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New Release Review! THE EARL’S NEW BRIDE by Frances Fowlkes (The Daughters of Amhurst #1)

Title: The Earl’s New Bride
Author: Frances Fowlkes
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
England, 1819
 
The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn’t interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon’s disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable—and the homelier, the better.
But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet…and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family’s possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn’t love.
It’s an impossible and unlikely match…unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast’s life.
Review:
First off–such a pretty cover. Love it!

Secondly–a beauty and the beast story where Beauty is slightly more clumsy rather than just constantly distracted and her love is herbs and herbal remedies instead of books? Sounds like a good one, sign me up! 🙂

When I first read the blurb and saw the cover for The Earl’s New Bride, I knew I had to read it. I’m a total sucker for fairytale retellings, after all, and B&tB is one of the favorites at our house. (And the new live action version cannot come soon enough, BTW. I’m dying to see Dan Stevens in something that won’t make me cringe–unlike everything else he’s done since Downton. Sigh…)

I’m happy to report it did not disappoint.

The Earl’s New Bride is a sweet romance with a touch of mystery, and a Beauty and the Beast story set in Regency England. It’s the first in a new series, and I will definitely be coming back to read about Henrietta’s twin sisters, Sarah and Albina…especially since Sarah has an incident to make up for and Albina’s choice of a possible love interest in this story turns out to be a bit less-than…tension, ready and waiting!

I loved both Oliver and Henrietta. The new(ish) Earl of Amhurst has been burned by love–almost literally (maybe literally? We don’t find out the nitty gritty details of his injuries), and now that he’s got the title all he wants to do is find a modest, unassuming bride who’s desperate enough to take the Black Earl on and give him heirs–he needs to ensure above all that he never trusts his heart to another beautiful woman and that his younger brother doesn’t inherit the title. (There’s a definite story there, but we don’t get much of it beyond vague references. Which is fine; I’d much rather we focus on Oliver and Henrietta.) Henrietta intrigues him, which is bad. Very bad. He resists as long as he can, the poor man…

The Black Earl indeed. More like the tormented-confused-and-frustratingly-desirous-of-Lady-Henrietta-Earl.

But we all know resistance is futile…

Henrietta has gone to the house party planning on sacrificing herself in the interests of keeping the estate where her dear father spend so much time and where her herb gardens are a part of her life on a permanent basis. The very idea of the Black Earl fills her with trepidation, but she’s determined to do this much for her family. Her nerves over the whole situation lead to a laugh out loud first meeting (clumsy doesn’t even begin to cover it, the poor girl!) in which she absolutely gets Oliver’s attention. But will it be enough?

(Insert happy sigh) Of course it will, but not until we have plenty of angst and yearning first. 😉 The Earl’s New Bride is a sweet and entertaining read, kicking off a new series I’m very much looking forward to reading more from.

(And seeing more of Henrietta and Oliver in–because, adorable!)

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.

When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.

Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.

A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.

For More Information

Visit Frances’ website.
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