Review: Earl on the Run by Jane Ashford (2022)

The Duke’s Estates #2

Heat Factor: It’s very sweet and charming, not steamy or hot.

Character Chemistry: They’re kinda cute and awkward, with glimpses of passion potential.

Plot: Harriet’s grandfather has swooped in and given his fortune to Harriet—after ruining his own daughter, Harriet’s mother, and forcing her into genteel poverty. Jack has inherited his family’s title, but he’s a Bostonian with Traveler roots—so when his grandmother cruelly points out what a failure he is, he joins a group of Travelers and ends up on his own property, right next to Harriet. 

Overall: It’s a cute read with mild heat and a tidy ending.

If you like Georgette Heyer, this definitely has those vibes. Harriet desperately wants to escape her circumstances—she’s stuck with her controlling and cruel (and bumbling) grandfather who is rich and desperate for power. Her mother is terrified and horribly anxious, having lost everything, and Harriet’s future good marriage is the key to everyone’s futures. Dreaming of escape, she stumbles upon a group of Travelers when she’s attempting to snoop on the estate of the missing Earl, only to meet Jack…who is the missing Earl.

Jack grudgingly comes back from Boston to claim his title and seek out a family of his own only to discover his grandmother thinks he’s a gauche fool and is terribly disappointed in him. He bails immediately and joins a group of Travelers headed North, who happen to stop on his own property just next door to Harriet. 

The main issue in this relationship is that Jack lies to Harriet about who he is, and Harriet is desperate to save her mother, so she “pushes” him to propose after they’re caught kissing (by her friend, who would never tell anyone). It’s a book where all the issues are really kind of silly and could be resolved by a few direct conversations, but in this book I feel like the culture and the times are very obvious, and it’s just not something that would be done. So despite the issues being a bit frivolous, they are quite real for the characters and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book (although Erin would be very shrill about it).

This is a very closed door book with flowery suggestions of what MIGHT be happening behind closed doors but nothing remotely explicit. Being book two, I was actually very impressed with the presence of the couple from the first book—they’re very funny and bring a lot of banter to awkward situations, which I found very enjoyable.

Jack is very laid back, kind, and generous, which pairs nicely with Harriet’s more high strung energy. I would have liked more development on her part–she has a lot going on outside of her own character that steers her choices, and while there are suggestions of what she’d be like independent of those, we don’t get a lot of just “Harriet”. 

All in all, it’s a classic Regency that would be appropriate for your grandma OR niece, and it’s good to have a few of that type of romance to recommend in the back of your mind. Don’t you think?

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

Looking for something similar?

Lords (on the run and staying at home)


Lazing about in the country (British edition)

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