I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the first two books in the Serendipity & Secrets series. So, I was very excited when I was chosen to read and review The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch. This Christian Regency romance picks up the story of Lady Sophia Haverly, whose brother was the focus of the second book, The Gentleman Spy, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. We find our second main character in a military hospital in Portugal, and his life quickly becomes entwined with Sophie even though they have not met.
In all three books, we read about strong female characters and male characters who have expected challenges thrust upon them by circumstances. Throughout all the difficulties in the books, the characters do seek the strength that God provides them – even the darkest moments. Sophie loses her fiancé, finds herself thrown out of the home she had recently grown to love, and finds herself in love with three orphaned girls who are wards of the new Earl of Rothwell. When trying to decide what to do, Sophie pours out her heart to God and feels at peace knowing everything would be up to God.
For the majority of The Indebted Earl, Captain Charles Wyvern, the new Earl of Rothwell, finds himself struggling with decisions. He promised Sophie's fiancé, Major Richardson, that he would look after Sophie's needs. How far should he go? Dare he allow his love for her to blossom? Would that be dishonoring the man who had saved his own life? Will he be able to personally care for his new wards, three orphaned girls, or will he send them away to a boarding school? Charles desperately wants to return to sea as a captain of a new ship but with the end of the war, this is not seeming like a possibility. But there are problems that pop up as Charles is offered a new commission:
- He has fallen in love with Sophie
- He wants to take care of the three girls, and they are taking a liking to him
- He wants to do right by his new home and land
- He is arrested on the suspicion of smuggling