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Serendipity & Secrets #3

The Indebted Earl

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Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life—especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The major's dying wish is for his love to be relayed to his fiancée, and for the captain to look after her needs. But along the way, Charles learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: due to a death in the family, he is now the Earl of Rothwell.

His new role includes an estate in need of a leader and a trio of orphaned girls, all wards of the former earl. Wyvern understands war; young ladies and properties he does not. As a solution, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience to the late major's betrothed, the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for Richardson's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, and a distraction from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his commission at sea, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she must learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

281 pages, Paperback

First published March 23, 2021

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About the author

Erica Vetsch

53 books1,066 followers
Best-selling, award-winning author of The Debutante’s Code, first in the Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery Series, Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can learn about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/inspi... where she spends way too much time!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 243 reviews
Profile Image for Gloria.
785 reviews56 followers
March 20, 2021
I mostly read contemporary fiction but I got my love of reading growing up reading historical fiction with Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer, and others. I do like a good Regency and have enjoyed the Serendipity & Secrets series. The Indebted Earl is the story of Captain Charles Wyvern and Lady Sophia Haverly. The two meet when Charles returns Sophie's fiancé's belongings after he died serving under Charles aboard the Dogged fighting against France. Major Rich Richardson and Charles were both injured. Rich passed away but asked Charles to visit Sophia and his mother with whom Sophia was living with and caring for. The war is over and Charles doesn't have a position at sea. Mamie, Rich's mother, wants to visit the coast where she was born and Charles has just found out that he has inherited the family estate on the coast in Devon. He is now the Earl of Rothwell so he accompanies the two women to the coast stopping at his home first. They encountered the estate a complete mess and a trio of orphans that the old earl had sponsored on the Charles' doorstep, so the ladies stayed on to help. What a time that they all had! Something is afoot in the small village as well...a mystery to unravel on top of grief, disorder, and yet Charles just wants to get back to sea. I enjoyed the delightful dialogue with Charles using sea jargon to relate to everyday affairs on land and adjusting to a new life. The children add delight to everyone's life as healing begins and so does romance. This are some anxious times with the local activities to uncover. Loved it!
I received a complimentary ARC from Kregel Publications through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
Profile Image for Staci.
1,624 reviews503 followers
October 26, 2021
Portugal and England 1814

Lovely conclusion to the series. Satisfying slow build of a romance between Sophie who just lost her fiance to war and Charles, her fiance's friend and captain. My favorite part was the use of seafaring language by the youngest characters in the book. So sweet how they admired Charles.

Glad to build my word knowledge as well. Had to look up a few words. :-)
Profile Image for Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...).
1,450 reviews427 followers
March 27, 2021
I have a soft spot for wounded naval officers when I read a Regency book! Charles is the epitome of a British captain, but through humbling experiences and Sophie's influence, he finds himself and his desires for the future shifting away from the sea. The strong emotions of grief were felt, but the author skillfully balanced the sadness with new hope as Sophie moves forward with the help of Charles. Theirs is a gentle and slow romance that blossoms from friendship and a common goal of taking care of those whom they have charge over. I loved the coastal setting as Charles and Sophie make a new life for themselves and it was easy to see how well they matched. Mamie, Sophie's former fiancee's mother, and the three girls that have become Charles' wards are absolutely delightful and brought additional layers of warmth and charm to the story. The increase in pace came at just the right time in the book, with some suspicious villagers and suspenseful action. This was a story that was easy to fall into and stay interested in the lives of the characters. My favorite of the series!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.
Profile Image for Rachel McMillan.
Author 24 books1,019 followers
Read
November 30, 2020
from endorsement:

