The Earl Claims a Bride
Book 2 in the Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels series
Author Amelia Grey
Narrated by Barrie Kreinik
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Aug 22, 2017
Running time 9 hrs
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.
Harrison Thornwick is the Heirs’ Club’s newest member. His carefree days as a reckless rogue carousing around London are suddenly behind him after the tragic death of his brother leaves him in charge of the family estate. What’s more, the Prince himself has offered to secure his marital prospects. Now Harrison has no choice but to grin and bear his noble fate—and the woman who’s been chosen for him.
Miss Angelina Rule is a spectacular beauty, a dream match for any man. But she is fiercely independent—and full of passion—and is all set to rebel against her royal order of marriage . . . until she meets the devilishly charming Harrison. With him by her side, Angelina devises a scheme that will teach her meddlesome relatives a lesson, once and for all. But little did she and Harrison expect to fall into a tempestuous attraction—and a powerful desire that neither of them can deny . . .https://tantor.com/the-earl-claims-a-bride-amelia-grey.html
This novel does a fantastic job showing off the ridiculous nature of the rules governing what each gender in the society could and could not do. For example, gambling your fortune away did not push you from the ranks, but entering trade did. Arranging a marriage for your daughter to pay off debt was accepted, but her selling anything to help pay it off would create a scandal.
Having to fight duels to prove one’s honor after a drunken insult while gambling was illegal but necessary.
Someone comes to tell you of the loss of your brother and his heir, but neglects to bring up the fates of the daughters and the mother — well that’s just sad.
Every era has its own kind of crazy, and we usually see them better in hindsight.
The Prince Regent here goes out of his way to arrange a marriage to the benefit of himself and the girl’s father. Politics between France and England play a part, but the requests of the prince are delivered by his messenger. Was the event important enough to threaten and cajole but not important enough to show up to make the threats himself? The political aspect around which the threatened marriage occurs is not at all developed.
This all points to the Regency period as one of particular dysfunctionality both socially and within families.
The characters, besides Angelina are not particularly well drawn. And we only know she loves dogs, can paint very well, and has long fancied herself in love with an Army Captain. When her father insists she marry someone else to save his his hide, she pretends to agree but searches for another way out of “parson’s mousetrap.”
The narrator has a pleasant voice with reasonable range of accents, ages and handles male and female characters easily. Her pronunciation and phrasing are both excellent. Sometimes they can be so awkward!
The heirs’ club plays little part in this novel outside of the friendships between several characters.
I enjoyed the story; in part because of the farcical nature of the society in which it is placed. With a little more humor it would have been comic farce as well as romance.