Book Review:The Earl Next Door

Rating: 3/5

Title: The Earl Next Day (Book 1 of 3 in The Bachelor Lords of London)

Author: Charis Michaels

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This is actually a hard review to write. Not because I hated the book, but because it was merely okay but had the potential to be great.

In a nutshell, the story is an American heiress flees to London to avoid her mother trying to marrying her off to one of her step-brothers. She meets a meets a broke earl and they fall in love, against his better judgement.

 

Pros

  1. I actually liked the heroine most of the time. She was vibrant, full of life, and she was not formal by nature. She was strong minded and strong willed . . . except when it came to her mother. This was actually irritating, but I will get to that in the cons.
  2. The hero was likable.  I didn’t necessarily connect with him, but he still made a good male lead.
  3. The chemistry between the characters was quite good.
  4. The steamy scenes were pretty good.

 

Cons

  1. Historical inaccuracies. If you are actually looking for a historical romance that has done its research, you will be disappointed. There are glaring errors, such as Scotland Yard being a thing in 1806.
  2. The hero and heroine are not together much at the beginning of the story.
  3. Jumping between viewpoints. I am used to seeing the world through the hero and heroine’s eyes. But this books also jumps between several other supporting characters’ viewpoint.
  4. The plot. It is so full of holes, I think Swiss Cheese would hold more water.
    1. The heroine, who is strong willed and admirable in most of the story, simply wilts  whenever her mother is around. Why does she even allow her mother around her? The heroine is very rich and I assume has servants aplenty that would keep her mother away from her in New York, and once she’s in London, not even her mother’s position in society would allow her to harass the heroine.
    2. The villains might as well have mustaches to twirl. I mean, they have no redeeming qualities, not even bathing, apparently. Within minutes of meeting a pretty maid, they’re accosting her. It is hard, as a reader, to take them seriously. Especially in London. Not sure why the heroine doesn’t report them to Bow Street.
    3. Mother doesn’t care which of her 5 stepsons the heroine marries as she has made an agreement with all of them that if she helps them get her daughter’s hand, they give her half of her daughter’s fortune. No idea what the agreement is over the dowry. So Mother brings all 5 stepbrothers to London. A crossing of the Atlantic ocean was not a small undertaking in 1806. Weeks on the ocean, and not all ships made it. Now, let’s remember, mother got the other half of this fortune when the heroine’s father died. And she remarried. Granted, it appears the man she remarried doesn’t have the large fortune he boasted. And, of course, not sure how Mother is certain the stepson will even share with her once her daughter is married.
    4. Mother continues her tantrums even after her daughter marries the earl. Really?!?  And the earl doesn’t have her hauled off? She is now bothering a Countess, and the earl now has access to his wife’s money and her dowry. He is now quite rich.
    5. The hero’s past “catches” up to him. Still not sure how a man and his two goons, who speak no English, not only find the earl in London rather quickly, but manage to find him 2 days hard ride from London in the English countryside. Really?!? And they don’t speak English?!?
    6. Also trying to figure out how a man and his two goons are not brought to the authorities. They are Greek, and if they are harassing an English Earl in England . . . I can’t see the authorities being very sympathetic.
  5. The hero and heroine could have solved a lot of their troubles with a conversation. I give this a lower priority than the horrible plot as it does seem to be common in the genre. Still, I wish they would have both acted like adults, especially when the mostly likable and level-headed heroine decided to “run away” when she’s injured.
  6. Still wondering about the earl’s country estate that is commented upon but never followed up.

 

This book could have been amazing if:

  1. We could have spent more time with the hero and heroine together and really let the sparks between them fly
  2. Cleaned up the plot to be a lot more believable. Give the mother something real and tangible to hold over the heroine and get rid of the supercilious step-brothers. Do something better with the Greek villains. Make them believable.
  3. Clean up the historical inaccuracies.

2 thoughts on “Book Review:The Earl Next Door

  1. *I haven’t read the book.

    Someone who acts completely different when a parental figure is around? Yeah. Totally. I mean I have watched my parents and their siblings act different when their parents were still alive. and that was when they were grown enough to have grown children.

    (This is totally biased on my part…) People act different with those they had long-standing relationships when they have changed or are changing but sort of haven’t gotten around to changing that part of the personality (which is a hell of a lot of work) yet. Someone acting one way around one person/group and another around a different group? Seems super believable to me. Especially if one of those was someone who taught you to act the way you are acting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, maybe it was because her mother was mean to her the heroine’s whole life. Maybe. I just found it so out of character. The heroine is fine being alone with an Earl in his home. She blithely meets a Marchioness. She is brave and bold through the rest of the story. I would have expected anger. Shouting. Throwing her mother out and then having to deal with the ramifications of that. It just felt so out of character. Perhaps if the author had made the mother more sinister (feared, respected, cunning) and less ridiculous I might have bought it.

    That could be it, the more I think of it. The mother wasn’t someone you would normally fear. She was tiny, vain, and demanding. Had she appeared more like a Grande Dame that might have made it more believable. And, of course, it wouldn’t have hurt if the heroine had shown a bit less boldness. But then, she wouldn’t have been as likable or forgivable for some of her choices.

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