Cathy Maxwell is a new author for me (I just realized I'm on a new author kick!) and when this book landed on my door step, I was intrigued by the titled and anxious to find another great author.
Gillian has spent the last few years being married, and yet, having no husband. Brian, Lord Wright, left their wedding bed to go to his mistress, Jess, whom he claimed to love, and then onto war. Sadly, he decides to tell his new wife this and expects her not to be upset. Gillian is left to live with his parents, who have no morals whatsoever, and finally leaves to live with a cousin after a note from her husband demanding her return to London, which she ignores. A handsome Spainard has caught her eye, and she his. They are in love, and the only thing standing in their way is her marriage. Brian does come for his wife (hence the title) which results in an almost duel and many angry words between Gillian and Brian. She does decide to go with him, but under the condition that she live with him for 30 days, being the perfect wife. Brian is hoping for an appointment on Liverpool's staff to help his fellow comrades in arms, and needs Gillian with him to host dinners, parties, etc.
Gillian all but gives into Brian on the way to London. Evidently the anger she has had for years is no match for Brian and his charm. Neither trust each other, especially when Gillian discovers a half-starved baby at her husband's London home. Not his, but the product of Brian's father, and his "loyal" mistress, Jess. Neither wanted the baby, so Brian found the babe and took him in before he was left to starve in an orphanage. Their relations are strained, except in the bedroom, of course. By day, they barely speak a word to each other, and by night, they can't keep their hands off each other. Gillian's ex-love returns, provoking jealousy from Brian, neither tell each other how they really feel until almost the end, and it takes a while for these two to air out their differences and live happily ever after.
The Earl Claims His Wife is a good read if you're looking for is an afternoon of entertainment- it won't take you much further. Do not expect much in the way of a plot or charactertization. This is not to say that the story and writing isn't good- it is, but not thought provoking and I never did become very involved with any of the characters. The story really could have used an epilogue, not because it ended abruptly, but because the story needed something more at the end. This is formula romance, not at its worst, but not at its best either. Just a pleasant story to spend an afternoon with.