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First Earl I See Tonight (Debutante Diaries, #1)
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First Earl I See Tonight

(Debutante Diaries #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  229 reviews
An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars…

Recently jilted by his fiancée, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young
Mass Market Paperback, 338 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Now, see, the thing is, I have only myself to blame. When an author is promoted as being "consistently compared to Eloisa James and Tessa Dare", alarm bells should go off in my head (they did, in fact, but stupid me felt in the mood for something light and fluffy and ignored them…) and tell me to stay away. The thing is, neither of those two authors' works have appealed to me lately for some reason. Which is a shame, because I used to LOVE their books. The point I am trying to make with this ram ...more
Joanna Loves Reading
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, hr, reviewed
2.5 Stars

When trying a new-to-me author, I try to keep an open mind, but I had some difficulty in doing that with this one. The problem is that this ARC came to me after a series of disappointing ARCs for new-to-me, established authors, so I was leery. I had my defenses in place for another disappointing sampling of a new-to-me author. Then it started chipping away at those defenses. While it took a little for me to get into the writing — it felt somewhat clunky and wordy at first, it did start
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiona is in need of her dowry money to pay off the blackmailer, who threatens to reveal her sister’s secret. She decided to propose marriage to David Gray, Earl of Ravenport. Gray is in need of money to renovate the Fortress, and even if he’s not interested in marriage after her latest engagement ended badly, she is intrigued by Fiona. Gray decided to invite Fiona, her sister and stepmother to his Fortress for a week, which he thought would scare her away, but Fiona is not like any other woman. ...more
Barbara Rogers
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, iblog
Series: Debutant Diaries #1
Publication Date: 10/30/18

I thoroughly enjoyed this read even though a few things puzzled me. It was fast-paced and kept me reading well past my bedtime. I enjoyed the characters and wanted to see them have their HEA and to see the villain punished.

David Gray, Earl of Ravenport inherited his earldom when he was much too young, twelve to be exact. He had a traumatic childhood and his father’s, and then his mother’s passing were tragic as well. Now, he’s an adult with a
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

I love first stories in new series and First Earl I See Tonight is no exception. Anna Bennett is a strong voice in historical romance and the Debutante Diaries series looks promising. Two sisters and a good friend all pledge to write a journal about their First Season and plan to share in their old age. First up is Fiona Hartley. Being desperate to marry in order to get her dowry to pay off a blackmailer, she boldly propositions the Earl of Ravenport to marry before the deadline, and his immedia
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
First Earl I See Tonight is the romance between a shy and clumsy heiress and a jilt and cynical earl in a desperate financial situation. When Miss Fiona Hartley receive a letter from someone trying to blackmailing her sister, threatening to reveal her real origin, our heroine doesn't hesitate to form a plan to prevent the truth from ruining her sibling and that's why she send a message to the Earl of Ravenport, asking for his hand in marriage. Fiona choose him because of his situation, but also ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gray and Fiona are lovely and it was a joy getting to know them and watching them get to know each other. Although I really enjoyed this story, it was not perfect. The biggest flaw for me was THE VILLAIN! Why is it that these types of stories usually have such lame villains? Is it because the authors don't really understand how to envision a bad guy? I do wish more time was taken to develop a better villain. Overall, I did like this although, I think an epilogue would have been nice.

**Thank you
Shell Cunliffe
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the publisher in return for a honest review.

Anna Bennett is a new author to me and one that I will be read again.

Fiona and her sister Lily are very fortunate that they are wealthy...but even though they are rich society still looks down on them, because there father made his money in trade, so when Fiona receives a letter about her sister, Fiona will do anything to stop this news becoming public. So she writes a letter to a Earl who hopefully can help.

David Gray, the Ea
♥ WishfulMiss ♥
When Fiona, an heiress of considerable wealth, becomes the victim of a blackmailer, she isn't cowed as much as she becomes determined to protect those she loves from scandal, by any means necessary.

Her solution? Get married, gain access to her dowry and pay off the blackmailer. And is just so happens that David Gray, the Earl of Davenport is short of funds and short a fiancé since his ex cried off just a few months ago.

It's a win-win. Fiona gets the money needed to make the blackmailer keep hi
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
First Earl I See Tonight features an amazing romance between a woman determined to save her family from scandal and a man unwilling to put his heart on the line no matter what the reward.

