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Covent Garden Cubs #1

Earls Just Want to Have Fun

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His heart may be the last thing she ever steals...

Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.

Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.

363 pages, Paperback

First published February 3, 2015

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About the author

Shana Galen

80 books1,478 followers
Shana Galen is three-time Rita award nominee and the bestselling author of fast-paced, witty, and adventurous Regency romances. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

Want to know more? Visit Shana's website at http://www.shanagalen.com and sign up to be notified when Shana has a new release http://bit.ly/ShanaGalenNews

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 418 reviews
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
April 22, 2016
Highly, highly improbable Regency sex romp about a 20 year old woman who was kidnapped by a London street gang as a 5 year old and forced to learn to pick pockets, run scams, etc. An investigator finds her fifteen years later and kidnaps her back, after determining that she's the long-lost daughter of a lord. Elizabeth (now "Marlowe") has forgotten her past and fights tooth and nail, swearing like gutter scum. The investigator inexplicably dumps Marlowe on his brother, the earl, while he goes off to investigate something else. Marlowe (of course) turns out to be lovely once all the dirt is washed off. And she's still a virgin!! But notwithstanding that she's somehow retained her chastity all those years in the London slums, she gives it up to the earl after knowing him just a few days. o.O The mind, it boggles.

I'd rather either she'd stayed out of his bed, or have the book -- and the earl -- deal with her having slept around (or having been raped at some point in her life in the slums, likely as not).

Also, if I never hear the word "bubbies" (Marlowe's slang for her breasts, which she mentions All. The. Time) again in my lifetime, it'll be too soon.

Kindle freebie right now, but I can't recommend it unless you like this genre. I skimmed most of it (I was mostly interested in the reunion with her parents) and deleted it.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,796 reviews485 followers
November 2, 2015
11/2/15: Free on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Earls-Just-Want...

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

I am always looking for something a little bit different. That can sometimes be a little hard to find for somebody who reads as many books as I do. This book gave me exactly the unexpected element that I look for in a book. I used to read a lot of historical romances but moved to other genres when I found most of them to be overly predictable. Shana Galen has created a wonderful story and a heroine that is anything but predictable. I don't remember ever encountering a character quite like Marlowe.

Marlowe lives with a group of thieves. She spends most days dressed like a boy looking for easy marks and carrying out the plans of her group. Satin makes the plans and is the boss of her group of thieves, which she refers to as cubs. Satin rules with a heavy hand and everyone within the group makes sure that they do their job.

Marlowe is taken by two men as she plays her part. Before she knows what is going on, she finds herself in Earl Dane's home where she gets cleaned up and fed. Dane's brother believes that Marlowe is actually the Lady Elizabeth who was abducted as a small child. Dane is given the job of keeping an eye on her until Lady Elizabeth's parents can be contacted. Dane doesn't realized that he has met his match in Marlowe.

Marlowe was so wonderfully original! I loved her rough speech, her distaste for bathing, and the fact that she would rather wear men's clothing that a dress. Marlowe had a certain innocence about many things that really showed that she had never had anyone around to teach her. She also had wisdom regarding the lives of the poor that Dane needed to taught. They really made quite the perfect couple.

This book was wonderfully written. I found myself grinning quite often and found a lot of humor in the things that Marlowe would say and they manner in which others reacted to her. The chemistry between Marlowe and Dane was spectacular and their feeling felt so genuine on the page. The growth of both Marlowe and Dane as characters added a lot to the story. They both needed to figure out what they wanted and whether it was worth the cost.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical romance. This is the first full book of a new series. I did read the preceding novella but that would not be necessary to enjoy this story since there were only a few short mentions of that story. This is the first full length novel by Shana Galen that I have had chance to read but I plan to look for her work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,635 followers
Shelved as 'own-need-to-read'
November 2, 2015
KINDLE FREEBIE as of 11/2/15:



Marlowe runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. But there was a time she went by a different name and when a private investigator thinks that she may be the missing daughter of a lord and lady, she is introduced to the spectacle of Society.

Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion who is believed to be the lost daughter of the Marquess of Lydon. He teaches her how to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape the Cubs so easily. Instead, Max is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.

Suspenseful and passionate, Earls Just Want to Have Fun is a captivating historical romance. Fans of Julia Quinn, Sabrina Jefferies, and Elizabeth Boyle will love this story that combines action and mystery with enchanting romance.
Profile Image for Sammy Loves Books.
1,133 reviews1,462 followers
February 10, 2019
Adorable story!!



Lady Elizabeth was kidnapped at the age of 5 and raised as a thief on the streets. She was given a new name and forced to commit crimes in order to eat. Fifteen years later, Marlowe is detained by an investigator and told she is the missing Lady Elizabeth.

I absolutely enjoyed this story. The hero almost let me down in the end, but his brother talked some since into him and he came through like a champ!!
Profile Image for Caz.
2,761 reviews1,033 followers
September 10, 2016
I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars.

Shana Galen’s new Covent Garden Cubs series gets off to a terrific start with Earls Just Want to Have Fun which is – fortunately – a book with much more emotional depth than it’s overly cutesy title would seem to suggest.

The story is, at first glance, a simple cross-class romance with a bit of Pygmalion thrown in as her Eliza – Marlowe, a thief from Seven Dials – gets to see how the other half lives when she is abducted from the streets by an investigator hired to trace the whereabouts of a girl who went missing fifteen years earlier.

Marlowe belongs to one of the many gangs of thieves that inhabit that area of London – the Covent Garden Cubs – and is one of the best pickpockets and housebreakers in the gang. She has a very dim recollection of once being called by a different name and of living a different life, but has learned to dismiss them as mere dreams. The only life she’s really ever known is the one she lives now – harsh and grim, living in the slums with the gang and in fear of their brutal leader, Satin.

Maxwell Derring, the Earl of Dane, is a young man who takes his responsibilities to his title and his country very seriously. He’s active in parliament and is feeling rather pleased with himself at having just helped to squash a bill which would have allocated funds to help the poor; he believes they’re poor because they are lazy. He’s not a bad person – he just thinks that it’s more important to concentrate on improving the lot of farmers to increase food production or to focus on the defence of the realm, so the plight of the poor is not something with which he concern himself.

Dane had no idea that allowing his brother, Sir Brooke, to make use of his carriage would end up in the abduction of a street-urchin, so he is naturally not at all pleased at finding himself suddenly charged with keeping the smelly, dirty, foul-mouthed creature at his London home until Brooke can contact his clients with the news that he thinks he has found their long-lost daughter.

