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The Daughters of Amhurst #1

The Earl's New Bride

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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.

214 pages, Paperback

First published September 7, 2015

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About the author

Frances Fowlkes

7 books61 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 86 reviews
Profile Image for Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves.
1,291 reviews19 followers
September 19, 2020
2*. And no more.
While the idea was good on paper, it wasn't really so good on paper, if you know what I mean.

Two damaged people (one betrayed and scarred, the other stutters), a house party, wife hunting or rather a husband chase with a clutch of young females vying for the 'Black Earl's' hand and title. The writing is not at all bad for a newer regency. The mcs do seem well suited and we do have a semblance of plot.

Profile Image for Christy.
225 reviews17 followers
August 22, 2015
The premise is that our heroine, Lady Henrietta, is a bit of an unusual peer; being impeded by a stutter, and far more interested in books and her love of plants and herbs than high society. She's beautiful, but clumsy and nervous. Since it's the 1800s, she must accept that no man will ever marry a woman for intelligence, and attempt to ensnare the Black Earl, Simon Devere in order to save her family home, which he has inherited since her father sired no sons. He has been gravely hurt by his previous love, and simply wants a plain woman who can provide an heir so that his brother does not inherit.

The Black Earl has a sordid past including a dead mistress, a murder trial and a facial scar that is at first described as hideous, but later turns out to be not that serious. Add to the week a mysterious spate of illnesses, the tabloids creating problems, another suitor for his hand who seems far more appropriate on paper, and a best friend who also wants a wife for a few little twists and turns.

This book is very light on historical context and accuracy. Some of the things that happen and what is said would not have happened in the early 1800s. This book is very much a happily ever after romance quickie that simply happens to be using a basic historical premise. I would have preferred to be more immersed in the environment and timeline, but that simply wasn't possible with the actions and dialogue of the characters. That being said, it's still a fun, whirlwind romance story.

I've rated this 4 stars, with the caveat that you need to be a fan of light historical romance (heavy on the romance, light on the historical context). If this genre appeals to you, I would recommend it. A sweet, endearing, charming tale - a little shallow, but still an enjoyable read.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Bambi Unbridled.
1,282 reviews139 followers
September 11, 2015
This was a good solid historical romance, very Jane Austen-esque in nature. I think it will make historical romance "purists" happy - those who don't like the current trend to get really steamy in the story. Frances Fowlkes is a new-to-me author, and one that I will be reading more of in the future.

This story is similar to some of the historical retellings of Beauty and the Beast. Our hero is Simon Devere, Earl of Amhurst. Simon received the moniker "Black Earl" due to a sordid past of salacious rumors which resulted in his disfiguring. Simon has decided its time for him to take a wife and has invited some eligible ladies to his estate for a country soiree, where he will pick one among them. Unfortunately for Simon, the rumors and scars scare most ladies away - which is too bad because I absolutely loved Simon. He was broody and brokenhearted, just one of those men that you wanted to get your hands on and fix right up. I was in his corner cheering the whole time, even when he was bound and determined to find a wife that he was not attracted to. I totally understood his reasoning given his past full of betrayal and heartache.

I also liked the heroine, Henrietta, who was an intelligent introvert who cared more for reading and Herbology than she did for parties and people. I definitely identified with Henrietta - I hate when things get to peopley! After the death of her father (who bore no sons), Henrietta and her family are in danger of losing her ancestral home. So Henrietta is determined to wed the new earl to keep her home if nothing else. But Henrietta is such a good person that she was able to see past the rumors and scars and find the good person in Simon that the other ladies overlooked.

Of course every historical needs a little scandal, so we have a touch of that here with mysterious illnesses, romantic rivalries and the scandal broadsheets that get delivered on a regular basis. There is even a little mystery happening that had an unexpected culprit. The story had good bones and was paced well and was just overall a "good read" (for all my lack of eloquence in this review).

I received an advanced copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars / 2 flames.
Profile Image for Kira's NetGalley Book Blog.
117 reviews19 followers
August 24, 2015
Why you should read it: Swoon worthy with a touch of Jane Austen!

