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The Mad Earl's Bride (Scoundrels #3.5)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,303 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Originally appeared in the print anthology Three Weddings and a Kiss (1995).

Gwendolyn Adams is about to propose to an earl. On his deathbed.

Gwendolyn Adams isn't shocked at being asked to save a handsome earl's dying line, even when she learns the prospective bridegroom is seriously ill and possibly insane. She's quite a good nurse, after all, and her family is famous for
ebook, 100 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Avon Impulse (first published 1995)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

The Mad Earl’s Bride is such a treat! Funny, heartbreaking, sexy, inspiring… this novella delivers it all, and is an absolute delight to read.

The Story:

Dorian, the Earl of Rawnsley, knows he’s dying, and he also knows he’s going insane. His own mother suffered from the same headaches that have begun plaguing him, and she had to be institutionalized just before dying a tragic, painful death. Dorian hasn’t yet begun experiencing the hallucinations that his mother had, but he knows it’s only a matt
4.5 stars, rounded up.

I’ve said before that it takes a truly gifted author to turn out a novella which gives the reader the same degree of satisfaction upon finishing as can be found on the completion of a full-length novel, and I suppose the fact that this one is by Loretta Chase should be recommendation enough.

At the age of twenty-seven, Dorian Camoys, the Earl of Rawnsley is dying, plagued by the same illness that killed his mother. She died alone, in an asylum for the insane, and Dorian expe
Jun 14, 2013 Dabney rated it it was amazing

this review was originally published at

Dear Ms. Chase:

Thank you for re-releasing your novellaThe Mad Earl’s Bride. I missed it when it was released in 2009 in the anthologyThree Weddings and a Kiss.The Mad Earl’s Bridehas the tone of my favorites of your books: witty, smart, and sweetly sexy. It even has Bertie Trentin it–as well as, briefly, Dain. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The book is set in the late 1820′s, a time when misdiagnoses and harmful treatment in medicine were the
Miranda Davis
Aug 24, 2014 Miranda Davis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Regency fans,
What a wonderful reminder of why Loretta Chase is one of my favorite authors...Short, but better conceived and articulated than books many times this novella's length. Perhaps because I love to blind, adoring stupidity Lord of Scoundrels, I enjoyed the similar chemistry between rational, unshakeable Gwendolyn, a woman determined to fund a hospital according to her own medical study and beliefs, and Dorian, the doomed earl who has reluctantly agreed to wed to try to procreate before his debility ...more
May 14, 2013 D.G. rated it liked it
**3.5 stars**

Very cute novella with a more serious topic than it seemed from the description. I didn't give it a higher rating because no matter the heroine's inclinations, I couldn't believe her family would allow her to marry a guy everybody thought was a 'lunatic'. It took me half the novella to get pass my disbelief.

Dorian's situation was heartbreaking, specially when you realized his sense of helplessness at realizing he might be at the mercy of others during the end of his life. Medical ca
Jun 02, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
When Gwendolyn Adams is asked to marry a man considered mad and soon to die, she takes it in stride and accepts the offer. By marrying the Earl of Rawnsley she will gain his name and position which will make it easier for her to accomplish her dream of opening a hospital. What she does not expect is to be drawn to this 'mad' earl. She researches his condition, and that of his late mother, and attempts to help him find ways to cure him. During there discussions together, this couple find a type o ...more
Lady Wesley
Jun 12, 2013 Lady Wesley rated it really liked it
This is a charming early Loretta Chase novella. The "mad" earl marries a woman who coincidentally wants to be a doctor (but couldn't be in those days). The story is serious and sweet and funny at the same time. It was great fun to see Bertie Trent, from Lord of Scoundrels, as the earl's best friend. He's just as goofy and surprisingly wise as before.
Feb 24, 2016 Melanie rated it it was amazing
This little gem of a novella comes in between of 'Lord of Scoundrels' and 'The Last Hellion' and since both of those are one of my all time LC's favorites, I must say this has just joined those two.