After his fiancée leaves him, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport plans to avoid the marriage mart. His sole focus is renovating his crumbling country estate and ensuring his grandmother’s happiness. When Gray receives a bold marriage proposal, he thinks the woman must be crazy or desperate. Undeterred by Gray’s reluc
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the premise of this book and I’m a sucker for finding a new author with a new series, so I was all in.

I loved Fiona and Gray. She’s sassy and he’s stoic and somehow their banter and chemistry is fantastic. I enjoyed this entire group of characters, but the bond between Fiona and her sister Lily was an added bonus.

Plot wise, it moved quickly and bit more drama filled than I was expecting {and would have liked}. The thread of blackmail was a bit odd, but worked. And while it was easy for
Jen Davis
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is my first book by Anna Bennett and though I had a few small issues, I found it an easy, pleasant read that I enjoyed overall.

The heroine, Fiona, is being blackmailed. Apparently, someone knows the truth of her sister’s parentage and will expose the secret unless Fiona pays him off. Before I get too far, I’ll say that my problems began here. I felt like it strained credibility that a wealthy family would raise a baby left on their doorstep and it took way too long to establish the particul
Jayasree B
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-kindle-lib
Absolutely loved this book!
Romance, intrigue, a dashing lord and a woman who knows her mind - what more can one ask for in a romance!

Perfect for the weekend.

For the entire review, visit Frost At Midnite.
Tracy Emro
Maybe 3.5 stars

Honestly, Anna Bennett is hit or miss for me and this book is closer to miss than hit for me.

Fiona Hartley needs to marry so she can gain access to her impressive dowry and pay off the blackmailer intent on ruining her sister. She decides David Gray, the Earl of Ravenport, is perfect for her needs. He is in need of funds and was kind to her. She has no desire for anything more than a marriage of convenience and sends him her proposal.

David is not interested in marriage - he has le
Pamela Sparkman
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Very enjoyable!

Review now posted.

The First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett was a delight and I was honored to read an advanced copy. I adored the author’s writing style as she managed to ensnare me with her descriptive, emotional, and witty prose.

Fiona Hartley needs to wed and she needs to wed quickly because that is the only way she can access her dowry money. Her family is being blackmailed, her sister, more specifically, and Fiona would do anything to protect her – even marry someone she
Caitlyn Lynch
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency-georgian
Miss Fiona Hartley is desperate. She has two weeks to come up with an enormous sum of money for a blackmailer or see her beloved sister ruined forever. Frightened to burden her sick father, there seems only one option open to her - marry in haste and to an obliging husband who will let her use a portion of her enormous dowry for her own purposes.

The only man she knows who ticks all the boxes is Gray, Earl of Ravenport, well known to be strapped for cash with an enormous, crumbling estate to reno
3.5 stars

Fiona seeks out the help of Grey, the Earl of Ravenport, because she can’t forget how he very gracefully “rescued” her after she made a fool of herself by tripping in the middle of a ballroom. In her mind he’s an honorable man that would at least listen to her plight and with any luck she could convince him to marry her. I had some trouble connecting to her in the beginning because more than trying to be in good terms with him (after all, SHE was asking HIM a huge favor) she tended to
Lovey Dovey Books
Published on Lovey Dovey Books

The first in Anna Bennet's Debutante Diaries series is the kind of regency romance I live for! First Earl I See Tonight is the beginning of an intriguing series for the most romantic of romantics. A jilted duke, bitter and hardened toward love, is propositioned by a young woman desperate to save her younger sister from ruin. The immediate answer is a hard "no" but Fiona's talent and genuine charm may be all she needs to secure the safety of her sister's reputation.

Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debutante a-wooing goes!

