The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley #Review

The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley #ReviewThe Earl I Adore by Erin Knightley

Series: #2 Prelude to a Kiss
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Signet on January 6, 2015
Pages: 332
Format: Paperback
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

Sophie was a character I adored when she was introduced in the first book of the series as a secondary character. She is rather a sunny little magpie with a love of music and a desire to have those around her happy. Her friends treasure her and want her to be happy too. Now that Sophie is in a jam caused by the unsuitable runaway match her sister made, May and Charity are there to help her scheme a bit to make the man of her dreams notice her. She has to land a marriage proposal from her Earl in the two weeks she has before word trickles out about her family’s scandal. It would actually help if she could avoid stumbling over her own feet and manage to unlock her tongue.

Evan lives almost a half-life as he moves through society avoiding the close contact that will encourage people to get at his personal side. He has a dark secret to protect that could ruin his family and he will protect it at all cost even his own happiness. His world gets turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of his sister and the disastrous impression and situation he keeps imposing on nice little Miss Sophie Wembley. He finds her a breath of fresh air and for once in his life he lets his guard down to make a friend only he soon realizes that Miss Sophie has more than friendship on her mind. His family secret forbids anything more so he is forced to cut off her hopes and his own even though she tries to tell him and his sister that happiness and love are worth the risk.

“Do you know, I don’t look at it that way? I don’t think I could ever regret falling in love with him.” It didn’t make sense, she knew, especially after the awkwardness of yesterday. But even so, she meant what she said.

“But he hurt you,” Julia said, confusion knitting her brow.

“Not on purpose. Anytime we fall in love, there will always be risk. Romeo and Juliet taught us that much,” she said with a fleeting smile crossing her lips. “I’m teasing, of course, but every great love story on earth started with risk.

Even the ones that worked out have no guarantees. Look at Lord Cadgwith’s brother who died much too soon, leaving behind a young wife and infant. If his widow had known his fate, would she still have married him? If she loved him, then I would think yes…The way I look at it- or at least the way I’m trying to look at it- is that even if my gamble didn’t pay off, at least I tried. At least I know that I put all my cards on the table, even if my hand lost.” pp.199-200 Sophie and Julia from The Earl I Adore

Sophie was a heroine that I could completely get behind. This girl took the lemons and used them to garnish her cocktail in her own sweet, sunny way. She was a pleasure and joy to read her thoughts and point of view. She was tough and honorable to the core no matter what happened that was out of her control. She was facing her family’s ruin, she had a few hideously embarrassing moments, she was forced to push past her comfort zone again and again and she really did take the gamble and put it all on the line like she said in the above quote. My heart just broke for her and I wanted this dear girl to have her own slice of happiness.

Evan, too, deserved something good. He had the right motives for his actions and back in the day his reason made a sad sort of sense to forfeit any real chance of normal life and loving. If there was anything worse than the kind of scandal Sophie faced, it was the kind Evan faced. The secret is kept for much of the book though I had my suspicions early on. And just as I suspected his secret, I also suspected how the final barrier would be removed and I was right. That being said, getting to know this tender man who was made to enjoy life and live in the sun with a lady like Sophie even though he was forced to stay at hands’ length, was engaging enough to keep me from being impatient or disappointed. He came across as cruel because of the stance he had to take, but I did understand. I was glad to have his perspective trading off with Sophie’s so I didn’t end up hating him for it.

Now the real cruel players were people that weren’t villains who committed atrocious crimes so much as people that were just petty, selfish, short-sighted, thoughtless and mean-spirited. It’s amazing the evil these lesser sins can stir up. There were a couple of people that are lucky I couldn’t slip through the pages and apply my hand to the back of their heads. Let me just say, I love you, Mom. So glad you are nothing like Sophie’s mom. 😉

To wrap it all up neatly, for me, this was even more appealing than the first book in the series- which by the way can be read out of order if you don’t mind a few earlier character pass-throughs. As a rarity, I was more in love with the heroine than the hero, but their romance had me swallowing down my sadness and feeling the burn of some tears. There was humor, nice dialogue, heartbreaking and heartwarming scenes in this sweet historical romance. I think historical romance lovers will adore Sophie and Evan as much as I did.

My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Challenges Met:

Literary Pickers

Item found:  CORSET

Books N Tunes

The Crystals’ Then He Kissed Me

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Bwahahaha, I feel like that about some character too. I am loving your tunes woman!

    • Why thank you! I do try (I meant the tunes of course not my violent tendencies toward characters-haha).

  • Aw Sophia it sounds wonderful. Love her books and in person Erin is just a doll 🙂 Sophie sounds amazing! To love the heroine more than the hero…whoa! That doesn’t happen often for me either and says so much. So glad to see you enjoyed it!

    • How cool! You met her.

      Sophie did wow me. I have read 3 Sophie/Sophias in a row that were awful people and I don’t like my namesakes to be big uglies that I want to hit. This was a fun read for me.

      • Oh noes on the name. lol I feel your pain on that since I got Ana from 50 Shades. Not too many Anna heroines out there. Glad you got a good Sophie finally 🙂

        Yeah Erin is one of my locals and in my real life book club. She’s a fun one 🙂

        • Buahaha! Oh erm, I mean I’m sorry for the blot on your Anna name. You have my condolences. Yeah, you win, I haven’t met a fictional Sophia to top your fictional Anna 50 Shades.

          I can tell from the humor element in her writing that she would be fun for reals. I have never been a part of a real life book club. It’s on the bucket list.

          • LOL it was a blow to Anna’s everywhere. 😉

            Oh I hope you’re able to find one some day. Ours is held at a B&N. I joined about 2 years ago now I think and it’s been a good time.

            • Yeah, the finding one is actually the problem. Our little library branch doesn’t do them for adults just a teen one and we don’t have a bookstore within an hour. I do know of a general fiction club, but I know me and I’d be out of my element there. I need a romance club. I get a bit of that with co-workers who talk books on our lunch break, but they mostly read books when they want to see the movie. If I get the burning need, I can be a pioneer and start my own I guess. 😉

              • Oh you so should! I bet there are some other ladies around there that would love one too. 😀

                • Oh the wheels are turning! I’ll have to give it a long think and do some research how other clubs works since I’ve never seen one. I can’t possibly fit in such a thing now, but I can do some early recon.

  • The heroine sounds fun. Sunny and wanting to make other happy is always a good sign. This story line of having a scandal in ones family and having to do something before anyone else finds out about it seems like a fun one. There’s always so much running around and ploting going on.

    • Oh, the secret scandal or should I say double secret scandal definitely worked for me, Mary. Sophie’s personality was the key to the story being better than average.

  • Oh I have been wanting to read this author so bad, and you totally convinced me I need to try her. And you know me and historical romance, I just can’t resist it. lol

    • You are practically the Historical Romance Queen, Renee. I’ve gotten so many HRs for my wishlist off your review. Glad I could offer one in return. Hope you like her books when you try them. I’ve only read this one and the book before it in the series which is a spin-off of another book from what I could tell.