“Scandalous romances are bold and sexy and passionate. After all, torrid love affairs are even more illicit when forbidden by social mores. Escape to another era. There's never been a better time to fall in love.”

And fall in love I did with Simon and Henrietta, two people who are so well suited to the other. There are moments of confusion and frustration and seemingly unrequited feelings but that's what keeps you hooked and engrossed, wanting to come back for more. So much more that I couldn't put it down until the last page...of the acknowledgments!

I was utterly enraptured with the characters and the setting and the overall feel of the story. The authenticity brought back memories of reading Jane Austen novels and watching Downton Abby. Not only the setting, but the characters' interactions and mannerisms seem true to the time period. From whispered gossip meant to elicit excitement from the ton to misunderstandings galore, this novel is truly “unputdownable”.

Rating: 5 Stars

Check out my blog for more reviews: www.kirasnetgalleybookblog.com
Profile Image for ᑭᑌᑎƳᗩ [Punya Reviews...].
874 reviews196 followers
October 29, 2015
Started out well, light and fluffy... Liked the writing style too, up until the last 2 chapters where this really silly misunderstanding happened and ruined it for me. It seemed that people were listening to what they *wanted to* and assumed things that weren't there. My head hurt from all the eye rolling I did.

I was pretty sympathetic to Henrietta at first. It seemed she had really annoying sisters, not to mention an overbearing mother, who have gone out of their way to make her feel uncomfortable in her own skin. She had little self-confidence and stuttered like no other, all from the stress of various responsibilities as the eldest of 3 daughters; the latest would be about "saving her paternal home" from being transferred to the current Earl of Amhurst. That'd be Simon, the H. Her mother and sisters were just... ugh! They probably didn't mean harm but they went about everything wrong, always reminding Henrietta in one way or the other that she had no attributes to "catch" a man. Henrietta likes to play with herbs and make salves and poultices; a very "unsuitable hobby" as per her family. Seriously???! But up until those last few chapters I didn't even think she was a complete doormat; so easily manipulated, believing people over the man she thought she was in love with. :-s

I liked Simon but not sure why he was called the Black Earl. There was nothing sinister about him at all. And the poor guy was being managed by his so-called "best friend" Setterfield so badly that I had this urge to shake him to see the truth and scream while doing it too! Damned Setterfield was a total creep all through the story, even if the author tried to make him look like a innocent party in the end. Anyone making horny eyes at a 15 yrs. old girl is a creep IMO when I know he must be around Simon's age; somewhere in his early 30s. He stepped in where he had no business of doing so and almost ruined Simon and Henrietta's relationship in the process because he thought it was "for the best" for all. I don't even know how Simon forgave him... just like that!

Setterfied was also the one who wanted to marry Henrietta. It's one of the reasons why I found his interference suspicious until the end when the author decided that's not going to work as one of the h's younger sisters, Albina, had set her eyes on him... which means he'd be the "hero" of one of the later installments? Mmm, no thanks. And Sarah, Henrietta's other sister? I have no interest of reading her story after what she had done in this one. Dumb b!tch!

3 stars. Had potentials but disappointed me.

Note: connected to The Duke's Obsession.
717 reviews11 followers
May 1, 2016
I have to admit house parties are not my favorite setting. This was the usual set up where the Earl (who has one eye and facial scars) is looking over the young crop of debutantes so he can pick a bride and sire an heir. It's slim pickings considering the earl has just been exonerated from killing his old mistress.

However among the hopefuls is the old earl's daughter's Henrietta (who is a klutz who stutters) and her two sisters.. The old earl has left his daughter's pretty well heeled but Henrietta really really likes the house and to that end sets her cap for the new earl who is a distant cousin.

Now this is where the story fell off track for me. Henrietta's sister Sarah decides to give her sister an edge so she starts poisoning the other young ladies to thin out the competition. WHAT? She is eventually caught and that pretty much breaks up the party. Then Henrietta and the earl have the big misunderstanding and he winds up proposing to her on his knees in an Inn courtyard as she travel home. She accepts and they get their happily ever after.

