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Peek Inside An Unwilling Earl

Charlotte is running for her life. To keep her safe, Jacob offers marriage, even though he’ll never love again. Despite falling for him, her sinister secret could put them both in danger.

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Jacob Ashland’s life has taken an unexpected turn. He’s now the Earl of Ashland and expected to marry. But he’s done that before and had his heart ripped from his chest. When Charlotte shows up at his door needing protection, he offers to marry her––in name-only.

Charlotte, an orphan, suspects her sinister cousin of terrorizing London. When her maid disappears, she fears for her own life and runs away. Lord Ashland offers marriage, and it’s the perfect solution. But it isn’t long before she finds herself falling for her new husband.

Unfortunately, he won’t allow himself to love anyone ever again. And she knows her dark secret could destroy everything.


“This is the first book I've read by Sharon Cullen, and it certainly won't be the last.  The story was quite entertaining, a historical romance filled with secrets, heartbreak....and a serial killer.  Well, that was different!  But it was the delightful characters that I found so intriguing.” -Kat H., Goodreads

“This is definitely a page turner, with an ending that leaves me wishing for the next book in the series.” -S.H., Goodreads

A scintillating read.” -Suzette P., Goodreads

Romance, mystery and a serial killer all in one. I really loved it!” -Marie H., Goodreads

“Sharon Cullen writes a deliciously dark, spectacular historical romance. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading to the perfect ending!” -Erika C., NetGalley

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640637801
Series: Mayfair Men of Mystery, Book 1
Release Date: Mar 25, 2019
Page Count: 322
Imprint: amara
Genre: historical, historical victorian, mystery & suspense
Tropes: royalty

Select Featured Reviews

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By Fizza February 24, 2019

This novel is perfection, I loved the story, I adored the characters and everything else about this book is amazing. It is well-written, I really enjoyed both the romance and the mystery side of the story. Although it was a little predictable still I loved it!
Jacob is comfortable in his lif... ...more

By Becky March 26, 2019

Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 3/26/19.

How have I never read anything yet by Sharon Cullen?

An Unwilling Earl was one heck of a read. A serial killer in Victorian "unwilling" earl and still-grieving widower who is also an armchair sleuth with a pretty decent track record...a marriage of.../>

By Mei March 28, 2019

Very easy to read!

A nice love story without too much angst!

I loved both Charlotte and Jacob! They're nice, generous and honest persons. Both are aristocracy, but they're so normal, so unformal!

Charlotte was born a lady, but her moother's family repudiated her and she live... ...more

By Sarah February 06, 2019

Excellent book! I really loved this book. The hero, Jacob, was a widowed solicitor that recently inherited an earldom, and like to be an “armchair detective “ with his best friend Lord Armbuster. When the book opens they are discussing the grisly murder of 4 women. Charlotte is on the run from he... ...more

By Cheryl March 25, 2019

This was a very engaging story. Jacob is a solicitor and is happy in his work. He has recently inherited an earldom but this isn’t something he is looking forward to. Charlotte has run away from her aunt and is living in the rookeries. In spite of her upbringing, she proves to be quite resourcefu... ...more

By Barbara March 18, 2019

Series: Mayfair Men of Mystery #1
Publication Date: 3/25/19
Number of Pages: 245

I enjoy this author’s writing style. I liked both of the main characters and the mystery was an excellent one that was well-plotted and well-delivered. I absolutely loved that the villains got th... ...more

By Tracy March 08, 2019

Jacob Baker is the new Earl of Ashland, much to his dismay. He is a good and kind man who still nurses a broke heart after the death of his wife and son and who before he inherited, he enjoyed his quite life as a solicitor and is not prepared for the duties of being the earl. While going to meet... ...more

By eyes.2c March 27, 2019

I enjoyed the chase!

Successful lawyer Jacob Baker and now newly minted earl Jacob Ashland, the Earl of Ashland and his friend, Oliver McCaron, the Earl of Armbruster are intrigued by crimes and have a pastime of solving and dissecting crimes. They have weekly "Mayhem Meeting, as they... ...more

By Petula March 07, 2019

Jacob Baker has just unexpectedly inherited the title of Earl of Ashland.  He was quite settled in his life as a young widower,  who sometimes, along  with a friend, helps the police with investigations. He has always worked as a solicitor. 
When a woman who he takes an instant dislike to asks fo... ...more

By Caitlyn March 30, 2019

There’s a few intriguingly different plotlines happening in this story which mesh together to create an overall very interesting story. A serial killer in Victorian London is killing young servant women and dumping headless, handless bodies into the Thames. In a seemingly unrelated matter, a soli... ...more

By A March 11, 2019

What would you do if you not only knew who Jack the Ripper was but had lived under the same roof? Well, that is sort of the conundrum Charlotte, the heroine, finds herself. Wanting to run to protect herself, yet feeling guilty if she doesn’t confirm her suspicions has this damsel in distress desp... ...more