The first part of the story is delightfully fluffy as these two characters from different worlds provoke, irritate and strike sparks off each other. As far as Dane is concerned, Marlowe is a menace to society and he can’t wait to be rid of her; Marlowe thinks Dane is a stuck-up prig and wants nothing more than to get away. Yet even as they are chafing under the necessity of sharing a roof, they are unable to ignore the stirrings of attraction that are starting to simmer between them. Their verbal sparring is sharp and funny, and Ms. Galen does a terrific job in developing their slow-burn romance.

Even though Marlowe eventually decides that she will remain at Derring House of her own free will to await the arrival of the couple who may or may not be her parents, she knows it’s only a matter of time before Satin locates her and either snatches her away and returns her to the slums or forces her to injure the Derrings in some way. She realises there’s only one thing to do – she has to free herself from him once and for all, but doing that won’t be easy and is fraught with danger.

What could have been a fairly fun-of-the-mill story is elevated to something much more by the quality of the writing and characterisation, and by the way in which the author interweaves what is essentially a light-hearted, Cinderella-like tale together with a serious look at the conditions endured by the poorest in society. In those sections of the book which take place in Seven Dials, she immerses the reader in the sights, sounds and smells of the area, bringing home to both reader and hero just how hard life is for these slum-dwellers as they eke out a meagre and miserable existence. Crime and disease are rife, life is held cheaply, and there is no hope of anything better. And Marlowe’s reaction to the opulence and luxury surrounding her at Derring House firmly brings home the massive gap between rich and poor – she has never slept in a real bed and never had enough to eat, yet here she is in a house where there is more food than anyone could possibly eat (although she tries!) and a single room is bigger than the “flash ken” she inhabited in Seven Dials.

The two principals are strongly characterised and well-written, although Marlowe is probably the more fully fleshed-out of the two. She’s gutsy and clever with a great sense of humour, but Ms. Galen never allows the reader to forget the fact that hers is a dangerous way of life, and that in spite of her courageous spirit, Marlowe is afraid of Satin and what he might do to her and to the man she loves. Dane begins the story as upright and uptight, an old head on young shoulders who comes to see that he’s bored with his ordered existence and surprised to find himself enjoying the company of a most unusual young woman. I appreciated the fact that he’s not a playboy as so many of the titled gentlemen inhabiting the pages of historical romances are; he’s a complete gentleman, sweet, tender, kind – and most definitely sexy. Through his association with Marlowe, Dane comes to understand that he has been badly mistaken in his views, and to want to do something to help. His volte-face might seem rather fast, but it works because of the matter-of-fact way in which Marlowe talks about the things she and others have endured and will continue to endure because of the way they are forced to live.

Ms. Galen’s writing style is immediately engaging and pulled me into the story straight away. There’s plenty of warmth and humour – Dane’s relationship with his siblings is clearly a very affectionate one, and I very much enjoyed his interactions with Crawford, his very proper and all-knowing butler. My one complaint is that the ending is a little rushed, but otherwise Earls Just Want to Have Fun is an enjoyable and emotionally satisfying story, and Marlowe and Dane make a likeable, well-matched couple. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,838 reviews1,483 followers
December 31, 2017
4.5 Stars

I love finding a new Historical Author. Based on the reviews I wouldn’t have picked up this book, but it was one of the few that was available from the library and I figured why not?

I’m so glad I took a chance on Earls Just Want to Have fun. The title is ridiculous and has NOTHING to do with the book (I will admit I was VERY hesitant in starting this b/c of the title). The Earl is actually a stand-up guy and does the right thing. He’s hardly a player, but it��s a good thing.

Also, I’m not sure if this is the final cover, but the girl has dark hair, NOT blonde. I don’t like it when the book doesn’t match the cover, but of course that didn’t hinder my reading experience.

This book is a slow burn romance, a friends to lovers kind of read. So if you want smutty or steam, you ain’t gonna find it here. Okay, there’s a little steam, but don’t go into this book looking for a steamy read. It’s all about the love story.

I really liked the premise of the book and I was sucked into the story from the first page. It’s a heavily dialogued based book and light on the descriptive writing, which is exactly the type of books I like to read. I also like that it’s low on angst, but heavy on the tension.

I read this book in one sitting and even though this was a hefty book, I could have read more of it.

Marlowe is a thief. That’s all she knows. Until one day someone kidnaps her.

Dane is a standup guy. He does the respectable thing, but his life is comfortable and pretty repetitive. His brother is another story and his brother happens to kidnap Marlowe because he believes she’s the long lost daughter of a rich upper class family.

Dane doesn’t have time to get into these issues, he’s a rich noble guy, but his brother leaves town and now he has to deal with Marlowe until his brother can track down her long-lost parents.

I love the tension between Dane and Marlowe. It’s so cute. I usually don’t like rough Heroines and I love a good damsel, but Marlowe can hold her own. She’s very keen on getting back to her old life as a thief, but the longer she stays at the house the more she likes it.

No, she doesn’t want to stay because it’s the rich life, she wants to stay because she likes the family and I find that REALLY adorable.

This book pulled at my heart strings and I’m not sure why it got low reviews. I loved this book. I gobbled it up and I was sucked into Marlowe and Dane’s world. No, it’s not an insta-lust, over the top romance, but it’s filled with a lot of good bits and a well-developed story. That’s a win in my opinion.
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,990 reviews869 followers
January 31, 2015
Marlowe, has always been a thief and housebreaker, and has always tried to prove herself as one of the “boys”. But there is a part of her life she doesn’t remember, when she was young and her name was Elizabeth, a life that is no longer hers. But during a housebreaking mission, she is taken against her will and placed in the hands of Maxwell, Lord Dane. Maxwell is furious at his brother for putting a scrawny and ill-mannered chit in his hands to take care of. That is the last thing that he needs. Maxwell, doesn’t think much of Marlowe, except she is a danger to society, and he has a hard time convincing her of the truth of her true identity. Marlowe has lived her life on the streets, but she suspects that she may be the woman they are looking for, a woman with a future, and she wants to believe in that future, and she can’t deny the attraction that she feels for Maxwell, but there is a danger to them being together, a man who would destroy her before he could ever let her go…

Wow!! That is all I have to say about this one. Shana Galen is such a talented writer, and I feel like every time I read her, I am amazed by how well I enjoy her stories. I would say she is a top favorite author of mine, and always has been since I first started reading her. I wasn’t sure what to think about this story before I started reading it, but once I got into the first chapter, I knew I was in for a fun and wild ride…and I was right. You never know what a story will bring out to the reader, but this story by far gave me thrills and laughter and pure excitement. After finishing this story I just want to do a little happy dance in the street under the moonlight LOL kind of crazy with the cold weather, but I had such a fun time reading this one, and it has been a while since I have enjoyed a book so much.