Fast forward to the epilogue. It is several months later and the happy couple are having a ball and Henrietta is there chit chatting with her sisters. Now who I wonder is at this ball? Surely the word has spread through the ton like wildfire that her sister poisons people. Titled people at that. Not to mention their is still more then a few who still think he murdered the old mistress. Who is going to their home or inviting them over? I'd be saying a novena that I wasn't on their guest list.

Aside from that the writing was choppy and repetitive but I have to say it was the casual poisoning that was over the top for me.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,363 reviews103 followers
September 4, 2015
A friend wrote a review of this book that made it sound enticing, so I cheekily asked for an ARC to read and review myself - and I totally agree with her, this is a fantastic regency ‘beauty and the beast’ type of story that is true to the era and a totally enthralling romance.

Following the death of her father, Lady Henrietta will have to vacate their family home to enable the new Earl to inherit the entailed estate but the new Earl is looking for a wife - if she marries him she could stay in the home which is full of happy memories and has her beloved herb garden.

The new Earl of Amhurst, Simon Devere, has an unsavoury reputation, has a scarred face and has recently been exonerated of the murder of his mistress - but some of the ton continue to spread rumours and accusations, so much so that he is nicknamed the Black Earl. He also has a younger brother who is helping fuel the rumours and stands to inherit the title and estate should Simon die without an heir.

For this reason, Simon has arranged to host some potential brides and their chaperones for him to choose one to marry. He wants one who is unattractive - nothing like Lady Henrietta Beauchamp - but he finds her irresistible despite her shyness, stutter and learning. She is also so attracted to him! However, he doesn’t want to be married for a house and is convinced no one can now love him because of his disfigurement. A brilliantly crafted love story where the two are so well suited but unsure of themselves and their attraction that it is easy for others to confuse them and deter them from achieving their HEA. Despite the obstacles to their love, can they find their HEA together?

With mysterious illnesses, dreadful tabloids and a friend who is a rival for Henrietta’s love things are certainly not going to be straightforward for the couple. The story has plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader entertained in a fun to read historical romance - an enjoyable read.

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
7,862 reviews16 followers
December 12, 2015
This is my first book by Frances Fowlkes, and I must say I am glad to find her as an author. I really liked this book. It was a touching, heartfelt and I ended up reading it in one sitting.
The heroine is Lady Henrietta Beauchamp, who is somewhat bookish..likes plants/herbs and has a slight stuttering problem. Henrietta also has two sister and her mother who just lost their father. They come up with a plan for Henrietta to marry the new Earl of Amhurst who is Simon Devere. Simon has set it up to have some single ladies to meet so that he can have a marriage of convenience since his past with women has shown him that caring for his wife would not be a wise thing. So his mind set is to find a wife of duty and also one that will live with his face that bears and eye patch. When Simon sees Henrietta for the first time he is quickly attracted to her. Which makes his mind of then and there he must avoid her at all cost. This set the story of how they both had to overcome the past and the present to find that they can be together. I really thought this was a nice book and so glad to have read it... I hope that you will enjoy it too!
Profile Image for Stacy Reid.
Author 81 books2,751 followers
September 13, 2015
The Earl's New Bride was such an enjoyable read. Simon inherited the earldom and Henrietta’s beloved home. He was also known in the ton as the Black Earl, and malicious gossips dogged his steps. Having been betrayed by a woman before, and he needed a wife so his dastardly brother did not ruin the Amhurst inheritance, Simon determined to find a plain wife he would not be tempted to give his heart and once again know pain and betrayal. Of course it all went to hell the minute he spied the alluring Henrietta, and despite his resolve to stay away,he couldn't help be drawn to her wonderful character.

