Wednesday, October 7, 2015

REVIEW: "Good Earl Gone Bad" by Manda Collins

Good Earl Gone Bad (Lords of Anarchy, #2)
(Lords of Anarchy #2)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance

St. Martin's Paperbacks -- Published on October 6, 2015
eARC, 304 pages
Read in September 2015
Received from Netgalley


Beta Hero, Scandalous Heroine


Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice—wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?


All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune—and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

"For a club called the Lords of Anarchy," said Miss Ophelia Dauntry wryly as she scanned the Payne's crowded ballroom, "they seem remarkably well-behaved."

I received a free copy of this book from St. Martin's Paperbacks via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Good Earl Gone Bad is an example of a book that had a ton of potential, but never really connected to me.  It is the second in the Lords of Anarchy series which centers around a Regency-era riding club that is obviously inspired by the popular Sons of Anarchy TV show.  I usually don't read series out of order, but I was easily able to jump into this book.  I just wish that the plot and characters had ended up as intriguing as I had thought they would from the blurb.

Lady Hermione is the first (and only) female member of the Lords of Anarchy.  She is thrilled to be invited by club despite their scandalous reputation.  Unfortunately, her first riding day comes to a quick end when she learns that her father has gambled away her prized horses and the winner decides to take them away at the event.  Things are further complicated when her father returns to the gaming tables and, this time, bets his daughter.  Thankfully, the man who wins her hand, Jasper, is not nefarious and these two have already developed a bit of flirtation.

I liked Hermione and Jasper, but never really felt like they moved beyond their initial character descriptions.  Hermione is said to be spirited and independent yet I never really felt like the book showed that aspect of her personality.  She just seemed to spend her time being shocked by her father's treatment of her and then going along with whatever mischief he caused.  Jasper is just a nice guy who is decent enough to rescue Hermione's reputation from her father's gambling, but I never knew much more about him.  And then, once they were married halfway through the book, the plot shifted to a murder mystery and there really weren't any of the typical "marriage of convenience" issues to overcome.

Good Earl Gone Bad was decently written and I could see so much of Manda Collins's talent in there.  I just wish that it wasn't so predictable and, I hate to say it, boring.  I never really felt invested in the love story and that is a problem since that is why I read romance novels.

1. A Good Rake is Hard to Find
2. Good Earl Gone Bad
3. Good Dukes Wear Black (Coming 2016)

Goodreads -- Author Website

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  1. I've read a couple Manda Collins books and had a lot of the same issues that you had with this book. Especially the predictable part. I remember reading one where I knew who was behind everything once he made his first appearance in the book. I'm a good guesser, but I shouldn't be THAT good.

    1. I want to like her books, but have just felt 'meh' about all the ones I've tried. Sigh...

  2. I've read one Manda Collins book and had very similar feelings. There was potential, but it never really worked out.


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