Review: Not the Kind of Earl You Marry (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #1) by Kate Pembrooke - .Red Wine & Books

Monday, August 9, 2021

Review: Not the Kind of Earl You Marry (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #1) by Kate Pembrooke

      

Print Length: 349 pages
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing: Forever (July 27, 2021)

From Goodreads.com:  The one woman in London who doesn’t want to marry him is now his fiancée.

William Atherton, Earl of Norwood, is as shocked as the rest of London to discover his betrothal via an announcement in the morning paper. Furious at what appears to be a shrewd marriage trap, William tracks down his alleged fiancée before her plans can affect his campaign for a coveted political post. But then William realizes an engagement, however fake, may benefit them both...

Miss Charlotte Hurst may be a wallflower, but she’s no shrinking violet. She would never attempt such an underhanded scheme, especially not with a man as haughty or sought-after as Norwood. Yet his suggestion to play along with the betrothal has its merits... and the longer they pretend, the more undeniably real their feelings become. But when the true culprit behind their engagement is revealed, can their newfound happiness survive the scandal?

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This novel had so much potential, that it is beyond disappointing to me that I never felt it fully explored what could have been. The characters were interesting, and occasionally we got glimpses of the sweetness between them, but sadly I never bought into the romance - at least not on Charlotte's part.

Time and again, we see William trying to win her over, to prove to her that their engagement could be real, but each time she not only shuts down (or as the author puts it "put her guard up"), but she turns him down and tells him they are just "too different" to the point I lost sympathy for her and was almost hoping he would move on without her. While I understand her hesitancy at the start of their "fake" engagement, there was no reason for her to continue to act the way she did for most of the remainder of the story. 

I especially lost patience with her when she went out of her way to seduce him knowing fully what he wanted from her, and knowing from the start she was going to jilt him immediately after. Again, in the moment I understand why, but it doesn't show her in the best light and I know from being privy to her thoughts throughout the novel that she was capable of more. I just wish the author would have let THAT story be told. Let her express her feelings for him as equally over time. I think it would have made what happened later on all the more poignant. 

Instead of drawing me in, it became repetitive to the point where I started skimming their passages just to get to the point of them actually being together. Sadly, I soon found myself more interested in Serena's work (and by extension Charlotte's help) than I was in the romance. And the whole sequence (and fallout) with the ladies maid I feel could have been scrapped. There was enough going on without that needed extra bit. And perhaps this is just me being picky, but I wish there had also been a way for William to have what he truly desired as well that wasn't just her as his wife. 

However, seeing as how this was a debut novel, I will definitely read more from this author to see how their style expands. 

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.


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                                                      Not the Kind of Earl You Marry is available from Amazon.com

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