Henrietta was such a sweet, kind and thoughtful heroine who would do about anything to keep the home she loved. Knowing the new earl needed a wife, she resolved to entice him so he chose her. Simon and Henrietta were pretty good together. Their banters were great and the attraction was delightful. The build up was wonderfully done, and it felt so real as I watched them wade through the doubts and fear to learn and fall in love with each other.

I would recommend this historical read.
Heat level: 2...
Profile Image for DemetraP.
3,847 reviews
October 29, 2015
Did not finish this book. In the first few chapters the hero spends his time thinking to himself how much the heroine resembles 1. his dead mother 2. his father's mistress and 3. his former mistress who committed suicide (and caused him to be accused of murder)

I just didn't like the hero. If I kept reading how often would the heroine remind him of someone else? Did not finish.
Profile Image for Carla.
163 reviews20 followers
December 26, 2015
**I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Oh my God... Oh my God, guys... I thought I was going blind.

I read this book in just one sitting, that's how good it was!! My almost going blind feeling was because I actually kept reading til about 4am, I was barely blinking and I was pretty tired and needed to go to sleep... BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO.

And I had to wake up relatively early the next day, but I didn't care about that either :)

So let's just get to it:

Henrietta Beauchamp is very different from other girls, she's definitely not like most heroines we read about. She's an incredibly clumsy person and struggles with a stutter. She also gets nervous very easily and suffers from something that nowadays we might consider to be little panic attacks.

When her father passes away, she plans to do anything she can to keep Plumburn, her beloved home, which is to be turned over to the new Earl of Amhurst, Simon Devere.

Simon is in search of a wife, but he's made up his mind that he must find one that won't get his attention or love, just a plain girl who's capable of giving him an heir. However, most women get scared when they see his face. The earl was attacked years ago, leaving him with a disfigurement and the necessity to wear an eye patch... But this doesn't seem to bother Lady Henrietta, the girl who steals his heart as soon as he first lays his eye on her, even though he's doing everything he can to stay away from any other woman who might be capable of breaking his heart.

This book is amazing. What a wonderful story about imperfection!

I was seriously in love with both characters. Henrietta is very shy and loves learning new things by reading, especially when it comes to herbs, for she's an amazing healer and plant connoisseur. And Simon can't help but be intrigued by this, especially since her skills help him a lot with his pain.

I also liked reading about the earl's past. It's really heartbreaking to see what he went through, although I would've liked to know more about his mother, since I was a little bit confused about her situation and about what really happened.

This book really concentrates on their relationship and how it progresses during the time they spend at Plumburn together. There are a lot of times when each of them thinks that theirs is an unrequited love, which is very understandable, they are not the only ones living under the same roof at the time. Since the earl is looking for a wife, there are more girls at the place, and some other gentlemen too. And there's also the earl's past and rumors hunting him.

Of course, everything works out in the end.

And I loved that there's an epilogue! I always feel like I need to know more about what happens after the whole story, so I was really grateful for that!!

More reviews on my blog: Lipstick and Mocha
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books700 followers
December 5, 2015
I do enjoy a story with a scarred hero. And Lord Simon is not only scarred, but he is blind in one eye and burdened with a terrible reputation he doesn’t deserve. He carries the moniker “The Black Earl” and rumors swirl that he killed his mistress. Now he must find a bride and carry on the family lineage, but he would prefer a quiet, proper bride than another disastrous round with passion.

Lady Henrietta wants nothing more than to be that bride, not because she wants Simon, but because he has inherited her father’s earldom and she wants to keep Plumburn Castle in the family. Unfortunately, she knows she is no one’s ideal Lady. She cares more for her herb garden than fancy dresses or lively gossip. Then, there is her stutter which makes her even less desirable as a hostess or social paragon. But she is determined to make Simon overlook those faults and select her anyway.

Henrietta has no idea that she is the only woman at the house party that catches his eye. She fires his blood, but that makes him all the more determined to resist her. It doesn’t work. The stakes get even higher as the ladies at the party start falling ill. Is it coincidence or is someone trying to eliminate the competition for Simon’s hand?