Vetsch’s impeccable research and compelling Regency voice have made Serendipity and Secrets one of the strongest offerings in inspirational historical romance in years. Here, 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 treatise on duty and honour will delight established fans while sweeping newcomers off their feet
Profile Image for Cara Putman.
Author 34 books1,608 followers
March 13, 2021
This book was an enjoyable Regency with a wonderful heroine and interesting hero. Captain Charles Wyvern is operating under the weight of guilt and a burden to make things right when his friend a major dies in part saving the captain's life. Sophie is the major's fiancee and finds her life upended in the worst way when the major dies. The captain longs to get back on his ship, with his men, and Sophie just wants a safe place to grieve. That ends when the captain learns he's now an earl. An earl with three wards. At this estate, they find themselves in a marriage of convenience, caring for the wards and on the hunt of a mystery. The book is engaging, the characters well-developed, and the plot interesting. I've been on a Regency binge, and this was a satisfying addition to the reading list while also an enjoyable conclusion to the series. It's one that will leave lovers of Kristi Ann Hunter and Sarah Ladd satisfied!
Profile Image for Susan Snodgrass.
1,982 reviews181 followers
March 23, 2021
I had so been looking forward to this last book in Erica Vetsch’s ‘Serendipity and Secrets’ series! Vetsch absolutely excels at this genre. I totally lose myself in her stories.

Captain Charles Wyvern is completely shocked to return from war to find himself the new Earl Rothwell, owner of a large estate and, it seems, guardian to three young girls. Then there’s that marriage of convenience to Sophia Haverly. Ack!

It was great to see old friends from the previous book and to meet new ones. I do enjoy a good Regency and as I stated earlier, Erica Vetsch has mastered the art of telling a good Regency story. Well done!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publishers. I was not compensated and the opinion in this review is my own.
Profile Image for Andrea Cox.
Author 2 books1,631 followers
April 27, 2021
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

What a fantastic finale! I adored this entire series, and each book was better than the previous one. The series built beautifully and felt very connected, which I completely love about series books.

The plethora of naval, water, and sailing analogies helped me feel immersed in Captain Charles Wyvern’s world. They added richness and depth to the atmosphere. I liked that the story began in Portugal. That’s a country I don’t see featured much in Christian fiction, so it was a delight to spend a chapter or so there. The other setting of England really popped to life through the description throughout the book.

From beginning to end, this story was complex. It was twisty with loads of surprises along the way. I especially enjoyed the children’s personalities. They bumped against each other as they were all so different, yet there was a clear thread of love keeping them tethered to one another despite what their words declared at times. This little makeshift family was charming, and I was beyond happy to spend plenty of hours alongside them.

Happy sigh, y’all. This book was spectacular. It was a superb finale. I can hardly wait to see which series will be next up for Mrs. Erica Vetsch. I adore her writing and highly recommend it.

Content: alcohol
Profile Image for Lu.
745 reviews25 followers
April 20, 2021
A deathbed promise leads to a marriage between a taciturn sea captain and a life-loving duke's daughter.

The Indebted Earl is an age-gap, sweet historical romance with a tad of adventure, spirituality, and courtroom drama.

Charles Wynern was a captain in the navy who had lived his whole life on a ship. Baron Richardson, one of his officers, got seriously hurt while saving Charles' life and, on his deathbed, asked the captain to take care of his ailing mother and fiancee.

The captain had never met Lady Sophia Haverly, but he had always admired her sunny disposition and the witty letters she wrote to her betrothed. Half of the crew was in love with Sophia and waited anxiously for the bits of her missives that Richardson would occasionally share with the men.

Sophia and Charles were very different, but they bonded over their grief, and those bonds deepened over the love they shared for Charles' wards: three lovely orphan girls.

Charles was conflicted by his unrequited love for the young Sophia and the pull of the sea. Things got worse when some unknown enemies started a plot against him.

There is a light element of faith, with the main characters having doubts and looking for God's guidance in their moment of grief and uncertainty.

I loved the contrast between Charles's deep insecurities and his unwavering protection and support of Sophia and Richardson's mother. He was such a mature and honorable man. His tenderness for his wards was so endearing.

Sophia was a remarkable heroine: young yet constant, reliable, loyal, and most of all, always very kind.

The side characters were lovely. It was especially nice to see the portrait of a positive and loving relationship between mother and daughter-in-law (they were not precisely in-laws, but it made their relationship even sweeter).

The Indebted Earl is a lovely story with relatable characters, family love, romance, and a bit of courtroom drama. It is my first book by this author, and I'm looking forward to reading more of her stories.

