Book Review: The Earl Next Door by Charis Michaels

I’m not sure what overlap exists between romance novel readers and Bankers Anonymous readers. Since money and romance mix so poorly I do sometimes think I am in the anti-romance business, continuously attempting to debunk non-rational notions.

But we all need a little fun and fantasy wherever we can get it.

You have to love Piety Grey[1] – the spunky American heiress on the run in London from her greedy family. She’s obsessed with her old historic home (I can relate) and the problem of renovating it as soon as possible. I have some thoughts on home renovations, although Piety isn’t a penny pincher like me.

Like all women with money in the Regency era, she acquired her wealth through death and inheritance, another topic on which I have strong views.

Although set around 1810, Ms. Grey has a decidedly 21st Century style when it comes to taking charge of her home renovation, as well as in spurning the control of her elders, or the need for a male companion.

The author Charis Michaels causes a collision between Ms. Grey and her love interest – The Earl of Falcondale – through a plot device bordering on farce: One of the walls of her house contains a secret passageway that connects to the Earl’s house. I half expected a Noises Off-type theatrical romp to ensue.

Instead, The Earl Next Door veers back onto the rails of romance – stolen kisses, unacknowledged passion, scheming relatives, near-misses with impropriety, an interlude in the English countryside, and a final shuddering surrender to overwhelming love.

In the final third of the story, danger takes over from romance as the driving force, erecting barriers to romantic bliss. Michaels also tees up the protagonist for her next novel.
Full disclosure time: Charis Michaels is a friend of mine, and I’m excited to be able to read and review her first novel. She’s due for out with the follow-up book number two in her “The Bachelor Lords of London” series, out soon. I’ll read that one as well.


See related post: All Bankers Anonymous Book Reviews In One Place!


[1] No ancestor to Christian Grey I presume?



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I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying to score points over next year’s budget – it is a weakness of our civil society. For reals. It’s also really fun for me.

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