Sunday, 19 February 2017

Review of My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett

1st book in The Wayward Wallflower series.

I was given a copy of 'I Dared The Duke' by Anna Bennett to review. And due to my self-torturing (only sometimes!) and self-imposed rule I do not read a book in a series out of order. Hence I had to pick up it's predecessor.

And, I'm really glad I did it! At first I was skeptical about picking this book up. Because not only is it a debut novel, but a historical debut. Put those two together and many a times I have found that combination go awry!
But Anna Bennett surprised me with this sweet as a candy, well written historical romance.

Let's look at 

The Blurb:


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.


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?

When I first read the blurb I thought it was a case of jilted ex. But, the story had a different twist to it. Will and Meg barely new each other.
Oh, and also I love the Cover. I'm a huge fan of historical romance covers and this reminds me of Katherine Ashe's covers. I loved it!

My Review:

When I started this book, like I said earlier, I was skeptical. I was actually waiting for something to make me not like the book. I was reading on eggshells this one!
But, I stand corrected. This was one of the sunniest, cutest historical I have read in a long time. It was not gloomy despite having it's fair share of tragedy. It was rather simple in it's exuberance.

We first meet William Ryder, Earl of Castleton. A rake of first order who has recently been thrust a unexpected, unwanted responsibility. When his cousin dies of a riding accident he leaves his twin daughters in the care of Will. Will doesn't know the first thing about caring for children, hence he resolves to find a solution for the problem.

And as solution personified enters Miss Margaret Lacey. Meg and Will where neighbours growing up. After a rather unfortunate incident due to meddling fathers they haven't seen eye to eye. But, present circumstances has forced Meg to seek out a job as a governess to aid her uncle. Meg is ready to undergo the humiliating encounter with Will if at the end of the day she can provide for her sisters.

Thus begins a dance of unexpected chemistry and dangerous seduction. Will finds Meg and her prideful nature compelling. Never has anyone challenged him like Meg does. She intrigues him and leaves him wanting.
similarly for Meg, all the world sees her carefully painted facade of composure, but Will seems to be the only who sees through it and enjoys rattling it.
What follows is two lost souls finding their way to each other.

What I liked:
  • The pace and tone of the book. It was like a stroll in a nature park, simply satisfying.
  • Diana and Valerie. I do love when there are children in the plot. And these two were so sweet.
  • The Lacey sisters. This book definitely did what it was supposed to do. Intrigue me. I am definitely looking forward to the stories of Beth and Julie.
  • Writing Style. For a debut novel, the author has accomplished a lot.
What I could have liked better:
  • Somewhere along the middle I felt the book could have picked up the pace. It was slow and although the end did salvage it, I felt it could have been done better.
  • The tone again. The story was like a straight line. There was rarely any moment that made me hold my breath. It was bland in some places. I would have liked something more exciting!
  • The Voice. One suggestion to Anna Bennett is that she work on the voice of the writing. Historical Romance is a vast field and to be heard the most you need to have a distinguished voice like Julia Quinn, Katherine Ashe, Sabrina Jeffries, Elizabeth Hoyt and Sarah Maclean. Something that will make the work distinguishably hers.

Final Verdict:

Whatever my feeling were in the middle I can surely say I loved this book. I liked Meg and Will and the story. I am also looking forward to Anna Bennett's future works. She has got a lot of potential.

I give this book: 3.5 Stars!

Keep Reading,

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