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

*For more reviews, book art, and book-related articles, please visit https://lureviewsbooks.com *
Profile Image for Brittany.
2,158 reviews139 followers
April 4, 2021
What a wonderful conclusion to a series that has quickly become one of my favorites! For readers who love clean Regency novels, I suggest picking up this entire series. However, even if you haven’t read the previous stories, The Indebted Earl can easily be enjoyed on its own.

The author did such a beautiful job of conveying the heartbreak that both Sophie and Charles felt at the loss of Sophie’s betrothed. It was very clear that Sophie loved Rich dearly and that Charles had lost a close friend.

I have loved the marriage of convenience aspect of all three of these novels, as that is one of my favorite tropes. The marriage of convenience does not happen immediately in this novel, instead occurring a bit later in the story. Instead, Sophie and Charles must navigate caring for three girls who become Charles’ wards. They also continue to care for Rich’s mother, Mamie. All of this while Charles must navigate a new and uncertain future.

I really liked the way Sophie and Charles began to connect and care for each other, even as Charles carried guilt due to Rich’s death and Sophie tried to balance her sadness with a newfound respect for Charles. This book, just like the two previous stories in the series, had a wonderful balance of romance, intrigue, and even some danger thrown in.

The Serendipity & Secrets series is a solid favorite of mine. I recommend all three books in the series, as well as a connected novella which takes place just after The Indebted Earl. It is Cilla’s story and is titled The Wonders of His Love. It can be found in the novella collection Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...
Profile Image for Paula Shreckhise.
1,053 reviews78 followers
March 30, 2021
One of my favorite genres is Regency historicals and this series has been the icing on the cake!
In book number three of Serendipity and Secrets, Stalwart Captain Charles Wyvern has his life planned out when everything is turned upside down. He has an obligation to fulfill from his dying friend Major Richardson. He has promised to look after Rich’s mother, Mamie and fiancé Lady Sophia Haverly. There are more surprises in store when he gets to his family estate. He is the new Earl and has three young wards. Sophie was looking after her almost mother in law while she waited for Rich to return from war: “Duties are not burdens when they are performed out of love.” Can obligation turn to love?
Charles and Sophie are thrust into a new situation and seek God for the answers. But are they ready for what God shows them?
This is a story with a bit of intrigue and danger that brings feelings to the forefront. It is packed with likable characters. The three young girls are portrayed with spirit and wisdom beyond their years. The loving relationship between Mamie and Sophie shows that God can bring comfort in times of sorrow and He makes family where hearts come together.
Ms. Vetsch has penned a delightful end to her fantastic Regency series. I do believe Regency is her talent. She genuinely blossoms in these stories.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author through Audra Jennings Tours. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for Cheryl Wood.
280 reviews8 followers
March 26, 2021
“God, You move in mysterious ways. Never did I envision having a family, much less one stitched together like this. Three orphan girls, my best friend’s fiancée, and his elderly mother. Thank You, God, and help me be worthy of them.”

The Indebted Earl is the third book in the Serendipity & Secrets Series. I did not realize that this was part of a series and excited to read the author’s previous book.
Captain Charles returns from sea looking to repay the sacrifice of Major Richardson, he also finds out that he is now an Earl and responsible for three young girls.

Sophie has experienced the loss of her fiancée and becomes the caregiver of Major Richardson’s mother, Mamie. She also becomes an advocate for the orphaned girls. The relationship between Sophie and Mamie is like non-other and love each other like daughter and mother.

A story of romance, intrigue, family, and faith. I loved the story and stayed up late reading.

I received this book from Kregel, but was not required to write a positive review.
Profile Image for Patty Rude.
239 reviews9 followers
March 28, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed this whole series. I read a lot of historical fiction, but haven’t read a series I loved so much in a long time. Sophia and Charles were a great hero and heroine.
Profile Image for MJSH.
986 reviews40 followers
April 20, 2021
"Duties are not burdens when they are performed out of love."

