Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review - Last Night with the Earl

Author:  Kelly Bowen
Series:  The Devils of Dover #2
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  September 
Date of Publication:  September 25, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars


After Waterloo, Eli Dawes, Earl of Rivers, was presumed dead—and would have happily stayed that way. He's no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide his scars away in his country home. But when he returns home and tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he's shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as an arrogant rake who helped her late fiancé betray her. Finding him stealing into the house currently rented by Haverhall School for Young Ladies doesn't correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and her painter's eye can't help but admire him, scars and all. He might be back from the dead, but now Rose will do anything to make him feel truly alive.


Eli Dawes was assumed dead while at Waterloo, and he would have liked to keep it that way. However, circumstances have changed and he is back at his country home. He would like to have a quiet life of existence.  

Rose Hayward is already shocked to find a man in her bedroom one night. What is more shocking, however, and that it is Eli Dawes, Earl of Rivers. She could scarcely believe that it is really him. While certainly glad that he is not dead, she is very annoyed with the arrogant rake. After all, he helped her late fiancé betray her. This is an act that she could never forgive. Even so, seeing how terribly maimed Eli is does indeed touch her heart. Rose may not bear physical scars, but she is still scarred nonetheless.

Rose cannot order Eli off of his own property, but she is currently renting it for the Haverhall School for Young Ladies. As a painter, her job and her students are critical to her. They come to an agreement and she intends to go on teaching while Eli tends to his own matters.

It doesn't Rose very long at all to see past Eli's scars, and the past, to see the beautiful man that he truly is. If only she could get him to appreciate life again. I was right there with Rose, seeing how beautiful a person is despite tragedy exposes the deep kindness of the soul. It was a pleasure reading these very passages. 

Last Night with the Earl is part of the Devils of Dover series. The first book is A Duke in the Night (2018) and the third in the series is A Rogue by Night, which will be released in May, 2019.

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review for A Duke in the Night -


I spent a lot of time early in life reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named —unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. In college, while still voraciously reading romance, I supported myself by teaching piano and accompanying ballet classes. I became a technical writer and an editor after graduation, a demanding job that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels—and grab a law degree through an evening program.

Then I became a mom—much to my surprise—and small town lawyering seemed like a better fit with a single parent’s priorities. Through all of my ups and downs, detours and speedbumps, I’d been a relentless reader of romance. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Judith Ivory, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James… I could fill this page with the authors I’ve read and enjoyed. I consider them the fairy godmothers who’ve guarded my single-working-mom sanity.

Late one night, I was cramming on a lawyer-deadline, drafting some Motion to Do Something Or Other Right Now Please Your Honor, when I recalled that in my briefcase was a book I’d been saving to read on a hard day.

“One chapter,” I muttered. “I’ll read just one chapter, and then knock out this motion…” But another thought kept intruding as I read that one chapter, “I bet I could…”

So… I wrote a romance novel. That book became Gareth: Lord of Rakes, and opened the door to the sheer bliss of writing historical romance. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote… my writing chair became my happy place, though I still had no thought that I might someday become a published author. My Beloved Offspring flew the coop, and the writing only picked up speed.

I am the sixth out of seven children, and from all sides (my four brothers in particular), I heard, “When are you going to get that stuff published?” As if publishing contracts droppeth from the heavens like the gentle rain? And yet… I’m a child welfare attorney. That’s a tough gig, and I could see the day when I might want an alternative.

I joined RWA, like dipping a casual toe in the waters of authordom when nobody was looking. I went to a chapter conference and felt completely out of place. Nonetheless, I bumped into an editor there, and the query letter resulting from that encounter began: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)

We started with the Windham family, eventually doubled back and picked up Gareth and his successors in the Lonely Lords series, scooted over to the Victorian Highlands for the MacGregor quartet… whole lotta authordom going on!

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I am a writer. That chair before my computer is still very much my happy place, and the professional version of “once upon a time,” is every bit as alluring and enjoyable as the childhood version. I owe my reader so many hours of joy, and the only way I can think to repay that gift is by writing more stories!

Please feel free to contact me. I love reader mail!


  1. Great review Robin, now I really want to check out this series really bad now after reading your review. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post and for putting this book series on my radar.