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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Review: My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett

my brown eyed earl
My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett
Book 1 in the A Wayward Wallflowers series
ARC, e-book, 352 pages
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
October 4, 2016
★★★½☆☆
 
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Heat Rating:


Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received from the publisher for review at Romantic Historical Reviews via Netgalley
NEVER SEND A DEBUTANTE
William Ryder, Earl of Castleton, is at the end of his noble rope. Not only has he broken ties with his longtime mistress, his mother has publicly announced her wish for him to marry a suitable young lady―if only to help him raise the twins left in his care. Hiring a governess should solve some of Will’s problems…but when he meets the candidate in question, he finds himself in an entirely new predicament.
TO DO A WALLFLOWER’S JOB
Miss Margaret Lacey is brainy, beautiful, and, once upon a time, Will’s betrothed. But she bowed out of the engagement―and, since then, has never been the same. A tragic accident robbed her of everything, and now, at age twenty-three, her marital prospects are slim to none. Penniless but not without pride, Meg convinces the vexingly handsome Will to hire her for the job. What neither of them could have expected from this arrangement, however, is an attraction that burns stronger than ever. Are these two lost souls finally ready to be schooled in the art of love?
This review was previously posted at Romantic Historical Reviews

Following the loss of her parents, Margaret (called Meg by friends) finds her and her sisters living with a slightly eccentric, but well-meaning, uncle and existing on the fringes of the ton.  She should be moving within society, but instead she finds herself applying for the job of governess and the position just so happens to be with a man whose proposal she spurned back in the day.  How will she navigate controlling two little girls (which she has no experience with) and interacting with the man that she almost married?  

The story told here, of a governess and the lord of the house falling for each other, isn’t anything new, it’s a frequent trope in historical fiction and romance, but it felt rather fresh in the hands of Anna Bennett.  Meg and Will are not newly acquainted with each other, in fact, they have known each other since childhood, but that is an element that they have to try and navigate in their new relationship of employer and employee.  However, Bennett makes this story about more than just the budding romance here, there is also the chaos that two six-year-old girls bring into the equation too, and they bring quite the whirlwind that both brings Meg and Will together and pushes them apart.  

I found Will to be a more enjoyable character than Meg.  While he might be a playboy (at least at the beginning) he is genuinely likeable, earnest, and evolves the most during the course of the novel.  Meg is rather static throughout the novel; she fears falling for Will and becoming even more maligned by the ton.  She is the sister who is willing to take one for the team and feels ok with her destiny to die as a spinster.  She pushes against any chance that she could be happy and carries a lot of guilt with her that she lets get in the way.  It became slightly frustrating to deal with this same characters trait over and over and I wanted to scream at her to just get over herself!

Bennett does a great job of fleshing out her characters, even the secondary ones, which I appreciated as sometimes this doesn’t happen in romance novels.  The children are a handful, but each of the twins has her own distinct identity.  We get to know Meg’s sisters, Julie and Beth, who I’m thinking will star in their own novels as the Wallflower series continues. 

There is a little thread of mystery here and the “mystery man” was not someone that I saw coming – which was great that it wasn’t obvious, but I do like when there are some clues if you read it right, but I don’t think that was the case here – at least for me.  It made sense, but I would have appreciated the opportunity to attempt to get there myself.  

The romance here is sweet and spicy.  There were many complex emotions that occurred here that brought the two together and also pushed them apart.  As is often the case in romance novels, the experienced man is teaching the novice woman the ways of the romantic world, which was sweet and their sexual relations escalate from there.  

I look forward to reading more of the Wallflower series and spending more time with the Lacey sisters.  

Want more? Check out this excerpt to see if you like it before you buy!

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:
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Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

1 comment:

  1. The story is delightful, the writing is wonderful and flows well, Meg and her family are charming, Will is a perfect hero, the twins are adorable, the love scenes are hot and the ending is very sweet.

    I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more from this author.

    Penelope
    website

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