I have been a huge fan of Erica Vetsch's Serendipity & Secrets series and this latest installment is such a delightful addition to a wonderful series. It can totally be read as a stand-alone but reading the series in order will help the reader appreciate all the subtle nuances in the plot and characters. Sophie is an unusual duke's daughter in this Regency era, full of independence and stubbornness but also brimming with compassion and tenderness. Her patient loving care of her fiance's aging and struggling mother is so heart-warming and tender. Her grief at all she's lost is real and raw yet her determination to forge ahead and make the best of her situation is incredible. Charles is a swoony hero - brooding and stern with a strong sense of duty, loyalty, and integrity yet a pure softie underneath his gruff exterior. This unlikely friendship between a high society lady and a Royal Navy captain is angst-ridden, refreshingly honest, and filled with longing as it turns into something more. Throw in an unwanted peerage title, an unexpected guardianship of three girls, and a strangely mysterious vibe and undercurrent in the town of Charles' inheritance and you have a perfectly crafted tale that will keep you up way past your bedtime.

It's a must-read Regency romance with a twist of mystery and suspense!
I received the book from Kregel Publication via JustRead Publicity Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.
Profile Image for Nora St Laurent.
1,362 reviews74 followers
March 24, 2021
This beautiful and intriguing cover first caught my attention and touched my heart. It made me want to look inside. The story opens at a hospital with Captain Charles Wyven thinking, “If it got any hotter, the Royal Navy would have to ship him home in a flask “

The Captain is visiting a friend who is not doing well. His friend has asked him to deliver hard news to his fiancé. It was hard because this man saved the Captains life. He’s feeling guilty but would do what it takes to fulfill the promise he has made..

Sophie’s world is turned upside down when Captain Wyvem delivers bad news. Then unexpected visitors come calling to deliver even more startling news. This has Sophie’s heart racing and head spinning. Where would she go? What would she do? Then the Captain has an idea. One he hopes Sophie will like.

This is a delightfully surprising story with characters I cared for as their situation gets crazy. I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised by the ups, downs, twists and turns. There was so much action and drama I never saw coming. I loved the depth of the story and how the characters grew and developed throughout the novel.

I adored the girl wards that Captain Wynern has inherited and does not know quite what to do with. It reminded me of the animated movie Despicable Me where the girls draw Gru in with their unconditional love, their gratefulness in having a family and all the things he gets involved in to make his girls happy and create a loving and safe home. The same thing happens with Captain Wyvem and Sophia as they seek an arranged marriage to care for these special girls and Sophie’s mother-in-law who is quite taken by these young ones too.

If you are looking for a sweet story that takes you through a wide range of emotions, exciting events with an historical setting you have come to the right place. This is a satisfying story that will leave you with a smile on your face and hug in your heart. This would work well for book club and/or just a fun read. If you have not read a book by this author, I recommend you treat yourself to this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher and Audra Jennings PR. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
834 reviews45 followers
June 16, 2022
This was my favorite of the three! I think because of the found family, which I found so sweet because it included a grandmother and kids and even Charles. And even Sophie! And the housekeeper! 😆 There were a lot of relationships in this that I found lovely to read about, especially Charles and Sophie’s. The plot had some unexpected twists and turns, and I really never knew what was going to happen next.
Profile Image for Jolene - .
506 reviews13 followers
March 13, 2021
The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch started off strong, catching my attention right away. Captain Charles Wyvern’s gentlemanly manners, loyalty, and determination make him a strong male lead. His relationship with Sophia starts off respectfully distant due to their circumstances. By the middle of the story, the pace felt slow as an abundance of additional characters joined the novel. However, once the romantic tension started growing and certain plot events entered, my interest returned. Charles and Sophia’s romance remains clean, sweet, and admirable throughout. By the last third, I could not put the book down.

The Indebted Earl stands as the third novel in the Serendipity and Secrets series by Erica Vetsch. Although this novel works well as a stand-alone, I enjoyed seeing Marcus and Charlotte from The Gentleman Spy (book two) and recommend reading their story prior to The Indebted Earl.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
Profile Image for English .
697 reviews
April 9, 2021
The Indebted Earl was an enjoyable conclusion to Erica Vetsch's debut Regency series.
It might be unusual, but I think I might have enjoyed this one the most. It provided a clever take on the marriage of convenience trope whcih was not trite or corny.

Charles and Sophie are both hurting people, and both are suffering from what we would call survivor's guilt over the death of someone they loved. The same person, as it turns out. .Sophie's fiance was by turn Charles' best friend from the navy.
What begins as two people having to adjust to new circumstances becomes an interesting story of two young people learning to grow and as they take on the responsibiluty of an estate and three young girls. The irony is that both were seeking solitude and an escape, but life does not always give us what we want.

