The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch: Book Review and Giveaway
Our Good and Sovereign God Works in Mysterious Ways
Erica Vetsch offers readers a marriage-of-convenience story that is sure to delight
Grand Rapids, MI — Erica Vetsch brings her much beloved Serendipity & Secrets series to a close with the highly anticipated release of The Indebted Earl (Kregel Publications/March 23, 2021/ISBN: 9780825446191/$15.99). This latest installment tells the story of Lady Sophia Haverly, the free-spirited and energetic younger sister of Marcus Haverly readers will remember from The Gentleman Spy, and Captain Charles Wyvern, a longtime naval officer trying to find his footing on dry land.
Captain Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life—especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiancé and his mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.
“Charles’s parents were estranged from his family before he was born, and there was an heir closer in line to the earldom than he, so he never expected to inherit the title,” Vetsch explains. “He has made a fine career for himself in the Royal Navy, and though the war has ended and many ship captains are without commands and looking for work, Charles is determined to continue a life on the sea. He knows nothing about managing an estate and cannot even ride a horse, having gone to sea as a child. He is a reluctant peer, but his life aboard ship has equipped him in some nonobvious ways to be at the helm of an estate.”
When the newly named earl and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a trio of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.
Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her deceased fiancé’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. It also means she’s in charge of settling her future, not her matchmaking mother, who is determined to marry her off as soon as her “summer of mourning” is over. This alliance is also a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.
It sounds so simple. That is, until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.
Along the way both Sophie and Charles learn to trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God’s plans, and realize that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. “Sophie struggles with the idea that God is both good and sovereign,” Vetsch adds. “It’s easy to accept one or the other, but both? How can God be good when He’s taken her beloved fiancé away? How can He be sovereign when bad things happen? Charles’s struggle is similar in that he is all about control, about ordering his life according to his plan. What Charles wants—to continue his naval career—is both noble and reasonable. Why won’t God make it happen?”
Three unexpected titles, three unexpected marriages, and three stories of secrets, love, and testing whether God is truly sovereign. The Indebted Earl ties up Vetsch’s first Regency series in a proper bow.
For readers who are far from excited to bid a fond farewell to the beloved characters of the Serendipity & Secrets trilogy, Vetsch understands. “There’s such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in seeing this series completed, but there is sadness in moving on! I am so reluctant to let these stories and characters go that I’m bringing some of them back in my next series, the Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries!” The first book in the series, The Debutante’s Code, will debut in late 2021.
“The Indebted Earl is both beautiful and engaging, as the reader embarks on an adventure full of unexpected twists and turns. A diverse cast of new characters, and the return of a few we fell in love with in The Gentleman Spy, makes this is a must-read for historical romance fans.”
~ Gabrielle Meyer, author of Unexpected Christmas Joy
“Vetsch’s impeccable research and compelling Regency voice have made Serendipity & Secrets one of the strongest offerings in inspirational historical romance in years. The compulsive trilogy comes to a wonderful conclusion in a tale that packs as much adventure as it does heart. High emotional stakes, love lost and found, and an intelligent treatment of duty and honor will delight established fans while sweeping newcomers off their feet.”
~ Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration and The Mozart Code
“Thoroughly researched with genuine, well-wrought characters, The Indebted Earl is a don’t-miss read! Vetsch’s rich writing and carefully crafted story sweep the reader into Regency England with all the delights of this fascinating genre. This third volume in her Serendipity & Secrets series brings a satisfying resolution to the trilogy.”
~ Jan Drexler, award-winning author of Softly Blows the Bugle
About the Author
Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.
This has been a truly wonderful series, but I do believe The Indebted Earl is my favorite. Captain Wyvern and Sophia are so well matched, their mannerisms and character traits perfectly balanced. I loved reading Charles’ thoughts and the way everything fell back to his life as a Captain. The overall story flow and pacing were perfect for a day of reading, and I could not put the book down. The marriage of convenience angle felt genuine and the gradual development of feelings rounded out the story. I love the writing style and spiritual message that came through showing how God’s plans are always better than our plans. We might think we know what we need, but He has a better plan. I received a copy of this book from the author via Read with Audra. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.