I had a smile on my face as when I finished this book. What a fabulous story and so well written.
AN EARL LIKE NO OTHER by Wilma Counts is a gem.
Katherine Gardiner is left widowed and with a young son who is the heir destined to a dukedom. The current duke, Katherine's father in law has had Katherine and his grandson, Ned, virtual prisoners in Wynstan Castle to make sure Ned gets a proper education and upbringing. Katherine finds the Duke of Wynstan to be an oppressive brute who uses physical discipline to rear his heir, and she won't stand for it any longer. At the first chance she gets, she whisks Ned away to someone who will help.
Sanctuary comes in the form of Jeremy Chilton, the Earl of Kenrick, who has just returned from the American wilderness, where he began a family with a half native American woman, only to lose her. Jeremy Chilton and his young daughter, Cassie strive to make Kenrick Hall a home, but it's difficult with the lack of funds and a proper housekeeper to keep all in order. Kenrick reluctantly hires the widowed Katherine on a trial basis to see if she will fit his needs. His opinion of her is that she is too young and too attractive to be a housekeeper, but without knowing much more than she is a widow, left with a young son, he accepts her into his home and his life.
Kernick finds that the more he gets to know Mrs. Gardiner, the more he becomes attracted to her. He would much rather be in Kate's company than that of the conniving neighbors who are trying to bribe him into marriage with his spoiled daughter for title and lands. Kenrick must find a way to stave off the greedy neighbors while holding on to the best asset he has, Kate. Kate's attraction to Jeremy and the feelings she has for his daughter Cassie are like no other, but if she opens herself to him and tells the truth of her identity, she could not only lose his trust, but lose Jeremy as well.
AN EARL LIKE NO OTHER by Wilma Counts is a wonderful story with a colorful cast of characters that holds ones interest. Jeremy is a true hero, not caring for anyone's station in life or a title before a name. He is honest and caring and a most honorable man. Katherine has been through much in her short life and proves herself to be a force to be reckoned with when she is crossed. Her love for the children, even for Cassie, who, who is not her own, makes her one of my favorite heroines. I truly loved this story. This is the first book I have ever read by this author and I will be looking into her backlist, as well as reading her latest books in the future.