The story is pretty basic, at first you view it as an ordinary story, but somehow this story turned from ordinary to extraordinary. You don’t see it coming until you are fully entrenched. The story starts off with Marlowe on one of her pickpocketing days, and she was such a hoot, I loved her…I really found her amusing and quite entertaining. She definitely has spirit and isn’t afraid to show it. She hates her “bubbies” and thinks of them as useless, which was hilarious to me, on how she views her body. Like being a woman is a curse. But in her lifestyle choice, it is a curse. What she does, being a beautiful woman has little purpose, at least until she meets a man that makes her quiver in delight and desire. Maxwell, is a lord of the Ton, involved in politics, and thinks of himself as content. But when Marlowe is brought to him and he is forced to take care of her until she is ready to meet her parents, he must groom and teach her to be a lady, and Maxwell can’t think of a worst fate being placed upon him. I loved the sparks between these two, and boy can they fight. I loved their interaction and once they got past the whole kidnapping issue, and Marlowe came to terms with what was happening, their relationship really started to progress. Their connection was so different and I just had the hardest time putting this one down, the reader starts to see how perfect they are for each other in the end, because what they have together is what is more important than trivial things.

This author has succeeded in beginning a series with a solid beginning, a tale of adventure, passion, danger and fascinating twists and turns that will enthrall you completely. Entertainment and laughter on every page. A PURE DELIGHT!!
Profile Image for Liz F.
719 reviews
October 30, 2014
Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

Should I be embarrassed that I love historical romance and I've never read Shana Galen before? I mean, she's got 20 or so books published so she's got to be popular. Oh well. I've read just about every single book that Lisa Kleypas has written (historical AND contemporary) but I've never read Julie Garwood. Go figure. But now that I've read Shana Galen... oh man, I'm never looking back!

Marlowe, the heroine, was awesome! Now that's NOT to say that I loved her from start to finish. Holy crap, I did NOT! In fact, there was a point while reading this, that she was such an annoying asshole that I almost quit reading. I swear! But I am SO glad I stuck with it! Marlowe definitely redeemed herself! And oh her story is so sad! She was kidnapped off the street when she was, like, five years old! And then she was raised in a house with criminals and became a criminal herself! The book doesn't go into ALL of the details about her upbringing but I was glad. I think it would have been too harsh and too sad to be palatable. As bad as her life is, things take a turn for the worse when she's recognized by someone on the street as the girl she was before she was a criminal! Did that make sense? I'm trying to say that someone stops her on the street, calls her by what she THINKS is her real name and tells her that her parents are looking for her. Sure, this is almost 20 years after she was abducted but it's a shock. Even worse, she doesn't really remember much from her time before she was kidnapped so who's to say if the man was legit or if it was some kind of con? For sure, the #1, top thing I loved about Marlowe was how she was at the same time a street-wise hard-ass and a vulnerable young girl. I have no idea how the author wrote her so perfectly but Marlowe embodied BOTH traits and straddled the line between them.

Lord Dane is pretty great too. He sounded absolutely delicious! Tall and a little muscular but not beefy. Yum yum! At the start of the book, he's such a prude and so proper. I wanted to have someone shake him just to muss his hair or put his cravat askew! LOL! I was on his side when he was first dealing with Marlowe. She was pretty awful and, like Lord Dane, I wished he could just turn her out on the street. But, of course, if he did that, there wouldn't be a story, would there?! I enjoyed Lord Dane's arc over the book. He's proper and SO uptight at the start of the book but Marlowe brings something out in him by the end of the book. I guess she brings him some measure of freedom? Like a release from propriety, maybe? It feels like he's able to relax and be himself a little more around her and it was so nice to see him loosening up.

Marlowe and Lord Dane were great together by the middle of the book, but not so great at the start! They were the perfect picture of two people who were like oil and water! She was so rude and crass and he was just so shocked by her behavior! It was fun to see him shocked but I have to admit that her behavior wore a little thin after a while. That was around the time that I considered quitting the book. But Marlowe was no dummy. In fact, she was quite intelligent. So she was able to tone down her behavior a little and made an attempt to fit in. But it wouldn't have been much fun if she'd turned right and proper like Lord Dane and I was glad she didn't.

I would absolutely recommend this book to any historical romance fans. Oh there was one little thing that drove me nuts: all the slang! So many terms for criminals and prostitutes and marks and rich people... it was completely confusing. Half the time, I had no idea what they were describing but I just went with it. That's why I think readers who are already fans of historical romance will like this. You'll likely have seen or read a lot of the terms before but someone new to historicals will have their head spinning! Other than that, this was a blast to read, from start to finish! Go out and get this one!! (4.5 stars)
Profile Image for EB.
165 reviews19 followers
January 12, 2015
ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

I struggled with how to review this book. I’ve struggled on twitter, and struggled in messages to friends, because there are things about this book that just do not click for me. I’ve spent several weeks knee deep in contemporary, and futuristic erotica, so this was a bit like jumping into a pool of ice water. For me, Galen relies far too much on lower class/thief slang for Marlowe. If I had to see the word “bubbies” one more time after the first 25% of the book, I was in danger of ritualistically throwing my Kindle against the wall. But then, I sort of got into the flow of the book, and I developed an ability to, at least, ignore the more grating aspects of slang usage.

But then, the big moment. The moment when the physical relationship between Dane and Marlowe finally escalates past some simple kisses. I understand that a lot of people are not as sensitive as I am to these issues. But, the fact that the compliments Dane lobs at Marlowe are, ‘You’re intelligent, and I don’t get to meet intelligent women often,’ and, ‘You have an appetite unlike the other women,’ (paraphrased) just made my head start to hurt.