Everything in this novella worked to perfection. I can't tell you how much I loved the heroine. She had enough strength without being overbearing, and such compassion and sweetness, I just couldn't help but love her.

The hero was just as noble as you'd expect him to be, but also someone you felt the c
Jul 06, 2013 Julianna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Unusual Historical Romance, Geeky Heroines, Tortured Heroes
Reviewed for THC Reviews
A couple of years ago, I read and loved Loretta Chase's incomparable Lord of Scoundrels, but the next two of her books I read, definitely did not catch my fancy. Because of that, I went into reading The Mad Earl's Bride with a bit of trepidation, but this little novella has put Ms. Chase back on my watch list. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the plot and characters.

Dorian, the hero believes that he is dying of the same incurable brain disease that apparently killed hi
Taiyesha-Duchess of Indiana
Jul 29, 2013 Taiyesha-Duchess of Indiana rated it it was amazing

Well if that wasn't the most darling little novella, I don't know what is! While I'm not familiar with Loretta Chase, I know that she is a reputable historical author and so I was curious about this novella. I've been rather novella obsessed lately. This novella centers around an Earl, new in to his title, who believes himself and is believed by others to be mad and on the verge of succumbing to full insanity...just as his mother did before him. So, a simple minded but unerringly loyal friend fr
Lisa Lin
My favorite part of this novella was definitely the heroine Gwendolyn. She's smart, practical, faces problems head on, and tries to make the best of the hand she's dealt. She wants to learn medicine and build a hospital and if that means she must marry a mad man and bear his heir, so be it. I sympathized with her frustrations as member after member of the medical profession dismissed her and her abilities simply because she was female.

I also admired Dorian's strength and determination to get out
May 05, 2013 Farrah rated it really liked it
A different historical romance novella, but wonderful all the same. The Mad Earl's Bride was an awesome read. Loved it!

I love how different the idea for this novella was. I can't say I've ever seen anything like this in the world of historical romance. With the limited but growing understanding of mental illness in the 19th century, anything could be claimed as insanity and this story uses that. I really liked how it was done.

Gwendolyn was a great heroine. She wants to be a doctor, but can never
Aug 12, 2013 MRB rated it it was amazing
------4.5 Stars------

I've often argued (quite clumsily!) that a well-written novella can be just as satisfying as a full-length novel----sometimes even more so, as we're spared the maddeningly repetitive, wait-this-AGAIN?! scenes, turgid pacing and painfully contrived, desperate-to-fill-pages plot twists that bog down many of today's excessively long romance novels. The Mad Earl's Bride has become the novella I recommend to those who are skeptical about the genre. Its themes and characterization
Jul 20, 2015 Tinsoni rated it liked it
I loved Gwen...just as much as I loved Jess from Lord of Scoundrels. This could've been a 5 star novella if most of the book was not spent developing the story and characters which left very little room to write about Gwen and Cat's interactions. It was a struggle to get into the story but 25% of the book that was focused on the scenes between the main characters was definitely engrossing. The characters were great, the plot interesting, but the story was overburdened by Chase's over-ambitious a ...more
Oct 28, 2015 Desi rated it it was amazing
Engaging and cute. Lovely little short story for a quick fix. Some illogical guilt in assorted characters for what was frankly normal behavior for the era and for pretty much forgivable human flaws in general, but nothing much else negative can be said of the story. It would have worked wonderfully as a full length book too. I would not have minded spending more time with the characters. But the great writing ensured one did not feel cheated.
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Jul 14, 2014 Katrina Passick Lumsden rated it really liked it
Really quite good. The heroine was intelligent, laid back, funny, and sympathetic. The hero was slightly tortured, but it was understandable, and even with that, he wasn't a complete D bag. A quick read, but worth it.
Quirky Omega
It's a sweet romance. What sets it apart is the storytelling. With a strong gothic feeling to it, it is assuredly quite different from a lot of historical chick lits out there. If nothing else, read this book for this reason only.

One more thing, there is a sort of insta-love going on about in it but it's not going to be an issue.