By Norah March 26, 2019

I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
An Unwilling Earl by Sharon Cullen is a nice mix of marriage of convenience and murder mystery. Jacob Baker a widowed solicitor is reluctantly forced to assume the title Earl of Ashland. Eager to escape t... ...more

By Lori March 23, 2019

This is the second book I have read by this author and I can truly say I cannot wait to read more! Sharon Cullen has combined all the elements of a great historical romance to make my heart pound and turn the pages as fast as I could! Mystery, suspense, second chances, great characters and two pe... ...more

By Brenda February 22, 2019

Jacob Ashland’s life has taken an unexpected turn. He’s now the Earl of Ashland and expected to marry. But he’s done that before and had his heart ripped from his chest. When Charlotte shows up at his door needing protection, he offers to marry her––in name-only.

Charlotte, an orphan, suspects he... ...more

By books are love May 01, 2019

Received in excahange for a honest review.

I am on the fence with this one. On one hand I like the story of Jacob and how he is an earl but doesn’t want to be one. How he isn’t your typical earl and doesn’t act like one. I like how he helps others and is kind and generous. But I didn’t... ...more

By wonderfullyweird88 March 18, 2019

Jacob Ashland was content with his life as a solicitor and mourning the death of his wife and son. having newly inherited the title of Earl of Ashland he is reluctant to join society. He and his friend consider themselves armchair detectives and they are currently focusing their attention on a se... ...more

By Janet March 23, 2019

Jacob Baker is a widower & a solicitor whose life takes an unexpected turn when a distant relative dies & he inherits the title of the Earl of Ashland. Charlotte, an orphan, suspects her cousin of terrorizing London. When her maid Penny disappears, she fears for her own life and runs away... ...more

By Sarah February 06, 2019

Wow. That was unexpected. The first 40% reads like a calm historical romance with a marriage of convenience trope. Then the killings come in to play and it's a romantic suspense novel. There were times it was a bit gruesome, so consider yourself warned. I loved that the hero had no clue how to be... ...more

By Anna April 23, 2019

I enjoyed the concept of this book- serial murderer during the early Queen Victoria Days. Crystal Palace is featured in the book. Nice touch. I was pulled into this book and couldn’t put it down -at all. Just enjoyed the characters and the story. ...more

By Linda March 09, 2019

When his cousin dies, Jacob inherits an Earldon & while he never wanted to be one, he accepts his fate and decides to take it as a challenge. A widowed solicitor who loved his wife deeply, Jacob is not at all thrilled when his bosom buddy since Eton, the Earl Armbruster, warns him that he wil... ...more

By Kat March 13, 2019

This is the first book I've read by Sharon Cullen, and it certainly won't be the last. The story was quite entertaining, a historical romance filled with secrets, heartbreak....and a serial killer. Well, that was different! But it was the delightful characters that I found so intriguing.

Jacob was a solicitor and... ...more

By Shelby February 10, 2019

***ARC was provided to me for a fair and honest review***

Overall rating: 4/5 Romance and a mystery

Heroine (Charlotte): 4/5 Charlotte is the granddaughter of the late marquess and niece of the current one. Her parents were shunned due to a perceived bad match and when she i... ...more

By Alexis March 25, 2019

Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for an early copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.

I throughly enjoyed this book. It was my first book by Sharon Cullen and also my first mystery historical romance book. And while the killer didn’t remain a mystery for long (you an... ...more

**4.5 Stars**

“Strong people are scared all of the time. Facing their fears is what makes them strong.”

Widowed solicitor Jacob Ashland has just recently inherited the title Earl of Ashland. His entire life is being turned upside down, and when he is approached by Lady Morris to hunt down her missing nie...

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4.01 avg rating
Sharon Cullen

About the author

Sharon Cullen

Bios are the hardest things to write. I always want to be interesting and make it sound like I’m a world traveler. Unfortunately I’m not a world traveler. Yet. And I like to think I’m witty but my bio doesn’t seem so witty. So here is an unofficial bio–bulleted and in list form. 1. I wrote my first book when I was nine years old. It was about a girl and her horse and it was written on a flip top spiral notebook. I designed and drew the cover myself. 2. I attended three high schools and met my husband on the first day of my third high school. I’m not uber-religious but I believe that God had a hand in that. 3. When I was thirty-three I decided to get serious about my life-long dream of publishing a book. I gave myself a deadline of four years to get published. I figured people earn a college degree in four years and that should be adequate time for me to learn to write a novel. 4. My first published book, A Forever Kind of Thing, was published four years after I started writing. 5. I have three very talented kids. One is talented in music, another in writing (hmmmm) and another in sports. 6. I love dogs. If I could I would adopt every homeless dog out there.

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