Review: An Unwilling Earl by Sharon Cullen

Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (March 25, 2019)

From Jacob Ashland’s life has taken an unexpected turn. He’s now the Earl of Ashland and expected to marry. But he’s done that before and had his heart ripped from his chest. When Charlotte shows up at his door needing protection, he offers to marry her––in name-only. 

Charlotte, an orphan, suspects her sinister cousin of terrorizing London. When her maid disappears, she fears for her own life and runs away. Lord Ashland offers marriage, and it’s the perfect solution. But it isn’t long before she finds herself falling for her new husband. 

Unfortunately, he won’t allow himself to love anyone ever again. And she knows her dark secret could destroy everything.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I'm not going to lie, I found the murder mystery portion of this book to be more believable and more enjoyable for me than the romance portion of it. The notion that a well bred and education "realm of the peer" couldn't possibly be a murderer was a belief that I hadn't before considered. I wish there had more of a look into the killer's mind, more than just the tiny snippet that we did get to see. I'm sure a look inside his mind would have been fascinating, and maybe what this book needed to push it over the edge from mediocre to gripping. The mystery part could have overshadowed the lackluster and unbelievable romance. Too bad it didn't. 

As for the romance, there was just something unlikable about them. Jacob had potential - he had lost his wife and son in childbirth, and by all accounts he had loved her very deeply. It explains his desire to save Charlotte to a point, but it doesn't explain why he would suddenly offer her marriage. That goes above and beyond wanting to help someone, which often made me wonder if he was confusing lust for love. As it is, Charlotte is distrustful (rightfully so after the way she has been treated), but even when she cries out for help, the minute it is offered, she shuts it down and tries to run away. She even become defensive when Jacob tells her he has feelings for her, but that he's not in love with her. What did she expect after knowing him only a week, and even then more often than not she was trying to throw his help back in her place. Eventually, she agrees to the in-name only marriage (per her husband), only to jump into bed with him the moment he brings the idea to the table. But it doesn't matter that they sleep together, or if she conceives, because she's got his promise that when it comes time to go to America, he will let her go. *insert eye roll here*

Despite all of that, I am sure there are others to whom this novel will appeal. The author does have a strong writing style, even if I feel this particular novel could have done with more fleshing out before released. I would give this author another chance!

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

                                 An Unwilling Earl is available from

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