I liked the story well enough, though it didn’t engage me emotionally. Simon was an ok hero, but I felt like there was more the author could have mined there. We learned he was betrayed and injured in his past, but there was a lot of telling with emotional distance. He was wary, but it didn’t feel like he still hurt. That could have made his need to distance himself from Henrietta more believable. It also would have drawn me to him more.

As for our heroine, I liked her interest in herbs, but her stutter felt more like a device to make her self-conscious. It didn’t feel like it was a deep-seated part of her. I enjoyed watching her give into her desires for Simon and owning her feelings. But her behavior at the last-minute mostly just served to irk me. Again, it felt like a plot device instead of an organic story development.

All that being said, it was fairly good, albeit superficial read. It was an easy read and moved along ok, It also managed to surprise me with one twist, which is cool. Overall, I’d say it’s an ok afternoon read when you’re looking for something light that isn’t too emotionally taxing.

Rating: B-

*ARC provided by publisher
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,475 reviews83 followers
February 12, 2016
Original Post:
THE EARL’S NEW BRIDE: A Miss and A Mystery!
A young lady, knowledgeable in herbal remedies, is determined to marry her father’s successor so she can remain in the family home. The Earl is determined to marry a woman he does not love.

Alison Larkin narrates this one with a sweetly tittering voice, and outstanding accent that charmed me. The main characters also charmed me me with their insecurities and quirky personalities. There’s a good plot set up that gives the young ladies some problems but will not be left destitute if their marriage quest doesn’t succeed. I hate it when the woman’s entire future: social and financial, rides on one instance of finding a husband.

There’s a lot of slapstick humor at the beginning of the book, and there’s a hint of a mystery which is more of a cozy than a procedural. It’s not a murder but it was fun. And the book isn’t filled with instance after instance of “sexual congress;” it’s only a little steamy.

There’s a sob story here: The “Black Earl’s” betrayal by women from youth to lovers, a disfigurement of which too much is made. Henrietta is good — a born healer, with all kinds Hippocratic-concern for anyone in need, even her rivals.

I enjoyed this book; I listened a second time to make sure there wasn’t something I could pick apart. It may not feel entirely historically accurate, but at least the author got the herbs right!

Again, “Like” and “enjoyment” are subjective and can be based on all types of factors. Often those variables are inconsistent. I suspect my enjoyment had a lot to do with the narrator, and the sweetness of the heroine.
Profile Image for Suz.
2,263 reviews67 followers
September 13, 2015
A light and fast read. It could have been more closely copy edited. The story was a bit insipid, with the primary protagonists both suffering with nearly debilitating angst regarding the sources of their low self esteem.

The secondary plot didn't actually ramp up until 2/3 through the book, so there was a lot of repeating the angst going on to that point.

The HEA was nice, though.

I read it as a palate cleanser and it was fine for that.
September 8, 2015
I wish more was mentioned about the Earl's past. Besides that, I really enjoyed this book. It has a bit of a mystery to it as well as a beautiful romance. Fans of historical romance will adore this book!
Profile Image for Charlie.
423 reviews23 followers
December 21, 2016
The Skinny
Simon Devere, recently inherited Earl of Amhurst, has been plagued for years by his choice in women – and their actions. After waiting five years to be exonerated of the murder of his mistress, Simon has been duped the Black Earl. Despite being completely innocent of the crimes he has committed according to the ton, the rumors and whispers continue.

With the title and lineage resting on his shoulders, Simon must select a wife and produce an heir to blackguard his brother from inheriting and wreaking his own destruction. To this end, Simon elects to choose the most plain of wives he can find. He enlists his friend Satterfield in arranging for six eligible ladies to arrive at Plumburn in order to choose a bride. Due to his reputation, the rumors, and his disfigurement, his scars scare the ladies.