Read the rest of the review and enter a giveaway by visiting my Blog: http://crossromance.blogspot.com/2021...
Profile Image for Debbie.
3,141 reviews56 followers
March 25, 2021
"The Indebted Earl" is a romance set in 1814 in England. This is the 3rd book in the series. Though you can read it as a stand-lone novel, you'll probably understand this book better if you read the books in order. Charles loves being a captain of a Navy ship and doesn't know what to do with himself in peacetime. He agrees to take his dead friend's belongings back to the man's fiancée, Sophie, and make sure that she is taken care of. She doesn't want help since she's the one who always helps others. But she does want things that he can provide her, like a way to avoid her mother's matchmaking.

Sophie was kind and caring, but also rather naive and idealistic. Charles was very methodical and determined, though he used these traits in a good way. Charles and Sophie had misunderstandings and guilt to work through, but they supported each other. Still, the guilt felt forced. Rich was the one to make the mistake. Everyone but Charles quickly understood that he was not directly at fault but he seemed determined to argue for his unforgivable guilt.

Historical details were woven into the story, with some parts feeling highly researched. However, there were a lot of little things that didn't seem right for the time period. For example, everything started with an admittedly rude family not sending a letter to Sophie's house to announce their arrival and intentions upon arrival. That was such basic manners that it felt forced to create a crisis. And when Charles suddenly became the new Earl, everyone should have assumed that his duties were now that of an Earl. Since he had no close relatives or son to inherit if he died, why would he be given a ship when there were plenty of competent men that could do that job? But everyone just accepted that he'd quickly get a ship. He also didn't know what a solicitor and a barrister did, which would be like an American adult not knowing what a lawyer does. And so on.

There were no graphic sex scenes. There was no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel to those who aren't picky about historical details being accurate.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Profile Image for Faye.
1,654 reviews
March 21, 2021
A captivating read with a well-rounded plot, and full cast of characters, as well as some familiar faces along the way.

Captain Charles Malvern returns from sea with a sense of responsibility to repay the the sacrifice of his comrade Major Richardson, by fulfilling a promise. In addition he finds himself saddled with a title, property, and three young wards.

This book starts on a sad note, with the death that sets everything into motion. Charles is out of his depth on land, but he is a problem solver, I liked how he works hard to take care of his wards, and takes time to get to know Sophie, as well as being considerate of Mamie. He has a strong sense of loyalty and duty, with a determination to see things through, which I admired as he navigates his way through this fresh set of challenges.

Sophie is going through a lot with the loss of a fiancé, but I admired how she befriends the three girls, and becomes their advocate, friend, and protector. Who are all wonderfully unique and well written. I also really liked the relationship between Sophie and Mamie, who love each other like a mother and daughter.

An engaging read with well developed characters, well realized setting and plotlines. A satisfying read, with well done dialogue, and excellent romantic tension. Ms. Vetsch does a great job of capturing the feel of the time period through the way that the characters behave and through their vocabulary. It is an excellent addition to the series, and it could be read as a stand alone--but then you'd be missing out on two other fantastic books! Entertaining read that becomes harder to put down as the stakes raise, and Sophie and Charles learn to continue to trust even when things don't go according to plan.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Erin.
913 reviews20 followers
April 9, 2021
Captain Charles Wyvern wants nothing more than to recover from his wounds and return to service in His Majesty's Royal Navy. But things don't always go as planned. He's tasked with delivering his best friend's sea chest to his bereaved fiancee, he inherits a title he never expected, and he discovers he has wards. Things were never this complicated on board ship.

Lady Sophia Haverly has always been a free spirit, but the death of her fiance casts a long shadow over her life. Independent and determined, Sophie vows to take care of Rich's mother, who is now all alone in the world. She's reluctant to rely on Captain Wyvern to help them set up a house near the sea, but he's the best choice for the job.

Events keep throwing Charles and Sophie together. Can they truly be better as a team than two individuals fighting against each other?

