The Earl's New Bride by Frances Fowlkes
Published by Entangled Publishing on September 7th 2015
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The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn't interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon's disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable-and the homelier, the better.
But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet... and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family's possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn't love.
It's an impossible and unlikely match... unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast's life.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I’m thinking of pushing this new sub-genre called “Contemporary Historical Romance”. Although it sounds ridiculous, I’ve found lately that some authors write in a historical setting but characters are unencumbered by time-appropriate speech patterns and such, which gives us a very easy to read romance set in a time where the women wore kick ass dresses and the men had to be super masculine to not look like sissy pansies.
In The Earl’s New Bride, Simon “Earl of Amhurst” is seeking a wife. Having been hurt in the past by dark haired beauties, starting with his mother and ending in his losing the sight of one eye, he is set on finding some comely girl who will give him heirs before the title and all its fortune fall in his brother’s hand.
His plan? Invite some ladies in need of his title and fortune in exchange for the respectability he needs to clear his name of malicious rumors that follow him after the death of a lover and the aforementioned heir to keep the title from falling in his brother’s greedy hands.
Henrietta is a distant relation of the Earl, and will do anything to get to live in the house she grew up in… that now belongs to Simon. If that means getting married to him… well then. She really, really loves the house.
Now unfortunately for Henrietta she is a dark haired beauty but as she has a stutter, is the definition of clumsy, and is not an air head entertained only by dresses and gossip, she is not seen as a great catch.
She has an incredible knowledge of herbalism, a completely unselfish heart, and is as far from manipulative as a baby chipmunk.
Simon suffers from crippling pains and when Henrietta happens to have the means to help him lessen them he is wary at first. But soon their mutual attraction becomes a force on its own. She seems like no other woman he’s ever met… she reads. And has thoughts about other things besides dresses and ribbons. Henrietta intrigues and awakens the man within him in a way he never imagined possible
But is this unlikely couple meant to be? When convenient illnesses befall on Henrietta’s competition, the Earl, condition by a lifetime of wicked brunettes, can’t be sure what she is capable of doing, how could she want him for real?
Henrietta knows she is barely pretty and has many shortcomings, and when she realizes what the Earl needs… well, she realizes what love really is, because she will sacrifice her heart for his wellbeing.
This was a very enjoyable, easy read; filled with mystery, romance, completely inappropriate behavior and unchaperoned fun and I won’t be against, like… at all, reading more from this author.
Sparkles’ Rating: 3.5 Stars.
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