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The Earl Claims his Wife    by Cathy Maxwell order for
Earl Claims his Wife
by Cathy Maxwell
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Brian Ranson married Gillian because his father wanted him to (he had kept a mistress for years). Then he went to fight Napoleon. When he returned to England, things were not as he left them. Now the Earl of Wright, he learns that his mistress birthed a child with his father and dumped the baby in a home. And when Brian goes to reclaim Gillian he finds that she is interested in Andres Ramigio, Baron de Vasconia.

Gillian, Lady Wright, has decided to take a lover and Andres is handsome and kind. She has been ignored long enough and is determined to make Andres her Latin lover. Her Aunt does not approve and reminds Gillian that she is married. When Brian shows up to take Gillian home she wants nothing to do with him. Brian is prepared to fight a duel with Andres, but she steps in because she does not want Andres hurt. Gillian tells Brian she will go home with him. She is furious, especially when she finds out that he wants a position on Liverpool's staff and she can help. She tells him she will only assist him and pretend to be the perfect wife for thirty days if he then sets her free.

Gillian is surprised to discover that Brian is not as ruthless as his father was. She is not happy to find out that Brian has gone to bring home his father's baby, but when she sees how sickly the child is her heart goes out to him. Brian watches Gillian with the baby and can't help but fall in love with her; she is gentle and knows how to calm the infant. Gillian can't seem to stop the feelings growing inside her as she and Brian spend time together with the baby. She no longer wants to leave him but wonders if they will be able to make a life together.

Gillian and Brian seem to be made for each other, though this is not what Brian wants to hear since he has rebelled at everything his father ever suggested. Gillian's Latin friend is at the back of Brian's mind as he tries to win her back and she makes him work hard at times. The Earl Claims his Wife is a fast paced story that readers will relish. Cathy Maxwell creates a wonderful tale out of second chances at love.

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