This action-packed novel kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. Though I can't say I related to either of the main characters, I appreciated their strengths and weaknesses and how they worked together. I loved the captain's three young wards and thought they each added so much to the story with their own unique personalities. The trouble on the captain's new estate added a layer of tension and danger that I didn't expect at first.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the whole Serendipity and Secrets series. A wonderful addition to the library of any Regency fiction lover!

I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All thoughts in this review are my own.

This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.dreamwidth.org
Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,064 reviews371 followers
April 3, 2021
Captain Charles Wyvern wants to prove true to his word. When a soldier under his command makes one last wish before he dies, Wyvern is determined to do his best to fulfill that wish. As the soldier, Major Richardson, saved his life, this debt carries a lot of weight. Richardson's request to Wyvern was for him to see about his fiancée, Sophie.

Meanwhile, now that the war is over, Wyvern is worried about his next travels as living on sea is the only life he has ever loved. However, when his uncle passes away, Wyvern becomes the Earl of Rothwell. His new title brings on quite a few duties, along with Sophie's immediate needs. What is more is that three girls show up on his doorstep and they are also in need of care. Sophie is devoted to the woman who would have been her mother-in-law. Losing Richardson does not in any way remove the love and care Sophie has for her.

What an interesting group of people - a man with a title who would rather be at sea, a woman grieving her fiancé, an elderly woman who has own needs, and three young girls. How will they all get on, when all Wyvern wants is another commission?

I loved this Regency romance, with strong, affective characters, filled with adventure, a bit of mystery, all while never forgetting how faith is a strong guiding force. I loved the emotional edge this story had, and this played out on several levels. The connection that Wyvern and Sophie had was palpable as it was developed. Their growing love and attention towards the girls warmed my heart, as well as Sophie's relentless and gentle concern for her fiancé's mother. Lastly, I especially loved the conflict Wyvern experienced when all he wanted was to get back to his life on sea, as well as the twist where his very future seemed quite uncertain.

The Indebted Earl is the pleasing last book in the Serendipity and Secrets trilogy, and the first two books are The Gentleman Spy and The Lost Lieutenant. I loved all three of these books, especially the continuity that came with familiar characters from the first two books in the series.

Many thanks to Erica Vetsch, Kregel Publications, NetGalley and Audra Jennings, PR, for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
April 26, 2021
I enjoyed the Indebted Earl very much. It takes place during the Regency era. Its not your typical regency romance. While it has romance, it does have a thread of mystery throughout the story. The story itself is in Devon at a manor house and in the Village nearby I could picture the area well. Having a bit of a mystery throughout really made this story interesting and I wanted to find out what happened.
I thought Erica Vetsch did a great job creating believable characters and bringing them to life. I especially liked Charles and Sophie. It was fun to watch them interact. The girls were adorable as well. Full of personality.

Erica Vetsch does a wonderful job bringing this story to life and creating a world you want to escape to. I look forward to reading more books by her.

I recommend this book to my family and friends.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Lucinda.
Author 22 books1,299 followers
March 26, 2021
What a beautiful story!

I read book 1 in the series, but not book 2; it didn't affect the understanding of this one.

Charles and Sophie meet under sad circumstances when he goes to pay his condolences following the death of his dear friend, who was Sophie's fiancé.
Charles is a captain for the Royal Navy and he's on leave while recuperating from his injuries. When he meets her, he feels like he knows her because of all the letters she sent to his friend Rich.

After a series of events, Charles finds himself escorting Sophie and Rich's mother to the coast, and while traveling finds out he's now the new Earl of Rothwell. Then when he arrives at the manor, three sisters are dropped there as former wards of the old earl.
In order to deal with the increasing problems, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience to Sophie, and she accepts.

From the beginning, it seems like Sophie and Charles want different things, even when they develop a friendship, and I couldn't wait to see how they were going to align their dreams and goals.

I really liked Lady Richardson and the girls, who are a fun addition to the story.

Certain parts reminded of Poldark, and that was fun too.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Becky.
752 reviews38 followers
March 23, 2021
Oh, how I loved this book! I've read all three books in Erica Vetsch's Serendipity & Secrets series, and I can say that this one is my favorite!

There's romance, there's intrigue, there's found family. It's such a delightful story!

