Vanessa Kelly is a fairly new author and knowing that, I was a bit anxious to read Sex and the Single Earl but I was rather surprised at this romantic and delightful book. Sex and the Single Earl is a beautifully crafted tale of two life long friends who fall in love. The storyline and characters were well developed and likable. The chemistry between the main characters was sizzling and entertaining. Young and spirited, Sophie Stanton is the opposite of what society would want her to be. Sophie grew up privilege and sheltered but she has opened her eyes to the troubles of the world, wanting to help those in need. After an encounter with a little boy who steals a valuable piece of jewelry, Sophie is more intrigued to help the boy and his sister and risk ruining her reputation. Shocked that Simon is in town, Sophie enlists his help to retrieve her jewelry and save the children. Little does she know, Simon has other plans that include marrying her. Simon St. James, the Ninth Earl of Trask is a handsome, arrogant and determined man who is trying to leave his legacy as one of the wealthiest men ever. In order to achieve his goal of building a mill, he needs an important piece of land that is enriched with coal. The only problem is that the land belongs to Sophie Stanton. Simon has always adored Sophie, though they constantly fight. Realizing that the only way to get control of the land is through marriage, he imposes himself on Sophie, forcing her hand in marriage and hiding the real truth behind his proposal. The problem is that this earl has to keep his fiancé out of constant mischief and convince her that they belong together.Upon the first fifty pages, I hoped that the overused plot of the girl pining away for the older friend of the family would not be stale and predictable. My wish was granted. Though Sophie always fancied Simon, she fought him throughout the whole book, wanting a marriage based on love and refusing to say yes just to appease her family and her own heart. Sophie was a fiercely independent woman and I was immediately drawn to her spirit. I loved how the author showed James’s love for Sophie even when it was not evident to him. Watching Simon and Sophie’s journey warmed my heart. The quick and light banter was on point. The one thing that I often look for is a fluid dialogue. I enjoy when my characters engage in conversation with one another and this story does exactly that. The love scenes in this novel were passionate and hot. Their verbal sparring left them highly aroused and the pages exploded with each sexual encounter.My biggest problem with the book was that the author created suspense by showing that there was an immediate threat to the children. At the end there was some resolution but I was left wondering what happened to them. Now, I understand that the story is centered on the two characters and that the children were merely secondary characters but I felt slighted that I did not get a glimpse of what was to come for the children.This was a wonderfully romantic novel and I look forward to more from this author. I recommend this book for those who want a beautiful, well-written story that exhibits love, trust, betrayal and forgiveness.