Genre: Historical Romance
|The Earl I Adore|
Heat Level: Sweet to Sensual (A fair amount of kissing.)
This review has also been published on GoodReads and Aamazon, but I like toadd a little more side commentary in the reviews on my blog.
If you love traditional regency romances like Pride and Prejudice or Emma, I predict you love The Earl I Adore. I believe I detected a hint of inspiration from both of these romances, but with more than enough originality to keep the novel fresh.
The heroine, Sophie, was adorable. I love less-than-perfect heroines, especially diminutive ones with curves who play the oboe. (I always wanted to play the oboe but I had to play the clarinet because we already had one.) I had to ignore the cover because she didn't look at all like the image of the woman I had in mind.
The earl was a bit too perfect, even with his family secret, but he was genuinely sweet and charming. The story was written from both the hero and the heroine's POV, but the heroine definitely had the starring role. Perhaps that's another reason the book reminded me so much of a traditional regency.
The supporting characters were good. If you've ever seen the A&E production of Pride and Prejudice, Sophie's mother could have been Elizabeth Bennet's mother's long lost twin. She was that manipulative. My understanding is that the cadre of friends surrounding Sophie play the leading role in other novels. I'm eager to read some of those stories, especially May's.
Quick aside: I have never actually made it through the novel Pride & Prejudice. I'm not a big fan of the original manners novels. This has that feel, but it is modern enough not to get bogged down in the angst over customs and mores.
I picked up The Earl I Adore because I was looking for a clean romance. So much of what I end up reading is "steamy" at a minimum because that seems to be what's most available. (Don't you wish sites like Amazon allowed you to search by heat level?) However, I was in the mood for something that wasn't so explicit, and I wanted to see how other authors write clean romances without losing the sizzle that makes a romance a romance.
If you absolutely need eye-ball searing sizzle, this book isn't for you. Hint: The scene on the front cover never happens in the book. However, I think the kissing scenes are quite good, not so long that you can feel your own lips getting chapped, but long enough that they have some real impact.
I suspect I'll pick up another novel by Erin Knightly in the near future. My understanding is that despite her suggestive covers, her other books are also a breath of fresh air in the steamy romance world.