I loved watching Sophie and Charles fall for each other, and the angst each felt because of Sophie's late fiance Rich was really perfection. Also, hello marriage of convenience plot! It's my favorite, and I thought it was executed especially well here.

I also loved the inclusion of the three girls who had been wards of the previous earl. Little Betsy was just the cutest (her insistence on calling Charles "Captain Earl" was adorable), I loved Thea's spunk, and Penny was certainly a typical lovestruck teenager!

The smuggling subplot did seem a little obvious to me, but I suppose I can excuse both Sophie's and Charles's blindness to it. (Had they communicated more, they would've easily put it together.) And it did lead to some really exciting scenes!

Overall, I loved this novel. Regency romance fans are sure to find much to enjoy here. 5 stars

Note: While this is the third book in the series, and characters from the other novels do appear, it really can be read as a stand alone.

Disclosure of material connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Marilee .
715 reviews71 followers
August 30, 2022
Loooved this book! How did it take me a year after releasing to pick this one up? I love how the author balances the suspense, mystery, and romance in this series. This one featured a smuggling ring instead of spies but it was just as intriguing. Loved that we got to see past characters and lots of new favorites. (I am really hoping someday we get Penny, Thea, and Betsey's stories!) Loved Charles and Sophie together and how love creeps up on them so unexpectedly.

Highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys sweet and clean regency romance! 4.5 stars

April 9, 2021
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4/5

📝Review📝
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would! I love regency romance novels and have read many, but this one was the most unique one that I’ve read to date!

If you enjoy regency romance novels but are not really into the detailed love making bits...THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU! Now, I personally love a little smut in my romance books, but I still really loved this book. It seemed a tad long at times, but I was genuinely interested throughout the entire book!

You will especially love this book if you like wounded navy men, a headstrong female protagonist, slow-burn romance, likable characters, and even a little Jesus!


⚓️Mini Summary⚓️
Captain Charles Wyvern has been a seaman basically all of his life, but when his best friend’s dying wish is for him to take care of the fiancé he leaves behind, how can Charles refuse?

Lady Sophia Haverly, sister to the Duke, is a loyal woman and grieves with the passing of her fiancé. However, after meeting Charles, she agrees to a marriage of convenience so her mother will cease her match-making attempts and just let Sophie mourn in peace.

Upon the sudden passing of a distant relative, Charles inherits an Earldom! But it doesn’t come without its challenges! Suddenly thrust into this position, he not only learns he is now responsible for three young ladies, but becomes tangled up in a smuggling scheme! Guess you’ll just have to read it to find out how everything unfolds!


❗️Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, but my rating and review are all my own.

@omg_look_at_her_books
April 9, 2021
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4/5

📝Review📝
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would! I love regency romance novels and have read many, but this one was the most unique one that I’ve read to date!

If you enjoy regency romance novels but are not really into the detailed love making bits...THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU! Now, I personally love a little smut in my romance books, but I still really loved this book. It seemed a tad long at times, but I was genuinely interested throughout the entire book!

You will especially love this book if you like wounded navy men, a headstrong female protagonist, slow-burn romance, likable characters, and even a little Jesus!


⚓️Mini Summary⚓️
Captain Charles Wyvern has been a seaman basically all of his life, but when his best friend’s dying wish is for him to take care of the fiancé he leaves behind, how can Charles refuse?

Lady Sophia Haverly, sister to the Duke, is a loyal woman and grieves with the passing of her fiancé. However, after meeting Charles, she agrees to a marriage of convenience so her mother will cease her match-making attempts and just let Sophie mourn in peace.

Upon the sudden passing of a distant relative, Charles inherits an Earldom! But it doesn’t come without its challenges! Suddenly thrust into this position, he not only learns he is now responsible for three young ladies, but becomes tangled up in a smuggling scheme! Guess you’ll just have to read it to find out how everything unfolds!