Three of his choices are none other than his predecessor’s daughters, Henrietta, Sarah, and Albina, the younger two of which are twins. Lady Henrietta is an intelligent introvert, much preferring the presence of plants and poultices to parties and people due to her own impediment. While she plans to keep Plumburn for all of the fond memories it holds of her father – as well as her herb garden, she must come out of her shell. In a time when it was improper for a woman to learn things, Henrietta feels this – and her stutter – puts her at a disadvantage to all of the other eligible ladies, who one by one begin falling prey to mysterious illnesses and ailments.

The Players
Simon Devere – the new Earl of Amhurst with a scandalous past and a mission to marry
Henrietta Beauchamp – daughter of the recently deceased Earl of Amhurst, she dreams to keep the ancestral home
Sarah Beauchamp – Henrietta’s younger sister, Albina’s twin
Albina Beachamp – Henrietta’s younger sister, Sarah’s twin
Miss Saxton – one of Henrietta’s rivals, her father has powerful connections that Simon would be silly to pass up
Satterfield – Simon’s friend and semi-host, never questioned Simon’s innocence, self-proclaimed bachelor

The Quote
Never had anyone placed any merits in her interests. At least no one outside of her father.

The Highs and Lows
--Flawed Characters. I loved that Fowlkes chose to have such physically flawed characters in a genre that purports itself on beauty and virility. Simon’s disfigurement is truly a disfigurement – there is visible scarring and he is blind in one eye. He keep this covered with a black silk patch that pains him late in the evenings. Henrietta is a beautiful and ethereal young woman, but as much as she looks the part of the doll of the London ton, she abhors crowds like the plague due to her stutter.
--Salacious and Sordid Past. The Black Earl earned his moniker from his sordid past, of which salacious rumors still abound. Even after five years and being cleared of any wrongdoing, the tabloids can’t keep his name out of print. His disreputable past combined with his hideous disfigurement does not turn the ladies’ heads. It is a battle to find a woman who will accept him with all of his flaws and failures, but that is not what he is looking for.
--Mysterious Illnesses. As the days progress at Plumburn, the ladies vie for Simon’s proposal, one by one they slowly fall suspect to a myriad of illnesses. After the second lady becomes ill, knowing what he does of Henrietta’s affinity with herbs, the Black Earl investigates the mysterious illnesses plaguing the women of his home. Already burdened with what’s published in the papers, he cannot afford to have the rumor mill stirred again with fresh material of another murder spree.
--Satterfield. Simon’s friend, Satterfield, is titled in his own right. It wasn’t ever said outright, but I feel he is older than Simon by a bit just from the way he interacted with the ladies of the house. Satterfield was a bit of a snake, and I’m still not sure how I feel about his character. In the end he made out to be all innocent of his trickery and deceit, and I didn’t like that. He was a villain that received redemption and his crimes glossed over and forgotten.
--Henrietta. Her character was so full of love that it was impossible to dislike her. She has suffered years with her stutter, and as a result has become an introvert. She was very fond of her father, who allowed her to study and learn with him, but he is gone now and she must find a means to secure her ancestral home. With Simon inheriting, the only way to do so is to marry him, but he must choose her out of an assortment of other eligible ladies.
--Sarah and Albina. Henrietta’s twin sisters are never really in the running, they are merely there because their mother is, so they must be chaperoned as well. Albina is a rather absent character whose only real stake in the plot is that she has an eye for Satterfield. Sarah, on the other hand, is very involved behind the scenes and tries her best to help Henrietta.
--Henrietta’s Mother. This woman was a bit insufferable. While Henrietta’s sisters sometimes seemed to overlook her sensitivity about her flaws, her mother did nothing but point them out. She is not the picture of the type of mother you would imagine had raised Henrietta. She surely did not learn her kindness and compassion from her mother, who lacks any. Whatever confidence Henrietta has, her stepmother bulldozes it.

The Take-Away
The Black Earl has more on his plate than he imagined when he allowed his friend Satterfield to set up a soiree. He not only has his own flaws and the continuing rumors to overcome, but he must get a handle on the mounting mysterious illnesses and channel his jealousy when another shows interest in Henrietta.

