When to Engage an Earl
Book 3 in the Spinster House series
Author Sally MacKenzie
Narrated by Beverley A. Crick
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date May 30, 2017
Running time 9 hrs 3 min
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Miss Jane Wilkinson couldn’t be more delighted when her two best friends marry, creating a much-desired vacancy at the Spinster House. For the first time in her twenty-eight years, Jane can be free of her annoying older brother and enjoy complete solitude—with the exception of the Spinster House cat, Poppy. If only Jane’s unruly thoughts didn’t keep drifting to handsome Alex, Earl of Evans, in the mostun-spinsterlike ways . . .
Though jilted once, Alex has always intended to marry and raise a family. Now that his two closest friends have tied the knot, he is more determined than ever to find a wife. If only it wasn’t the intriguing Miss Jane Wilkinson that his heart—as well as the rest of him—desired. Not only does she appear uninterested in marriage, it’s clear she’s the managing sort. And yet, despite Alex’s fiercely independent spirit, the idea of being managed by her is quite appealing. Now if he can only convince her to give up her beloved Spinster House in favor of a far more pleasurable home—in his arms . . . https://tantor.com/when-to-engage-an-earl-sally-mackenzie.html
You have to love a story wherein a vaguely paranormal cat (in this case, Poppy) is smarter at pretty much everything than all of the human characters.
From the very beginning of the story, Poppy saves the day and the town fair while the human characters flail about worrying over whether a stuffed kangaroo is as interesting as a live on, or whether the Duke is actually cursed. I often suspect my cats are smarter than I am, but these humans seem unable to accept evidence when it is thrust before them.
Ah, the plight of humans in romance novels – they are often unable to see even the most basic truths right before them. But still, Poppy, the cat in this series is especially strong in this entry into the series. She almost speaks her own mind, but generally settles for licking her private parts as an expression of displeasure with her humans.
This series is a little simple in its plotting; a trifle naive. But, I have enjoyed it, possibly its very simplicity and naivete are what has made it appealing. In any event this is the last book in the series wherein the curse of the spinster house is purported to play a part. Certainly, it is the last story in which one of the three spinsters is the main subject. It may not be the last in which Loves Bridge plays a part as the story line is left open.
In this one we get a slight change on the titled man actually looking for a wife rather than looking to avoid the “parson’s mousetrap.” And, we have a woman, independent of the control of men, thanks to Spinster House. Why would a woman who wished to escape a nasty father and a bossy brother her entire life want to be under a man’s thumb again? That the two acquaintances share a level of intelligence and a spirited repartee is probably the start of a reason upon which they can build. And that Alex, the Earl, has come to her rescue doesn’t hurt.
The narrator in this series, Beverly A. Crick is not my favorite, but did not annoy me as much with this book. Perhaps I have grown accustomed to her singsong cadence or she has altered it.
I like the series and enjoy it, especially, as an audio book.