Suggested similar read:- The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2) by Julia Quinn
Aug 02, 2013 Stella rated it really liked it
I know that Loretta Chase is considered by many the Queen of Historical Romances, and though I read and loved Silk is for Seduction and instantly became a die hard fan of Loretta Chase, it seems too much time has gone by since, because it still surprised me what an amazing storyteller she is and how much I enjoyed The Mad Earl's Bride! I was craving something historical, this was a short novella, so I thought it would satisfy my craving, well I gobbled it up in a mere couple of hours and as usua ...more
Meg Usta
Apr 28, 2013 Meg Usta rated it really liked it
This is actually one of my favorite books. Both characters are endearing and the rapport between them is highly amusing.

I've read this book two or three years ago when I was in college and I really liked it, as it has a different vibe from the historicals that I've read. The Hero is adorable, the female is adorable, this book is adorable, I love it!

Recently I've been impatient with the shallow Harlequin Presents (I know, I know) stories that I have been reading these past few months.

It kinda
Kate McMurry
Feb 26, 2016 Kate McMurry rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant historical romance

I've read just about everything Loretta Chase ever wrote, and she's written some amazing historical novels, but this story, in my humble opinion, is perhaps her very best. It originally appeared in an anthology in 2009, Three Weddings and a Kiss, but it is currently available as a standalone reissue in Kindle form. I purchased the paperback version of the anthology when it originally came out, and this story was the main reason I purchased it. I liked it so
Jun 27, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
What a darling little novella, I loved it! Ms. Chase has packed so much into this story without over complicating it. I'm assuming her medical research is accurate, it certainly seemed very plausible to me and that's one of the objects of a great story, to convince the reader...right?

Dorian Camoy becomes The Earl of Rawnsley after the death of his grandfather and various other members of the male line. He doesn't expect to survive long as he appears to be suffering from the same symptoms of madn
Oct 13, 2014 Georgie rated it really liked it
This is how to write a story - two clearly delineated characters spending most of the story with each other, a lot of witty dialogue, a bit of angst, little bit of sex, satisfying resolution to a (largely) believable plot. End of.

The Mad Earl's Bride delivers all that brilliantly - after all, how many heroines woo the hero at their first meeting by advising, "Pretend you're a log."

More like this, please.
Marilyn Rondeau
Jun 13, 2013 Marilyn Rondeau rated it it was amazing
Gwendolyn “Gwen” Adams is about to propose to an earl - on his deathbed. It’s not for avarice, or for the title of countess either. For Gwendolyn it’s more for altruistic purposes - for the chance to study a man who has been diagnosed as ‘mad’ with a disease of the brain, which will soon kill him. In truth the earl’s family were behind the idea so that an heir might possibly be begat before he kicked off. However, Gwen hadn’t realized that the earl was so darn good looking, and not only is Gwen ...more
Book Binge
Aug 01, 2013 Book Binge rated it really liked it
This novella was originally a part of an anthology released in 1995 but has not been re-released to stand on its own. And stand it does. It is not only an educational piece of history about the progress (or lack thereof) of the practice of medicine, of the ideas about insanity and about the practice of ascribing everything about the brain to madness if it was not understood by the medical profession. In this case, the Earl is absolutely convinced, based solely on the word of his mother’s doctor, ...more
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Jun 25, 2013 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it liked it
This book had great potential. The premise hit my tortured hero hot buttons. But sadly, this one did not do it for me. It wasn't bad. It was just (*whispers*) kind of boring at times --and completely unbelievable at others.

So the setup is this: Dorian thinks he is dying of a brain disease. His mother had the same ghostly visions and blinding headaches, mere months before she started pulling out her hair, got institutionalized and died. If her story is anything to go by, he hasn't got long and th
Secretly Reading
Originally reviewed for The Book Vixen

In a Nutshell: Stellar novella with great leads and strong romance. My only complaint is I don’t get to spend longer with these lovely characters and sexy romance.