Henrietta is indeed a doll. She is not one to give in to social structures, but criticizes herself when she doesn’t. A victim of her own clumsiness, she has a few embarrassing incidents and I found that very endearing.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
While this one is very light on accurate historical context, it is a quick and light read with interesting and developed characters. I recommend borrowing.
242 reviews
February 20, 2020

I enjoyed the beginning of this story, the way socially awkward Henrietta was introduced. There was a sense she accepted herself the way she was, and I liked her immediately. Then, shortly after she meets Simon, the story became less interesting. Their courtship wasn't exciting, and Henrietta's constant questioning of Simon's intentions toward her was exasperating. Conversations between Henrietta's mother and sisters were tedious, and Simon's friend was an unnecessary nuisance. The "mystery" piece failed to impart much interest either.

This story didn't rise to its full potential despite a good premise, characters with interesting traits, and a mystery thrown in. It failed to stir any emotion and gradually became dull until its predictable end.
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,850 reviews822 followers
September 7, 2021
The Earl's New Bride was a cute read, and I actually liked this one. Now I won't say that this was my favorite, I did read this one in audiobook format and while it was enjoyable there, the narration left much to be desired in some ways, so it took some of the enjoyment that I had out of the story. This was a sweet romance, that takes place in regency england. Its a story which features our couple, who aren't at first each other's expectations but end up finding a deep connection to each other. Their chemistry slowly builds until they have to come to conclusion of wanting a future together and fighting for that future.

This is a romance that has very low angst, its slow, steady and sure of a feeling type of romance.
260 reviews2 followers
June 10, 2017
I was looking for a light-hearted audiobook for a long car ride. This popped up as a recommendation for historical fiction. I think this fits in the genre of bodice-ripper - a steamy romance set in the early 1800's in England. But I will admit it was a fun book, and it made the miles fly by.

Profile Image for Courtney.
2,469 reviews7 followers
January 20, 2018
4.5 stars. A great first-in-series, with a wonderful hero and heroine! My enjoyment was dampened slightly by the constant annoyance of the heroine's family, who are the focus of the series, but it is still a wonderful book.

Full review here: https://courtneyreadsromancesite.word...
February 2, 2019
The Earl's New Bride

I enjoyed this story. It was entertaining. However, I found that the writing is a little awkward and in need of some polishing. Frances Fowlkes has a great deal of potential. Her writing is good, and, of course, I haven't read any of the subsequent books in the series to be a good enough judge. I plan on reading more of this author's work in the future.
Profile Image for HistoricalHussy.
156 reviews
May 8, 2022
In need of some polishing. Characters are a bit on the two-dimensional side. Why have 3 "evil bitch" women in the hero's life when the actions of the first two don't really come into play all that much? Suspect that the author likely relies too heavily on a circle of friends and family to do critiquing before publishing and needs tougher critics among them.
Profile Image for Rae Latte.
1,072 reviews9 followers
March 12, 2023
An Earl, a castle that depends on a union of sorts, and a relationship that depends on trust if it can be given. Add a little romance and you have a perfect historical romance that will take you on a literary adventure to be devoured in one sitting!

I reveived an advance reader copy for a fair and honest review
917 reviews2 followers
February 13, 2019
He chose wisely!

Simon needed a wife! Henrietta only knew one place as home.
She along with several other ladies were vying for the Earl,s hand in marriage ,to become his bride.
This is a wonderful story, you,LL need to read it,to find out what happened.
Thank you❤️
Profile Image for Renee.
792 reviews
March 17, 2021
I love a Beauty and the Beast tale, but unfortunately this wasn’t great. The chemistry is seriously lacking and the heroine seems to care more about her family estate than the earl, so I couldn’t find a reason to root for her.
347 reviews
February 20, 2019
Nice one. Ending was made a little convoluted. Liked the characters. Couldn’t fully understand hero’s issues 😐
Profile Image for Darbella.
587 reviews
December 16, 2019
I really enjoyed this. This is Henritta and Simon's love story. This is a Beauty and the Beast story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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