Not the Kind of Earl You Marry
Author: Kate Pembrooke
Publisher: Forever (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback, 349 pages
Romance, Adult Historical Romance (Regency)
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?
There was something a little bit off-putting in the opening pages of this book, but I loved the banter and chemistry between Charlotte and William so much that I just… kept reading. And gosh, am I so glad I did!
There were some parts that seemed really jarring to me, as someone who reads a lot of Regency-set historical romance – mostly so many of the characters referring to each other by their Christian names right off the bat. My knowledge of Regency England is admittedly gleaned mostly from reading (a lot of) romance novels, but that’s such a big historical inaccuracy.
Still, I’m glad I pushed past my discomfort because the romance between Charlotte and William is just SO GOOD. Their banter and barbs are just… *swoon*. They begin their relationship on rather poor terms, and then are immediately tossed into a fake relationship situation (which is one of my favorite tropes).
I also really love the friendships Charlotte develops with Serena and William’s sisters. I found myself checking to see if this is the first in the series (it is) because I wanted to read Libby and Lydia’s stories!
I could tell, at times, that this was Kate Pembrooke’s debut novel. The pacing was off in a few places, and the point of view shifted suddenly in the middle of a scene a couple of times. There was something not quite polished about some of the “true culprit” plot elements. I also REALLY didn’t like Charlotte’s plan of seduction, it just felt really icky… Still, this was a very enjoyable read, and whatever qualms I had about the historical inconsistencies were far overshadowed but what a fun and flirty read it was. I’m excited to read more from Kate Pembrooke and see how she grows as a writer in her next novel!
This is the first book in The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair. I can’t wait for the next book, which is Serena and Lord Townshend (aka Charles, but nobody is overly familiar with him in this book so I didn’t remember his first name!)
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.