Engaging the Earl had a consistent stream of comedy like a Georgette Heyer, a sweet romance like a Jane Austen, and a long-time-coming climax that is frustrating in the extreme, but makes the ending all the more satisfying. (Which reminded me of Louisa May Alcotts "The Inheritance", to a point. All those misunderstandings and me wishing I could slap a few of the characters with their own book! :P) About halfway through I connected that Mandy Goff's first book "Blackmail Bride" precedes this in a series and is about Olivia and Nick... the rest of the time spent reading this book I kept thinking "I MUST get my hands on book 1 with all speed!" Can't wait to read it. Olivia was a GREAT character- I loved her loyal friendship with Emma, and the sister/brother relationship between her and Marcus was adorable. ^_^
Marcus was a George Knightley type hero (and I envisioned him as such- most of the time). He had a level head on his shoulders, a good sense of humor, a desire to keep those closest to him happy, and a sincere love for the less fortunate- and concern for their welfare. I enjoyed the banter between him and Emma, and his habit of scaring off all her potential suitors (particularly Baron Chivers) was highly amusing. ;)
Emma was a heroine with Elinor Dashwoods loyal-to-her-family, sensible outlook, and Elizabeth Bennet's independent, feisty temper. I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Mandy Goff threaded the message of trusting the Lord into her story very well, and I was encouraged! Everything happens for a reason. God has it all under control. (See, I had no need to get all worked up and abuse my poor book.) All will be well and according to His plan in the end.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)