It’s not a compliment. And, frankly, it’s a bit lazy and cliche and old. It’s an old, overused, out of date sentiment from a pretty paint-by-numbers hero to an interest-if-not-for-the-pervasive-slang heroine. After that, I just couldn’t dig my way back into the narrative. Regardless of how I felt about Marlowe by the end of it (likable, but not groundbreaking), the amount of distaste and disinterest I felt toward Dane rather ruined the book for me.
Profile Image for Vikki Vaught.
Author 11 books158 followers
December 16, 2014
What a fantastic start for Shana Galen’s new Covent Garden Cubs series. Earls Just Want to Have Fun is as dynamic and brilliant as her other stories have been. Ms. Galen is one my favorite authors and I don’t even have to read the blurb before I download her books. I am fortunate enough to have the honor of reading this book in advance of publication through Net Galley.

I adored the start of this book. It grabbed me and had me hooked from the first page. It starts out with Marlowe as a young five year old child playing in a park only to be nabbed by a rogue from Seven Dials, looking for a new cub for his gang of pickpockets. When Marlowe again appears after a scene break in the book, she is grown up and has only vague memories of being Elizabeth, which she dismisses as fantasy and wishful thinking. Being a part of Satin’s gang is now all she knows and a fine pickpocket she has become.

While moving in on a target, all does not go as planned. When she runs into the mark, she slips her nimble fingers into his jacket and takes his blunt. The man does not react as she expects him to when he catches her. He smiles and says, “Good day, Elizabeth. I’ve been waiting for you.” Instead of trying to convince her to come with him—after telling her he has been hired by her parents to find her—he tells her where to find him and walks away.

Later that evening, while moving in on a house the gang planned to rob, someone grabs her and throws her into a waiting carriage. She soon discovers it is Sir Brook, the mark from earlier in the day, and his brother, the Earl of Dane. They take her to Dane’s townhouse in Mayfair. Sir Brook leaves her with Dane when he is called off on some urgent business. The attraction between Marlowe and the earl is instantaneous and combustible. Can this unlikely pair find a way to bridge the gap between their social stations, or will Dane let her go rather than shake up his life?

I am extremely impressed with the way Ms. Galen developed Dane’s character. She takes him from a sanctimonious, boring prig, who talks of the weather and politics, to a caring and generous man. Dane is not a rake, which I find refreshing, and he is a beta male, not an alpha as so many heroes are in most books. She has me rooting for the couple’s “Happily Ever After”, even though there are so many cards stacked against them. When they finally make love, it is one of the most tender love scenes I have ever read.

Marlowe is a straight forward female, definitely a spunky kid character arch with a bit of the waif thrown in. She has to be to have survived growing up around criminals. She hides behind her sarcastic wit to cover up her insecurities. I fell in love with her from the first page, so even when she comes across with a snarky attitude later in the story, I am able to overlook that.

There are several humorous scenes in this story, which lightens the darker moments, and there are several of those. This is a fast-paced book, and I found it difficult to put down. In fact, I read late into the night, trying to finish it. If you have never read any of Shana Galen’s books, then this would be an excellent one to start with. You will not be disappointed. Happy reading!
Profile Image for Kiltsandswords.
229 reviews30 followers
October 20, 2014
Earls Just Want To Have Fun(Covenant Garden Club) by Shana Galen
Overview by Amazon:
Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.
Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.
I didn’t just like this book, I ADORED it! Shana Galen has always written excellent stories with great characters, well researched historical facts and plot lines that leave you breathless.
Marlowe is a pickpocket who knows a life of grime, danger and survival. She has been part of a gang run by the evil Satin since she was a young child. She remembers precious little about her life before she became a thief, but her very existence relies on her cunning and skills. She lives in the Seven Dials neighbourhood, one of the very worst slums in London. The author skillfully describes what hell this area was like – the smells, the filth and the degradation of human life.
Her whole life changes in the midst of a robbery. She is called by the name ‘Elizabeth’ by a mark. It shocks her as she is dressed as a boy and while that isn’t her name, it triggers faint memories of another life. In her world, a throat can be slit over a shilling and this strange man has placed her in danger from her gang. She is curious about what this man has said, but values her life too much to investigate.
The decision is taken from her as she is abducted during a robbery. It may have been the best thing as she has blossomed into a beautiful woman and her gang leader may start to develop plans to move her beyond robbery schemes and into prostitution. She is abducted by Sir Brook and his extremely reluctant brother the Earl of Dane. She fights like a hell cat and her coarseness is funny at times. She has a vocabulary that would make a seasoned sailor blush. I loved how the author took the time to describe how dirty she was, how the smell of her made the men gag and how different she was from their worlds.
As soon as she is abducted, she is dumped into the care of Max, Earl of Dane as his brother runs off to solve a problem at Bow Street. He implores Max to keep Marlowe at their home as he truly believes she is the missing daughter of Lord and Lady Landon. To say that Max is displeased is a drastic understatement. And so the fun and games begin…
Marlowe is coarse and foul. She knows nothing of being a lady or even simple politeness. To a gentleman like Max, she is more than an oddity, rather a creature from another planet. Since Brook has disappeared, Max must deal with her. After forcing her to bathe, he sees a beautiful young woman who stirs his blood even as her table manners repulse him.
The story is so skillfully developed. Her world and experiences are explored as she learns to fit into the world of the wealthy. She experiences many simple things that in most historical romance novels wouldn’t even be a thought. The simple act of having her hair done and wearing proper lady garments are foreign to her and it’s hard not to fall in love with her as she explores this strange new land she is inhabiting. It seems that her skills learned on the street of mimicking and blending in help her begin to approach some low level of suitability, but she is a feisty and spirited woman who longs for the freedom she has had all her life.
Max has become the centre of her world. He introduces her to new food, teaches her manners, keeps her belly full at all time and most importantly he gets to know her. Max has no compassion for the poor and recently defeated a bill in Parliament that would have helped people like Marlowe, yet he can’t help himself from being drawn to her. She doesn’t banter about the weather, she takes delight in the simplest of things and wistfully dreams of learning to read. The two of them spend all their time together and without the guise of lord and lady, they get to know about each other in a very real way.
Max knows that Marlowe is all wrong for him. He is keeping her in his home, much to his mother’s horror and sister’s delight, in the event that she really is the long lost daughter. She doesn’t believe that she is and he doesn’t either, but just like Marlowe is having an adventure in the land of the ton, Max is having an adventure with a woman unlike any other that he has met. As the days go by, his attraction to her reaches fever pitch. He finds her honesty refreshing. He loves to see the wonder in her eyes. He admires her tenacity and cunning at surviving the life she has led.
But danger stalks them. Satin finds out where she is and forces her to steal from the Dane family or he will kill her. We learn that he has beaten her badly before and in that world, lives are as expendable as tissues. Marlowe must decide if she trusts Max to help her outwit Satin and his team as new morals develop and she no longer wishes to rob his family blind or see them hurt.
As they devise and develop a plot to trap Satin, they also further their attachment to each other. Max wants her and although Marlowe is a virgin, she also wants to learn about passion from him. A perfect example of why this book was so enchanting was the cockney language that permeates the story. When they start to explore each other sexually, I almost fell off my chair laughing as Marlowe refers to her breasts as ‘bubbies’. You can take the woman out of Seven Dials, but you can’t change everything. Max has no wish to change most things about her and he definitely wants to see her ‘bubbies’. The passion between the two was special. It’s hard to describe how you feel as a reader when the love scenes make you feel hot all over and yet deeply touched at the poignancy of the emotions of the characters. The sex the two share is sweet at times and sometimes burning hot. Max is eager to instruct his pupil about the ways a man can pleasure a woman. He was gentle and careful, but the feisty nature of Marlowe who experiences everything with her whole heart makes their time together truly some of the best love scenes I have ever read.
Their plan to trap Satin is dangerous and relies on the help of his brother and some of her slum friends. It’s a great story when you are so worried for the characters and emotionally drawn into their battle. I worried like crazy that all would work out. There was some touch and go moments that made this story leap off the page. Marlowe will never be safe or free unless Satin is taken down. It’s remarkable change in Max that he is willing and eager to help her. As he enters her world, the blinders are off his eyes about the lives of the poor and now he is determined to make helping to better their lot in life his personal mission. I love when characters evolve in such a profound way. It wasn’t a quick change in opinion, but rather an accumulated understanding of the deep needs within his own city and something within his power to change. That is what makes Shana Galen such a gifted author. She creates characters that are people you admire and want to spend time with.
Max doesn’t know what he wants from Marlowe. She will never agree to be his mistress and she is not suitable as a countess. It’s a dilemma that he must decide. Marlowe is about to leave his life – either as the daughter of a lord and lady or back to the thieving life she knows. The tension you feel as he makes his decision is so heart wrenching it makes you want to yell at the pages for Max to fight for Marlowe like he’s going to fight for the poor.
Shana Galen writes stories that challenge you as a reader and through all the highs and lows, the endings always somehow have bittersweet moments to balance out the happiness. This story was a wealth of information about the lives of the poor in London. It was so much deeper than taking an ugly duckling and turning her into a swan, it was the compromise and coming together of two people who need each other to be complete.
Reviewed by www.kiltsandswords.com Thank you to net galley for an advanced copy for an honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Fae.
944 reviews23 followers
May 23, 2022
2019 rating: 5 stars

