Major Neil Wraxall needs to bring Lady Juliana home; her
father, the Earl of St. Maur, wants her to forget her
orphanage nonsense. After her sister's death, Juliana has
dedicated her life to charity, more specifically the
decrepit St. Dimas Home for Wayward Boys. It is no place for
a lady, but Neil quickly senses that Juliana will not be
easily deterred. Fortunately, he had arrived just in time to
see that a crime lord is threatening Juliana. The orphanage
is not safe, but to convince Juliana to vacate the premises,
Neil will need to prepare for a battle like never before.
NO EARLS ALLOWED is a sort of reverse Mary Poppins, where
Neil Wraxall, a stern military man used to getting things
done his way, has to grapple with unruly boys, and it is
quite amusing in a surprisingly matter-of-fact fashion. Neil
feels a strong attraction to the lovely Lady Juliana, but he
is illegitimate, and he exists in a dark place: he cannot
forgive himself for his brother's death or that of his army
In NO EARLS ALLOWED, Shana Galen stretches herself as a
writer: Neil is one of her most intriguing heroes; a unique
character, and a man after my own heart. Neil is commanding,
literally; he was a Major in the army, and he is used to
being in charge, but he is never arrogant or domineering,
and this was very much appreciated. He is responsible,
honorable, and admirable. After seeing the debacle that was
her sister's marriage, Juliana has given up on ever
marrying; she would rather take care of her orphans, but
Neil is unlike the men she had met. The romance in NO EARLS
ALLOWED is a delectable slow burn, mostly due to Neil's
noble character, which was most welcome, and so different
from the usual rogues and rakes. Neil and Juliana cannot
deny their attraction, but they have a job to do.
Shana Galen's writing is understated elegance at its
finest; the dialogues are impeccable; and the crisp
descriptions add a feeling of authenticity to the setting,
which takes place mostly in the orphanage situated in
London's Rookeries. To accomplish his mission successfully,
Neil is briefly joined by a few of his Survivors comrades,
notably the enigmatic Jasper, and the somewhat foppish Rafe
Beaumont, who proves to be an utter delight; these are but
two of the superb secondary characters in this fabulous
story. NO EARLS ALLOWED is a somewhat lighthearted romance,
with gritty glimpses of the lives of the underprivileged,
and where everything feels real: the action, the conflicts,
the villain, and mostly the love that binds Neil and
Juliana. I wish there were more romances like NO EARLS ALLOWED!
It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a lady can do anything a man can do: backwards and in high-heeled dancing slippers.
Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all
the help she can get. She's running a ramshackle orphanage,
London's worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her
father has suddenly become determined to marry her off.
Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of
Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can.
Lucky for her, he's handy with repairs, knows how to keep
her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men.
Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from
their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance...