Review: How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love #3) by Amelia Grey - .Red Wine & Books

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Review: How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love #3) by Amelia Grey

  


Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Press (April 27, 2021)

From Goodreads.com:  Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn't much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he's determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There's just one problem: He's already bet he'll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

As with the other stories in this trilogy, you do not need to have read the others in order to understand and enjoy this one. You are given just enough information from the prior novels so that everything makes sense. 

That being said, this one was such a disappointment to me. I LOVED Brina's character in book number 2. I felt that she was a strong woman who knew her own mind and I loved her independence. Of course, I knew because she was getting her own story, she would also be getting her own happily-ever-after. But this story just didn't do her justice. 

To begin with, Zane is just a brute. He claims to respect her, yet he pays no attention to any personal boundary she tries to set. He places an outrageous wager on being able to win her hand, seemingly unconcerned about how that would reflect on her and her charitable works. He then corners her in public not once, but twice, until she loses her temper and agrees to his wager IF he can adhere to her strict and (quite frankly) unreasonable list of demands. I understand she did this with the intention that he would fail, but it reflected just as badly on her character as it did on his. 

But of course the moment they begin their training/courtship all either of them can think about is how attracted they are to the other, and of course, they end up sharing a passionate kiss in the middle of the park. Because apparently when it comes to him, Brina is willing to throw all caution to the wind (a complete 180 from her character in the previous novels). 

Another issue I found with this book was Zane's family. Apparently they not only demanded perfection from him in all things, but the main thing the majority of them were concerned with was their allowances? I mean I know things were done differently back then and the nobility tended to care for their families (especially in cases such as this when someone unexpected becomes the new Earl), but this just came across as them expecting him to pay for everything they could ever want, and of course they dump this on him while he is still trying to navigate his new duties as the Earl. 

Sadly, for all of the reasons listed above, I just didn't enjoy this story as much as I had hoped I would. However, I do believe it will appeal to others who enjoy historical romance novels. 

DISCLAIMER:  I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                           How to Train Your Earl is available from Amazon.com

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