I Love The Earl by Caroline Linden

I Love the Earl  (The Truth About the Duke #0.5)Barbara’s rating: 4/4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Truth About the Duke #0.5
Publication Date: 8/2/11
Number of Pages: 147

This was a lovely introduction to the ‘The Truth About The Duke’ series, we meet the Duke, learn about him unexpectedly becoming a duke, but we don’t really see much of him. We learn to like him, dislike him, and then like him again. We learned that he was troubled and that it had something to do with a youthful romance, but no explanations beyond that. The other books in the series feature his sons (many years later) as they fight the scandal the duke left behind and find their HEAs along their journey. This novella features the duke’s sister Margaret.

I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Gildart Jackson. His characterizations were consistent – you always knew which character was speaking. He has a nice voice and accent consistent with the time and place. Personally, I thought the pacing was a little slow, but after I increased the playback speed, it worked out just fine.

Let me start by telling you that I loved both of the main characters in the book. One of my favorite things is that you never have to overlook or forgive either the hero or heroine for anything. They are both so very true to who they are. They are honest and straightforward with each other. One of the best things is that there is absolutely no angst nor any TSTL moments. It was a lovely, fairly light-hearted, romantic read.

Margaret de Lacey has long accepted that she is a spinster. Once, she dreamed of love, marriage, and children, but no longer. She is content living with her brother and managing his household. Then, her brother unexpectedly inherits a dukedom and her whole world changes. She’s gone from the plain, uninteresting, drab woman in whom nobody was interested, to a very wealthy heiress with all of the penniless fortune hunters chasing her. Well, she’ll not accept any of them without being very, very sure they are as interested in her as they are in her fortune.

Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling is probably the most destitute of those looking for a fortune. He is very, very reluctant to marry for money, but he’s exhausted all of his options – even selling the furnishings in his homes. He’s agreed to go through a list his friend has of eligible heiresses. He’ll meet them, then he’ll decide whether he can go through with it or not. He’s met two or three of the ladies on the list, and then he meets Margaret de Lacey. Goodness, she is intriguing and he is drawn to her. He decides right then that she will be his.

Rhys constantly turns up wherever Margaret happens to be and they always have at least a brief interaction. Will he manage to change her mind about him? Will she ever accept him? What dastardly thing does her brother do? Can they find their HEA? You’ll just have to read this fun novella to find out.

I do wish the epilogue had been just a tad more fleshed out, it seemed just a bit rushed. I would also have liked to have seen more of a reconciliation between the siblings – a visit would have been so much better than a letter. I understand this was a novella, but just a few more pages would have made it absolutely perfect.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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