Review: West End Earl (Misfits of Mayfair #2) by Bethany Bennett - .Red Wine & Books

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Review: West End Earl (Misfits of Mayfair #2) by Bethany Bennett

     


Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing - Forever (June 29, 2021)

From Goodreads.com:  While most young ladies attend balls and hunt for husbands, Ophelia Hardwick has spent the last ten years masquerading as a man. As the land steward for the Earl of Carlyle, she’s found safety from the uncle determined to kill her and freedoms a lady could only dream of. Ophelia’s situation would be perfect—if only she wasn’t hopelessly attracted to her employer.

Calvin, Earl of Carlyle, is determined to see his sister married this season. And he’ll do it with the help of his trusted right-hand man. But when he finds out his man is a woman, and that her life is in danger, his priorities change. Their attraction is passionate, all-consuming, and if they aren’t careful, it could turn downright deadly—for both of them.

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My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Let me begin by saying that although this is the second novel in the Misfits of Mayfair series, you do not need to have read the first in order to understand this one, as aside from the occasional mention of other character's, there is nothing brought up in the first book that carries over into this one. 

I had a couple of big problems with this one that I want to get out of the way first so I can talk about all the things I enjoyed about this novel (because trust me what I like far outweighs my complaints, but I strive to always be honest with those who read my reviews) so here we go. 

First, how was Phee able to convince EVERYONE in London, the man she worked closely with every day, and even her own uncle, that she was her dead brother? Maybe when she was younger, but I can't see a full-grown adult woman being able to pull that off as successfully as she did for as long as she did without the use of hormones. 

The second big problem I had with this one was the fact that Phee and Emma 

***SPOILER ALERT***

Not only enter into a sham marriage for the sake of protecting Emma's reputation, but then commit insurance fraud when they then fake "Adam's" death to collect the insurance policy Phee's uncle had taken out. In spite of the fact that Adam had been dead the entire time, and even though I know that money went to help Emma have a respectable life with her child as a "widow", it still didn't sit right with me. What would happen if the truth was ever found out? Does she really think showing up in London dressed as a women and pretending to be a "long-lost cousin" NO ONE will spot the fact that she looks identical to "Adam"?

***END SPOILER ALERT***

A smaller grievance is for me is the insta-love between Cal and Phee. This is a personal peeve of mine, that I was thankfully mostly able to overlook due to the fact that they had been close friends for over two years before the truth came out. I also wish Phee would have taken the time to 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way.  Together? I ABSOLUTELY ADORED Ophelia and Calvin. I LOVED their banter (a couple examples from the story are when she tells him that her favorite walking path follows the edge of a cliff so if he's not careful, she'll push him over, or when she accidentally walks in on him naked and she tells him that she didn't mean to, but it was hard, and he replied that it wasn't but if would be soon if she kept staring at him). THAT is the kind of thing I enjoy, being made to laugh out loud at the antics of the characters, and feeling like they DO have a connection. 

Separately, I wish Ophelia was a little less stubborn in asking for help, and that Cal had been a little more stubborn in not cleaning up after his wastrel of a father. I feel as though perhaps if he hadn't been cleaning up his father's messes his entire life one of the main plot points wouldn't have been necessary, thus eliminating some drama from an already drama filled narrative. 

All in all, I would definitely recommend this novel to fans of historical romance novels that are filled with interesting characters, witty dialogue, and more than enough drama to keep things moving and keep the reader interested. I would read more from this author (and am fact very much looking forward to the third novel in this series). 

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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                                                 West End Earl is available from Amazon.com

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