2022 rating: 3 stars
i had mixed feelings about this book. while the writing was not bad, it was lacking in the romance development area. Dane and Marlowe started off as enemies, becoming friends and then lovers. but the sequence moved very quickly and it was very hard for me to connect the dots--believe that they fell for each other due to the fact that there was very little sharing of emotional burdens/traumas to allow them to bond better. this was the hole that the author failed to fill in to make their romance a truly believable one, at least to me. it felt as if she skipped it and decided to make them like each other a lot. putting the lack of emotional scenes aside, their chemistry was good.

i liked Marlowe and her shining personality. her cuss words, her table manners, her behavior were very refreshing to see as it is rare in historical romance books. i enjoyed seeing her transform from a girl from the streets into a beautiful woman fitted to wear pretty dresses, and stand in ballrooms.

compared to Marlowe, i felt Dane was a boring man. there was nothing special about him to make me love him. however, i did like that he became more empathetic about the plights of the people who are poor and had a change of heart about them. other than that, his personality was meh. he didn't particularly have any sad backstory or anything to make him lovable in my eyes.

the fact that the word 'bubbies' was used as a replacement for 'bosom/breasts' amused me. it isn't the most flattering word but it was funny. the last chapter did not cover Dane's mother's reaction to him wanting to marry marlowe, the ton's reaction to their marriage, how Marlowe adjusted to being a countess as well as a daughter...

the plot wasn't boring, despite it having action. a nice book to read to pass the time.
Profile Image for Juliette Cross.
Author 37 books2,671 followers
July 18, 2019
REREAD: July 2019--Just as fabulous as the first read. Historical romance at its best.

Wonderful! Witty, sexy, and full of heart. Unputdownable. Shana Galen is one of my top fave historical romance authors now.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books600 followers
February 18, 2015
Read this review on Got Fiction?

Dane is such a stuffed up, self-important earl, that he seriously makes the BEST hero to Marlowe, a common thief. Except there’s nothing really common about her at all.

Marlowe is found by Sir Brook (an inspector-one who specializes in finding missing persons) and while she makes off with his money, he leaves her with a name- Lady Elizabeth. No one knows that Marlowe has a fantasy where a nice woman sings her a lullaby and calls her Elizabeth. No one. Thrown off her game, Marlowe high-tails it back to the cubs (her gang), and to Satin, her boss.

Dane is Sir Brook’s brother, and he comes along one night, longing for some excitement. Little does he know what kind of excitement he’s in for. Sir Brook literally kidnaps Marlowe and tosses her into Dane’s coach, then leaves this dirty wild creature with Dane, stating he believes he’s found the missing Lady Elizabeth, a girl kidnapped at age 5 and never seen again.

Dane is shocked and outraged, and…intrigued. His disdain for the poor, the dirty, the lower classes all shows itself, and yet, Marlowe not only opens his eyes, but changes his opinions. When he sees how she grew up, how she survived, he sees Marlowe as brave, and intelligent, and he can’t believe she still has any compassion, empathy, or love. He’s completely smitten.

But it takes a while for him to get there. Heroes like him always fall the hardest.

Marlowe, for her part, did what she had to do to survive. And through it all, she’s still a virgin. And incredibly naive. I had a hard time with this aspect. I get that Satin was probably keeping her a virgin so he could pull some job or another by either selling her, or using her, but I just couldn’t get over how naive Marlowe was. I mean, she lived in the worst slums, she said very casually that she’d seen couplings many times, and she’d had a few men paw at her. It just seemed odd to have her so sexually unaware.

But the fact that she loves a good tea cake more than sex, or anything else, was fabulous. I loved her. I hated that Dane was still so stuffy and priggish up until the very end. I wanted him to show his true feelings sooner. But on the whole, this was a fantastic story, and I can’t wait for the next one. You don’t need to have read the prequel to read this one, but you should since it’s a good story.

