The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley

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The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley

Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A music-loving girl and her ill-tempered neighbour almost come to blows over her piano playing, but neither can deny the instant attraction they both feel toward one another.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Piatkus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0349405414

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Charity is hoping to enjoy a relaxing break in Bath, attending the music festival with her beloved grandmother, Lady Effington. Charity doesn't just love music, she lives music; it is an intrinsic part of her very being and she is never happier than when playing her latest compositions on her pianoforte. She cannot understand why anyone would hate music, so when her new neighbour Baron Cadgwith turns up on her doorstep, demanding that she keep the infernal racket to a minimum, she declares war on the insufferably rude Baron next door. The result is a light-hearted and sweet Regency romance that sees the most unlikely pair begin to bond, despite their differences.

The book follows a tried-and-tested formula: a couple meet in awkward circumstances and take an instant dislike to one another, despite an instant physical attraction. As time goes on, their bickering turns to conversation and mutual interest, before the pair finally fall in love. Of course, there are plenty of obstacles along the way and in this case, the biggest problem is Charity's love of music: She simply can't live in a world without music, but the Baron suffers from a severe illness, which results in terrible migraines and sickness whenever he hears her play. Despite Charity's protestations of love, the Baron feels that it would be unfair to ask her to give up music completely. Then of course, there is a love rival waiting in the wings who simply adores Charity's music and is very keen to make her his bride...

The love story is very sweet and tender and will appeal to those who like a traditional romance story, as there are no sex scenes or anything likely to offend. The characters are well-drawn, especially the main protagonists: the sweet and demure Charity and the brusque, ill-tempered Baron. I loved the way that their relationship deepened over the course of the book and the many ups and downs that they encountered along the way.

My only criticism of the book was that it contained a lot of anachronisms and American terms, which didn't fit the Regency setting. For example, in one scene, the characters are having a pep talk, a term that wasn't in common use until the late 1920s. In another, the author mentions the Baron's shirt being tucked into his pants, which did raise a chuckle when I read it. Other American terms included anyplace and I guess and as I read, I imagined the characters suddenly swapping their English accents for a 'Valley Girl' twang. It became such a distraction that I made it into a bit of a game, trying to spot the odd-word-out on each page.

Despite my nitpicking, I did enjoy the story immensely and I noticed that it is part of a series, the next book featuring one of Charity's friends, Sophie, in her very own story. I look forward to reading it, as well as the other books in the series and I am grateful to the publishers for my review copy.

Bookbag LOVED The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James, which is a must-read for fans of Regency fiction.

Buy The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley at Amazon.com.


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