The jilted Earl of Ravenport, David Gray doesn't want a wife, he wants to renovate his deteriorating country home for his beloved grandmother.
Heiress Miss Fiona Hartley doesn't want to marry but it's the only way she can think of to pay off a blackmailer who threatens to expose information about her sister Lily.
When Fiona approaches Gray with a proposition to meet both their needs he's taken aback and decides a house party at his crumbling estate will send Fiona running
Pelusa Rivera
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rcvd an ARC at no cost to author..(netgalley) This was an enjoyable book. We meet Fiona who is being blackmailed on who her sister really is, and she does not want that to hurt her sister who she truly loves. Since she has a large dowry she sees this as the only solution for her to pay the black mailer however he only gives her two weeks. So in these two weeks she has to find someone and convince them to marry her and the only person she can think of is The Earl of Davenport (Grey). Fiona doesn' ...more
Sofia Lazaridou
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
First earl I see tonight is the first book in a new series by Anna Bennett. It's the story of Fiona and Gray. Fiona's sister will be the heroine of the second book which is nice. I got the impression that she is too young and immature to have a story, but I must have been wrong. I had a little problem with the communication between Fiona and Gray. I wanted her to reveal her secret to Gray sooner in order for them to work together and find out who the blackmailer is together. Fiona did all the wo ...more
Amy ~ Love At 1st Read
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m always on the hunt for the next great read. What a thrill it is to find a fabulous book and a phenomenal new author to follow. I am officially hooked on Anna Bennett and so thrilled to find her at the start of a new series. First Earl I See Tonight, the first in her Debutante Diaries series, wowed me, made me laugh, and broke my heart. Sometimes all in the same scene!
I adored Fiona and Gray. Anyone that loves their family as fiercely as these two did deserves their HEA. Who couldn’t help b
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiona, a title-less heiress, needs money to pay off a blackmailer and proposes marriage to a poor duke to get her hands on her dowry. While Gray could use some money to fix up his estate, he is not interested in marrying Fiona and does his best to scare her off, which turns out to be difficult as she is not the prissy kind of girl.

I loved the banter between the two, especially in the beginning of the book. Also following how they fall in love with each other was awesome. It did get a touch long
Douglas Meeks
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I accepted this to see if I could expand my list of exceptional historical romance authors and I don't think I really found one. This was a good story, the pacing was good but not great, towards the end you knew enough that I was able to skip 2-3 chapters of nothing to get to a really good ending.

It was a bit verbose in places and the blackmail scheme was overdone a bit and then expanded almost at the end for reasons that were a bit muddled to me, our heroine was so much the martyr she might as
Debra Martin
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed other books by Ms. Bennett, but this one was just ok. It started out great although a bit far-fetched. Ms. Fiona Hartley is being blackmailed and she needs to marry in order to access her dowry money. She proposes marriage to David Gray, Earl of Ravenport, who is in desperate need of funds to restore his family seat. This certainly was a different way to start a regency romance, but I wonder why the blackmailer did not blackmail her father who is a wealthy tradesman?

I liked Gray a
I requested this title through Netgalley because the title made me smile.
There are things I didn't like in there but overall, I really enjoyed this novel.

What I didn't like was the villain and the plot revolving around him, blackmail and all that. This person was a caricature, plain and simple. The pretext for both heroes to meet was very, very light : who would blackmail a girl who depends on her parents and has no money instead of blackmailing said parents, who can afford to pay ? And when sh
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
It was going great until it had the chance to not be cliche, AND IT DIDN'T TAKE IT. DISAPPOINTMENT!

Seriously though, I don't know why I chose to read this, but it was kind of fun. A little different and with a relatively likeable heroine. Will I read it again? No. But it was an enjoyable way to spend a day sick in bed.
Maggie Whitworth
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good read that will keep you turning the pages , interesting characters and great story line .
Loved Fiona , a real slightly dippy deb, with a passion for drawing and a certain Earl .
Wished Gray hadn’t been quite so surly and moody , I felt it detracted from the overall feel of the book .
But generally I enjoyed it and would read more from this author ,
4 stars
I received an advance copy of this book and chose to submit a review
4,5 stars for this lovely beginning of a new series :) I had my ups and downs with this story, but ultimately I thoroughly enjoyed it :) more details in my full review on the release day :)

edited to add my full review :)

I voluntarily reviewed an early copy of this book :) this is my second book ever that I read written by this lovely author and the first one in her newest series :) I fell in love with her writing style a few months ago when I read "I dared the duke" so naturally I was curious en
Roses R Blue
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars as reviewed at Rose Are Blue:

Fiona Hartley is being blackmailed. The heiress received a note, advising that her adopted sister’s scandalous birth details would be revealed to the press unless she makes the required payment within two weeks. Knowing that her family would be ruined if this secret is revealed, Fiona decides she will make the payment, and the only way to do that is to access her dowry. And the only way to do that is to marry quickly. One problem – s
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Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided historicals (with their balls, dukes, and gowns) were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few ye

Other books in the series

Debutante Diaries (2 books)
  • The Duke Is But a Dream (Debutante Diaries, #2)