The Earl’s New Bride
Book 1 in the Daughters of Amhurst series
Author Frances Fowlkes
Narrated by Alison Larkin
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Dec 15, 2015
Running time 6 hrs 14 min
Also available in print from Entangled
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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.
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/the-earls-new-bride-rances-fowlkes.html
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.