The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley
|The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A determined young woman is keen to snag the man of her dreams in her final season at Bath.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: January 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Poor Sophie Wembley has been placed in a desperate situation thanks to her sister Penelope, who has eloped with the 'hired help'. Once news of the scandal reaches the gossip-mongers of the 'ton', Sophie and her family will be ousted from polite society and her hopes of finding an eligible husband will be ruined. It is therefore up to Sophie's scheming mother to persuade her to snare herself a man before the gossip becomes public knowledge. Time is clearly of the essence and when it comes to suitable husbands, Sophie knows only one man will do: the handsome Earl of Evansleigh, for whom she has been harbouring a 'tendre' for the past year.
So begins the tale of the hunter and the hunted, with the clumsy, socially awkward Sophie struggling to find a way to entrap her dream man. Things are further complicated by the fact that the Earl swore a pact many years ago that he would never marry or have children. How strong will his resolve prove to be when he is pursued so relentlessly by such a pretty girl?
Our heroine is utterly adorable and her sweet optimism is contagious. We find ourselves rooting for her, despite the fact that her awful mother is waiting in the wings, pulling the strings, as it were. We can't help feel a little sorry for the poor Earl, yet at the same time secretly hoping that he will allow the lovely Sophie into his heart, because it is so clear that they make a perfect couple.
The book has some well-drawn characters and some familiar faces from the previous book, as there is some overlap with the music festival setting. One of my favourites was the waspish Miss Harmon, who delights in publicly belittling those around her in order to advance her own social status. I also liked the Earl's sister Julia, who arrives in a shroud of mystery, much to the consternation of her doting brother. At first, she seems standoffish and rude, but as the book progresses, her personality begins to mellow and we discover the reasons for her behaviour.
There are some marvellous romantic scenes in the book and I thoroughly enjoyed the scene at the opera where the Earl was whispering the translated words into Sophie's ear. Like the previous book, there are also a couple of sizzling kissing scenes where the chemistry between the two protagonists became abundantly apparent.
I have a couple of issues with the book though. Like its predecessor, the language seemed to modern at times and jarred with the Regency setting. I also took exception to the ridiculous 'Deus ex Machina' denouement, where a single revelation from one of the characters miraculously puts everything right. It seemed contrived and was a disappointing way to resolve the storyline.
Although the book has its flaws, the romance between Sophie and the Earl is a very sweet and enjoyable read. The epilogue in the labyrinth was particularly lovely and a great way to end the book. Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.
The lovely Sophie also appears in The Baron Next Door which is the first book in the series.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley at Amazon.com.
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