Oh and this series crosses-over with Ms. Galen’s Jewels of the Ton series, but you don’t need to have read it. So if you’re in the mood for a good story with completely different types of hero/heroine that you’re used to, this is your book! Solid plot, intriguing characters, and well-written, Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a fabulous read you won’t regret buying.

***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
March 14, 2016
Maybe a little over three stars. One of my friends just posted a "want-to-read" for this one and I remembered I'd recently read it but couldn't remember a thing about it. I had to go to the description. Not an enthusiastic endorsement.

But for the price (free) it was diverting for the time I read it. Not bad at all, just didn't knock my socks off.

It's a rather ridiculous and overused trope. The girl who has ended up in a kids' gang in the slums of London. She poses as a boy for the most part to do her thieving, but she's most definitely a woman. She ends up meeting an Earl who's stuck up and thinks the poor are being coddled and they change each others' lives.

It plays out fairly predictably, but not badly. Galen's a very competent writer and she's able to pull it off. There are some amusing scenes and there's chemistry between the two leads, so as I said, it's a decent diversion for a day or two.
Profile Image for Angie Elle.
870 reviews102 followers
January 23, 2015
3.5 stars

Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA and Netgalley for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sing it with me while bobbing your head from side to side…Earls Just Want to Have Fu-un! I really enjoyed this first full-length installment of the Covent Garden Cubs series. The premise is reminiscent of Lorraine Heath’s Scoundrels of St. James series, which was a huge hit for me, so I’m really excited to see what Shana Galen has in store!

This book kicks off the same way the novella preceding it does—once Brook Derring, a Bow Street Runner, makes a startling discovery, chaos ensues! A common thief living in the slums of London might just be the long lost daughter of the Marquess of Lyndon, but when Brook gets word that another case needs his attention, he drops his ‘discovery’ on his brother’s doorstep and flees.

After being abducted, ‘Marlowe’ is whisked off to the grandest, most luxurious house she’s ever set foot in. Unfortunately, its owned by the most frustrating man she’s ever met—Maxwell, Lord Dane, and she is there against her will. Straight-laced Maxwell is dismayed to learn that until her identity can be confirmed, the thief his brother kidnapped must remain in residence.

Marlowe and Maxwell have chemistry from the second they meet, but it’s not romantic sparks that fly. This is a mixed enemies to lovers/opposites attract story, and the combo blends perfectly. I found that both of these characters took some warming up to, in large part because of their disdain toward each other. Maxwell has no use for people who are ‘beneath’ him and ‘unwilling to get a job.’ and Marlowe knows when she is being looked down on; she isn’t about to idly sit by and allow it to happen.

Marlowe’s struggle was my favorite part of the story; it was so beautifully written. Despite what she has been told, she has vague memories of a time when she was loved and well cared for. She longs to have a place to belong: someone who loves her and wants to spend time with her. On the other hand, she has no desire to walk among the ton; she is who she is and there’s a certain comfort in that. It was interesting to watch her try and navigate society, and then place her in the Seven Dials, London’s slums, and see her right at home. It was witnessing that struggle that allowed Maxwell’s eyes to be opened to the world he’d only ever seen with contempt and see it in another light.

I thought the pacing of this story was perfect; Maxwell and Marlowe each had preconceptions that needed to be overcome, and plenty of time was spent in each world to allow this to happen. There was a lot of development with both the hero and the heroine, and I love how much they played a part in the other’s personal growth. My only criticism is the same one I had with the other book—while the intimate scenes were well-written, there was one in particular where the timing just wasn’t right. There were bigger issues at hand that should have taken priority, and as intelligent as the main characters were, it felt out of place.

Overall, I thought Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a great read. If you like a spitfire heroine who’s not afraid to put the hero in his place, this book is perfect for you!

This review was originally posted at Badass Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Katy.
268 reviews64 followers
March 7, 2018
I keep asking myself I liked this book and frankly, I don't even know. It was a nice change from most of the HRs I've been reading, even if it was wildly unrealistic. I loved the heroine, but the hero was pretty awful. It was a really interesting plot but I'm not sure it was handled that well. So, final verdict?

Plot: This is basically a mash-up of My Fair Lady and Cinderella. If Cinderella's prince was actually an elitist prig of an earl with a stick up his ass and Eliza was a woman named Marlowe who happened to be part of a gang of pickpockets and con men controlled by a vicious ringleader. Throw in there the fact that Marlowe might actually be the long long daughter of a lord who was kidnapped as a young child and we have this delightfully odd yet problematic book.

I enjoyed the writing and the pacing but the romance left a little to be desired. Dane and his ever-present condescension really put a damper on their chemistry. I had a hard time believing Marlowe's lack of experience, it felt like taking the easy way out.

My favorite part of this book also happened to be my main issue with it. Dane was such a pretentious snob. He was just so unlikable. This bothered me of course, but I also felt like it was the most realistic part of the book and it put an interesting twist on the Cinderella portion of the plot. He was an earl. Of course he thought he was better than Marlowe, she was an illiterate pickpocket who grew up on the streets. Hell, even the help looked down on her. So it made sense, I'll admit that much. I really enjoyed watching Marlowe show Dane how wrong it was that he willfully ignored the suffering of the less fortunate and that he could make a difference. BUT. If I'm being perfectly honest, it didn't help all that much. Even after Dane's change of heart, I still wasn't sold on him. He was a little too adamant at the beginning of the book that the poor deserved their fate and that there are plenty of ways for them to support themselves. I mean, if only they tried to better themselves everything would work out, right? No, Dane. Just sit down.

Dane was just awful to Marlowe for too long. Marlowe may have been a thief but Dane was just...ugh.

Despite my complaints, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I'd recommend it for HR lovers but otherwise, not so much.
Profile Image for Sara Reads (mostly) Romance.
349 reviews237 followers
March 25, 2018
4 Improbable Stars

Was this super unrealistic?
Did the hero and heroine fall in love in the span of 2 days?
Did I care?
Hell nah

Because it was cute, well written and simple with minimal drama! My kind of lighthearted romance
Profile Image for Jaclyn.
789 reviews163 followers
February 7, 2015
Another funny, quirky romance from Galen, featuring the transformation of a lowly thief into lady of nobility.

Marlowe is a thief, and has been as long as she can remember. But, it turns out she just might be the long-lost daughter of nobility, Lady Elizabeth. Which she learns when she is kidnapped off the street by Sir Brook and his reluctant brother, Lord Dane, an Earl who does not see the lower orders in a favourable light. Poor people are just lazy after all. Lord Dane beliefs are entrenched until he’s saddled with Marlowe, who opens up his eyes to the true world of the those less fortunate.

