‘The Reluctant Earl’ by Joan Wolf

tre-jwSTORY: The Reluctant Earl is the story of Claire and Simon, who desperately want to get married despite all the obstacles that stand in their way. Their biggest hurdle is the fact that Simon is the son and heir of the Earl of Welbourne, while Claire is the daughter of the earl’s Irish horse trainer. The youngsters are keenly aware that their parents would violently oppose such an unequal union – which is precisely why they never confide in those parents.

Then there is Simon’s father, who, for reasons Simon has never understood, clearly hates his son. Then there is the mystery of Simon’s mother’s death, and the fact that he has never met a single member of her family. Then a miracle happens – Simon learns about a trust fund left to him in his mother’s marriage settlement.

Once the money is in his pocket, Simon and Claire decide to elope; and the simmering pot that is Welbourne Abbey and its inhabitants explodes.

REVIEW: The Earl of Welbourne of Welbourne Abbey, is looking for his son as he has skipped out of studies with his tutor. The staff covers for the lad which gets him away from his strict and mean father to enable him to spend time with the O’Rourke family.

Simon Radley, Lord Woodbridge, age 15, lost his mother when he was age 5 and has been told nothing about her or her family. His father remarried and they have a son. His father has never liked him and his stepmother does not care for him either. She is jealous that her son will not be the heir.

Liam O’Rourke runs the Welbourne Stud Farm. His daughter, Claire, age 14, is good friends with Simon. When he is home from school, they spend lots of time together working with and riding the horses.

Several years later as Simon leaves school, he is delighted to be back home with Claire. He does not want to go to Oxford as his father wants. He then remembers that he will have some money from his mother’s estate when he turns 18. He prefers to use the money from his mother so he and Claire can get married. In addition, he is determined to find out more about his mother.

To help Simon, Liam questions the local squire, Tom Weston, about Simon’s mother. Her maiden name was Jarvis, perhaps from the famous Jarvis banking family and she was an heiress. Her father wanted her to marry into a titled family. It appears the Earl needed money, so that worked for them. Since the Earl himself never told Simon about his inheritance, he found out from someone else so it appears that the Earl was planning on keeping the money for himself.

Tom Weston suggests that Simon get an attorney who brings in Mr. Jarvis, Simon’s uncle whom he has never met nor known about. Mr. Jarvis tells Simon that the Earl would never let his wife’s family have any contact with Simon and the courts upheld his decision. The family was crushed. Simon’s inheritance is now 100,000 pounds. As Simon will not be of legal majority until age 21, his uncle will be his trustee until then.

What about Claire and Simon? Will they be able to get married as they wish? Will the families agree? If Simon’s father wants his inheritance, will he try to get it from him?

There is so much more to this story. There is some suspense and we find out lots of information about the past. This book is not to be missed. Come enjoy a good, clean story.

Complimentary copy provided by the author

Connie for b2b

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