Saturday, March 2, 2013

NOVELLA REVIEW: "I Love the Earl" by Caroline Linden

I Love the Earl (The Truth About the Duke #0.5)
I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden
(The Truth About the Duke #0.5))

For Ages 18+
Historical Romance
Avon Impulse -- August 2, 2011
Ebook, 144 pages
Purchased from Amazon

A single lady in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a suitor.

Margaret de Lacey has accepted her unmarried state with dignity, if not delight. She had no suitors when she was young and starry-eyed, though regrettably poor, and it's unlikely any man will court her now that she's older, wiser, and still just as penniless. Until, that is, her brother unexpectedly inherits the dukedom of Durham and settles an enormous dowry on her, making her the most eligible heiress in town.

No gentleman in London is more in need of a wealthy bride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives an introduction to Margaret because of her dowry, but she swiftly sets him right: no fortune hunter will win her heart or her hand. Far from put off, Rhys is intrigued. Interested. Entranced. And soon the only thing he needs more than Margaret's her love.

When Margaret de Lacey was six years old, she dreamed of being a great beauty and marrying a prince.

I seem to have a weird relationship with novellas that are prequels to longer series.  I am obsessed with finding them and using them to figure out if I like a particular writing style or premise.  But, I often find myself disappointed in the shorter length and often cliffhanger endings that are designed to make me want to purchase the actual series books.  Thankfully, this was not the case with I Love the Earl which is an introduction to Caroline Linden's The Truth About the Duke historical series.

The first thing that grabbed my attention about this novella was the Georgian England setting.  I adore this time period with all the elaborate hairstyles and over-the-top fashion.  This is not an era that is commonly found in historical romance nowadays so it was very refreshing to read different details even if it is only for a prequel.

The spinster heiress and the fortune hunter are two of historical romance's most common character types, but Linden found a way to make them new and interesting for me.  Margaret's self-awareness and matter-of-fact nature made her a very endearing personality.  That also made her journey to self-confidence that much more rewarding.

In terms of the hero, Rhys was surprisingly mature about his difficult financial situation.  He knew he needed the money to help his estate, but was willing to do without some of the finer things in order to retain his livelihood.  I also liked how devoted he was to Margaret from their first meeting.  It is always nice to read about the heroine being pursued rather than the other way around.

The romance between Margaret and Rhys was sweet and fun to read.  Linden shows these two characters slowly getting to know each other and developing a friendship and then a relationship.  I thought the development aspect was well done especially for the shorter page length.  Readers do get an introduction to the mystery behind Margaret's newly titled brother which is the focus on the series.  I'm not completely sure what is going on with him, but I can definitely tell his past is an intriguing one that I will want to read more about.


"My darling Maggie," he said with a faint smile, "they've already turned their backs on me.  I would live my life in ruin and disgrace for the chance to look twice at you, every day for the rest of eternity."

0.5. I Love the Earl
1. One Night in London
2. Blame It On Bath
3. The Way to a Duke's Heart




  1. Nice Review! I think the quote just brought a tear to my eye!! I really need to pick this author up, I haven't read any of her books yet. I really love a tender hero. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I have read a few of her books and feel like she is very underrated compared to many other historical writers. What I love best is how she isn't afraid to push the envelope with her characters and plots. I definitely recommend her!


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