The premise to Earl’s Just Want to Have Fun is not unique, but it’s a fun set up for a historical romance. Marlowe is a street thief. She’s rough and doesn’t give a fig about the proper rules for things, all of which initially shock Dane. At least, until these very things that he finds off putting, suddenly become charming.

Having read and loved Galen’s Love and Let Spy I was really excited to read Earl’s Just Want to Have Fun. I love that Galen writes unusual and unrealistic historical romances; that’s the great thing about the romance genre, so often the impossible is possible. Earl’s Just Want to Have Fun delivered exactly what I was expecting. It was fun. Marlowe in particular was a really fun character. She came of age in Seven Dials and it shows. The words that would come out of her mouth were hilarious, but she also had moments where she was serious, especially when she opened Dane’s eyes about life as someone poor. In contrast to Marlowe, Dane was equally funny, but mostly because he was a bit of a fuddy-duddy entrenched in his own beliefs. This was a true opposites-attract romance novel.

Lord Dane was a bit of a pill to start off. His opinions about the poor and his status as a lord were off putting, if realistic. When readers are first introduced to Dane, he's musing about the awesome speech he gave at Parliament:

He smiled, thinking of the speech he'd given at the last session. It had been a rousing denunciation of a proposed bill to allocate more funds to help the poor.

The poor! What about the military or the farmers? What about the deuced Irish problem? Dane had argued quite successfully - as the bill had been defeated - that the poor deserved their fate. They were lazy or preferred sloth to hard work. Dirty, uneducated, and immoral, the lowest classes were barely human. (p. 18-19)

As you can see, our hero, initially, is not much of a catch. After all, Marlowe is barely human according to Dane, and there are a few instances when he treats her as such. Luckily, Marlowe is no milk and water society miss; she has no problem demanding respect from Dane or sharing her opinion of his ability to live in her world:

"I said, I'm going to get Satin before he can get me."

He did not want to ask the next question, but he couldn't find a way around it. "Are we speaking of murder?"

She gaped at him. "I'm no killer. Besides, how would I mill Satin? I don't have a weapon besides my knife, and he'd just knock it out of my hand."

"Then you want me to...mill him?"

"What? You?" She started laughing, and Dane frowned. His frown turned to a scowl when her laugh continued. And continued. (p.225)

Had Marlowe not been such a strong character I don't think Dane would have worked as her hero. As it is, Dane does start learn about the real choices open to those of the lower classes, mainly due to his interest in Marlowe, while still retaining some of his naivety about how the world really works.

This was also a fast-paced read, and as a result I don’t think that it ever felt overly emotional. I found that Earl’s Just Want to Have Fun relied more on comedy and the outrageous rather than emotional depth. And this is where my small disappointment comes in. Marlowe was lost to her parents as a child, but there is not much time spent on their reunion, and I would have really liked to this to have been part of the book. Deep emotional territory is never waded into in this one. But, if you looking for an action packed tale this is a good choice.

I also didn't find the romance between Dane and Marlowe to be overly emotional either. Their initial attraction required a pretty hefty suspension of belief. I'm not convinced that any woman, when faced with abduction, would really be thinking about how attractive her abductor is. Marlowe's fear disappears suspiciously quickly. Personally, I would have liked to have seen this develop after the kidnapping aspect had been resolved. That said, Marlowe and Dane's inconvenient attraction did prove to be rather amusing from the start.

Lastly, the secondary character were also very interested and they have piqued my interest in future books in the series. For example, Marlowe's friend Gideon is of particular interest as is Dane's younger sister, Susanna. Call me crazy, but I'd love to see the author throw those two together. I can't wait to read what comes next in this series, and I know it will be something fun and not exactly historically accurate.

Originally reviewed for The Book Adventures.

*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Seon Ji (Dawn).
1,033 reviews227 followers
November 8, 2015
Entertaining. This is a typical class separation story. The story was prety good, and I liked that the author slowly depicted the changes the characters go through. The antagonists are well developed and have sincere motives. I adore Gideon.

What I didn't care for? the repeated use of the words "noodle" and "bubbies" it truly made me cringe every time I read them. I also noticed inconsistancies with the charater Marlowe. Apparently she always carries lockpicks, but yet struggles to locate the key to escape Dane while locked in his bedroom. And how is it he kisses her when she has a dagger in her mouth? One mintue they are walking arm and arm in the park, the next second he has his hands clasped in front of him. There are also inconsistancies in Marlowes speech. Another thing that irked me is that Marlowe who is supposed to be an excellent thief, a master of mocking accents and noblility, doesn't have the sense to know to just give her wrap to the servant at the ball, instead she argues thinking he wants to steal it. I mean really, how stupid can one be?

I did like Dane very much but I just barely found it believable that he would fall in love with Marlowe.

Lastly, the whole idea of Brook leaving a known criminal in the care of his brother, in his home with his mother and sister is just ludicrous. Even if he does think she is the missing Lady Elizabeth. Too much of a stretch.

2.5 stars (rounding up) only because I really liked the Dane and Susanna characters.
Profile Image for Esther .
869 reviews202 followers
January 8, 2015

This was such of fun and yet emotional read. This book had it all; chemistry, romance, sexual tension, action and heartwarming too. Good pacing and well done story line. We need more historical romances like this.

Dane/Max what an incredible hero!!! He appeared somewhat proper but what he really needed was just the right women to loosen him up. He was a well-rounded hero; white knight, sweet, hot, tender and a gentlemen. Can you tell I am in love with this guy? Marlowe/Elizabeth was a feisty and determined young lady, but she had to be do to circumstances. But there was a sweet and tender side too her that she could never really show for her own self-preservation. But with Dane by her side she was able to begin to trust and hope. I really enjoyed these two together!!! The way they came together from the first moment was funny and sweet. There journey together was a great read. Dane’s brother, Brook, yes!!! And also would like to see a story about Dane’s sister too, Susanna.

Just a couple things that bothered me. They seemed to have a lot happen in the book in just a couple days. Also the ending seemed a little abrupt, but did enjoy the epilogue.

So great read and highly recommended!

Netgalley for honest review
Profile Image for Vicki.
1,207 reviews154 followers
February 8, 2016
A 5 year old Elizabeth is kidnapped. 15 years later a Bow Street runner believes he has located her. After the runner Brooks and his brother Maxwell, Lord of Dane obtain the street urchin Marlowe ( possibly Lady Elizabeth). They take her to their home and send for her parents to confirm her identity.

