Book Review: No Earls Allowed (The Survivors) by Shana Galen

No Earls Allowed is the second book in The Survivors series by Shana Galen. While I have read other books by the author, I had not read the first book in this series. However, I feel like I was fully able to enjoy the read without having read the first, although there are mentions of the other men that are the heroes of the series, so those reading in order might get a little more out of the read than those of us coming in cold. 
Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She's running a ramshackle orphanage, London's worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off. Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he's handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men. Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance.
No Earls Allowed captured my attention immediately, with a charitable heroine dealing with her grief by throwing herself into the care of orphans. I liked Juliana, her stubbornness and pride sometime getting her into trouble but her heart and humor are what make her such a great character to read. Neil has survived the war, but not unscathed. As the bastard son of a nobleman he has limited acceptance in society, despite his status as war hero. I like that neither care much about convention, or what society has to say about them, at least for the most part. I loved watching Neil's soft side revealed, and his honor and need protect takes over as he gets to know Juliana and the boys. The twists and turns that are involved in protecting Juliana and the orphanage were very well done, and occasionally had me holding my breathe. I was entertained, engaged, and connected with both the story and the characters. The characterization of the boys Julie cares for was also extremely well done, capturing the variety of needs and personalities that would be most likely in the situation- but they still felt real rather than standard.  I will admit, there were moments when I was not happy with the choices or words of our couple, but those moments ramped up the tension and moved forward the story, so they were well used. This story was highly entertaining, now I just need to as the first book, and the next one, to my TBR pile. 
No Earls Allowed is a heart warming historical romance with plenty of danger in intrigue. I enjoyed the characters, the unique set up, and the book as a whole. I was reminded of how much I enjoy this authors work, and why I need to read more from them. 
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