Review of “To Catch an Earl” (Bow Street Bachelors #2) by Kate Bateman

Bateman, Kate. To Catch an Earl. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2020.

ISBN-13: 978-1250306111 | $7.99 USD | 326 pages | Regency Romance

Blurb

Working undercover for London’s first official police force, the Bow Street Bachelors have an obligation to serve the city’s best interests—even while they’re falling for the city’s most alluring women…

SHE KNOWS HOW TO STEAL A KISS.

Alex Harland, Earl of Melton and dedicated rake, never pictured himself as an agent of inquiry. But the thrill of investigation is a challenge he now embraces. When he’s asked to pursue the Nightjar, a notorious thief who is reclaiming France’s crown jewels, the case throws him into the path of the beautiful and equally elusive Emmy Danvers, reminding him of the only puzzle he’s never solved: the identity of the mysterious woman who once stole a kiss from him—and left him wanting so much more…

WILL HE SURRENDER HIS HEART?

The daughter of a thief, Emmy learned long ago how to keep her secrets safeguarded—and, as the notorious Nightjar, her love for Alex Harland is one of them. With the determined earl hot on her trail—and making her hot under the collar—Emmy has no choice but to keep her distance. But when a moment’s danger threatens Emmy’s life as well as her name, will Alex finally discover that he’s followed every clue…to true love?

“Full of intense emotions and dramatic twists….Future installments will be eagerly anticipated by Regency readers.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on This Earl of Mine

In the series

#1 This Earl of Mine 

Review 

3 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

After the generally lackluster (in my opinion) first book in the series, I had some trepidation when it came to To Catch an Earl. However, the detective/spy aspect of the first book did give me some hope for the series trajectory, and the main attraction of this one was the fact that the heroine was involved in thievery, and the hero the honorable one out to catch her (although he doesn’t know it initially). 

And while it’s a great premise and one I enjoy objectively, I feel like this one was a bit flawed in its execution. I mean, theoretically, Alex and Emmy work: while they are on opposing sides, both are committed to their own respective forms of justice, even if Emmy’s is a bit unorthodox. 

However, while there’s an obvious spark between them, I just didn’t get what it was that drew them together in the long-term. And while the author’s note does attempt to  bring it all together with the explanation of koi no yokan, or “the sense of inevitability upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love,” I just didn’t buy it. YMMV, but I prefer a bit more substance than that. 

This was kind of just…ok, which sucks, as it was off to a pretty good start. I do think others will like it, as Bateman does have a consistently engaging writing voice, along with crafting a pretty good external plot, and again, the feelings about the romance aspect are primarily a matter of taste. 

Author Bio 

Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of Regency, Victorian, and Renaissance historical romance. Her Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, is a Romance Writer’s of America 2019 RITA® Finalist and her Regency-set A Counterfeit Heart (Secrtes & Spies series) won the 2018 Book Buyer’s Best contest for Best Historical Romance.

Kate wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d ‘never finish the thing.’ She gleefully proved him wrong. Her books feature her favorite intelligent heroines, (badasses in bodices!) wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to both strangle and kiss. 

When not traveling to exotic locations ‘for research’, Kate leads a not-so-secret double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. Before writing romance, Kate was director and valuer at her own UK Auction House, Batemans in Stamford, Lincolnshire. She currently splits her time between Illinois and her native England and writes despite three inexhaustible children and that husband . . .who still owes her that dollar.

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