Marlowe has had it very rough living as a thief on the streets of London. She has an often hilarious adjustment period at the Earl's home. She doesn't fare well in such a rich environment.

Marlowe and Maxwell struggle to survive their differences as they wait for her identity to be confirmed. Maxwell has never been around thieves and con artists and does not appreciate her being foisted upon him like this.

There are many twists and turns in this book which prove that everyone can learn something new from others. I found myself really liking both Lord Dane and Marlowe very much. Maxwell's family is full of fun and interesting characters.

A wonderful book that touched my heart on many levels. I now want to read the others in this series.
Profile Image for Wendy.
269 reviews124 followers
February 26, 2016
A surprising 4.5 stars. One of those that initially didn't appeal but was recommended so I gave it a go. Pygmalion come Oliver Twist and very well written also an excellent, thoughtful storyline. The silly title really doesn't describe the content; in fact it has little relevance. My first Shana Galen but definitely not my last.
Profile Image for Susan (susayq ~).
2,159 reviews120 followers
April 25, 2019
Fun Read

3.5 stars

While I really enjoyed this, the slang Marlowe used just about killed me. I am guessing it was appropriate for the time as it wasn't modern, but it was words I had never been introduced to. And they were used a lot.

As for the story, I liked it. I am curious how the next book will play out.
Profile Image for Susan Gorman.
386 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2015
I loved Earls Just Want To Have Fun, the first book in Shana Galen's new Covent Garden Cub series! The novel has all of the elements of a regency romance that are important to me; memorable characters, great dialogue and a believable storyline Ms. Galen is well known for writing fast paced adventure novels with glamorous heroines, dashing heroes and nasty villains. Earl's Just Want to Have Fun includes the author's trademark writing style plus a new element. The book touches upon society's view of the poor and provides a preview of England's rising social awareness

Sir Brook Derring has asked his brother, Maxwell Derring, the Earl of Dane to borrow his coach. Dane was sitting in the carriage thinking about a speech he'd given at Parliament about the poor when his brother hurried into the carriage with a woman. Brook explains that he believes that the woman is Lady Elizabeth Grafton who was kidnapped when she was five years old.

Sir Brook and Dane decide that they can't bring the young woman to the Lyndons and decide to bring her to their family home. Brook is called away on business and he instructs Dane to clean, feed and keep Lady Elizabeth safe. I enjoyed the next few chapters of the book as the girl , known as Marlowe , and Dane form an uneasy alliance

These chapters had a My Fair Lady theme and it was interesting to see how both Dane and Marlowe changed their behavior and mannerisms to blend into the social situation at hand. I loved the banter between Dane and Marlowe and enjoyed reading when Marlowe spoke in "flash ken". By having Marlowe use a different dialect throughout the story, Ms. Galen provides her readers with subtle examples of the many differences between the poor living in the Seven Dials sections of London and the Mayfair aristocracy

My favorite scene in the novel is when Dane and Marlowe waltz at the Duchess of Abingdon's ball. Dane is mesmerized at the change in Marlowe. She is stunning in her violet ball gown. As the couple dances and then kisses, Dane realizes that his upper class sensibilities are meaningless and that he is starting to care for Marlowe.

While in the terrace, Marlowe is surprised by Satin, the leader of her gang. Satin threatened Marlowe and wants her to help him rob Dane's townhouse. Satin threatens Marlowe and disappears before Dane returns. Dane knows that something has frightened Marlowe and asks her to trust him. Marlowe needs to decide if she can trust Dane with the truth before Satin puts his plan in action. The last few chapters of the book are fast -paced and both intrigue and emotions run high. There are several plot twists that held my interest Will Dane and Marlowe trust each other enough to work together and outsmart Satin and his crafty crew? Is Marlowe the daughter of Lord and Lady Grafton?

Congratulations to Shana Galen for an excellent start to a new series! Am looking forward to The Rogue You Know which will be available in September, 2015.
February 22, 2015
Historical Fiction aren't really my thing, but this one is forcing me to reconsider.. This is a very solid romance novel.. It has everything I like about a romance but set in a historical setting.

Marlowe lives as part of the Covent Garden Cubs gang. As the summary explains, she is a thief and a vulgar creature. One day she meets a stranger who calls her by a name that picks at this wisps of memories of a long forgotten life. Some days later, she is captured by a man and delivered to the The Lord of Dane. Turns out it's his brother who kidnapped her claiming she the lost daughter of Lord and Lady Lyndon and Maxwell has to endure her stay and her street mouth that puts street men to shame. But she is determined to go back home until that seed of hope of returning home being to grow. Would she give up the chance to know who she is? and would her gang lord let her leave without getting something out of it in return? of course you should find out ;)

I enjoyed this book more than I thought. We have a heroine who is sassy, smart, cunning and foul-mouthing and sharp and witty and funny. She is the perfect entertaining heroine for a romance novel. It made me warm up to her instantly. Specially when she was dealing with Maxwell, that was so awesome. She isn't taking his BS and definitely not falling for his charms.

Maxwell as well was great balance between charming-and-he-knows-it guy and the down to earth kind Lord. It was really well-balanced and made his cocky remarks more endearing. How his relationship with Marlowe changed his personality in a very believable way. It is was slow and beautiful.

One thing I could do without was the whole running-after-the-crime-lord. But I understand it has to be done.

I'll definitely pick up the next book and see what's it going to be about. Silently praying it's about Gideon but it'll most likely be about Brook
Profile Image for Caz.
2,761 reviews1,033 followers
June 28, 2016
I've given this a B+ for both narration and content at AudioGals, so that's 4.5 stars

A few months back, I listened to and reviewed The Rogue You Know, the second book in Shana Galen’s Covent Garden Cubs series. At that point, I’d heard narrator Beverley A. Crick only one other time and had been sufficiently impressed by her performance to want to listen to her again. I’ve since listened to her a few more times, and as I’d enjoyed both story and performance in Rogue, I decided to back-track and pick up its predecessor, Earls Just Want to Have Fun.

The book is a kind of mix of Cinderella and Pygmalion, as our Eliza – in this case, a street-urchin by the name of Marlowe – gets to see how the other half lives after she is abducted by the investigator hired to trace the whereabouts of a girl who went missing some fifteen years earlier. It’s an enjoyable and well-written story that has more depth than its overly-cutesy song-title appellation might suggest.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.
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