look forward to hopefully reading about Lily's brother
James and her friend Evangeline in a future book by
Lily Thornton waited two long years for the return of her
beloved husband, the Earl of Arnsbury. But the man she
married in secret has no memory of her.
After being tortured in India, Matthew Larkspur can
hardly return to a normal existence. He cannot sleep at
night, and he knows he is not the man Lily needs. A
haunted darkness festers inside him, turning him into a
beast who does not deserve the love of a beauty.
But beneath his tormented scars lies the man Lily has
loved all her life. And she refuses to give up on him,
especially when his wildness stirs her blood…
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