❗️Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, but my rating and review are all my own.
Profile Image for Joleen.
1,984 reviews1,207 followers
October 26, 2021
Gateshead Estate
Devonshire, England, 1814
Characters:
Captain Charles Wyvern: Captain in the Royal Navy, turned Earl of Rothwell. Cousin to Viscount Fitzroy in book one (who lost that Earldom after the attempted assassination of the Prince Regent)
Lady Sophia Haverly: Lost her betrothed on a shipboard skirmish
Major Richardson: Sophies deceased fiancé, son of Mamie
Lady Mamie Richardson: After the death of her son, Sophie cared for her
Marcus: Duke of Haverly, Sophie’s brother
Charlotte: Marcus's wife, Duchess of Haverly
Penny, Betsy and Thea: Young girls who suddenly became the wards of the new Earl of Rothwell

This finale to the Serendipity and Secrets series was a wonderful book. Full of surprises, a little suspense, a mystery, smugglers, conspiracy and a slow romance.

Returning from book two were Marcus and Charlotte. His sister Sophie is the main character of this book.

After losing their beloved Richard from mortal shipboard wounds, Sophie and Mamie (Major Richardson‘s mother) were evicted from their house by the new heir and his family.

Captain Wyvern kept his promise to his good friend, Rich, to call upon and see to the welfare of Sophie and Mamie. At the visit, the truth of the altercation that eventually took Major Richardsons life was told, a truth Captain Wyvern would eternally regret.

As it turned out, part of how Captain Wyvern kept his promise to Rich was to help Sophie and Mamie relocate to the coast of Devon, a place Mamie longed to see again before she could no longer travel. Along the journey they stopped at the new estate Captain Wyvern inherited. This is where all of their lives take a turn.

Wonderful cast of characters I couldn’t help but care for!

I loved how all main characters learned that the meticulous plans they laid out for each of their lives could change on a dime, and leave them wondering why God was allowing things to happen contrary to their plans. Each eventually saw God‘s wisdom and hand in their lives, but the road to get there was pretty rocky.

Good book I can highly recommend!
Profile Image for Jeanne Alfveby Crea.
604 reviews44 followers
March 30, 2021
I've been a huge fan of this Serendipity & Secrets series! I loved this third installment and oh how I wish this series would keep going!! (Really!) You can certainly read The Indebted Earl as a standalone, but it really is wonderful to read the series in order for more of the backstories.

I fell in love with Captain Charles Wyvern and Lady Sophia Haverly. Life takes them both in directions they never would have guessed, and so different from the plans each of them made. The captain says: "God, what are You doing to me? I had such a simple plan laid out, and at every turn, I am thwarted."

The supporting characters, Mamie Richardson, and three unexpected wards, Penney, Thea, and Betsy Pembroke, and the faithful employee Mrs. Chapman add so much to the story.

I loved the humor; "Are you married to him? He looks like he just kissed a sour pickle."
I could relate to the soul-searching; "Lord, did we do the right thing? I felt such peace when I made the decision. It seemed an answer to my prayers. But I have to wonder..."
Sophie's prayer "You will not let evildoers prevail. You will disappoint them in their crafty ways." based on Job 5:12 is a timeless prayer for every generation.

I loved the cameos from characters from previous stories and the sweet sigh-worthy romance in this one.

If you haven't read this book and this series, I HIGHLY recommend it!!
Profile Image for Erin Laramore.
579 reviews46 followers
May 21, 2021
This was the third installment in the Serendipity and Secrets series. While this genre is not typically one I'd pick up on my own, I'd heard such great things about this series that I had to try them and I've loved each book. I think this one was my favorite, but I'm a sucker for the marriage of convenience trope. While this story stands on its own, I would recommend reading this series in order as to get the background on some of the minor characters in this book. If you don't, I don't think you'd be too terribly lost, but it might be helpful. This book follows Sophie - the youngest of the Haverlys, as well as Charles Wyvern, the Captain who brings her the news of her fiance's death. When circumstances keep them together for much longer than the day that he was taking to deliver Rich's things to her, they find solace in one another and help each other through various trials. While this is a romance novel, there are so many other plot-points that it made this book (and series) so enjoyable to this girl who is generally not a fan of romance novels. Danger in the high seas, orphans dropped at the door, a smuggling operation and spies from the prior novels all help make this story a solid page-turner! The characters were wonderful as well, with great development throughout, and there is a solid faith thread as Sophie and Charles lean on God, pray often, and question why certain things happen. This is one I'd recommend to fans of historical novels!
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