The Set Up: Dorian is the Earl of Rawnsley and is convinced he’s going insane like his mother did and he wants to be left alone to do it. But his busybody relatives order him to marry Gwendolyn to beget an heir before he passes. Gwen is willing to marry Dorian so she becomes a woman of influence an
Jul 08, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
Loretta Chase has to be one of my absolute favorite historical romance authors. I fell in love with her with her Scoundrels series and am just so tickled that they re-released the novella The Mad Earl’s Bride especially since I missed it the first time around. Dorian is the last in his family’s line and he’s dying. He’s suffering the same symptoms as his mother before her untimely demise so he just wants to live his last few months quietly in the country. But when distant cousins come knocking o ...more
Kat at Book Thingo
Note: This review is by my Book Thingo coblogger. Obviously, she liked it much more than I did. I thought the plot was dull, the characters lacked any kind of chemistry, and the resolution never lived up to its deliciously gothic feel.

Reviewed by Wandergurl:

I liked this romance; it was short and sweet. Despite the length, the pacing was well done, and the author didn’t try to cram too much into a short period of time. The events were well structured and the story didn’t feel rushed. I wish this
Jun 07, 2013 Gaele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jeep-diva, avon
Carrying a tone that is redolent of the feel of Jane Eyre or Tess of the D’Urbervilles, the onerous aura of the moors have provided an undercurrent of darkness and danger that can mask or unmask madness. While Dorian “Cat” Camoy has lived a difficult existence, favoring his mother’s looks and having her unique yellow cat eyes, he also believes that he has inherited her lack of moral compass and will end his life institutionalized in an asylum, suffering a painful death.

Enter Gwen Adams, brought
Jul 26, 2015 Leslee rated it really liked it
For a novella I found this story pretty much complete. There seemed to be a few places where editing got a little over zealous and the reader is left with clipped narrative. I found the dialogue, especially between the couple to be engaging and believable.

Dorian, the Earl of Rawnsley fears he has the same debilitating disease that his mother suffered. A brain disease no doubt caused her pain, delusions, and why she was put into an asylum. Gwendolyn Adams regrets that she was born a woman. Women
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 12, 2015 08:13AM  
  • The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright
  • A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister, #1.5)
  • Summer Campaign
  • Lord of Secrets
  • Beautiful Bad Man (Sutton Family, #1)
  • How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (An American Heiress in London, #2)
  • Fallen Angel
  • Allie's Moon
  • The Spinster's Secret
  • With This Kiss: Part One
  • The Luckiest Lady in London
  • A Christmas for Carrie (Feeling the Heat, #2.5)
  • The Duke's Tattoo (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse , #1)
  • The Way to a Duke's Heart (The Truth About the Duke, #3)
  • Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven, #5)
  • How to Marry a Highlander (Falcon Club, #3.5)
  • A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7)
  • Sweet Madness (Veiled Seduction, #3)
Loretta Lynda Chekani was born in 1949, of Albanian ancestry. For her, the trouble started when she learned to write in first grade. Before then, she had been making up her own stories but now she knew how to write them down to share. In her teenage years, she continue to write letters, keep a journal, write poetry and even attempt the Great American Novel (still unfinished). She attended New Engl ...more
More about Loretta Chase...

Other Books in the Series

Scoundrels (5 books)
  • The Lion's Daughter  (Scoundrels, #1)
  • Captives of the Night (Scoundrels, #2)
  • Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3)
  • The Last Hellion (Scoundrels, #4)

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“If she had been a normal female, she would have swooned. But she was not normal, never had been.

“Good grief, you are impossibly handsome,” she said breathlessly. “I vow, I have never experienced the like. For an instant, my brain stopped altogether. I must say, my lord, you do clean up well. But next time, I wish you would call out a warning before you come into view, and give me a chance to brace myself for the onslaught.”

Something dark flickered in his eyes. Then a corner of his hard mouth quirked up. “Miss Adams, you have an interesting — a unique — way with a compliment.”

The trace of a smile disoriented her further. “It is a unique experience,” she said. “I never knew my brain to shut off before, not while I was full awake. I wonder if the phenomenon has been scientifically documented and what physiological explanation has been proposed.”
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