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The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft
Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.
Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.
But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?
It took me a few chapters to get in to this book, and I'm not quite sure why. Maybe because I've been reading a lot of other Regency Romance books lately, and this one was just a bit different in the wording and the format. Who knows. Anyway, after a few chapters, the story really grew on me and I got really involved in it.
Amelia and Anthony are both really good people and I was really rooting for their relationship to grow, but things happened a lot quicker than I thought they would. They definitely had their struggles, which makes a story that much better. With all the Regency romance books I've been reading lately, it still amazes me how much effort they had to put into being accepted and popular with all the other society people. I think I would not do well in Society at all. :) (I'm capitalizing it because it just seems like it's that important of a word.)
I do still feel like there needs to be a glossary at the back of these kinds of books for people like me who have no idea what some things are, such as: reticule, cravat, the "ton" and a bunch of other things that I am so very glad we don't deal with nowadays.
At any rate, I highly recommend this book. It was an enjoyable story filled with genuinely good people, some genuinely horrible people and some really sweet romance.
To cut right to the chase, I enjoyed this book. I liked it in fact. However, the language was quite a bit different than other Regency books that I've read. It didn't seem as...old or proper, or...something. Nothing about it is glaringly obvious (for the lay person...like me) but it was just slightly off.
Besides the word choices, I kind of felt like the physical aspects were more modernized as well. Don't get me wrong, I would still classify this as a clean read (and I'd let my daughter read it when she gets older and actually likes romance :) but it didn't quite seem to fit the time period. It fit the book quite nicely, it just seemed...I don't know. Lusty isn't the right word, but maybe instead of enjoying a simple touch or holding hands (you know those books that can make you sigh when that happens) it jumped right to more modern feelings.
All that aside, especially since I'm not making sense even to myself, it was a good book. I'd recommend it, and I'll read it again and again.
I really like Regency Romances, but like any genre, you have to be mindful of the author/publisher to make sure you're getting what you want (i.e. a sweet and proper romance vs. trashy romance). When I saw that Covenant Communications was publishing The Earl's Betrothal I was excited that this would be the kind of Regency I like.
Karen Tuft did a good job with this story. It was engaging and had great characters. A few times I found myself a little distracted as the style felt different from other Regency novels. It did a good job of describing the social expectations, but we find the main characters kissing so soon after making each other's acquaintance. Their kiss didn't seem like an issue to either of them, but I'm so used to other clean books in this genre being so slow to get to that point that it distracted me. It was still a clean romance-just presented differently than I'm used to for this genre.
This was a fast, clean read, and one I'd probably read again.
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Title: The Earl's Betrothal by
Author: Karen Tuft
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: May 2016
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book