Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[NOR and ARC Review]: "Mad About the Earl"

Mad About the Earl by Christina Brooke
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (January 3, 2012)
Genre: Historical Romacne
Series: The Minstry of Marriage, 2
Summary (Amazon.com):
Designed to arrange matches of rank and affluence, the powerful Ministry of Marriage has no interest in love. But when does the heart ever play by the rules?

Lady Rosamund Westruther has no objection to the match arranged for her by the Ministry—until she meets her intended. Gruff, stubborn Griffin, Earl of Tregarth, is hardly the charming nobleman the classic beauty has dreamed of for so long. While a proper lady can’t cry off, she can demand a proper courtship …
Griffin is aware of his duty to wed—and more convinced than ever that the lovely Rosamund has no place with a man like him. Built for fields and stables rather than drawing rooms, Griffin doubts he can win her in the polite manner society requires. But with every passing day, the attraction between them flares higher and hotter. Maybe there is more to love than meets the eye…

Other Books in the Series:
Click on the covers to buy from BN.com

Book 1: Heiress in Love

Book 3: A Duchess to Remember
Publication date unknown at this time.

Where to Buy*: Amazon | Kindle | BN.com | NOOK
More Info: Author's Site | Book Site

My Review:

Lady Rosamund Westruther grew up with a first hand look at how disastrous arranged marriages can be as her mother moved from one lover to another while her father tried, and often failed, to keep her scandals under wrap. It would then make sense, would it not, for a child raised in such circumstances to long for a love match instead; but Rosamund has is in her head that love and marriage do not go so easily hand in hand. She is prepared to enter into an arranged marriage herself, and she plans on making the best of it. Little does she know at the time that true love does indeed make a marriage better.

Griffin, Earl of Tregarth, came from a horrible family as well; he, along with his younger brother and sister, was raised by his spiteful and malicious grandfather. Rather than being shown love and affection like a child should, he was beat by his grandfather, forced to do menial tasks, blackmailed into submission, and humiliated for his size and lack of grace. Now, more than a year since his beast of a grandfather has passed on, he is still suffering from his younger years, though he won't admit it. He will do anything in his power to keep his brother and sister safe and happy, even if it means forgoing his own pride and happiness. It is because of this strong sense of protectiveness that he steps forward to marry his intended bride, Lady Rosamund, after agreeing to the original marriage more than three years ago. But he never knew that it wasn't protecting his siblings that was foremost on his mind when he made this decision, but rather the memory of the beautiful Rosamund, the only lady he has who dares to stand up to him...and the woman that fires his blood like no other.

Their match may have been arranged by the Ministry of Marriage, along with their respective guardians, years ago but this marriage is hardly one of cold convenience; the passion runs deep between the two, and nothing, not even brief arguments can put it out....

Mad About the Earl is my first foray into the work of Ms. Brooke, but I promise it will not be the last. If this book was any indication, it seems that Brooks is a very talented writer, one that is able to weave together both the sensual and romantic, as well as keep the story interesting with plenty of witty remarks, images, and some very unique and loveable characters. I found myself smiling many times throughout this book, especially while reading about Sweet William Dearlove (just trust me on this one; you'll have to read the book!). There were very few moments during the book where I was bored (and the few I am counting were very brief). While the story may not have been ripe with action and adventure, it was still pleasantly captivating. There are many secrets in this book, though we only find out the truth about a few of them—the others, it seems, will have to wait for future books in this series.

I will admit that as enjoyable as this book was for me, I did find a few flaws, at least for my taste. Personally, I wanted to know more about Griffin's past, his siblings (though we do learn some about Jacks, as she is present in most of the book) and the exact events that shaped the man he is in this book. I always love a tortured hero, and Griffin is definitely such a character; however, I felt like we were only given a glimpse of who is he, what his character is like. Rosamund could also have used a bit more, well, background to her character. She wasn't a silly Society miss, like everyone assumed she was, and I respected her for that reason, but I still felt as if there was something missing from her as well, something that, when everything was said and done, had me placing her as a mere acquaintance of mine rather than a good friend. To me, this is something that any good book should strive for: to make the reader feel as if the main characters, as well as many of the secondary characters, are not just fictional people on a page, but rather our own dear friends that we've been with through the ups and downs of the story.

4 STARS! Overall, Mad About the Earl is a very charming and enjoyable read for any historical romance fan. The romance is definitely very heated and sensual at times, and I'm sure that if you are anything like me, you too will be wishing for a Griffin of your own. He may be rough around the edges, and a bit moody at times, but he can also make your blood boil with just a look, a kiss, a touch. Who cares if he isn't comfortable in the ballrooms of London? It is much more important for a man to be comfortable in the arms of his woman—both in the bed and out! I will be adding more of Christina Brooke's novels to my list, and I suggest that you do the same as well.

Thanks to Night Owl Reviews, where I received this ARC for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,

*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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